TTAC Webinar: The Relational Foundations of Reflective Practice and Reflective Parenting
TTAC is pleased to host a webinar titled The Relational Foundations of Reflective Practice and Reflective Parenting presented by Arietta Slade, Ph.D. on Friday, December 4, 2020, 10am-11:30am EDT.
One of our main goals as infant mental health practitioners is to promote resilient, loving, and supportive attachment relationships between parents and children. These are the basis for the child’s sense of themselves as capable and whole and of the world – and the people in it – as safe and inviting. We know that a parent’s capacity to be reflective, to be curious and open to the child’s experience, is essential to the child’s sense of security. As a result, there is today in infant mental health practice a great deal of emphasis on the importance of reflection, particularly in highly stressed families where past and present threats abound. This presentation will focus on the key components that allow reflection to flourish – in the parent and in the clinician-parent relationship - namely the relational foundations of reflection. These are the building blocks from which the capacity to know oneself and others emerges. This process depends first upon safety, or the relative absence of threat. A parent cannot think about or attend to their feelings or to those of their child when they are in survival mode. Reflection also depends upon regulation, which accompanies safety, and allows for the relative quieting of body and mind that makes it possible to move out of the body and toward others. Once established, the development of trusting parent-clinician and parent-child relationships is possible. But without diminished threat and self-regulation, it is very difficult to move out fight or flight into meaningful social engagement. This trusting relationship then provides the scaffold for learning, discovery, and reflection. That is, a safe relationship makes it possible for the parent to discover themselves and their child.
This process begins with the clinician, whose sense of safety and capacity to remain regulated allow her to open herself to parents and children. This in turn makes it possible for her to help the parent and child feel safe and regulated and open to the therapeutic relationship, and to each other. Together these comprise the foundations for imagination, wondering, and reflection, all essential to loving, safe, and secure relationships. This presentation will use case material to discuss the ways clinicians can establish these foundations in work with parents and young children, as well as to anticipate and address cycles of rupture and repair.
Date & Time:
Friday, December 4, 2020