infant and under 5's psychotherapy/infant and young child observation


Development-Third Edition, as well as infant and toddler attachment interviews. The Bayley-III consists of the cognitive scale. the language scale, and the motor scale.  The social-emotional and adaptive behavior scales are completed by the parent or primary caregiver. The Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Developments were developed at the University of California at Berkeley under the guidance of child psychologist Nancy Bayley, and they provide an accurate picture of the infant's/toddler's cognitive, social, and emotional development.  Attachment interviews were developed by Mary Ainsworth at the Johns Hopkins University. The infant or toddler is usually seen conjointly with parent(s) as part of the evaluation and psychotherapy.  Frequent concerns include giftedness, sleep difficulties, eating problems, emotional regulation difficulties, attachment concerns, and autistic spectrum related disorders. Individual treatment strategies are developed out of an understanding of the infant's/toddler's social, emotional and cognitive level of development.

Dr. Feldman works clinically in the tradition of John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth who joinly developed attachment theory, as well as being influenced by the cognitive and social developmental theories of Piaget and Vygotsky. While at Johns Hopkins he studied developmental psychology with Mary Ainsworth.  Dr. Feldman conducts child-parent psychotherapy as an intervention for children from birth through age 5. The primary goal of child-parent psychotherapy is to support and strengthen the relationship between a child and his or her parent (or caregiver) as a vehicle for improving the child's sense of safety, secure attachment, and appropriate affect and improving the child's cognitive, behavioral, and social functioning. The type of psychological/emotional difficulty and the child's age or developmental status determine the structure of psychotherapy sessions. For example, with infants, the child is present, but treatment focuses on helping the parent to understand how the child's and parent's experience may affect the child's functioning and development. With older children, including toddlers, the child is a more active participant in treatment, and treatment often includes play as a vehicle for facilitating communication between the child and parent. When the parent has a history of trauma that interferes with his or her response to the child, Dr. Feldman helps the parent understand how this history can affect perceptions of and interactions with the child and helps the parent interact with the child in new, developmentally appropriate ways.

Dr. Feldman's clinical work is also informed by the infant observation tradition which originated in the creative work of child psychoanalyst Esther Bick, and which continues to be developed by infant observation specialists throughout the world.
Dr. Feldman has worked with infants and their families in different cultural contexts, as well as being a consultant on an intensive care nursery in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford Medical School, and the director of a preschool consultation program funded by the state of California.  While at Stanford he was actively involved as the director of the clinical child psychology training program with the infant assessment and child-parent psychotherapy programs. Dr. Feldman is a member of the International Association of Infant Observation Trainers- Esther Bick Method.  He teaches infant observation and infant and child psychotherapy in the U.S.A., Latin America, Russia, and China. His research on the psychic skin was honored by the Psychoanalytic Consortium of Washington, D.C. in 2013.  He has also organized research projects in the areas of infant observation and attachment theory internationally.


Infant Observation Conference




Infant Observation in different cultural contexts

(family, environment, institution…).





If you wish to receive any information


En partenariat avec



Senegal, the land of “Téranga” (warm welcome) is waiting for you!

The method of Infant Observation created by Esther Bick in 1948 represents a fundamental

moment in the training for all professionals dealing with infancy and for those who are confronted

with primitive and infantile mental states. This training equally permits professionals, who do not

ordinarily work with children, to reinforce their capacity to understand deep archaic levels of

psychological functioning in all patients.

The observation of babies confronts us with the mystery of the origins of psychological life and

its first manifestations, with the body language of babies, with the impact of the arrival of a

baby in a family organization and into the psychological life of each family member.

With its clinical applications, this method has represented a great opening in baby care centres

(maternities, crèches, nurseries …). Indeed observation, because of its richness, is a method which

permits working groups to elaborate and think about the “raw” material of the observations and

to use these observations to develop and deepen their understanding.

One can also emphasize the scientific contribution of this method to the understanding of the

baby’s psychological development and in the prevention of developmental problems that

emerge in infancy such as autism and attachment disorders. This method has also brought new

understanding of severe pathologies such as autism and psychosis. It has opened the way to the

psychotherapy of the parent-baby relation.

