What is Infant Mental Health?

Babies don’t come with instruction books and from birth, some children experience difficulties. Sometimes life experiences threaten the infant-parent relationship. Our therapists know that healthy infant development relies on relationships – relationships that help babies feel secure and confident that their needs will be met as they explore their worlds.

Extensive research has shown that the experiences in the first three years of life have a profound impact on later development, including how children perform in school and their ability to form satisfying relationships with teachers, friends, and others. it is the caring relationships with sensitive parents or caregivers that is the most important factor in determining later outcomes.

It is imperative that children receive services early. 90% of brain growth takes place in the first three years and early experiences have a profound effect. These experiences are crucial in organizing the way the basic structures of the brain develop. Young children exposed to toxic stress (prolonged neglect, violence, prenatal drug, and/or alcohol exposure) or trauma may develop anxiety, impulsivity, aggression, sleep problems, lack of school readiness, and vulnerability to substance abuse and mental health concerns later in life.

Our services focus on helping infants, young children, and their parents or caregivers struggling with self-control, loss and grief, attachment disorders, lack of appropriate coping skills, aggressive behavior and many other social and emotional issues. We focus on helping parents or caregivers establish a trusting relationship with their infant or young child. Services often include  nurturing the parent, so that he or she can nurture the child.

Learn more about Infant Mental Health from the Florida Association for Infant Mental Health. We are proud to be a member organization.

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