The Awakening and Growth of the Human: Studies in Infant Mental Health

Reviewed Publisher: 
The Infant-Parent Institute 501 South Street, Champaign, Ill. 61820
Reviewed Title: 
The Awakening and Growth of the Human: Studies in Infant Mental Health
Reviewed Author: 

The series of five tapes is aimed at an audience of clinicians, educators and researchers. I reviewed Unit 2 and Unit 4.

Unit 2. "The Psychological Dimensions of Pregnancy and Delivery"-a description of the intense but quite normal psychological work engaged in by a pregnant woman, how it changes her relationship with her mate, what difference this work makes for her future relationship with the baby, how it all comes together at labor and delivery to the benefit or detriment of the mother-infant bond, and how the father finds a place in this process and prepares for the newborn's arrival. This tape includes tape clips of mothers and fathers discussing their pregnancies. As an educational tool, the tape is appropriate for childbirth preparation instructors and physician inservices, as well as for the training of infant mental health clinicians. (AG-2)

This is an excellent presentation. It focuses on issues that are rarely discussed in childbirth classes for example the ambivalence that mothers feel at each pregnancy and birth, the psychological meaning of having a "new resident in your home," the mother merging with the baby and the gradual recognition of the baby as a separate individual, accomodating reality with fantasy at birth and the impact of miscarriage, to name but a few.

Unit 4. "The Newborn, The Family and the Dance"-a discussion, with tape clips from both normal and troubled families-of the ways in which real or imagined characteristics of the newborn affect the way in which he is integrated into the family and the nature of his relationships with primary caretakers. The TWO-WAY character of infant-parent interactions and of the evolving relationship, and the problems of FIT, are highlighted. A live demonstration of the Brazelton (neonatal behavioral assessment) with two newborns, will be offered. The tape is useful with childbirth preparation classes, parent and preparent groups, and physician inservices, as well as with professional training curricula for infant mental health clinicians. (AG-4)

I think this tape is less suitable for lay people than the former but highly recommended for health professionals. All the information is totally up-to-date and in agreement with current PPPANA findings. Both tapes could function as foci for local PPPANA Chapter discussion groups.

Michael Trout is a forceful, highly engaging speaker who manages to eschew jargon and keep the viewer interested quite easily for the duration of the 60 minute presentation.

Each tape is available for rental at $75.00 or purchase at $150.00.

Publication Date: 
05/1988