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Infant and Toddler Mental Health

Models of Clinical Intervention With Infants and Their Families

Edited by J. Martín Maldonado-Durán, M.D.

  • ISBN 978-1-58562-086-9
  • Item #62086

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Countless studies have demonstrated the power of early intervention to permanently alter the course of a child's life. Yet—heightened by the past decade's research breakthroughs in genetics—the nature vs. nurture controversy rages on.

This volume dispels some of the persistent myths surrounding this controversy. Unlike largely theoretical texts that describe infant behavioral and emotional difficulties and other psychosocial challenges affecting young children, this eminently practical guide illustrates what to do in numerous clinical situations with actual patients. Written by clinicians who work with infants and children and their families every day, this reality-based approach addresses the most common and important problems in infant psychopathology (e.g., trauma, sleep, feeding, excessive crying, attachment disruptions), covering models of intervention from pregnancy through infancy, attachment issues, and transgenerational themes.

Here, you'll find topics rarely addressed elsewhere:

  • The theoretical and clinical implications of trauma during early childhood and its effects on emotional regulation, cognition, and attachment, including potential disruptions of attachment—a topic widely overlooked in the life of young children, perhaps because of the distress it produces in adults to think that infants can be subject to violence, witness major traumatic events, and experience consequences from such events

  • Techniques, such as multimodal parent-infant psychotherapy, for working effectively with families—once considered unreachable—who are under severe stress and have endured multiple disruptions, disappointments, and marginalization

  • A timely discussion of a rarely addressed problem on the importance of early intervention and the effects of day care for infants, from the point of view of the infant exposed to multiple caretakers, addressing the very difficult questions of the effects on infants of changes in caretakers

  • How young children use their bodies and its functions to manifest their difficulties, focusing on sleeping, crying, and eating with practical suggestions that can be widely applied by health care professionals

  • Unique commentaries on two case examples by a diverse international panel of clinicians and researchers—from countries such as Argentina, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico, Switzerland, the UK, and the U.S.—illustrating the differences of opinion, approaches, and perspectives that together generate more effective assessment and treatment

This thought-provoking clinical reference is a must read for developmental, child, and adolescent psychiatry educators and practitioners—and nurses, pediatricians, occupational therapists, and clinical social workers—as they help the youngest members of our community through theoretical understanding and practical intervention.


  • Contributors
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Theoretical Framework
  • Chapter 1. The Place for Infancy
  • Chapter 2. Attachment, Trauma, and Self-Reflection: Implications for Later Psychopathology
  • Chapter 3. Understanding of Mental States, Mother-Infant Interaction, and the Development of the Self
  • Part II: Therapeutic Approaches to Relationships and Their Disturbances
  • Chapter 4. Promoting Maternal Role Attainment and Attachment During Pregnancy: The Parent-Child Communication Coaching Program
  • Chapter 5. Treatment of Attachment Disorders in Infant-Parent Psychotherapy
  • Chapter 6. Multimodal Parent-Infant Psychotherapy
  • Chapter 7. The Therapeutic Consultation
  • Chapter 8. The Transgenerational Transmission of Abandonment
  • Chapter 9. The Challenge of Multiple Caregivers
  • Part III: Therapeutic Approaches to Psychophysiological Disturbances
  • Chapter 10. Excessive and Persistent Crying: Characteristics, Differential Diagnosis, and Management
  • Chapter 11. Sleep Disorders in Infants and Young Children
  • Chapter 12. Evaluation and Treatment of Eating and Feeding Disturbances of Infancy
  • Part IV: Illustrative Case Examples
  • Chapter 13. A 3-Year-Old Monster
  • Chapter 14. Physical Abuse and Neglect in the First 6 Months of Life: A Parent-Infant Psychotherapeutic Approach
  • Index

About the Authors

J. Martin Maldonado-Duran, M.D., works at the Family Service and Guidance Center in Topeka, Kansas. He is also an investigator for the Child and Family Center at the Menninger Clinic, an adjunct professor for infant psychopathology at Kansas State University, and a clinical professor at the University of Kansas in Topeka, Kansas.

The field of infant mental health is young and very much in need of clinical treatment guides. Dr. Martin Maldonado-Duran's edited book, Infant and Toddler Mental Health: Models of Clinical Intervention With Infants and Their Families, takes our clinical understanding of the field a significant step forward by providing sensitive descriptions of a variety of clinical interventions and treatment approaches. A great strength of the book is its focus on presenting the thinking of different authors involved in conceptualizing an understanding of problems presented by the child and family and the diverse ways to help them. This book is highly recommended for clinicians learning about clinical approaches to infant mental health.—Joy D. Osofsky, Ph.D., Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry, Louisiana State Univ Health Sciences Center; Vice-President of ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families

It is a very welcomed addition, and it stands alone as a unique contribution in many respects. First, the authors offer clinical perspectives based on their own experiences, and there is richness evident throughout the volume because of the case material presented. The volume truly is a 'reality-based' approach to this field. Secondly, the first section of the volume has theoretical perspectives provided from several experts who offer clear models by which to consider the clinical data presented in the second section. .—Beth L. Goodlin-Jones, Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, 1/1/2003

Taken as a whole, this excellent book should encourage both those already doing this work to continue and those who are thinking of it to start.—Robin Balbernie, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 1/1/2003

By bringing together in one volume the theoretical perspectives and therapeutic models of an outstanding group of internationally recognized infant mental health clinicians, Martin Maldonado-Duran has performed an extraordinary service to the growing community of mental health professionals who work—or are learning to work—with infants, toddlers, and their families. The detailed case vignettes are especially valuable illustrations of how skilled practitioners, working to support and strengthen infant-parent relationships in families from many cultural backgrounds and in a broad range of service settings, can address early psychophysiological disturbances, unresolved losses and conflicts, and the challenges of caregiving in our rapidly changing world.—Emily Fenichel, Associate Director, ZERO TO THREE: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Washington, D.C., Editor, Zero to Three

This book convinced me, a skeptic, of the need to consider that the infant-caregiver relationship, not as a secondary contextual information, but as central to successful therapeutic intervention. The clarity of the presentation and the thoughtful selection of case material does much to convince the reader.—Ingram Wright, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology, Sheffield University, UK, Journal of Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry

This book significantly furthers the literature of early development by bringing together theoretical, experimental, and clinical material in a reality-based approach. The therapeutic approaches are detailed and sensitive accounts of a diversity of clinical interventions and treatments.—Elliott Pae M.D., Doody's Health Science Book Reviews, 1/1/2003

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