Relationship Specificity in Infancy and Early Childhood
Who is this for?
What can you expect to gain from this workshop?
By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to:
Understand the importance of caregivers’ perceptions of the child (i.e., the state of mind regarding parents’ relationships with their child and how it impacts their functioning).
Recognize common themes that can be demonstrated by a narrative interview.
Use information based on this interview to identify goals for intervention with caregivers and children.
CEUs for mental health professionals are provided.
The relationships that infants and young children have with their most important caregivers are the crucial context for healthy development as well as the development of psychopathology. The kind and quality of relationships that young children have with each of their caregivers can differ substantially. As such, these relationships are the centerpiece of assessment in infant and early childhood mental health. The Working Model of the Child Interview (WMCI) is a clinical interview that assesses how a caregiver perceives, feels, and thinks about his or her child and their relationship. This interview demonstrates that internal, subjective aspects of the relationship are critical to understand in order to assess relationship quality and the functioning of the dyad. This information can then be used to build on strengths and intervene with concerns to optimize the relationship between the child and each of their parents or caregivers.
In this full-day workshop, the instructor will present a clinical case over time which will be used to illustrate the diverse ways in which different caregivers think about and understand the same child. This training will demonstrate the importance of understanding each caregiver’s perspectives of their child and themselves as parents towards impacting their child’s development, as well as current and future functioning. Intervening to impact caregiver-child relationships must include attention to this aspect of the relationship so that change can be sustained. Illustrative case and video vignettes will be presented.