This book emphasizes the importance of communication and early attachment for babies, acknowledging the value of both mother and father "being there" for their baby during pregnancy and after birth, with "quality time" to acknowledge, respect, and enjoy the presence of their baby.
Table of Contents
Foreword -- Introduction -- Infant responses to parental contact -- A psychophysiological theory of emotions -- Skin contact in primary relationships -- Body image -- Voice and body image -- Movement and communication The baby massage experience -- Facial expressions and bodyself image -- From communication to speech -- The baby's cry -- Breastfeeding -- The father's receptiveness
"Antonella Sansone's book provides a practical demonstration of what was hitherto merely a theoretical concept of bonding between parents and infants. It shows how infants can experience their physical and mental self in their relationship with their carer through touch, mutual synchronicity and relating. Baby massage is a key tool in this context. The book shows how to help babies and infants suffering from disturbed relations with their parents. It opens up a new way of facilitating and restoring primal bonding. The book can be recommended to all parents and is vital reading for infant/baby psychotherapists and for psychotherapists in general."
(Ludwig Janus, MD, Psychotherapist, Prenatal Psychologist and Psychohistorian. Former President of the International Society for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM) and former President of the German Society for Psychohistory and Political Psychology (GPPP) )
"Always a welcome presence in my workshops and courses, Antonella was able to offer some valuable advice and insights on numerous occasions to those present. Her level of commitment and enthusiasm towards a subject so obviously close to her heart is reflected in the writing of this book. She acknowledges the importance the importance of tactile communication during the early years and supports better understanding and more encouragement of a
baby's innate tendencies towards their growth and development. The skills that we include in parenting have an ongoing effect upon the child's personality and future relationships. Improvements in our understanding of our children's needs and abilities at this primal period contribute greatly towards better parent and child relationships. Towards this end, I highly recommend this inspiring book."
(Peter Walker, Developmental Baby Massage Teacher, Movement Therapist, Author)
Working with Parents and Infants
A Mind-Body Integration Approach
Working with Parents and Infants is aimed at understanding the process of psychosomatic illness, exploring the embodiment of psychosomatic health and illness, and the inseparability of psyche and soma. Within this book, the author highlights the beneficial function of psychosomatic symptoms, such as mastitis, in signalling to the counsellor or therapist as well as the patient the need for change and the path through which it may occur. Research and clinical literature have often overlooked the relationship between the woman's attitude to her bodyself, thus her mind-body integration, breastfeeding and the quality of interactions with her baby. A psychosomatic disturbance is in this book conceived as an impaired sense of bodyself, or in other words, a lack of psycho-soma integration. The author presents a new approach to health and the healing relationship emerging from a meeting between Eastern meditative disciplines and Western psychological practise. On the same line as Buddhist philosophy, wellbeing is conceived in terms of full union of mind and body, not in the negative meaning of the absence of sickness.
Central to a new psychophysiological theory of emotion adopted in this book, is the notion that healthy bonding relationships with the primary caregivers shape healthy brains and deficient connections of neurons in the brain.
This book highlights the importance and effectiveness of early support. As a baby's brain is being wired, it is very plastic, thus early support leads to better outcomes than years of treatment later in life. Improving the relationship between parents and their babies is much more cost effective than any adult therapeutic treatment.
The author acknowledges the importance of infant observation as a valuable training to prepare for working with parents and infants.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- A historical examination of the psyche-soma -- The psyche-soma within an object-relations framework -- The “bodyself” in early relationship -- Touch, movement, and integration of the psyche-soma -- Case illustration -- An east/west approach to working with parents and infants and the healing relationship -- Emotions and the primal brain -- The effectiveness of early support -- Infant observation -- Conclusions
'At the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute the training program is shared between prenatal and perinatal psychology studies and soma studies. In its simplest terms, this book gives clear exposition and understanding of the intertwining imperatives which both disciplines share. Sansone reminds us that soma is a Greek word referring to "the living body in its wholeness". Whatever we experience in and through the body forms our somatic reality, which includes feelings, emotions, thoughts, actions, symbols, sensations, and representations. When any expression of the living body is suppressed, the wholeness and harmony of our somatic reality is undermined. And so is the psyche, as psyche and soma belong to each other. The most interesting aspect of this book is that there is such an easy sense of personal communication to readers: parents, practitioners and to anyone who has been born. [It] offers an evolutionary window in psychoanalytic theory resolving and integrating Freud's split between "body ego" and holistic theory. It is a "soulmark" presentation by a brilliant observer of essential mother-baby relationship dialogue.'
- Jon Turner & Troya GN Turner, Co-Founders/Co-Directors of the Whole-Self Discovery and Development Institute, Inc. International USA / Holland
'Here is an informative and compassionate book, for parents and professionals alike, which will not only help mothers enjoy their babies and provide a secure beginning for their lives, it will do so by enhancing mothers' inner sense of wellbeing and confidence. The earlier the baby can receive this quality attention, the greater will be its value throughout life. Antonella Sansone emphasises the importance of firm holding and of touch, particularly in baby-massage, and how to use this safely and enjoyably for mutual healing of mother and child. Sansone's guidance in developing awareness of body-language, and recognizing memories we store in our bodies as well as our brains, gives us clues to finding our own needs as well as our children's. Physical problems - tension in shoulders or muscles used to kiss or hug, or mastitis or other skin disturbance - if dealt with at a psychological level, can lead to gains beyond mere alleviation of symptoms, towards establishing unity of body and mind. Antonella marries the psychotherapeutic insights of the West with those of Eastern meditation. Her image of mother and child playing on each other as a bow on a violin, yet alternating which is the bow and which the violin, provides an exciting sense of achieving music and harmony in a relationship. This serious book on healing is also about our relationships being playful and fun. Sansone outlines essential guidelines for training in parent/infant work, notably the trainees' own bodyself awareness, to help them be open to all types of communication with parents and infants.'
- Frances House/Simon House, Psychotherapist, gestalt and psychodynamic/Member of the International Society for Prenatal Psychology and Medicine, and co-author of The Unborn Child
We stand in the midst of a critical change. The whole world, as we have known it, is in transition. Day by day, we witness the death of the old way of being, while the new is a little hazy to see and embrace. The pandemic, a mirror of the “unseen virus” that finally crystallized into the physical virus, affects humans debilitating systems -not only organic but also socio-economic ones placing a strain on the equilibrium of all the intricately related factors inside and outside all known structures. With the educational and other care systems falling apart or not allowed to function properly, families and especially parents have seen their everyday life go chaotic. The new reality asks them to re-visit their parenting modes, understand the essence of it all and lead themselves and their children, still in gestation or already born and growing up, to a new homeostasis. As in all transition phases, the primal trauma is re-activated. The primal pain from which we disconnected to survive is to surface again. Exhaustion, anger, isolation, social-distancing, FEAR, mainly fear of death, has become the daily menu in an atmosphere of mistrust, insecurity and loss. But this is also the time to heal, regain the lost life energy and re-create what has always been possible. This book, written by 20 experts in the fields of Prenatal Psychology, Medicine and Health is the navigator that leads each one of us, born or unborn, to the space of using critical changes as a tool to heal our prenatal trauma, reconnect with who we are, connect with and support our children as we make our next step.