The Calming Womb Family Therapy Model: Bonding Mother and Baby from Pregnancy Forward

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Volume/Issue :
Volume 38
,
Issue 1
(04 - 2024)


Author(s) :

Rosita Cortizo, PsyD, LMFT.


Abstract :

The Calming Womb Family Therapy Model (CWFTM) is an integrative, multi-modal early intervention approach designed to treat mothers and their babies from conception through the first year postnatally. Rooted in Murray Bowen’s family systems theory, CWFTM considers families as interactive systems rather than individuals. Building upon Fraiberg’s approach, CWFTM extends its focus back to conception, aiming to strengthen the bond between mother and baby in utero and treating the baby in the womb and the infant as active participants in the family therapy process. Additionally, CWFTM integrates Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) from early pregnancy through the first year of life to process maternal trauma and transference reactions to the baby. Understanding that the mother-baby dyad is part of a larger social system, CWFTM involves other caregivers in the therapy process, addresses prenatal and perinatal needs, unforeseen challenges, and traumatic incidents during and after pregnancy, and coordinates care with medical providers. A key requirement for a CWFTM psychotherapist is a thorough understanding of prenatal and infant development and a high capacity for relational attunement with both parents and babies.