Wednesday February 11, 2015 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM EST
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Jewish Board of Family and Children's Services 
135 West 50th Street
6th Floor
Conf Room 4
New York City

Driving Directions 


New York Zero-to-Three Network 

Please join us for a Clinical Roundtable  
Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Conflicts and Tensions between
Mother-Infant Treatment and Family Law:
Two Case Examples


Presented by
Sally Moskowitz, PhD and Rita Reiswig, MS

Two psychoanalyst parent-infant therapists each present a mother-infant treatment case which illustrates the interface, tensions, and often contradictory aims and interests of the child, parents, and legal system. In both cases, in addition to the impact of specific traumatic events, legally mandated custody and visitation requirements complicated the therapeutic endeavor.

One case describes a boy who, at twenty-two months was abducted by his father, and held in a foreign country for more than two weeks. Through legal intervention, the boy was found and returned to his mother in a severely traumatized state, exhibiting autistic-like symptoms. Despite imprisonment, the father pursued visitation and custody.

The second case describes a mother-infant treatment where the parents separated before the baby's birth. Visitation schedules determined by the court to be fair to both parents disrupted the infant's fundamental regulatory patterns such as eating, sleeping, and the capacity to separate. 

 In the first treatment, the toddler played out the actual sequence of traumatic events. Despite his mother's insistence and wish that he could neither remember the events nor his father, the therapist helped her to see this play as communication and to talk to her son about what had happened. His symptoms abated.

In the second case, the trauma was embedded within the infant's bi-weekly transitions from parent to parent. The infant's play revealed his experience with these shifts. By talking to infant and mother, the therapist helped the mother put into words the effects of the baby's divided care.

In both cases, the treatments focused through play and reflection on restoring connection and communication between mother and infant about the past and ongoing traumatic events. The legal system's mandates both facilitated and impeded these processes often imposing pressures contradictory to the mothers' wishes and to the children's developmental needs.

Sally Moskowitz, Ph.D. Sally Moskowitz, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, adult psychoanalyst, and a child and adolescent psychotherapist. She is a Training Analyst and on the Faculty of The Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research adult program in psychoanalysis. She is also a Supervisor and on the Faculty of IPTAR's Child and Adolescent Program. She is a Co-Director, with Anni Bergman and Rita Reiswig, of the Anni Bergman Parent Infant Program of The New York Freudian Society and IPTAR. She has worked as a Consultant on infant development and parent-infant relationships at The Bushwick Impact Center, a community based family center in Brooklyn. She is a Supervisor at The New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis, and a Member of The New York Freudian Society. Her work in private practice is with parents and infants, children, and adults. 

Rita Reiswig, MS, is a child and adult psychoanalyst and a mother-infant therapist. She is a Training Analyst at the Contemporary Freudian Society and maintains memberships in the International Psychoanalytic Association and The Child Psychoanalytic Association.  She directs with Anni Bergman and Sally Moskowitz The Anni Bergman Parent-Infant Training Program (of New York Freudian Society and Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research).  She teaches and supervises at two psychoanalytic Institutes in New York City and maintains a private practice in New York and East Hampton.. She has consulted to the Little Sisters of the Assumption in Harlem and Dominican Sisters in the Bronx in their day care programs and their outreach services to mothers and infants. 

Please note that this Clinical Roundtable will begin at 6:30pm
(usually our Roundtables begin at 6pm). 

Fees are $25 for NYZTT Members and $30 for Non-Members.
You can also join as an inidividual when you register,
and save money on this and future events.

We prefer payment prior to the event,
but will accept checks or exact change at the event. 

Please note, refunds will only be issued up to one week in advance of this event.