Beatrice Beebe ICP+P Institute

Beatrice Beebe, PhD

September 24, 2016


Mary O’Farrell, PhD
Gail Winston, MSW

Beatrice Beebe, Ph.D. is Clinical Professor of Medical Psychology (in Psychiatry), College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University; Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, New York State Psychiatric Institute, and serves on the faculty of several psychoanalytic institutes in New York City. Currently she is director of a primary prevention project for mothers who were pregnant and widowed on September 11, 2001. She has authored numerous books including The Origins of Attachment: Infant Research and Adult Treatment (2013), Infant Research and Adult Treatment: Co-Constructing Interactions (2002) (both with Lachmann) and most recently The Mother-Infant Interaction Picture Book: Origins of Attachment (with Cohen & Lachmann, 2016).

Beatrice Beebe is renowned for her microanalyses of mother-infant dyads, exploring the wordless period of infancy when internal working models are developed and implicit memories established. Dr. Beebe will explore a view of face-to-face communication that informs both mother-infant interaction and adult treatment. A dyadic systems view of face-to-face communication will set the stage for an understanding of nonverbal communication across the lifespan. This dyadic systems view will be illustrated through research on the four-month origins of one-year attachment, with films and frame-by-frame analyses. This dyadic systems view will also be used to explore processes of nonverbal communication in adult treatment through a new project, “Videotaping the Therapist’s Face.” The analyst’s own nonverbal communication is a pivotal feature of therapeutic action.

Learning Objectives

Through participating in this workshop — the presentations, experiential exercises, and discussions – participants will be able to:

  1. Discuss what is meant by a dyadic systems view of self- and interactive regulation.
  2. Apply a dyadic systems view of face-to-face communication to adult treatment.
  3. Describe differences in the patterns of 4-month interaction associated with 12-month secure versus disorganized infant attachment.
  4. Differentiate among dysregulations of mother and infant attention, affect, spatial orientation and touch in the origins of disorganized attachment.
  5. Explain how disturbances in infant experiences of knowing the mother, of being known by the mother, and in knowing oneself characterize the origins of disorganized attachment at four months.
  6. Recognize the subtlety, rapidity and complexity of early mother-infant interactions.
  7. Observe patterns of nonverbal communication in adult treatment — such as coordination of the turn taking rhythm, the hand dialogue, and the head dance — and use them to enrich an understanding of therapeutic action.