Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: A Comprehensive Developmental Approach to Assessment and Intervention / Edition 1

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Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health: A Comprehensive Developmental Approach to Assessment and Intervention redefines how we work with infants, young children, and their families when mental health, developmental, or learning problems occur.

The authors, who are recognized as the world's foremost authorities on clinical work with emotional and developmental challenges in the early years of life, demonstrate how to use their well-established and documented DIR (Developmental, Individual-Differences, Relationship-Based) model to work with the full range of infant and early childhood challenges. These include interactive problems, such as infants and young children with anxiety disorders, depression, attachment disorders, attentional problems, trauma, and elective mutism; regulatory-sensory processing problems, including infants and young children who are overresponsive and fearful, underresponsive and self-absorbed, sensory craving and overly active and aggressive, as well as those who have difficulty with planning and coordinating action; and neurodevelopmental disorders of relating and communicating, including infants and young children with autism spectrum disorders and other severe developmental challenges.

Greenspan and Wieder show how these mental health and developmental challenges can be classified according to each child's unique emotion, cognitive, language, and sensory processing profile. Most importantly, they demonstrate and present their new data on the most effective ways of intervening with these challenges, demonstrating how even children with the most severe mental health and developmental problems can make more progress than formerly thought possible in learning to relate, communicate, and think meaningfully and adaptively.

Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health is divided into four parts: • Part I presents the DIR model, including how biology and experience come together at each developmental stage to shape a child's relative mastery of the six core developmental capacities: basic attention and self-regulation; warmth and engagement; two-way, preverbal, purposeful communication and emotional signaling; organization of affective gestures into a continuous flow of problem-solving interactions; the emotional use of ideas in language or in pretend play; and the creation of logical bridges between two or more ideas.• Part II focuses on principles of assessment and intervention. It shows how the DIR approach to assessment and intervention harnesses the contributions of psychodynamic, behavioral, and educational approaches but goes beyond these to create a truly developmental, biopsychosocial approach that can identify and tailor interventions to each infant and/or child and family's unique profile.• Part III uses composite case studies to illustrate the principles of clinical evaluation and intervention to describe assessment and intervention strategies appropriate for different classes of infant and childhood disorders, including interactive disorders, regulatory-sensory processing disorders, and disorders of relating and communicating, such as autism.• Part IV presents a new model of early identification, prevention, and early intervention that can be used in primary health care, educational, mental health, and developmental programs. The model provides guidelines for parents and other caregivers to help infants and young children master and strengthen basic emotional, language, and cognitive capacities.

For clinicians, researchers, and educators alike, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health is simply the definitive resource for working with infants, young children, and their families.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Editorial Reviews


Greenspan and Wieder are two of the pioneers of infant mental health, and so it is more than appropriate that they have written what is certain to become an essential reference for all clinicians interested in implementing programs to serve this most vulnerable of age groups. The book seamlessly integrates theory, research, and practice so that even beginners can apprehend the everyday realities of comprehensive infant mental health programs.

Journal of Clinical Psychiatry

Drs. Greenspan and Wieder have offered what will likely become a classic volume in the field of infant and early childhood mental health. Each section is conceptually clear and seamlessly integrated with those following. The DIR model, the "Floortime" approach, diagnostic assessments, and applied interventions are smoothly organized and richly illustrated in the case examples….I found this text's depth, balance, and range ideal both as a sound clinical resource and as an accessible teaching tool. No doubt, this text will grace the desktops of many clinicians, teachers, and families, well marked and often referenced, for many years to come.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781585621644
  • Publisher: American Psychiatric Publishing, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 10/28/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 398
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Stanley I. Greenspan, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the George Washington University Medical School in Washington, D.C.

Serena Wieder, Ph.D., is Associate Director of the Interdisciplinary Council for Developmental and Learning Disorders in Bethesda, Maryland.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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Table of Contents

Introduction. Part I: A Comprehensive Model for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. A developmental biopsychosocial model: the developmental, individual-differences, relationship-based (DIR) approach. The functional emotional stages of development: the cornerstone of the DIR model. Part II: Principles of Assessment and Intervention. Assessment. Therapeutic principles. Parent-oriented developmental therapy. Clinical strategies and techniques for different types of infants and young children. Part III: Classification, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Infant and Early Childhood Disorders. Introduction. Assessment and treatment of infants and young children with interactive disorders. Assessment and treatment of infants and young children with regulatory-sensory processing disorders. Assessment and treatment of infants and young children with disorders of relating and communicating. Part IV: Prevention and Early Intervention. Introduction. Infants in multirisk families: a model for developmentally based preventive intervention. A model for comprehensive prevention and early intervention services for all families. Index.

American Psychiatric Publishing

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