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Bergman, A. Remez, A. (2011). The Team Approach to the Treatment of a Traumatized Mother and Child: Christina and Bobby. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 10(2):286-295.

(2011). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 10(2):286-295

Mother-Child Treatment With a Team Approach

The Team Approach to the Treatment of a Traumatized Mother and Child: Christina and Bobby

Anni Bergman, Ph.D. and Andrea Remez, Ph.D.

In this section we present two child treatment cases in which Anni Bergman was the therapist. In the first case, Dr. Andrea Remez was the mother's therapist in an individual treatment. Dr. Remez also made the referral of this mother and child to our Project. Both children in these two cases were treated in individual and tri-partite sessions with Dr. Bergman, as well as in videotaped consultations and feedback sessions with the team. Both cases were different from the original frame of the Project because no parent was lost; instead, both were traumatized families who lived at the site of the World Trade Center. However, in each family, the child we treated had been very young at the time of the World Trade Center attacks. In the first family, the child was a fetus in the seventh month of pregnancy; in the second family, the child was a three-month-old infant. We considered these two families to be just as central to the Project as all the other families where the father was lost. In addition, these were the only families who sought an intensive treatment with us for the child at an early age. This work illustrates a highly unusual integration of a psychoanalytic approach to child treatment with ongoing video consultations from the team. In the first case, it illustrates an unusual collaboration between the mother's individual therapist and the Project team.

This article describes the treatment of a child in the context of the Project for Mothers, Infants, and Young Children of September 11, 2001. The child's symptom was biting himself when distressed or angry and occasionally biting his parents. His mother had been pregnant during the trauma of September 11, 2001, and lived across the street from the World Trade Center. When the catastrophe occurred she ran out of the house feeling that she had to save her life as well as the life of the baby she was carrying. After the mother was in therapy with Dr. Remez, Dr. Beebe was consulted and referred the mother and child for treatment with Dr. Bergman. Joint play sessions with Christina and Bobby were used as the main therapeutic technique, along with video consultations from the Project team. The mother continued her individual treatment with Dr. Remez. The therapy succeeded in resolving the child's acute symptom and also contributed to the mother's ability to increase her understanding of her child and to become more emotionally available to him.

[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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