This Spring (2019) edition of WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health includes reviewed and accepted papers since the Winter (2019) edition. Each paper calls attention to and consideration of what WAIMH members and allied Infant Mental Health colleagues around the world are thinking, doing, and writing about.
For newcomers to WAIMH, The Signal was the former name of Perspectives. Furthermore, Emily Fenichel, named The Signal after an international contest. At the time Emily was Associate Director of Zero to Three and was also the Editor of the Zero to Three Journal from 1992 – 2006.
Currently, issues can be accessed online, with past issues dating back to 2007 currently available by following this link: https://perspectives.waimh.org/perspectives-archive/. In addition, past articles are also available online in text format, which in turn can be shared: https://perspectives.waimh.org/
This issue marks the final issue with Hi Fitzgerald as former editor and current associate editor of Perspectives. However, Hi will remain as a consultant editor. To celebrate and honor Hi’s work with WAIMH over many decades, we are planning a full special issue of Perspectives focusing on the topic of IMH and adverse childhood experiences (ACES). The call for papers for this special issue has been previously posted and is republished below.
Furthermore, we have established a new Perspectives intern programme. This is a pilot programme that we hope will grow over time. These internships are especially for people who are currently engaged in an IMH training programme. The idea for offering internships arose from understanding the process of community engagement within the overarching editorial process, and in conjunction, appreciating the journey on route to becoming engaged as a professional with WAIMH.
The over-arching goal is to leverage Perspectives as base from which to: get to know new members; provide opportunities to engage with the wider IMH community beyond one’s local area; and for us to also learn and understand from new members about what they are seeing and noticing in our field. Our aim is to grow this initiative so that interns at any one time represent different regions across the globe. This not only reflects WAIMH’s outreach goals but also supports new members getting to know each other through sharing in the work of WAIMH.
Finally, while we had planned a Perspectives reader survey for March-April we have decided to run this at a later date. We will let readers know when this will occur in a later issue.
This Spring (2019) Edition
This Spring (2019) edition begins with a paper by Suzanne Gaskins and Heidi Keller: Learning about Children by Listening to Others and Thinking about Ourselves. This paper has been written in response to the Presidential Address by Kai von Klitzing (WAIMH President) published in the previous issue of Perspectives: WAIMH’s infants’ rights statement—a culturally monocentric claim? Perspectives in Infant Mental Health 27 (1). This paper contributes to an ongoing conversation concerning WAIMH’s position paper on the rights of infants, and a recently published edited book by Heidi Keller and Kim Bard (Eds.) (2017). The Cultural Nature of Attachment: Contextualizing Relationships and Development. This book has been published by Strüngmann Forum, Cambridge: the MIT Press and presents “multidisciplinary perspectives on the cultural and evolutionary foundations of children’s attachment relationships and on the consequences for education, counseling, and policy”. (https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/cultural-nature-attachment)
The response to the Presidential address is followed by the WAIMH Executive Director Address by Kaija Puura. Kaija provides an update of her WAIMH activities over the past few months.
Next is the Call for papers for the September Perspectives Special issue on ACES. Perspectives in Infant Mental Health will publish a special issue devoted to the topic of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and their impact on Infant Mental Health. We plan to publish this special in September 2019 as part of our Summer issue. We welcome contributions that explore different elements of the relationship between Infant and early childhood Infant Mental Health and ACES.
What follows is news from the The Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health (MI-AIMH) by Nichole Paradis announcing a change in Editor in Chief of the Infant Mental Health Journal (IMHJ). The outgoing Editor in Chief, Dr Paul Spicer is acknowledged and thanked for his service and high quality of direction that he has provided the IMHJ as editor. Holly Brophy-Herb, PhD, who has been the IMHJ Associate Editor for the past 10 years, is introduced as the new Editor in Chief. As editors of Perspectives we thank Dr Spicer for his service and work with the IMHJ and welcome Dr Brophy-Herb.
Next is a new paper for Perspectives: Exploring Professionals’ Perceptions of the IMH-E® Credential by Cynthia A. Frosch, Yolanda T. Mitchell, Jennifer Camacho Taylor, and Sadie Funk. This paper contributes to the evidence base regarding Endorsement as a tool for workforce professional development. Trainees perceptions of The Infant Mental Health Endorsement (IMH-E®) credentials are presented and discussed. The research participants included early childhood intervention professionals. The authors identify four interrelated themes: “service to families, development of self, development of team/staff, advancing the field/validating the work. These findings hold promise for increasing awareness of the diverse set of perceived benefits associated with the endorsement credential. Implications for policy and practice are discussed”. (Frosch, Mitchell, Taylor, & Funk, 2019)
Following this paper on training, Deborah Weatherston, PhD introduces our readers to two new books. The first is a review of a new resource from the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health: Reflections from the Field: Celebrating 40 Years, Volume 1 (2017). Editor: Joan J. Shirilla, LMSW, MA, IMH-E®. The second announcement pertains to: Reflections from the Field: Celebrating 40 Years: Study Companion. MI-AIMH Editors: Joan J. Shirilla, Danielle Davey & Kristyn Driver. Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health: Southgate, MI (2018). This book has been written as a study companion to Reflections from the Field: Celebrating 40 Years (Volume 1), Both of these books can be ordered and purchased from the following link: MI-AIMH.org
Continuing with our aim to re-introduce previously published Signal papers, the next paper is from our Signal archive: Why study children’s narratives, by Daniel Stern (1993) originally published in The Signal, Vol. 1, No. 3. In this paper Stern identifies eight reasons for studying children’s narratives. He concludes as follows:
… Is a narrative perspective, if one can call it that, a new way of looking at things that is sufficiently general that it embraces aspects of cognitive, social, affective, etc., psychology, such that much of our understanding must be recast in this light? Or will the study or narratives eventually end up defining a reasonably well bounded domain of specialized study? The answer is not yet in. So, we find ourselves in the constructive uncertainty of not knowing the importance of this new domain of study to the field in general. Discovering that in itself will push things forward on many fronts. (Stern, 1993)
Stern posed these questions in 1993. Now, 26 years later we are in a place to reflect and respond. The Perspectives team are keen to hear for readers about their current work using narratives in young children. Contributions can be sent to Maree Foley, Editor of WAIMH Perspectives (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Next, we are delighted to congratulate Dr. Daniel Schechter who received the Sandor Ferenczi Award from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD) at their World Congress on Complex Trauma in New York, earlier in the year. The paper is: And then there was intersubjectivity: Addressing child self and mutual dysregulation during traumatic play (In memory of Louis Sander). Journal of Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 39 :1, 52-65. Information about this paper, and a link to the paper are provided. This paper is part of a series of papers on trauma and intersubjectivity by Dr. Schechter. The first paper in this series (also received an award: the Hayman Paper Prize) is as follows: Daniel S. Schechter (2017) On Traumatically Skewed Intersubjectivity, Psychoanalytic Inquiry, 37:4, 251-264. A link to this paper is also provided. We would like to thank Dr Schecther for these links assisting in making these papers easily accessible to our readers.
We conclude this issue with news from the WAIMH Office including the WAIMH Congress 2020 in Brisbane, Australia.
As the WAIMH Perspectives editorial team, we thank each person for their interesting and thoughtful contributions. We welcome submissions from the field that challenge the way we think about infants, families, culture, and community, and offer fresh perspectives on policy, research, and practice. As always, we invite comments in response to what is published in WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health.
Maree Foley, Editor
Deborah J. Weatherston, Associate Editor
Hiram Fitzgerald, Associate Editor
Maree Foley (Switzerland), Deborah J Weatherston (USA) and Hiram Fitzgerald (USA)