Watch, Wait and Wonder (WWW)

Placement on the Continuum of Evidence Promising Download icon Download PDF
Target Population: 
Parents
Sector: 
Community-Based
Topic: 
Depression, Emotional Competency, Parenting, Relationships
Target Audience 

This program is delivered to mothers of infants and is intended to impact mothers and infants.

Summary 

Watch, Wait and Wonder (WWW), a community-based, infant-led psychotherapy program, is designed to enhance parental sensitivity and reflective capacity, improve mother-infant interactions, and promote the infant's attachment and sense of security.

Evidence 

Results from one quasi-experimental trial in which WWW was compared to Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (PPT) indicate that positive gains were made in a number of outcomes for both groups, including maternal perception of problems and their effectiveness in dealing with them, infant attachment security, mother-infant interactions, infant mental and emotional competence, parenting sense of competence, and maternal depression.  These results were maintained or improved at a 6-month follow-up.  For mothers in WWW, there were significant improvements in their comfort level of dealing with their child and greater decreases in stress at the 6-month follow-up when compared to mothers in PPT.  

Components 

WWW intends to help mothers see their infant as psychologically independent and actively communicating by promoting a mother's ability to observe and reflect on the meaning of her infant's behavior and emotional communication.  Sessions are held in a therapy room with standard toys and are divided into two parts:

  • Infant-directed play session  - The mother is instructed to get on the floor with her infant and follow her infant's lead in activities.  The mother is told to respond to her infant but only at the infant's initiative and to not direct or take over the play.  Therapists observe mother-child interactions but do not participate or provide feedback.
  • Discussion and feedback - The mother makes observations about her infant's activity and talks about her experiences, thoughts, and feelings and explores her past experiences with her own parents.

During initial sessions, the infant secures the mother as a safe base and then starts to use the mother as an object in which the mother acts as a base for and a mirror of the infant's experience.  During final sessions, infants use mothers as a secure base from which they are free to explore and manipulate toys and other objects in the room.

Previous Use 

Previous use information was unavailable.

Training 

Required off-site training includes a 2-day introductory workshop and a 2- to 3-day advanced workshop.  The advanced workshop typically occurs 6 months to 1 year after completion of the introductory workshop.  Please contact Dr. Lojkasek using the Contact section for more information.

Considerations 

Considerations for implementing this program include ensuring facilitators obtain training, acquiring participant buy-in, and locating space to hold sessions.

The Clearinghouse can help address these considerations. Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu

Implementation 

If you are interested in implementing WWW, the Clearinghouse is interested in helping you!
Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu

Time 

Weekly sessions last approximately 1 hour and are held for 8 to 20 weeks.  The first part of each session, the play time, lasts 10 to 30 minutes, depending upon the development of the child, and may be stopped at any time.  The second part of each session, the feedback time, is approximately 30 minutes.

Cost 

Implementation costs were unavailable.

Evaluation Plan 

To move WWW to the Effective category on the Clearinghouse Continuum of Evidence at least one evaluation must be conducted that demonstrates positive outcomes beyond 6 months and one external evaluation that demonstrates sustained positive outcomes.  

The Clearinghouse can help you develop an evaluation plan to ensure the program components are meeting your goals.  Please call 1-877-382-9185 or email Clearinghouse@psu.edu

Contact 

Contact the Clearinghouse with any questions regarding this program.
Phone: 1-877-382-9185 Email: Clearinghouse@psu.edu

You may also contact Dr. Miredk Lojkasek by mail 114 Maitland Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M4Y 1E1, phone 1-416-934-7896, email mlojkasek@watchwaitandwonder.com, or visit http://watchwaitandwonder.com/

Source 

Cohen et al. (1999) and http://watchwaitandwonder.com/

*Resources and associated costs reflect those identified at the time of fact sheet publication.