The present study introduces the concept of a mother-infant group therapy that makes use of music, singing and moving to establish maternal-infant intersubjectivity. It was conducted in a residential Mother-Baby Unit for mothers with postnatal depression and their infants over a five week period. Maternal-infant intersubjectivity of four dyads in relation to the group dynamics were micro-analyzed for Session 1 and 5. We made within-session (i.e., beginning-middle-end) and between-session (Session 1 versus Session 5) comparisons for the number of intersubjectivity moments (ISM), total time of intersubjectivity (IST) and the mean duration of ISMs on a dyadic (i.e., own mother/infant involved) and non-dyadic level (i.e., own mother/infant not involved). Additionally, three ISM-levels (degree of group contribution) were distinguished. The results indicated a significant increase of ISM/IST from Session 1 to 5. Within-session analyses showed that ISM/IST significantly decreased through Session 1 and remained stable throughout Session 5. Intersubjectivity occurred mainly on ISM-Level 1 during Session 1 and on ISM-Level 3 during Session 5, suggesting increased dyadic autonomy and self-efficacy. The results are discussed in relation to the musical characteristics of mother-infant dyads, music improvisation techniques, group processes and intersubjective development.
Bibliographical note© 2014 Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health.
- Mother-infant interaction
- postnatal depression
- Group dynamics