Working Party Parent Infant Psychotherapy (PIP)

The Working Party Parent Infant Psychotherapy was started by Christiane Ludwig-Körner at the IPA-congress in Boston 2015. Although psychoanalysts have been practicing Parent Infant Psychotherapy (PIP) for quite some time, the opportunities for group discussion of the topic are few and far between. Two purposes for the group discussion emerged so far: We want to promote and highlight the importance of PIP work  among our colleagues, and we want to provide a framework for the exchange of ideas about our work.

Goals of the Working Party are: 1) exchange of experience with respect to different conditions, contents and methods in training,  2) reporting on present and upcoming research and comparison of methods in case studies. 3) explore ways of evaluation and psychoanalytic techniques of intervention in clinical work. 

Even at our very first meeting in Boston (2015), where we had a panel with presentations on the topics training (Anni Bergman, Rita Reiswig) methods (Bjoern Salomonsson), case study (Monica Cardenal) and research (Daniel Schechter, Majlies Salomonsson), we noticed the pressing need for a deeper discussion of those topics.

There are high standards for psychoanalytic training. According to the guidelines of the IPA, four-hour-sessions must be documented. But as of yet there are no guidelines as to who is qualified to do PIP. How do we understand what is PIP work and how do we define it in its broadest sense? Can any adult or child psychoanalyst do PIP without more specific training and supervision? Should such training and supervision be mandatory?

With surprise we noticed that, as of yet, there is no systematic overview in which different countries' PIP training is being conducted and how this training is done. We are currently looking into that. It seems to be that there are only a few training centres that offer a post-graduate training for already trained psychotherapists. Sometimes even undergraduate studies of PIP (with a BA degree) are offered.

How are the PIP trainings structured? Would it be sensible to at least agree on minimal standards? What would those be? What contributions to the training of PIP clinicians do infant observation and video-based analysis have? How are they differing and how are they the same in the training for clinical work? How do they inform the teaching of techniques of intervention, clinical placements and supervision?

Subgroups for different topics might evolve, for example, one group that deals with minimal standards for the training, one group for methodical processes where cases might be presented, and another group for research in PIP.

We are currently creating a list of all psychoanalysts worldwide who are interested to participate in the Working Party. We will not only meet at the IPA conferences, but also at congresses such as WAIMH or its sub-groups.