Mindful Parenting: a group approach to enhancing reflective capacity in parents and infants
Fonagy ( 1998a ) has suggested that the core of prevention of psychopathology in early childhood should be the enhancement of mentalizing. To that end, this paper introduces Mindful Parenting, an innovative psychotherapeutic group designed to promote reflective functioning in parents and their infants/toddlers. The interdisciplinary underpinnings of this group work, including the utility of applied infant observation, is followed by exposition of the structural components of Mindful Parenting. Evocative moments from the group experience are interwoven, in an effort to make plain the ways that Mindful Parenting seeks to restore, cultivate, and sustain the most basic, verbal and nonverbal, affective contacts between parent and child. The paper concludes with clinical material on the birth of a thinking couple.