Michael Trout, MA
Topic: Searching For Aunt Rosie: Accounting For Non-Clinical, Benevolent Influences On The Lives Of Babies And Young Children
Michael Trout graduated from Alma College (B.A., cum laude, honors in Philosophy) and Central Michigan University (M.A., Psychology), and did his specialized training in infant psychiatry at the Child Development Project, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, under Prof. Selma Fraiberg. In the mental health field since 1968 and in private practice since 1979, Mr. Trout has, since 1986 directed The Infant-Parent Institute, which engages in research, clinical practice and clinical training related to problems of attachment.He was the founding president of the International Association for Infant Mental Health; was on the charter Editorial Board of the Infant Mental Health Journal; served as regional vice-president for the United States for the World Association for Infant Mental Health; served on the board of directors (and as editor of the newsletter) for APPPAH — the Association for Pre- & Perinatal Psychology and Health, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Attachment Parenting International. In 1984 he won the Selma Fraiberg Award for “ . . . significant contributions to the needs of infants and their families.” He has won numerous awards, published many book chapters, articles, training videos, and has co-authored several books. For 46 years--41 of them in the infant mental health specialty--the most important part of Mr. Trout’s happened in the hours he spent with individuals and families. He retired from clinical practice on May 30, 2014, allowing him to turn more of his attention to teaching, writing, and looking into what happened to some of the babies and families he served, many years ago. His website is http://www.infant-parent.com.
About this talk:
When Selma Fraiberg first drew our attention, in 1975, to the hidden stories and repressed affects that assault the good intentions of parents, and invade the nurseries of their babies, she set our clinical imaginations tingling: “In every nursery there are ghosts. They are the visitors from the unremembered past of the parents; the uninvited guests at the christening” (Fraiberg, Adelson, and Shapiro, 1975, p. 387).
On the 30th anniversary of the publication of Fraiberg’s original article–credited by some as the official commencement of the infant mental health movement–one of her students offered an extension, an elaboration, and a new focus. Alicia Lieberman writes:
...angels in the nursery–[which we define as] care-receiving experiences characterized by intense shared affect between parent and child in which the child feels nearly perfectly understood, accepted, and loved–provide the child with a core sense of security and self-worth that can be drawn upon when the child becomes a parent.... We argue that uncovering angels as growth-promoting forces in the lives of traumatized parents is as vital to the work of psychotherapy as is the interpretation and exorcizing of ghosts (Lieberman, Padron, Van Horn, and Harris, 2005, p. 504).
Today’s conversation will explore the clinical and personal experiences of the author and of the participants about the often-ignored appearance of Aunt Rosie, and other “angels in the nursery”. After mapping out some basic clinical notions, the author will facilitate an exploration of the group’s understanding of, resistance to, suspicions about, and notice of the phenomenon. Participants should come prepared to discuss their clinical and personal observations.