Literature Reviews

The development of parent-infant/child psychotherapy in South Africa: A review of the history from infancy towards maturity

Published in: Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health
Volume 23, issue 2, 2011 , pages: 75–90
DOI: 10.2989/17280583.2011.634547
Author(s): Nicola DugmoreDepartment of Psychology, South Africa


This paper takes the form of an account of the emergence of the field of psychoanalytically informed parent-infant/child psychotherapy in South Africa. It traces the origins and the development of the South African field by locating local practice within the international field. The influential links between international approaches and local practice and services are described. The historical account is based on a review of published parent-infant/child literature, including South African authored texts. Interviews with key local stakeholders and practitioners supplement the literature review. This paper endeavours to locate parent-infant/child psychotherapy more clearly on the map of mental health work in South Africa, and in so doing to promote the work as both a relevant and valuable intervention.

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