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Bergman, A. Moskowitz, S. Demetri Friedman, D. (2011). Early Years of Support Group I: Three Therapists' Views. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 10(2):207-216.

(2011). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 10(2):207-216

Early Years of Support Group I: Three Therapists' Views

Anni Bergman, Ph.D., Sally Moskowitz, Ph.D. and Donna Demetri Friedman, Ph.D.

This three-part article describes the early years of one of the mother-baby-children groups of the Project for Mothers, Infants, and Young Children of September 11, 2001. The goal of the group was to help prevent the effects of trauma and loss from disrupting the relationships among the mothers, their infants, and growing children. View I by Anni Bergman describes the mothers' states of minds as the group began, when they felt that their worlds had collapsed under them. View II by Sally Moskowitz focuses on the clinical experience of working in the group, transference and countertransference themes, helping the mothers and children with their mourning process, and helping the mothers' relationships to each other, their babies, older children, family, and friends. The evolution of a casual, familial-type atmosphere and format came to be seen by the therapists as very important. The therapists wanted to provide whatever small feeling of normality and comfort possible in the context of the mothers' anguish. This routine atmosphere provided the backdrop against which the mothers could talk about what seemed like unspeakable events, thoughts, and feelings, and process the horrific events, in their magnitude and details. View III by Donna Demetri Friedman describes the play therapy treatment of two preschool-aged siblings in the context of the support group. The children's father had been killed in the World Trade Center attacks. This section describes the themes of the children's play and how they worked through the experience of the loss of their father, the birth of their sibling, and their mother's grief. It also describes their progress a decade later.

[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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