Infant Mental Health
The first few years of a child’s life are a blueprint for their entire future mental and physical health. Addressing issues early means healthier children who will require less intervention later in life, and can reach their full potential. The Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health Program is an evidence based program for children from birth to age 5 that can be done in the child’s home or in select childcare centers, and can help:
• Improve the child’s behavior and ability to regulate emotions
• Strengthen the relationship between the child and the parent or caregiver
• Heal from a traumatic experience for the parent or child that is interfering with a healthy attachment
• Avoid suspension or expulsion from child care or preschool
The Certified Tykes & Teens Infant Mental Health Specialists utilize Child Parent Psychotherapy, an evidence based practice for children who have experienced at least one traumatic event and as a result, are having behavior, attachment and /or mental health problems. The primary goal of this program is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her parent or caregiver, in order to restore the child’s sense of safety and attachment, and to improve the child’s cognitive, behavioral and social functioning.
With infants, the child is present for treatment, but treatment focuses on helping the parent to understand how the child’s and parent’s experience may affect the child’s behavior and development. With older children the child is a more active participant in treatment, which often includes play as a vehicle for facilitating communication between the child and the parent.
When the parent has his or her own history of trauma, the therapist helps the parent understand how this history can affect the child parent relationship, and helps the parent interact with the child in new, developmentally appropriate ways.