What is Integrative Baby Therapy?
Integrative Baby Therapy recognizes babies as sensitive and truthful people who are influenced by their birth and their life in the parent's womb.
Difficulties such as inconsolable crying, restlessness, colic, attachment issues, sleeping and nutritional problems can often be traced back to earlier issues that were not resolved.
This can be observed in two ways:
- 'Baby body language', whereby parents and primary caregivers are supported in understanding it and
- 'crying out of memory', which can be distinguished from crying out because of a present need such as hunger, fatigue or boredom.
Based on decades of research and practical experience in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology, IBT helps babies to process experiences from the time before and around birth that have not yet been integrated.
By working with the inner impulses of the baby, IBT supports the natural self-regulation where it has been disturbed. The work is fundamentally permission-oriented. Parents are involved and informed throughout.
At its core, IBT offers babies a space to 'tell their story' and parents/primary caregivers a non-judgmental way to acknowledge their own feelings. This enables the family to come together and relate to each other more deeply than was previously possible.
For which age groups is IBT appropriate?
There is no special age limit for IBT.
Its principles are adaptable to prenatal support for parents, work with newborns, infants and children of all ages. Through play and creative expression, for example, underlying prenatal or birth stories that are still active in the child's psyche can be discovered.
IBT can also inform work with young people and adults. It recognises that our nervous systems are shaped by the 'imprints' from our early experiences and that birth is a profound transition. These imprints will help determine how we respond during periods of stress and during transitions later in life. This can lead to difficulties in emotional regulation and / or psychosomatic symptoms rooted in implicit body memories of these original events. The IBT approach can support us in understanding the source of impairment, freeing our bodies from trauma and developing new, more creative possibilities.
Who practices IBT?
IBT is a postgraduate education. It is taught in different countries. Its graduates include midwives, doulas, psychotherapists, pediatricians and other medical specialties, pediatric nurses, aftercare midwives, osteopaths, cranio-sacral therapists and other bodyworkers, dance and movement therapists, practitioners of body-mind-centering, the Feldenkrais method and hypnobirthing, sleep consultants and more.
IBT is conducted in cooperation with the International Society for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine.