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About Claudia M. Gold, MD

Claudia M. Gold, MD As child growing up in New York City, I saw my mother's young clients come and go in her home-based psychology practice. When, as a high school student, I had the good fortune to work with the late psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Paulina Kernberg, I decided to go to medical school. While at first I wanted to be a psychiatrist, I saw how as a pediatrician I would be involved in the lives of children and families from the start, and changed paths.

But while I was well educated, including a fellowship in developmental and behavioral pediatrics, it was not until after practicing pediatrics for many years in a range of settings, when I “discovered” D.W. Winnicott and Peter Fonagy in my studies as a scholar with the Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute (BPI) that I finally felt I had the tools and knowledge needed to actually help my patients.

At around this time, when swim practice, theater and dance performances of my two then school age children led me to want to be home and available to them, I stopped doing general pediatrics and began to do exclusively behavioral pediatrics, which offered a more flexible schedule. I was also able to devote more time to study and writing.

My studies with BPI led me to the growing field of infant mental health. My personal discoveries occurred in parallel with the explosion in the diagnosis of bipolar disorder in children, along with exponential rise in treatment of young children with psychiatric medication, including atypical antipsychotics.

I became aware of and distraught by the enormous gulf between the wealth of ideas generated in contemporary developmental science and the realities of mental health care for young children. The research I was learning about offered a completely different model for understanding and treating the problems of these children and families from the model offered by the pharmaceutical industry and many in the field of child psychiatry.

It was not uncommon for parents to bring an 18-month-old child to see me with the question “Does he have bipolar disorder?” I was seeing hundreds of kids, often sent by the school, for “ADHD evaluation.” In fact their stories were so much more complex, yet there was a high expectation on the part of parents, teachers and other physicians that these children would simply be treated with medication. This experience led me to write my first book, Keeping Your Child in Mind.



Next, an opportunity to develop a new program at Newton-Wellesley Hospital within the division of child psychiatry, a program I named the “Early Childhood Social Emotional Health Program,” gave me a range of important experiences. The program was successful from the start. I was referred many very young children and their families by the community pediatricians who may have had interest but did not have time or knowledge to address the problems in depth. But changes in leadership and the realities of a division facing huge waiting lists for older children got in the way. I was given an inside view of the obstacles to providing this preventive model of care.

While that story was unfolding, the ideas for my new book The Silenced Child were growing after first being inspired by a personal experience. In the spring of 2012 my then 88-year-old father spoke to my son’s eighth grade class following its visit to the Holocaust museum. In that one hour, when he did not even pause for a drink of water, I heard more about his experience growing up under the rise of Hitler and subsequent escape to the US, leaving his parents behind, than I had in my whole life. I suggested we write a book together. But the cracking in his voice when he tried to say more, followed by his assertions that he didn’t have time, led me to see that he could say little more than he had on that visit to the school. So I set out to tell his story through mine.

In my practice I was increasingly recognizing how parents and children had meaningful moments of connection when they moved through periods of grieving unmourned loss, and how in the wake of these moments “problem behaviors” often evaporated. When my editor asked me what led to these transformative moments and I replied “space and time for listening.” A new book was born.

My current work focuses on writing, teaching, and practice of early childhood mental health. I write regularly for my blog Child in Mind and Psychology Today. I am on the faculty of the University of Massachusetts Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Program, The Brazelton Institute, William James College, and the Austen Riggs Center. I am director of the Hello It’s Me Project, a community-based program designed to support healthy parent-infant relationships from birth.

Curriculum Vitae
Claudia M. Gold, MD

Infant-Parent Mental Health Specialist

3 Townhouse Hill Rd
Great Barrington, MA 01230



UMass Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program
September 2010-June 2011
Yale Child Study Center/Anna Freud Centre
Psychoanalytic Research Training Program
March 2008
Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute
Scholar’s Program
July 2004-April 2008
Advanced Scholar’s Program
May 2008- February 2012

Fellowship:Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
University of Massachusetts Medical Center
Worcester, MA
July 1990-June 1991
Residency: General Pediatrics
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Montefiore Medical Center
Bronx, NY
July 1987-June 1990
Medical School: University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
September 1983-June 1987
College:University of Chicago
Chicago, IL
September 1979-June 1983

