Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 158–169

Clinical approaches to traumatized parents: Psychotherapy in the intensive-care nursery


  • Charles H. Zeanah
    • Stanford University School of Medicine
  • Charlene I. Canger
    • Stanford University Hospital
  • J. David Jones
    • Duke University Medical Center

DOI: 10.1007/BF00717323

Cite this article as:
Zeanah, C.H., Canger, C.I. & Jones, J.D. Child Psych Hum Dev (1984) 14: 158. doi:10.1007/BF00717323


Clinical approaches to parents who are traumatized by the birth of a premature or defective infant are described. Psychotherapy with parents in the intensive-care nursery relieves suffering and promotes growth and development of the vulnerable parent-infant relationship in this extraordinary setting. Crisis intervention seeks to re-establish parents' temporarily disrupted psychological equilibrium. Supportive psychotherapy helps parents establish and maintain adaptation at a new level. Insight-oriented psychotherapy brings into awareness past conflicts that are interfering with an optimal parent-infant relationship.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press 1984