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With the use of video illustrations, Dr. Beebe proposes that nonverbal modes of entering distress moments provide an organizing principle both of optimal infant development and of therapeutic action in adult treatment.
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Wednesday, April 10, 2019
Infant Research and Adult Treatment: Nonverbal Modes of Entering Distress Moments
Increasingly research shows that the nonverbal dialogue in adult treatment is essential to therapeutic action. However, this nonverbal dimension has been difficult to conceptualize. Because the nonverbal dialogue remains remarkably similar across the lifespan, infant research on face-to-face interaction can inform the nonverbal dimension of interaction in adult treatment face-to-face or on the couch. Using film microanalysis, our research has documented rapid, nuanced, highly emotional mother-infant nonverbal dialogues at four months that lead to secure or disorganized infant attachment patterns at one year. We showed that maternal difficulties in “entering” and empathizing with infant distress, that is, forms of “denial” of infant distress, is a key feature in the origins of disorganized attachment. Disorganized attachment predicts young adult psychopathology, most notably dissociation. In contrast, modes of “entering” infant distress moments, such as brief facial or vocal expressions of sadness, joining the cry rhythm or joining the dampened state, or participating in subtle finger “dialogues,” are salient in the origins of secure attachment. These modes of entering infant distress make it more possible for the infant to sense that someone is on her wave-length, that her distressed state is recognized. We propose that nonverbal modes of entering the distress moments provide an organizing principle both of optimal infant development and of therapeutic action in adult treatment. How is this done? This lecture will provide video illustrations of nonverbal micro-processes of entering distress moments in infancy and in adult treatment. Adult treatment will be illustrated through videotaped sessions of an adult treatment case of Sandra who has not looked anyone in the eye since she was 12 years old (Sandberg & Beebe, 2019, in press).
Beatrice Beebe, PhD (Presenter) is Clinical Professor of Psychology (in Psychiatry), College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute. She directs a basic research lab on mother-infant communication. She is faculty at several psychoanalytic institutes, and she has a private practice for adults and mother-infant pairs.
She is author or co-author of 6 books. The most recent is The mother-infant interaction picture book: Origins of attachment (Beebe, Cohen & Lachman, Norton, 2016). A documentary film about her research is available (website of the Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing [PEPweb], Mother-Infant Communication: The Research of Dr. Beatrice Beebe, by Karen Dougherty, 2016).
Benjamin Herbstman, MD, MHS (Moderator) is a lecturer, part-time, at Harvard Medical School, an assistant psychiatrist at McLean Hospital, and a candidate at the Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute (BPSI). He has a private practice in Cambridge.
At the conclusion of this program, participants will be able to:
7:30 pm - 7:40 pm: Welcome & Introduction; 7:40 pm - 9:00 pm: Presentation; 9:00 pm - 9:30 pm: Discussion and Q&A.
|The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6913. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. The Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs. This program offers 2 NBCC Clock Hours.|
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