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Infant-parent psychotherapy with toddlers

  • Alicia F. Lieberman (a1)


Infant-parent psychotherapy in the second year of life presents specific challenges related to the child's developmental characteristics. The concept of projective identification is discussed as a mechanism for understanding the toddler's specific contribution to attachment disorders with the parent. A versatile clinical format is recommended including joint parent-child sessions, individual work with the toddler and the parents, and the use of therapeutic modes of communication specifically geared to the toddler's needs (“toddlerese”). Clinical examples and research applications are given to illustrate these points.


Corresponding author

Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Alicia Lieberman, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Infant-Parent Program, San Francisco General Hospital, 2550 23rd Street, Building 9, Room 130, San Francisco, CA 94110.


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Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
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