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Steinberg, Z. (2006). Pandora Meets the NICU Parent or Whither Hope?. Psychoanal. Dial., 16(2):133-147.

(2006). Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 16(2):133-147

Pandora Meets the NICU Parent or Whither Hope?

Zina Steinberg, ED.D.

Hope is hard to locate when a family gives birth to a baby in need of intensive medical care. Our work in the neonatal unit helps families find a narrative of hope that anchors them as they navigate the shoals of trauma, panic, and depression, allowing them to begin a more normal process of parental preoccupation. This article includes vignettes from experiences with families, some data on prematurity and its effects on mothers, and a discussion of our use of Tavistock-oriented infant observation with the parents. How the neonatal intensive care work has influenced listening with other patients is briefly discussed.

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