Surviving the Early Years: The Importance of Early Intervention with Babies at Risk

Editor : Stella Acquarone

Surviving the Early Years: The Importance of Early Intervention with Babies at Risk

Book Details

  • Publisher : Karnac Books
  • Published : June 2016
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 304
  • Category :
    Child and Adolescent Studies
  • Catalogue No : 36898
  • ISBN 13 : 9781782202783
  • ISBN 10 : 1782202781

Also by Stella Acquarone

Infant-Parent Psychotherapy: A Handbook

Infant-Parent Psychotherapy: A Handbook

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This book is about the hope underlying the ability to survive the early years. Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner is both metaphor and framework of the despair and hopelessness that some babies and parents experience in their efforts to hold on and go through difficult circumstances. Their early experiences are not voyages “into a sunny and cheerful sea”: some are years-long voyages into horror and weariness - babies born into difficult families, into countries in difficulties or into difficult circumstances.

Some babies born into difficulties are pretty much alone because their mothers might be too ill to look after them, and nurses are too busy to fulfil the maternal function other than changing and feeding them. They may have been born in war zones, or in prisons, or have been in intensive neonatal premature units. Unlike mothers who recall the early years with their babies as a dance of understanding and development, other carers don’t recall hearing the music at all. They slog through the early years with only hope as a compass. Like the Ancient Mariner looking for a sail on the horizon, theirs is a poignant search of the horizons for hope in any form.

Different professionals, each expert in their field, address the different difficulties. They show us the connections between traumatic experiences and traumatic consequences of survival, the implications in both the families and in the professionals who, in constant contact and working together, deal with the containment and transformations of those events. This book brings us face-to-face with the wonderful capacities of the newborn and the great potential for parents (both mother and father) and child to continue growing together in a society that cares for them.

Reviews and Endorsements

‘Stella Acquarone has brought together some of the most skilled and perceptive voices in the whole field of infancy and trauma. A growing public policy awareness is leading to a drive to better support parents and infants throughout the perinatal period. Initiatives such as the 1001 Critical Days manifesto and campaign mean that this book is extremely timely and will make a significant contribution to broadening this public mental health debate.’
—Baroness Sheila Hollins, Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry of Disability at St George’s University of London, Past President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and of the BMA, and an independent member of the House of Lords

‘Surviving the Early Years is an essential read, which I strongly recommend. Parent–infant pioneer Stella Acquarone has given us a comprehensive book centred on the psychodynamics of traumatic early beginnings. Acquarone has carefully assembled thirteen chapters written by authoritative authors, each about a different trauma and its conscious and unconscious aspects, which will enrich the clinical and supervisory work of professionals of all levels of experience.’
—Dr Estela Welldon, Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy at the Tavistock & Portman Clinics, Founder and President for Life of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, and author of Mother, Madonna, Whore and Playing with Dynamite

‘Nothing in human life has greater impact than birth. The popular view of becoming a parent is of a joyous transition, and of the long-awaited emerging baby as loved and loving, but this book is a vital reality check. Some births come out of or lead into trauma. Stella Acquarone, calling on many years of pioneering work with parents and infants, has commissioned authoritative authors to describe a range of traumatic early beginnings; to elucidate, often using case histories, the psychodynamics of each; and, most important of all, to describe – even prescribe – multidisciplinary interventions that can offer hope of bringing light into otherwise dismal futures.’
—Penelope Leach, PhD, CPsychol, FBPsS, Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, and author of Your Baby and Child, The Essential First Year, Family Breakdown, and Innovative Research in Infant Wellbeing

About the Editor(s)

Stella Acquarone, PhD, is the Director of the Parent-Infant Clinic of the School of Infant Mental Health in London and its branch in the USA. She is a practising adult and child psychotherapist and has worked in the NHS for thirty-one years. She is a member of the British Psychological Society, the Association of Child Psychotherapists, and the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She has pioneered studies in early infant clinical research and development, and lectures internationally on all aspects of infant-parent development and psychotherapy. She has written extensively in professional papers, journals and chapters in books, and has taught infant observational studies and new clinical strategies in working with disturbed children.

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