The Still Face Experiment by Dr. Edward Tronick remains one of the most fascinating videos I have watched in my career. In this short 2.5 minute video, we first see a mother engaging with her infant in a loving and reciprocal way, and then we see the mother remove emotion from her face and not respond to her infant. When the mother does not respond, the baby becomes visibly upset and attempts to get her mother’s response back. It’s hard to watch the baby become so agitated, as I’m sure it was for the mother in this experiment.
We are learning more and more about how the early years affect a person’s brain and overall mental health. Imagine an infant’s emotional state and psychological development if their mother, or other primary caregiver, is unresponsive or emotionally detached. This can happen with a parent suffering from a mental illness, such as major depression, or a substance user who is high around the child. It hurts me to think about how painful that must be for the child to not receive the engagement from their caregiver that they naturally desire and need.
As a professional counselor, this video reminds me of the importance of obtaining information about a person’s early years in understanding their current problems. As a mother, it reminds me that my children are tuned in to my emotions and facial expressions, probably more than I realize. Even past the stage of infancy, children are aware of our tone of voice, mood, and body language.
What is your response to this video? Does it elicit strong emotions from you, as it does me?
A game with a child (or adolescent) is not just a game, if you keep an open mind to learning more about them. Whether you are a parent, therapist, or other adult in a child’s life, you can gain a greater understanding of their personality, strengths, weaknesses, and other tendencies by being observant... [Read more]
I was one of more than 16 million viewers (source) who eagerly tuned in to watch the premiere of AMC’s The Walking Dead for season 4. I love this show on so many levels, which is why I must write a post on it! I promise to return to more relevant topics next week and thanks for indulging me!... [Read more]
1. Moon Sand Sand boxes are irresistible to most kids. I use moon sand for play therapy, which has a consistency between a wet sand and dry sand. Click Read More →
The National Association for Play Therapy has designated this week National Play Therapy Week! This is a time for all play therapists to help spread the word about play therapy. Educate Yourself and the Community There are still many people who have never heard of play therapy or do not understand how... [Read more]
The Association for Play Therapy (www.a4pt.org) has released new brochures on play therapy, which are intended to educate the community about play therapy and the therapeutic benefits for children. I make a habit to keep these brochures with me and hand them out to all new and potential play therapy... [Read more]
One thing successful people have in common is that they heed advice from other successful people. Wanting guidance for my own professional growth, and of course to share with you wonderful readers, I retrieved some feedback from some of the leaders in fields of psychology and neuroscience who have inspired... [Read more]
I recently read an article, written by a mother and Psychologist, about her child’s first session with a child-centered play therapist- Foster Parenting Adventures writes “My first play therapy session was fascinating.” The author of this post behaved like so many parents do on their... [Read more]Get more posts from the blog...