NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ1125665
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Jul
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0736-8038
PERSPECTIVES: Stories From the Trenches: The Application of Infant Mental Health Theory to Everyday Practice
Trout, Michael
ZERO TO THREE, v35 n6 p18-20 Jul 2015
The author was wholly unprepared for what he encountered when he entered Fraiberg's Child Development Project at the University of Michigan in 1973, joining five others in a special 2-year training program in infant mental health. He sputtered in astonishment. He resisted the interpretations. But there was no turning back, once he was exposed (on reel-to-reel video) to moms and dads and babies struggling to make a life and a connection together. For the next 40 years, the author found himself in the presence of the uncommon: parents beating their babies, right in front of him; families who seemed determined to destroy themselves, and nearly did so; and children turning themselves inside out, fighting off the love they so very much wanted. It was sometimes his job to reawaken pain in both children and adults, as a prerequisite to healing. The core of his job, as he understood it, was to quietly watch, to stay curious, to follow the stories these families--including the babies--told. They never stopped being interesting to me. The author never saw two patients who were alike. Ever. It seemed to him that he was usually in the presence of enormously courageous people, and they were giving him the profound gift of allowing him to sit in their presence. And now, having ended his clinical practice a few months ago, he finds himself deeply wanting to tell some of those stories. The author can not tell the whole story of any family, of course; they are not finished, yet. And he can not tell so much about anyone that their privacy would be disrespected. But he wants to describe some of what he saw during those four decades, hoping the reader might share in his fascination about how humans do work of survival and adaptation and transformation. In this issue, the author shares his first story.
ZERO TO THREE. 1255 23rd Street NW Suite 350, Washington, DC 20037. Tel: 800-899-4301; Tel: 202-638-1144; Fax: 202-638-0851; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A