The Theraplay Institute Presents...
Professional Seminar Series: Voices of Innovations
Featuring Michael Trout, Director of the Infant-Parent Institute
“Mindfulness in Infant Mental Health: Who Are We, and Who Are We Called Upon to Be?”
Saturday, June 3, 2017
At The Theraplay Institute
1840 Oak Ave., Suite 320
Spend a day exploring this fundamental question with a world leader in the field of Infant Mental Health, Michael Trout, MA, LCPC.
Is infant mental health a strategy, or a way of being with? This presentation will consider the early days of our field, which was originally fueled by a deep scientific and psychoanalytic curiosity about the nuances of infant-parent interaction, the meaning of early experience, the remarkable transferences between parental early experience and parental relating to the child in the present.
What is most important to us, now? Are we being lead to concreteness, and to manualized interventions that might more easily qualify as evidence-based, and which can be carried out by more affordable workers? Our pioneer and mentor, Selma Fraiberg, taught us mindfulness without ever using the then-unknown word. She taught us the bliss of modesty and not-knowing, of attunement, of following, of holding. She required the disciplines of self-knowing—including awareness of our own narratives—and of self-regulation.
What would it mean, today, to be mindful, which is pretty much the very thing we hope parents can do? What happens, in the kitchen or the consulting room, when the goals of connection (the parent’s connection to the child, and ours to the parent) are met through our own disciplined presence, our attunement, our commitment to following and holding? Is the door then open to support the parent’s discovery of his/her own narrative, with concomitant increased capacity to mentalize the child and to imagine the child’s own evolving narratives?
About the Speaker…
Michael Trout studied under Prof. Selma Fraiberg at the Child Development Project, University of Michigan School of Medicine. After almost twenty years of practice, he founded the Infant-Parent Institute in 1986, focusing on research, clinical practice and clinical training related to problems of attachment.
He was the founding president of the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the International Association for Infant Mental Health, was on the charter Editorial Board of the Infant Mental Health Journal, served as Vice-President for the United States for the World Association for Infant Mental Health. He currently serves on the Professional Advisory Board for Attachment Parenting International.
Mr. Trout, co-authored The Jonathon Letters in 2005, and in 2008 the Baby Verses: The Narrative Poetry of Infants and Toddlers. His newest book, co-authored with Mary Koloroutis and published in 2012, is on the nature of the therapeutic relationship, and is entitled See Me as a Person.
He has produced 16 documentary films that are in use in universities and clinics around the world, including five films on the unique perspective of babies on divorce, adoption, loss, domestic violence and parental incarceration. His meditation CD for foster and adoptive parents is entitled The Hope-Filled Parent. Mr. Trout won the Selma Fraiberg Award in 1984, for “...significant contributions to the needs of infants and their families”, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by ATTACh, “for his decades of work with children of loss and trauma”.
The most important part of Mr. Trout’s work was always in the quiet private practice where he saw families and children of all ages every week. After 46 years, he retired in the summer of 2014.
About the Professional Seminar Series…
This seminar is the first in our new series, designed to bring innovators in the field of child and family mental health to the Institute to present about and discuss a topic that is current to them.
- Describe two practical ways that mindfulness affects their clinical work.
- Describe two means to increase their own mindfulness.
- Describe the appearance of greater mindfulness on the part of a parent.
- Write two components of their own [self-] narrative.
- Write four sentences describing a parent’s path to understanding some portion of their child’s narrative.
- Explain one example in which a parent is aided in the discovery of his/her own narrative, adding what difference this might make in the parent’s view of self, and of the child.