For the first time the International Conference of Baby Observation will be held in an African

country. Senegal is a pioneer in the experience of baby observation on the African continent.

Within this Conference we want to give special attention to babies in developing countries;

babies, who are often exposed to the violent changes that their family lives in the passage from

a traditional culture to a “modern” culture.

Maternal traditions, which were so vital in African families, have a tendency to be lost, especially

in urban setting with the disappearance of the extended family and housing conditions which

greatly reduce the possibilities for toddlers to satisfy their vital needs.

We believe that making this method better known and available in Africa will participate in the

development of public health and facilitate a greater respect for the rights of children, women

and parents.

Each baby confronts us with a past cultural heritage (ours and that of our ancestors) and a future

which can be rich in promises…


Andrea Austa, Graciela Ball, Monica Cardenal (Argentina)

Rosella Sandri, Annette Watillon (Belgium)

Nara Caron, Luciane Falcao (Brasil)

Hilda Botero (Colombia)

Jorge Tizon (Spain)

Michel Amar, Pierre Delion, Anne Frichet, Geneviève Haag, Michel Haag, Didier Houzel, Marie-Christine Leguellec

Denis Mellier, Régine Prat, Rosa Mascaro (France)

Luigia Cresti, Suzanne Maiello, Simona Nissim, Francesca Siboni, Anna Tabanelli, Uguzzoni (Italy)

Esperanza Pla, Nohemi Reyes Polanco (Mexico)

Idrissa Ba, Momar Gueye, Oumou Ly Kane (Senegal)

Brian Feldman (USA)

These are some developmental milestones which are important for your infant and young child to achieve.
If you have any questions about these milestones in regard to your child 's development an evaluation may be indicated.
Please contact me  if you should have any questions about your child's social/emotional or cognitive/intellectual development.

By 3-4 months

  • Watches faces with interest and follows moving objects
  • Recognizes familiar objects and people; smiles at the sound of your voice
  • Begins to develop a social smile-
  • Turns head toward sounds
By 7 Months
  • Responds to other people's emotions
  • Enjoys face-to-face play; can find partially hidden objects
  • Explores with hands and mouth; struggles for out of reach objects
  • Responds to own name
  • Uses voice to express joy and displeasure; babbles chains of sounds
By 12 Months/1 Year
  • Enjoys imitating people; tries to imitate sounds
  • Enjoys simple social games, such as “gonna get you!”
  • Explores objects; finds hidden objects
  • Responds to “no;” uses simple gestures, such as pointing to an object
  • Babbles with changes in tone; may use single words (“dada,”“mama,” “Uh-oh!”)
  • Turns to person speaking when his/her name is called.
By 24 Months/2 Years
  • Imitates behavior of others; is excited about company of other children
  • Understands several words
  • Finds deeply hidden objects; points to named pictures and objects
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors; begins simple make-believe play
  • Recognizes names of familiar people and objects; follows simple instructions
  • Combines two words to communicate with others, such as “more cookie?”
By 36 Months/3 Years
  • Expresses affection openly and has a wide range of emotions
  • Makes mechanical toys work; plays make-believe
  • Sorts objects by shape and color, matches objects to pictures
  • Follows a 2- or 3-part command; uses simple phrases to communicate with others, such as “go outside, swing?”
  • Uses pronouns (I, you, me) and some plurals (cars, dogs)
By 48 Months/4 Years
  • Cooperates with other children; is increasingly inventive in fantasy play
  • Names some colors; understands concepts of counting and time
  • Speaks in sentences of five to six words
  • Tells stories; speaks clearly enough for strangers to understand
  • Follows three-part commands; understands "same" and "different"
By 60 Months/5 Years
  • Wants to be like his/her friends; likes to sing, dance, and act
  • Is able to distinguish fantasy from reality
  • Shows increased independence
  • Can count 10 or more objects and correctly name at least four colors
  • Speaks in sentences of more than five words; tells longer stories