Learning the Infant’s Nonverbal Language: Intensive Seminar in Video Microanalysis for Clinicians and Researchers

Monday, June 12, 2017 - Friday, June 16, 2017 - 1:30 PM - 5:30 PM

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Course Description


This course will familiarize you with video microanalysis of mother-infant face-to-face interaction. Participants will learn to look frame-by-frame and notice the subtle details of the interactions revealed by microanalysis. This seminar is designed for both researchers and clinicians.


Our lab videotapes mothers and infants split-screen, one camera on each partner, making visible their moment-by-moment dialogue. Video microanalysis functions like a social microscope, enabling us to see subtle details of interactions which are too rapid and complex to grasp in real time with the naked eye. This technique is a powerful research, treatment, and training tool.


Our research uses video microanalysis to examine mother-infant face-to-face communication and its associations with maternal distress (depression and anxiety), infant distress, and infant attachment and cognitive outcomes. Recent work predicts attachment outcomes at 1 year from just 2½ minutes of videotaped mother-infant interaction at 4 months (Beebe et al., 2010). Whereas usual measures of mother-infant interaction, even video-coded measures, are relatively global, our microanalytic methods of coding mother-infant facial-visual interaction are more nuanced and are well-validated with forty years of research. Our time-series approach to analyzing these data evaluates reciprocal back and forth effects between mothers and infants.


Through a combination of lectures and hands-on video-watching and coding exercises, participants will receive initial training in microanalysis coding. We will cover the codes of mother and infant gaze, mother and infant facial affect, infant vocal affect, infant head orientation, mother spatial orientation, and mother and infant touch in mother-infant dyads. Researchers who want to become reliable coders may want to make further arrangements with Dr. Beebe. “The Mother-Infant Interaction Picture Book: Origins of Attachment” (Beebe, Cohen, and Lachmann, 2016) will serve as the training text. Participants will develop a firm grasp of many patterns of behavior that predict secure and insecure attachment outcomes. They will also learn to translate the codes and details of what they learn to see into user-friendly clinical language to describe the nature of the interaction in the dyad. We will discuss the application of microanalysis for mother-infant treatment. I will present material from a mother-infant treatment case in which I have utilized microanalysis.


Course Objectives

By the end of the course, participants will be able to:


  1. Identify patterns of mother-infant communication at four-months that predict infant attachment style at one year
  2. Become familiar with how to code mother and infant gaze, mother and infant facial affect, infant vocal affect, infant head orientation, mother spatial orientation, and mother and infant touch in mother-infant communication at infant age four-months using video microanalysis
  3. Understand the research behind the microanalytic technique
  4. Understand how microanalysis can inform mother-infant treatment




Students must bring their own laptops.


Course Reading List
  1. Beebe, B., Cohen, P. & Lachmann, F. (2016). The mother-infant interaction picture book: Origins of attachment. New York: Norton Press.
  2. Beebe, B. (2014). My journey in infant research and psychoanalysis: Microanalysis, a social microscope. Psychoanalytic Psychology, 31(1), 4.
  3. Beebe, B. Lachmann, F., Markese, S. & Bahrick, L. (2012). On the origins of disorganized attachment and internal working models: Paper I. A dyadic systems approach. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22:2, 253-272
  4. Beebe, B., Lachmann, F. M., Markese, S., Buck, K. A., Bahrick, L. E., Chen, H., ... & Jaffe, J. (2012). On the origins of disorganized attachment and internal working models: Paper II. An empirical microanalysis of 4-month mother–infant interaction. Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 22(3), 352-374.
  5. Beebe, B. (2005). Mother-infant research informs mother-infant treatment. The Psychoanalytic study of the child, 60(1), 7-46.
  6. Appendix A from: Beebe, B., Jaffe, J., Markese, S., Buck, K., Chen, H., Cohen, P.,... Feldstein, S. (2010). The origins of 12-month attachment: A microanalysis of 4-month mother–infant interaction. Attachment & Human Development, 12, 3–141.
  7. Cohen, P., & Beebe, B. (2002). Video feedback with a depressed mother and her infant: A collaborative individual psychoanalytic and mother-infant treatment. Journal of Infant, Child, and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 2(3), 1-55.



Beatrice Beebe, PhD

My research program investigates mother-infant face-to-face communication and infant social development: the dyadic mechanisms organizing mother-infant social communication, the role that maternal distress plays in this communication, the effects of early mother-infant communication patterns on emerging infant attachment patterns, and the long-term continuity of communication and attachment from infancy to adulthood. Video and audio microanalysis of mother-infant behavior has been the method of my research for 4 decades. This precise coding, together with sophisticated statistical methods of multi-level time-series modeling, functions like a social microscope, identifying different patterns of contingent relating. In addition to my basic research program, I also have a private clinical practice. I specialize in adult psychoanalysis and mother-infant treatment. I have published on the clinical implications of mother-infant research for both mother-infant and adult treatment.

Course Fee

Registration for this week-long, 20-hour course is $900.00

DISCOUNT of 10% will be applied at checkout for all registrations on or before April 1st.


The registration period has closed for this event.


Hammer LL107

Hammer Health Sciences Building
701 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032

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