top of page

Selected Books

picture book.jpeg
The Mother-Infant Interaction Picture Book: Origins of Attachment
Beatrice Beebe, Phyllis Cohen, Frank Lachmann
Using video microanalysis―which captures moment-to-moment sequences of interactions―Beatrice Beebe and her colleagues have turned their lens on the most primary of relationships, mother and infant. This process becomes a “social microscope,” enabling readers to see subtle details of interactions which are too rapid and complex to grasp in real time with the naked eye. These moment-to-moment sequences teach us to see how both infant and mother affect each other. We see that infants at four months are already extraordinarily communicative and responsive to the movements and emotions of the partner. These interactions can be used to predict a range of future attachment styles. They enable researchers to translate infants’ nonverbal language and provide a unique and rare window into child development. Lushly illustrated by Dillon Yothers, these drawings reveal the emotions, but conceal the identities, of the mothers and infants. 
the origins of attachemnt.jpg
Origins of Attachment: Infant Research and Adult Treatment
Beatrice Beebe, Frank Lachmann
The Origins of Attachment: Infant Research and Adult Treatment addresses the origins of attachment in mother-infant face-to-face communication. Utilizing an extraordinarily detailed microanalysis of videotaped mother-infant interactions at 4 months, Beatrice Beebe, Frank Lachmann, and their research collaborators provide a more fine-grained and precise description of the process of attachment transmission. The book explores how, alongside linguistic content, the bodily aspect of communication is an essential component of the capacity to communicate and understand emotion. The Origins of Attachment is illustrated throughout with several case vignettes of adult treatment. Discussions by Carolyn Clement, Malcolm Slavin and E. Joyce Klein, Estelle Shane, Alexandra Harrison and Stephen Seligman show how the research can be used by practicing clinicians. This book details aspects of bodily communication between mothers and infants that will provide useful analogies for therapists of adults. It will be essential reading for psychoanalysts, psychotherapists and graduate students.
Mothers, Infants and Young Children
Of September 11, 2001
A Primary Prevention Project
Edited By Beatrice Beebe, Phyllis Cohen, K. Mark Sossin and Sara Markese

The group of papers presented in this volume represents ten years of involvement of a group of eight core therapists, working originally with approximately forty families who suffered the loss of husbands and fathers on September 11, 2001. The project focuses on the families of women who were pregnant and widowed in the disaster, or of women who were widowed with an infant born in the previous year.


This book maps the support and services provided without cost to the families by the primary prevention project – the 'September 11, 2001 Mothers, Infants and Young Children Project' – organised by a highly trained group of therapists specialising in adult, child, mother-infant and family treatment, as well as in nonverbal communication. The demands of the crisis led these therapists to expand on their psychoanalytic training, fostering new approaches to meeting the needs of these families. They sought out these families, offering support groups for mothers and their infants and young children in the mothers’ own neighbourhoods. They also brought the families to mother-child videotaped play sessions at the New York State Psychiatric Institute at Columbia University, followed by video feedback and consultation sessions.


In 2011, marking the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center tragedy, the Project continues to provide services without cost for these mothers who lost their husbands, for their infants who are now approximately ten years old, and for the siblings of these children.


This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy.

Infant Research and Adult Treatment
Beatrice Beebe, Frank M. Lachmann

Infant Research and Adult Treatment is the first synoptic rendering of Beatrice Beebe’s and Frank Lachmann’s impressive body of work.  Therapists unfamiliar with current research findings will find here a comprehensive and up-to-date overview of infant competencies.  These competencies give rise to presymbolic representations that are best understood from the standpoint of a systems view of interaction.  It is through this conceptual window that the underpinnings of the psychoanalytic situation, especially the ways in which both patient and therapist find and use strategies for preserving and transforming self-organization in a dialogic context, emerge with new clarity.  

They not only show how their understanding of treatment has evolved, but illustrate this process through detailed descriptions of clinical work with long-term patients.   Throughout, they demonstrate how participation in the dyadic interaction reorganizes intrapsychic and relational processes in analyst and patient alike, and in ways both consonant with, and different from, what is observed in adult-infant interactions.  Of special note is their creative formulation of the principles of ongoing regulation; disruption and repair; and heightened affective moments.  These principles, which describe crucial facets of the basic patterning of self-organization and its transformation in early life, provide clinical leverage for initiating and sustaining a therapeutic process with difficult to reach patients. 

This book provides a bridge from the phenomenology of self psychological, relational, and intersubjective approaches to a systems theoretical understanding that is consistent with recent developments in psychoanalytic therapy and amenable to further clinical investigation.  Both as reference work and teaching tool, as research-grounded theorizing and clinically relevant synthesis, Infant Research and Adult Treatment is destined to be a permanent addition to every thoughtful clinician's bookshelf. 

SCAN of Rhythms of Dialogue cover.jpg
Rhythms of Dialogue in Infancy
Beatrice Beebe, Joseph Jaffe, Stanley Feldstein, Cynthia L. Crown, Michael D. Jasnow

Coordination between infant and adult is thought to be essential to infant development. However, evidence on this topic is sparse. The research in this Monograph—grounded in a dyadic systems perspective and relational psychoanalysis—addresses the issue of vocal coordination. The research employs an automated apparatus to examine the micro-second vocal coordinations of 4-month old infants with their mothers and with strangers. These coordinations are then used to predict infant attachment and cognition at 12 months. The results demonstrate that coordination is related to the contexts of partner (mother/stranger), site (home/lab), and outcome (attachment/cognition. Although "more" is often assumed to be "better," a midrange of coordination was found to be optimal for attachment. However, for cognition a high degree of coordination between stranger and infant in the lab was optimal. There was more mutual coordination between infant and stranger than infant and mother. This suggests that mutual, or bi-directional, coordination assesses vigilance rather than "attunement." The coordination between infant and stranger predicted attachment status just as well as that between infant and mother. In addition, infant and stranger coordination was the most powerful cognitive predictor. This work further defines a fundamental dyadic timing matrix that guides infant development.

bottom of page