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Garwood, R. Sherick, I. Solyom, A.E. (1983). Brief Intervention with the Mother of a Congenitally Damaged Newborn Infant: An Application of Psychoanalytic Principles to Infant Psychiatry. J. Child Psychother., 9(2):185-196.

(1983). Journal of Child Psychotherapy, 9(2):185-196

Brief Intervention with the Mother of a Congenitally Damaged Newborn Infant: An Application of Psychoanalytic Principles to Infant Psychiatry

Robert Garwood, Ivan Sherick and Antal E. Solyom

Numerous studies have addressed the importance of infant-caregiver interactions during the early months of life as important for the future emotional well-being of the child. Sander (1962) investigated the mother-child interactions longitudinally in order to look for patterns in the development of object relations. Sander says that each mother-infant couple must negotiate a series of epigenetic tasks in their own idiosyncratic manner. Each new emerging capacity of the developing infant must be integrated with the mother's accommodation to it.

Stern (1971) explored the mutual interactive events that occurred between a mother and her 3½-month-old twins. He found that the behaviour of one child in averting his gaze from his mother's gaze led to approach behaviour on his mother's part. Further averting on the child's part led his mother to turn her attention elsewhere, which led the child to turn his attention again to his mother. Such repetitive interactions reflect the mutual regulation that occurs in the relationship between mother and child. Modified behaviours achieve an optimal level of interaction for the infant-mother pair, based on stimulation and attention. Brazelton and Als (1979) proposed an interactive model of development with reciprocal responses from parent and infant.

Within such a mutual reciprocal feedback system, he and the parent begin to press the limits of (a) his capacity to take in and respond to information, and (b) to withdraw to recover in a homeostatic system.

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