From the Editors: Issue Vol. 32 No. 1 | Spring 2024

Welcome to the April 2024 edition of WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health. This edition marks an intentional focus within Perspectives to pay close attention to issues of diversity, equity, inclusivity and belonging in infant mental health practice, research, and policy. This reflects our acknowledgement that the Global North has access to resources that propel a particular perspective on infant rearing, attachment relationships, and family systems, and that the large research and policy base, developed as a result of this, do not reflect the needs of the Global South.

In response, WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health is committed to,

  1. Publishing high-quality diverse, equitable, and inclusive content across its publishing platforms (the full issue publication, the WAIMH webpage, and WAIMH social media platforms)
  2. Advocating for racial equality in the content we publish and ensuring that more voices are represented and amplified as part of WAIMH
  3. Addressing biased perceptions within the field of infant mental health and ensuring that the rich and diverse multi-faceted contexts, and the multi-level unique relationships that infants grow and develop within, are represented in or platforms.

As a publication, we are actively engaged in articulating the implementation processes and practices that guide all aspects of the publication from calls for papers, to the review process, and issues regarding accessibility.

The remainder of this column is divided into three main sections:

  1. IMH papers
  2. WAIMH news, and
  3. The WAIMH Perspectives Survey announcement.

Infant Mental Health papers

The first paper in this edition is based on a recent interview that Salisha Maharaj conducted with WAIMH’s newly appointed Regional Vice President, Dr Hisako Watanabe. This paper, Discovering the meaning of ‘Amae’ and its use in Infant Mental Health Work and Beyond, provides a window into Dr Hisako Watanabe’s rich Infant Mental Health work that honors the deep wisdom inherent in Japanese ways of being. Her approach provides a framework not only for infant mental health practitioners but also clinicians who support individuals facing humanitarian and environmental crises around the globe. The paper has been produced by Salisha Maharaj and Jane Barlow, based on the interview with Dr Watanabe. Of note, you can read more about the immense contribution of Dr Watanabe, to infant mental health in Japan, Asia, and globally, in the previous issue of Perspectives in Infant Mental Health. WAIMH Awards 2023 – Perspectives

Next, is a descriptive paper that provides insights into the lived experiences of mothers with infants, from the Alexandra Township, in South Africa. The paper, Early childhood community practitioners’ analyses of new mother’s challenges in Alexandra Township South Africa: A collaboration between academics and practitioners, has been written by Josien de Klerk, Nicola Dawson, Jo-Hsuan Chen, Fiona Marie Reich, Sofie Delansay, Marijne Kunst, Dolça Collado, Thandiwe Khumalo, Lerato Khoza, Senzekile Khumalo, Florence Ramoshaba, Mamikie Rumo, and Mariet Matlaila (South Africa). This collective brings into view the rich expertise of the infant mental health lay practitioners (ECCPs) and represents a collaboration between intervention implementers in the field with cross-disciplinary academics. The authors highlight the importance of creating pathways in which the expertise and experiences of the lay workers can be shared not only with families, but also with other practitioners, researchers, and decision-makers. The authors state that this process, “has the potential to allow for the improvement of culturally and contextually appropriate infant mental health service provision and the development of the infant mental health field as a whole”.

What follows are two book reviews of books written by Dilys Daws. Dilys is a child psychotherapist, a long-standing member of WAIMH and a founding and establishing member of the WAIMH affiliate, the Association of Infant Mental Health, United Kingdom (AIMH-UK). Throughout her long and rich career, she has held diverse roles such as consultant to health practitioners in a baby clinic, child psychotherapist, public health promoter and speaker, and writer. She has also held leadership roles in organizational settings, such as the Association of Child Psychotherapists (ACP) in the UK, and AIMH-UK.

Her book – Finding Your Way with Your Baby: The Emotional Life of Parents and Babies (second edition), which has been written with Alexandra de Rementeria, was published in 2015 and reviewed here by Lauren Keegan. Finding Your Way with Your Baby is not so much a book of “what to do” with babies. Rather, it focuses on creating space to consider the complexities inherent in the experience of becoming a parent and how this can present itself in varying ways in the strengths and challenges of the emerging infant-parent relationship.

