A revolutionary approach to restoring the health of failure-to-thrive infants
Myriam Szejer, M.D., talks to newborns. For the past eleven years, in the maternity ward of a French hospital, Dr. Szejer has been conducting her practice with considerable success and acclaim. Called in by hospital staff when a baby or its parents are suffering, she uses the psychoanalytic techniques of careful listening and talking to reach failure-to-thrive and other suffering newborns and reverse their conditions.
Talking to Babies is the story of her revolutionary work. Szejer believes babies need words as much as they need nourishment to thrive. By "words," she means that infants need to be talked to about the specific situations and histories into which they are thrown. They need to hear about their mothers, their fathers, their siblings, and their caretakers. Problematic aspects of their histories (such as the death of a twin sibling or the death of a baby before them) need to be spoken about out loud—in the presence of the mothers and fathers if at all possible. Such speech helps everyone—newborn and parents—to place themselves in the altered world created by the baby's birth. Without this intervention, physical symptoms and illness may arise.
Talking to Babies is the first book to show how the "talking cure" can help suffering infants and their parents. Groundbreaking and brilliant, the book should find a welcome audience among psychologists, medical personnel, and others interested in the healing powers of language. In a world where medical technologies and drug interventions reign supreme, Talking to Babies offers a compassionate, moving exploration of a more humane route for restoring health. -- from the publisher
About the Author:
Myriam Szejer, M.D., is a child psychiatrist and psychoanalyst and also president of the organization La Cause des Bébés (In the Interests of the Baby). She lives in Paris, France.