Michael Trout: The Holding Relationship in Infant Mental Health
Michael Trout The Holding Relationship in Infant Mental Health
If we had to distill all that we’ve learned from our work of the past 80 years—in dyadic psychotherapy, child and adult therapy, casework, or in any of the several fields allied to infant mental health—into the single thing that matters most, what would it be? In this lecture, Michael Trout proposes one idea so simple it scarcely seems worthy of great intellectual or clinical consideration, while simultaneously standing as the thing we cannot live without. Or, perhaps more to the point, it’s the one thing our patients and other service users cannot live without: “holding.”
Michael tracks its emergence in the work of others, from Winnicott to the present; gives it practical definition; and offers examples of it from our work with babies, young children and their parents, in the hope that little doubt will be left about its meaning.