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WHAT IS THE CONTAINER/CONTAINED WHEN THERE ARE GHOSTS IN THE NURSERY?: JOINING BION AND FRAIBERG IN DYADIC INTERVENTIONS WITH MOTHER AND INFANT

WHAT IS THE CONTAINER/CONTAINED WHEN THERE ARE GHOSTS IN THE NURSERY?: JOINING BION AND FRAIBERG... ABSTRACT “Ghosts in the nursery.” “Visitors from the unremembered past.” Fraiberg, Adelson, and Shapiro's (1975) words convey the relational “intruders” that they perceived while working with mothers and infants. A mother's unresolved past is a driving force within the treatment of mother–infant dyads. Working with these families, the therapist strives to process and metabolize the distress of the dyad while enabling the mother to contain the infant more fully. This article proposes that Fraiberg et al.’s metaphor may be newly elaborated utilizing Bion's (1962) original theoretical conceptualization of the “container and contained.” He posited that an infant projects distressing affective states upon the mother, who contains the experience, transforms the feelings, and then enables the infant to reintroject a more tolerable experience. This lays the foundation for the relational experience of being known by another and facilitates the infant's development of self‐knowledge and emotional regulation. We utilize Fraiberg et al.’s original case material to identify ways in which ghosts in the nursery disrupt the processes of the container and contained. Bion's ideas may help enrich our understanding of how the therapeutic relationship enables cycles of containment, transitioning the material “ghosts” from being contained by the infant to being contained by the therapist, and to ultimately being transformed so that the mother can reattribute them to the past. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Infant Mental Health Journal Wiley

WHAT IS THE CONTAINER/CONTAINED WHEN THERE ARE GHOSTS IN THE NURSERY?: JOINING BION AND FRAIBERG IN DYADIC INTERVENTIONS WITH MOTHER AND INFANT

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References (57)

Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2015 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health
ISSN
0163-9641
eISSN
1097-0355
DOI
10.1002/imhj.21509
pmid
25931380
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

ABSTRACT “Ghosts in the nursery.” “Visitors from the unremembered past.” Fraiberg, Adelson, and Shapiro's (1975) words convey the relational “intruders” that they perceived while working with mothers and infants. A mother's unresolved past is a driving force within the treatment of mother–infant dyads. Working with these families, the therapist strives to process and metabolize the distress of the dyad while enabling the mother to contain the infant more fully. This article proposes that Fraiberg et al.’s metaphor may be newly elaborated utilizing Bion's (1962) original theoretical conceptualization of the “container and contained.” He posited that an infant projects distressing affective states upon the mother, who contains the experience, transforms the feelings, and then enables the infant to reintroject a more tolerable experience. This lays the foundation for the relational experience of being known by another and facilitates the infant's development of self‐knowledge and emotional regulation. We utilize Fraiberg et al.’s original case material to identify ways in which ghosts in the nursery disrupt the processes of the container and contained. Bion's ideas may help enrich our understanding of how the therapeutic relationship enables cycles of containment, transitioning the material “ghosts” from being contained by the infant to being contained by the therapist, and to ultimately being transformed so that the mother can reattribute them to the past.

Journal

Infant Mental Health JournalWiley

Published: May 1, 2015

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