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‘How I wonder what you are?’: what infant observation offers family therapy

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-01-07, 22:44 authored by Wendy BunstonWendy Bunston, SJ Jones
Training in infant observation, highly valuable in the infant mental health (IMH) field, has an enormous amount to offer family therapists. These two fields of practice, both hold working with the relational world of their clients as central. As two senior family therapists who are also IMH practitioners, we invite those reading this paper to explore the possibilities inherent in undertaking infant observation training as a pathway to enriching and expanding their practice. We provide an overview of infant observation training, how this approach was conceived, and explore the benefits of honouring the subjectivity of the infant, that of bringing the infant's experience alive in the therapeutic space. We provide direct examples from our own practice. We conclude with how infant observation might be incorporated into family therapy training and practice.


Publication Date



Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy






15p. (p.440-454)





Rights Statement

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. © 2023 The Authors. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Family Therapy published by John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd on behalf of Australian Association of Family Therapy (AAFT).