Early Psychomotor Therapy: Support for Vulnerable Babies and Their Families

  • Aude Buil


The psychomotor therapist takes care of vulnerable infants who have been hospitalized during the perinatal period, either following a premature birth or due to a medical problem, with in both cases a risk of brain damage. This early form of support is associated with an epigenetic perspective on human development. It is based on the idea that there is a strong synergy between the development of psychomotor functions like sensory development and neuromotor pathways on the one hand and parent-child interaction on the other hand. In fact, perinatal hospitalization immediately places the child and his/her parents in an environment for which none of them is prepared. The specificity of the care provided by a psychomotor therapist is its focus on body tonus as being the way for the child to adapt to and to perceive the world and indeed to express its emotions. Furthermore, providing parents with psychomotor care sessions often creates a space, outside routine standard care, where attention is focused on the baby’s body and sensory experiences. The difficulty is thus to perceive the babies’ early competences and to do everything possible to help express and develop them. Psychomotor therapy is a form of early intervention, which is effective in preventing developmental delays or disorders and in enhancing parent sensitivity as well as infant attachment security. The psychomotor therapist intervenes directly with the child and its family, as well as indirectly with healthcare teams. Furthermore, the psychomotor therapist often provides input for the implementation of developmental care by other professionals. The focus is on development of motor and relational patterns for the baby and on parent-infant emotional attunement aimed at ensuring the best development trajectory possible.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Aude Buil
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire de Psychopathologie et Processus de Santé (LPPS), EA 4057Neonatal Medicine and Toddler Developmental Center, Descartes UniversityParisFrance

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