The calming womb family therapy model: Bonding mother and baby from pregnancy forward
The Calming Womb Family Therapy Model (CWFTM) is a multi-modal, integrative, early intervention approach to treating mothers and their babies from conception through the first year postnatally. Its foundations lie in Murray Bowen’s family systems model that understands families as interactive systems rather than individuals, research in intergenerational transmission of trauma, attachment theory and research, and Selma Fraiberg’s psychodynamic work with mothers and infants to resolve maternal trauma and transference reactions to their babies, followed by developmental guidance. CWFTM extends Fraiberg’s approach back to conception to strengthen the bond between mother and baby in utero, treats the baby in the womb, and the infant as a participant in the family therapy process. CWFTM applies Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) from early pregnancy through the first year of life to process maternal trauma and maternal transference reactions to the baby. CWFTM also understands that the mother-baby dyad is part of a larger social system. It includes in the therapy process other involved caregivers, supports the dyad with prenatal and perinatal needs, unplanned challenges, and traumatic incidents that may occur during and after pregnancy, and coordinates care with medical providers. The CWFTM psychotherapist must have a good grasp of prenatal and infant development and a high capacity for relational attunement with both parents and babies.
Original Work Citation
Cortizo, R. (2019, Spring).The calming womb family therapy model: Bonding mother and baby from pregnancy forward. Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health. 33(3), 207-220
“The calming womb family therapy model: Bonding mother and baby from pregnancy forward,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed May 13, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26116.