The second book reviewed is Quietly Subversive. The Selected Works of Dilys Daws written by Dilys Daws with Mathew Lumley and published in 2023. It is reviewed by Maree Foley. This book reflects 50 years of Dilys Daws’ pioneering, creative, psychoanalytic-informed, real-world work as a child psychotherapist and therapeutic consultant. It includes a number of selected papers and book chapters, written by Daws, for child psychotherapists and health practitioners, with a section on selected papers written specifically for parents. An overarching theme of every chapter in the book is the consideration and application of psychoanalytic theory and processing into everyday conversations in everyday settings with parents and their infants.

WAIMH focused news

In this section, we feature news from WAIMH beginning with From the Desk of the President: Campbell Paul. The Presidential address is followed by the WAIMH Executive Director Corner (Kaija Puura, WAIMH Executive Director). News from the WAIMH Office (Neea Aalto, Kaija Puura, Reija Latva) updates readers on recent WAIMH office activities and includes updates about the WAIMH interim Congress in June 2024 (Tampere, Finland).

This section includes a paper by Astrid Berg (WAIMH President-Elect), WAIMH and Global Crises. A brief history and a way forward. This paper reflects the ongoing work of the WAIMH Executive Committee to situate WAIMH as a global non-profit organization meaningfully into the humanitarian space as experts in infant mental health. Overall, this work contributes practitioner voices to global efforts such as the WHO and UNICEF Nurturing Care Framework Child Health and Development (, who have have released a policy brief on Nurturing care for children living in humanitarian settings Nurturing care for children living in humanitarian settings: thematic brief ( This brief explicitly addresses the global need for all international and local non-governmental stakeholders to include early childhood development policies for crisis-affected populations. They state that the work needs to “start with strengthening the identification of early childhood as a necessary component of humanitarian response” (WHO, 2020, p. 9).

Readers can access further information on the WAIMH resource page on infants in crises Infants in Crises – World Association for Infant Mental Health ( Furthermore, readers may be interested to read a newly uploaded paper on the Infants in Crises webpage. This paper, Early Relational Health: A Model for Peace, has been written by Claudia Gold and Hoda Shawky, UMass Chan Medical School, Early Relational Health Fellowship Program. You can access this paper here: ERH_A_Model_for_Peace_Gold_S.pdf (

WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health Survey

We conclude this issue with an invitation to participate in the WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health Survey. The Perspectives team have recently launched a Perspectives survey to WAIMH and WAIMH Affiliate members. Over the past few years, our WAIMH publication has evolved into an open-source online resource that includes access to current and past publications as well as social media posts. As we continue to grow as a publication, we are keen to hear from you about your ideas and experiences of Perspectives. Thank you in advance for your participation.

Concluding thoughts                   

On behalf of the WAIMH Perspectives editorial team, we would like to acknowledge and thank Dr Minna Sorsa for her many years of work as the Production Editor of this publication. Since the WAIMH Office moved to Finland in 2008, Minna has been instrumental in the production of and the digitalization of the publication. You can read about the development of the publication here: The Signal and WAIMH Perspectives in Infant Mental Health: 1993-2021 – Perspectives. We wish Minna all the very best and look forward to hearing more about her exciting work in the field of social psychiatry.

Finally, we thank each person for their interesting and thoughtful contributions. We welcome submissions from the field that challenge the way we think about infancy and early parenthood, assessment, intervention and treatment, culture, and community, and that 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.

For those who are new to Perspectives, all issues of Perspectives can be accessed online, with past issues dating back to 1993 currently available by following this link: In addition, past articles are also available online in text format, which in turn can be shared:


Daws, D., & de Rementeria, A. (2015). Finding Your Way with Your Baby: The Emotional Life of Parents and Babies. London: Routledge.

Daws, D., & Sutton, S. (2020). Parent-Infant Psychotherapy for Sleep Problems: Through the Night (2nd ed.). London: Routledge.

Daws, D., with Lumley, M. (2023). Quietly Subversive. The Selected Works of Dilys Daws. Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group, New York and London.

World Health Organization. (‎2020)‎. Nurturing care for children living in humanitarian settings: thematic brief. World Health Organization. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

World Health Organization, United Nations Children’s Fund, World Bank Group. Nurturing care for early childhood development: a framework for helping children survive and thrive to transform health and human potential. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2018. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.


Perspectives in Infant Mental Health Vol. 32 No. 1 | Spring 2024



Maree Foley (Switzerland), Editor-in-Chief

Jane Barlow (United Kingdom), Associate Editor

Salisha Maharaj (South Africa), Assistant Editor