The Magic of Engagement in Infant Mental Health: Discerning the Invitation and Defining the Work
How do we discern an invitation for in-depth, dyadic work when the parent seems principally to want us to just fix the child?
What will allow the parent to see their part in all that has happened?
What will soften the parent to be interested in the internal life of their child? For that matter, why in the world would a parent want to ever allow us inside their own internal life?
This webinar will suggest how we go about waiting and watching not only for something resembling an invitation from a parent, but even an invitation to hang around for the rest of the story to roll out. We will consider what it means to make diagnosis not a primary objective (since that may only close the door on scientific exploration, rather than widen the opening); what it means to go slow with conclusions; what it’s like to listen with a third ear for what is really happening in the family and what they need from us; and why we are undermined if we only have access to the child, rather than the dyad. Our goal, today: to discover together the magic of engagement with families.
[Many of the clinical principles discussed in this webinar are further explored in Trout, M. (2021). Four Decades in Infant Mental Health: This Hallowed Ground. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars. Also available in audiobook format from the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.]
As a result of attending this webinar, participants will be able to:
1. Write one principle that pertains to the encountering of fierce resistance in the first session.
2. Tell one story from his/her own work of being caught by surprise regarding the nature of “The Problem About the Baby” in a particular family.
3. Write three sentences describing why a particular parent might have difficulty being concrete about what—if anything—the problem is, and with what they need help.
Date and Time
November 1, 2022
12:30 PM - 2:00 PM