The cornerstone of my training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy is the Infant Observation experience. This involves closely observing mothers and their babies each week from pregnancy through the first year of life, or more. This intimate contact with a mother caring for her vulnerable and fragile newborn, in all its intensity and ordinary devotion, increases the therapist’s own capacity for reverie. For it is reverie that makes it possible to connect with patients more deeply and in the ways necessary to effect lasting therapeutic change. For more a detailed account, here is a good reference .
It is also important to know that Infant Observation also deeply informs my work with adults unrelated to pregnancy and the postpartum period. For we now know that mental and emotional life begins in infancy. For it is in infancy and the baby’s first relationships that everyone comes to know themselves as a person and how relationships work. These early and unconscious memories form the basis of how we are in the world.
Like the Infant Observation experience, the Secure Beginnings supervised clinical training further develops the therapist’s capacity for reverie in working with families overwhelmed with the raw intensity of new parenthood and worried about perinatal mood changes, infant attachment and relationship difficulties. This approach develops a greater capacity to bear what’s painful and make creative use of it. The end result helps inform parenting in ways that are both healing and integrating for themselves, and promote healthy development of their children.
In addition, I have studied in depth:
- British Object Relations and psychoanalysis
- Primitive mental states
- Containment and coherence
- Treatment of trauma and PTSD
- Reflective parenting
- Impediments to love
- Analytic approaches to couples therapy