Mother Infant Relations

The Skin as a Psychic Organ: The Use of Infant Massage as a Psychotherapeutic Tool in Infant-Parent Psychotherapy

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Publication Date: 
December 2007

This paper explores the use of touch, particularly infant-massage in infant-parent psychotherapy and the ways in which clinicians can utilize this intervention to strengthen infant-parent attachment. Touch as a taboo in psychotherapy, and the paradigmatic shifts that are occurring to allow for a reconsideration of the value of touch in psychotherapy is considered. Theories on touch and development from a depth-oriented perspective are presented, including related concepts such as: psychic skin, skin ego, and Winnicott?s holding environment or handling.

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