The ACP Awards Committee is pleased to announce the 2022 Award of Excellence recipient is
The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program
We are honored that the program co-directors, Sally Moskowitz and Rita Reiswig, will be accepting the award at the upcoming Annual Meeting.
The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program has provided innovative training and high-quality educational experiences to mental health professionals for over 20 years. Our aim is to keep apace with and advance the burgeoning fields of infant observation, infant research, and the psychotherapeutic treatment of parents and infants. Clinical experience and infant research has confirmed that what occurs between parent and infant from the earliest days of life lays the foundation for later cognitive, emotional, and interpersonal functioning. We believe that training professionals in the experience and knowledge of early mental life and relationship is pivotal to helping parents reach their potential in providing the best care they can.
In 1995, a group of analysts at the Contemporary Freudian Society met as a study group to focus on the emerging work and literature on infant development and parent-infant treatment. Members of the group included Anni Bergman, Rita Reiswig, Phyllis Ackman, Abby Adams-Silvan, Michelle Asher Dunn, Laura Benedek, Phyllis Beren, Lynne Hofer, Hannah Nadler, and Lynne Rubin.
Lynne Barnett and Karen Proner from the Tavistock Clinic in London visited for a one-day workshop and showed a vignette from the film "Ways of Seeing." The film documented an observation of a mother and child from birth to age fifteen. Discussion focused on a sequence when the baby was 5 months old, during which he reached for and mouthed a sharp kitchen grater. The mother didn't stop him, and he didn't look at her. The group felt shocked and surprised by the disturbing moment, and viscerally affected by the exposure to in-vivo parent-infant interactions. Anni Bergman pointed out that although what was observed was disturbing, no single episode necessarily indicated a pattern that would be sustained. Stemming from her earlier work with Margaret Mahler at the Masters Children's Center, she encouraged the group to see the range and possibility of repair in the evolution of a parent-child relationship.
The study group became interested in training professionals in infant observation as a way to directly observe and experience nonverbal interactions and bodily communication, and to relate those to the transference and countertransference phenomena in the psychoanalytic setting. In 1996, the study group offered a mini course at the Contemporary Freudian Society in infant development and infant observation. The following year, Anni Bergman and Rita Reiswig launched the Three-Year Training in Parent-Infant Studies, a course of study built on the foundation of infant observation, theories of infant development, and parent-infant treatment. In 2006, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research joined the Contemporary Freudian Society as a co-sponsor of the program. Sally Moskowitz, a graduate of the program, became one of the co-directors. At that time, the program was also renamed the Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program to publicly acknowledge and honor the inﬂuence of Anni Bergman's contributions to the field of psychoanalytic work with parents, infants, and young children.
Find out more about the Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Program Here
Read a recent tribute to Anni Bergman Here
Listen to a recent podcast episode with the co-directors Here