Mother-Infant Therapy / Parent-Infant Therapy

In addition to individual prenatal and postpartum evaluation and psychotherapy, Dr. Mavrides provides therapeutic sessions for parents and their babies.  Often parents seek out these sessions because they may feel that there is a mismatch between them and their child or because something is concerning them about their child’s development, although others seek out these services not because of a problem necessarily but in order to further develop the attachment and bond between parent and child.  These sessions can be most helpful once the child is a few months old, but there is evidence that even prenatal counseling that focuses on the parent’s concerns and thoughts about the child can be instrumental in laying the foundation for positive attachment and connection after birth.  Expectant mothers who have an elevated risk for Post-Partum Depression (PPD) can particularly benefit from the combination of prenatal and postpartum counseling that focuses on the mother-infant relationship. 

What to Expect

Parent-Infant Therapy sessions include a discussion of any concerns about the child, the parent, and the relationship between the child and the parent(s).  We also discuss the pregnancy with the child, the child’s birth and subsequent development, and any family or environmental factors at play.  Dr. Mavrides then will take video footage of the parent interacting with the infant, in addition to Dr. Mavrides herself interacting with the infant.  Dr. Mavrides then will watch the video footage with the parent and discuss the interactions and communications at hand.  Additional counseling sessions are focused on extending the lessons learned from the video footage to the day-to-day interactions with the child.  Additional video footage is taken each month in order to follow the development of the parent-infant relationship and provide further insight into the child’s communications. 

Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • There is no “right” way to parent.  Each parent and each child is a unique individual.  All parents have strengths and weaknesses and all children have resources and vulnerabilities.  The key to “good enough” parenting is finding the connection and common ground between the two.  Many parents figure this out on there own, but a lot of parents could use some help decoding their babies’ needs—afterall, babies don’t come with an instruction manual.
  • No parent—or child—is perfect.  We all get upset and make mistakes from time to time.  The key to parenting is not being perfect, but knowing when something has gone awry in your own behavior and reactions and being able to go back and repair the connection.  Babies understand a lot more than we give them credit for, but they are also tremendously resilient.  Getting help with your connection to and communication with your child will help prevent problems in the future and will make life easier in the present.
  • The therapist is new and interesting.  As someone the baby may have not seen or interacted with before, the therapist is novel and may be a particularly fun and interesting person with which to interact.  Therefore it is natural and normal for the infant to be excited and interact differently with the therapist than he or she does with the parent.  This should be expected and should not be taken as a reflection of how the baby feels about his or her own parent.
Does this sound like something that could help you  and your child?  Please contact Dr. Mavrides to schedule a consultation.