Little research has explored the everyday, simple and long-term experience of maternal holding, particularly after the first year of a child’s life. The research that has been undertaken commonly examines holding through the lens of attachment with a focus on the impact of holding upon the child. Employing an arts-based collaborative inquiry approach, participants’ stories of holding, as well as the author’s own, convey the significant maternal;experiences of holding their children over individual arts therapeutic sessions. Optimal moments of holding included strange, powerful and meaningful experiences of expansion into self-in-relationship. Attention is drawn to the ways in which holding can alert us to the current state of mother/child relationships; how we understand, story and structure those relationships; and the ways in which we can attend to holding in order to develop deeply satisfying experiences of a mother/child ‘us’.
An Arts Therapeutic Approach to Maternal Holding aims to draw attention to the intersubjective qualities of the mother/child relationship, explore why holding matters, and offer suggestions for therapeutic practice. This book is essential reading for therapeutic practitioners and those in allied health fields who work with mothers and children.