Experiences from mother-infant psychoanalytic treatments help us understand and handle adult psychoanalyses. Babies flood us with non-verbal expressions of their feeling states. Working with a mother who is soothing her baby, the analyst can observe container-contained interactions from another perspective than in a traditional analytic setting and gain a new understanding of how he himself interacts with his adult patient. The struggles that occur between babies and mothers visualize how they influence each other’s inner worlds. Having witnessed such interactions contributes to making the analyst conversant in speaking with adult patients about himself as an external object. At times, this may imply disclosing how unconscious factors behind his interventions and attitudes have influenced the analysand. Work with a 2-week old boy and his mother and with a 35-year-old woman are presented as examples. The baby-mother work inspired the adult analysis, the quality of which gradually shifted from "battlefield" to "playground", two metaphors borrowed from Freud.
Keywords: Mother-infant psychoanalytic treatment, MIP, mother-infant psychotherapy, intersubjectivity, self-disclosure, containment, semiotic theory.