Infant-Parent Psychotherapy (IPP) is a relationship-based therapy for parents and infants who have experienced trauma, maltreatment, and neglect. The purpose of IPP is to intervene early in a child’s life and foster a positive bond between parents and children birth through age 3. IPP is based on attachment theory and supports infants by examining the insecurities that have developed in maltreating parents from negative experiences during their own childhoods. IPP treatment involves a weekly home visit where a therapist and mother observe the baby together. Throughout the session, the therapist shows the mother respect, empathy, and positive regard to provide the mother with a corrective emotional experience so that she is able to expand her responsiveness and sensitivity to her infant.
Children in IPP demonstrate increases in secure attachment. A secure attachment increases children’s independence, self-esteem, and empathy. Children are also more likely to turn to their parents for help, get along with their peers, and have stronger sibling relationships.