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Aronson, S. (2016). The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: A review of The Origins of Attachment: Infant Research and Adult Treatment by Beatrice Beebe and Frank Lachmann. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. 232 pp.. Contemp. Psychoanal., 52(4):641-644.

(2016). Contemporary Psychoanalysis, 52(4):641-644

The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face: A review of The Origins of Attachment: Infant Research and Adult Treatment by Beatrice Beebe and Frank Lachmann. New York, NY: Routledge, 2014. 232 pp.

Seth Aronson, Psy.D.

Evan, a 35-year-old single man working in the creative arts, is distraught at not being in a relationship. Based on our year of work together and what I know of him and his history, I say something suggesting that in order for this to happen, he might need to see himself as more separate from his family of origin. Evan leans back on the couch, grimaces, baring his teeth. His hand which had been resting on his thigh, opens, his fingers splayed. He arches back and away from me. Clearly, my comments—accurate or not—elicited a strong reaction. This was clearly not a good feed.

Understanding each nonverbal cue from Evan's response, translating it into the language of caregiver–infant interaction as well as my sensing the need to repair and recalibrate my comments (as well as tone and even physical posture) would not have been possible were it not for the work of Beatrice Beebe and Frank Lachmann. They, like their fellow travelers such as Daniel Stern, Louis Sander, and Edward Tronick, to name but a few, have been studying caregiver–infant interaction for close to an astonishing 40 years. Their latest book represents the culmination of their work and the accumulated wisdom of four decades of research and clinical practice.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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