This paper explores the demanding work with parents with mental illnesses and their baby. The family was referred to a C.A.M.H.S. by the health visitor, concerned about issues of bonding. A limited piece of work was contracted with the family, who was already receiving much help from several agencies. The therapist’s task was to share the observations and understanding of the 4-month-old girl’s mind and her enfolding relationship with her parents in the here-and-now of sessions. The parental disturbances inevitably were played out and were addressed in an alternating dialogue with both parents and infant. The splits, projections and countertransference aspects of working with these parents are high- lightened.
Keywords: Mother-infant psychoanalysis, non-verbal communication, audible and visible aspects of containment