We suggest that often the psychoanalytic thinking informing or driving our work in infant-parent psychotherapy may be quietly subversive in a number of ways. This thinking is subversive in that there is a high priority given to working with complexity rather than simplicity, and working with and enacting the immediacy of unconscious fantasy: a process which can be an alarming experience for all. The therapist may act in ways that are unexpected to each participant in the therapy: the infant, the parent and the therapist. We suggest that directly and respectfully engaging the infant and his or her family in communicative play and reverie contributes to developing healthy reflective functioning and a mentalizing stance, through therapeutic action that is best conceptualised not in a linear mode, but owing more to chaos theory. We will illustrate with vignettes from infant, parent and family psychotherapy and group psychotherapy, drawn from videoed casework. In particular we consider a micro analysis of the subversiveness of play in a newly developed toddler-parent psychodynamic time-limited group intervention- what happens when the hungry dinosaur joins the doll in her tea party and splashes in the water, 'overturning' everything.
WORLD DREAMING: WORLD CONGRESS FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY
24-28 August 2011 Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre
Darling Harbour, Australia.
Visit The World Council for Psychotherapy at http://www.worldpsyche.org