Welcome to 2012 – the year of the WAIMH congress in Cape Town. This congress will include a time to reflect on how we are going in regard to our growing relationships with each other and with WAIMH. This brief letter invites you to join with us in reflecting on a few issues for us all as affiliates.
First, affiliates have the opportunity to create and sustain an interdisciplinary collaboration based on a shared view of infant mental health. While interdisciplinary theory and practice is often espoused, the actual practice of this is more difficult with both academics and practitioners increasingly identifying themselves within specific streams of theory and practice. While the benefit of this trend is potential depth of knowledge, a coexisting risk is creating a world within a stream; a bit like seeing a baby on its own. Yet, as Winnicott would remind us; there is never a baby there is always a baby and someone. We encourage you all to embrace the tensions and struggles that come with growing a shared view within your affiliates – perhaps as our affiliates grow they will do so amidst the ebb and flow of “rupture and repair” – a process Ed Tronick so eloquently has described.
Second, as WAIMH reaches out to its members via the affiliate council it has become increasingly clear that some WAIMH members are not actively engaged with their local affiliates and vice-versa. We are keen to understand this situation more and invite your ideas and experiences of this issue. Your contribution will help to build a broader picture, from which we can meaningfully respond. It is clear however, we have some more bridges to build in this regard with each other. So if you are reading this and you are a member of WAIMH but not linked in with an affiliate, but you would like to be, let us know and we will put you in touch with the nearest affiliate to you – which may be a different country. This capacity within WAIMH is a great strength that we can tap into. Also if you are a member of an affiliate but not of WAIMH and would like to share with us your experience of this, please send us an email. We would be delighted to hear from you.
Third, at the WAIMH congress, we will meet as a council. We are in the process of formulating the agenda. So, whether you plan to be at the congress or not we would very much appreciate any ideas you might wish to have discussed. If you do, you can send these to firstname.lastname@example.org or to either of us.
Finally, we wish you all the very best for 2012. We especially look forward welcoming new affiliates from across the globe; and in turn introducing them to you during the year.
Affiliate Council Chair
New Zealand and Canada