"The Inner World of the baby - how it informs therapeutic work with infants and their parents"
The baby arrives in the world prewired and ready to engage with her parents and available caregivers. For both the baby and her parents the infancy period is a time of rapid change and development, and a time when focused supportive interventions can lead to the development of positive developmental trajectories. It is important for the clinician, family support worker to be able to meet and engage the baby directly as a person in the context of working with her parents. This presentation will address the baby as the subject of our therapeutic explorations, and how we can use a range of different techniques to support parents to support the baby's essential development. Understanding the baby as a person can help us understand the parent's capacity to think about the baby's own inner world (parental reflective functioning, mindfulness) and how techniques such as the Newborn Behavioural Observation and creative use of video can facilitate our work with infants and parents.
Assoc. Prof. Campbell Paul is a Consultant Infant and Child Psychiatrist at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne and Honorary Principal Fellow in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne. With colleagues at the University of Melbourne he has established and delivered postgraduate courses in Infant and Parent Mental Health since 1992. These courses developed out of a longstanding experience in paediatric consultation-liaison psychiatry and infant-parent psychotherapy. He has a special interest in the understanding of the inner world of the baby, particularly as it informs therapeutic work with infants and their parents. With colleagues he has developed models of working in therapeutic groups with troubled parents and infants. He is President-Elect of the World Association for Infant Mental Health and is Director of the Australian training centre for the NBO at the Royal Women’s Hospital Melbourne.