South African authored writings on psychoanalytically-informed parent–infant/child psychotherapy are rare, but this dearth does not accurately reflect the extent of practice in the country at the community, public and private levels. Interviews with a sample of key stakeholders and practitioners provided information on different services currently offered in the South African parent–infant/child psychotherapy field. Three major themes were identified during an analysis of interview material: the role of language and culture; the issue of training; and the challenge of working outside of a national health system. Interviewees also described adaptive responses to these contextual challenges. These responses are discussed as evidence of the usefulness of theoretical and technical eclecticism, when applied with psychoanalytic mindfulness, in developing the South African parent–infant/child psychotherapy field.
Journal of Child & Adolescent Mental Health 2012, 24(1): 73–88