Washington Square Institute
Upcoming Events

Infant research and adult treatment:
On knowing and being known in the
4-month origins of disorganized attachment

Presenter: Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D.

Date: Thursday, February 27, 2014, 8:30pm - 10:00pm

Location: WSI, 41 East 11th Street 4th Floor
(between University Place and Broadway)

Refreshments served.

To Register see below.


Research on 4-month patterns of mother-infant interaction which predict 12-month infant secure vs. insecure-disorganized attachment will be presented. Frame-by-frame analyses of the videotapes will illustrate the results. Disorganized attachment at 12 months predicts dissociative difficulties in young adulthood. Thus infant disorganized attachment presents a life-long risk.

Remarkable 4-month mother-infant dysregulations of attention, affect, spatial orientation and touch will be shown. Using the results, we make inferences about how 4-month "future" disorganized (vs. future secure) infants come to know, and be known by, mother's mind, as well as to know their own minds. "Mind" is construed as expectancies of procedurally-organized action sequences. The future disorganized infant has difficulty feeling known by his mother, for example as she shows smile/ surprise expressions to his distress (his distress is not shareable). The future disorganized infant has difficulty knowing his mother's mind, for example, as she "closes up" her face and becomes inscrutable. The future disorganized infant has difficulty knowing himself, for example, in his moments of discrepant affect, smiling and whimpering same second. By identifying these mother-infant pairs as early as 4 months, it will be possible to intervene during this period of rapid development while the interactive system and the infant's learned expectancies are just forming.

Implications of our research for the origins of dissociation, and for adult treatment, will be discussed.


Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D.

Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D. is Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry), College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, New York State Psychiatric Institute; faculty at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, the Institute for the Psychoanalytic Study of Subjectivity, and the N.Y.U. Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis; co-author with Jaffe, Feldstein et al. of Rhythms of Dialogue in Infancy (2001); author with Lachmann of Infant Research and Adult Treatment: Co-Constructing Interactions (2002), author with Knoblauch, Rustin and Sorter of Forms of Intersubjectivity in Infant Research and Adult Treatment (2005); author with Jaffe, Markese, et al. of The origins of 12-month attachment: A microanalysis of 4-month mother-infant interaction (2010). Currently she directs a primary prevention Project for mothers who were pregnant and widowed on 9-11. The project therapists have written a book, edited by Beebe, B., Cohen, P., Sossin, K. M.& Markese, S. (Eds.) (2012). Mothers, infants and young children of September 11, 2001: A primary prevention project. Routledge Press.

Moderator: Susan A. Klett, LCSW-R, BCD, NCPsyA



$60 Professional community
$20 WSI faculty/staff
$10 Candidates/students
No Fee for candidates at WSI

Susan A. Klett, LCSW-R, BCD, NCPsyA, Co-Director WSI, Director of Continuing Education
Email: sk409@columbia.edu

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Washington Square Institute
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Washington Square Institute is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Washington Square Institute maintains responsibility for this program and its contents. Participants in the conference will receive 3 CE credits.

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