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The Baby Whisperer: A Glimpse into the World of Families and the Work of Michael Trout
June 30 @ 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM CDT
Please join us for a glimpse into the world of infant mental health with world-renowned expert Michael Trout. A well-known speaker, therapist, teacher, researcher, and mentor, Mr. Trout will tell stories from his 41 years of practice sitting with families and babies.
In these 6 sessions, Michael Trout will tell the stories of 6 families that he has worked with. Each story illustrates essential principles to working with families with babies, be they foster families, parents who have adopted, or families who have suffered. Employing principles from working with attachment, trauma, and infant mental health, Mr. Trout will demonstrate the possibility for healing and resilience.
The Six Sessions include:
- Prologue: How I Got To Sit with Babies and Families for Four Decades. Hear Michael Trout’s amazing story.
- The Invitation. Meet a 15-year-old mom who asked for help in a roundabout way. This session is about what it means to discern an invitation, even when it is sometimes hidden beneath layers of defense, rage, sorrow, and resistance.
- Waiting for the Shoe to Drop. Meet a middle-aged mother with no babies at home who claims she has no idea why she seeks Mr. Tout’s help, only to discover that she is pregnant, and how her pregnancy and parenthood awakens her early trauma. Meet also parents who, overwhelmed with grief, seek help for the one-year-old adopted son only realize how healing can happen for all three of them at once. We learn that patience, wondering, following, and more in the therapeutic relationship really facilitates change and feels like waiting for the shoe to drop.
- On Transference. Transference is often thought of as mysterious, even exotic, and certainly much-too-psychoanalytic for the everyday world. This chapter offers a case in which transference couldn’t be more evident. We see how essential it is that we notice it, not run from it, and not pathologize it. We meet families whose transference plays a role in healing that Mr. Trout identifies as Ghosts, and how he, and we, can trust it.
- The Anniversary Thing. This chapter moves us forward in our understanding of two key dynamics in infant mental health work: the nature of memory in early life, and the part played by the infant’s creation of working models of the self, and self-with-other. We meet families that have experienced extensive trauma and abuse, and how these memories emerge at anniversaries. These memories don’t come in words. Mr. Trout works with narrative medicine, presence, attunement, and other skills to help families become more whole.
- Abusing Babies. This session tackles one of the most morally, legally, and clinically ticklish issues in infant mental health: how to help when the baby is being hit. Through a study of the case of Kathryn and her two little ones—and the fan belt she used to beat them—we discover that sometimes it is wise to wonder if the abuse is more than just awful mistreatment of a helpless child: it is a canary in the mine.
- The Little Girl Who Remembered Fire. This session offers another glimpse into the operations of memory in young children of loss and trauma—a subject we must study over and over since we are deprived of absolutes about how it all works. We meet Cynthia, a foster child whose behavior was so bewildering and hard until Mr. Trout was able to discover the story and helped heal the trauma. Believing that remembering can lead to healing, the foster family decided they could keep Cynthia. What a day. One more war a child of trauma and loss got through, together. One more child who feels seen.
Starts June 30, Tuesdays, at 2 pm Eastern, 1 pm Central, noon Mountain and 11 am Pacific time