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Cutner, N. (2014). The Impact of Insecure Attachment on Mothering: A New Mother’s Story. J. Infant Child Adolesc. Psychother., 13(1):37-50.

(2014). Journal of Infant, Child & Adolescent Psychotherapy, 13(1):37-50

The Impact of Insecure Attachment on Mothering: A New Mother’s Story

Naomi Cutner

This article describes the treatment of a first-time mother and her daughter. The mother’s impoverished primary relationships and the fragility of her early attachments contribute to her challenges with motherhood. Through parent-infant treatment she is gradually developing the capacity to reflect upon her experience and beginning to make discoveries about her attitudes toward herself and others. My work with Leslie has deepened my appreciation for Daniel Stern’s notion of “the motherhood constellation” and for the power of insecure attachment to destabilize the parent and consequently the parent-child relationship. During the treatment, I used the Newborn Behavioral Observations system as an adjunct to therapy to help demonstrate to this distressed new mother her infant’s competencies. Later, I also used the Adult Attachment Interview to enhance her curiosity about her own childhood, and in particular her relationship to her mother and the impact of that relationship on her own mothering.

[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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