Infant and Child Mental Health

At Midwest Recovery and Wellness, our highly trained infant and child therapists offer specialized services for your kiddos. These include EMDR for young children, autism mental health services, play threapy and art therapy for infants, kids and adolescents.

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What is Infant Mental Health?

“Infant mental health” refers to how well a child develops socially and emotionally from birth to three.

The first years of life provide the basis for children’s mental health and social-emotional development. Social development includes the ability to form healthy relationships with others, and the knowledge of social rules and standards.

Emotional development includes the experience of feelings about self and others, with a range of positive and negative emotions, as well as the ability to control and regulate feelings in appropriate ways. The development of self-worth, self-confidence, and self-regulation are important features of social-emotional development.

Healthy social-emotional development is essential for success in school and in life.

Positive social and emotional development in infancy can also have an impact on children’s cognitive development– when a child feels safe and secure, they are better equipped to learn from their day to day experiences.

Our team of Infant Mental Health therapists provide services throughout the Michiana region for pregnant women, new mothers, and young children.

  • According to the Infant Mental Health Services Feasibility Study conducted by CEED, the Infant mental health is the optimal growth and social-emotional, behavioral, and cognitive development of the infant in the context of the unfolding relationship between infant and parent.
  • Infant mental health focuses on the social and emotional well-being of infants and their caregivers and the various contexts within which caregiving takes place. Infant mental health, therefore, focuses on relationships; infant development is conceptualized as always embedded within emergent, active systems of relationships. By definition, the infant is born into a social world.
  • Infant mental health is rooted in the understanding that developmental outcomes emerge from infant characteristics, caregiver-infant relationships, and the environmental contexts within which infant-parent relationships take place. From an infant mental health perspective, parents are looked at as interacting participants in the developmental process, which does not permit a dichotomization of nature and nurture. Winnicott captured the essence of the caregiver-infant relationship when reflecting upon his prior comment that there was no such thing as a baby, meaning that if you set out to describe a baby, you will find you are describing a baby and someone. A baby cannot exist alone but is essentially part of a relationship.
  • The field of infant mental health may be defined as multidisciplinary approaches to enhancing the social and emotional competence of infants in their biological, relationship, and cultural contexts. Infant-caregiver relationships are the primary focus of assessment and intervention efforts, not only because infants are so dependent upon their caregiving contexts but also because infant competence may vary widely in different relationships.

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Niles Office

Midwest Recovery and Wellness

St. Joseph Office

Midwest Recovery and Wellness