Professional Experience

Director, Hello It’s Me Project
December 2018-present
Consultant, Community Health Programs Berkshires
January 2019- present
Infant-parent mental health consultant
Volunteers in Medicine Berkshires
January 2017-present
Faculty University of Massachusetts, Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Program
January 2016-present
Affiliate Faculty
William James College
January 2016- present
Faculty, Austen Riggs Center
Stockbridge, MA
June 2013- present
Faculty, Brazelton Institute
NBO trainer
Boston, MA
May 2012-present
Faculty, Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute
June 2012-present
Infant-parent mental health specialist, Austen Riggs Center
March 2016-December 2018
Director, Early Childhood Social Emotional Health Program
Newton-Wellesley Hospital
2014 Washington St
Newton, MA
November 2011-March 2015
Behavioral Pediatrician
Community Health Programs of the Berkshires
444 Stockbridge Rd
Great Barrington, MA
July 2010-June 2012
Behavioral Pediatrician
Macony Pediatrics
491 S. Main Street/100 Maple Avenue
Great Barrington, MA
January 2007- June 2010
Behavioral Pediatrician
491 South Main Street
Great Barrington, MA
April 2006-December 2006
General Pediatrician
Fairview Hospital
Great Barrington, MA
April 2006-December 2006
General and Behavioral Pediatrician
Macony Pediatrics
Great Barrington, MA
July 2000-March 2006
Attending in General and Behavioral Pediatrics
Winthrop University Hospital
Mineola, NY
June 1993-March 2000
Instructor in Pediatrics
SUNY Stonybrook Medical School
June 1993-March 2000
Director, Winthrop Parenting Center
Rockville Centre, NY
September 1998- March 2000
Attending in Pediatrics
Jamaica Hospital
New York, NY
Attending in Pediatrics
Massachusetts General Hospital/Revere Community Health Center
July 1991-November 1992
Instructor in Pediatrics
Harvard Medical School
September 1991-November 1992


American Academy of Pediatrics

Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics

American Psychoanalytic Association

Board Member, Margaret Mahler Child Development Foundation

Board Member, Massachusetts Association of Infant Mental Health

Board Certified, American Board of Pediatrics, 1990, Recertified 1997, 2004, 2011




Out of Step: Embracing Our Everyday Mismatches, Crossed Signals, and Disconnections with Ed Tronick, PhD
Little, Brown (forthcoming)

The Developmental Science of Early Childhood: Clinical Applications of Infant Mental Health Concepts from Infancy Through Adolescence
W.W, Norton and Co (February 2017)

The Silenced Child: From Labels, Medications, and Quick Fix Solutions to Listening, Growth, and Lifelong Resilience
A Merloyd Lawrence Book Da Capo Press (May 2016)

Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Defiance, Tantrums and Other Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World Through Your Child’s Eyes
A Merloyd Lawrence Book Da Capo Press August 2011



“Child Protection and Infant Mental Health: An Essential Partnership” West Virginia Law Review Volume 115 Spring 2013

“Contemporary Attachment Theory Offers New Paradigm for Behavioral Pediatrics” (2008) Behavioral Developments 13(1)
A Scholar’s Quest to Integrate Two Disciplines (2006) The American Psychoanalyst 40(3)
Multiple Op Eds The Boston Globe


“What’s Going On? How Newborn Infants Learn About Themselves and the World Around Them”
Harvard Neonatal Epidemiology Conference
January 2019

“Using the Newborn Behavioral Observations (NBO) System to Build Community Connection in Rural United States”
World Association of Infant Mental Health Congress
Rome, Italy
May 2018
“Keeping Your Child in Mind: Overcoming Everyday Behavior Problems by Seeing the World Through Your Child’s Eyes”
Wellesley Mother’s Forum Wellesley, MA
May 2018
“The Challenge and Opportunity of Pediatrics: Taking a Mindful Approach to Family Wellness”
ZERO TO THREE Annual Conference Pediatrics Pre-Institute San Diego, CA
November 2017
“How the Developmental Science of Early Childhood Informs Therapy with Children and Adults”
The Western Massachusetts and Albany Association for Psychoanalytic Psychology Stockbridge, MA November 2017
“The Discovering Your Baby Project” 6th Annual Riggs-Yale Conference on Developmental Psychopathology, Family Process, and Social Context Stockbridge, MA
July 2017
“Winnicott’s Use of an Object and Tronick’s Mutual Regulation Model: Comparisons and Clinical Applications” 2017 Solange Skinner Conference Boston Psychoanalytic Institute
April 2017
“Working with the Young Child: Clinical Implications of Contemporary Developmental Science” Child Psychotherapy course Harvard Medical School/Cambridge Health Alliance
March 2017
“Applying Developmental Research in Infants to Psychotherapeutic Work With Children and Adolescents” American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Annual Meeting New York, NY October 2016
“Autism in Infancy? Creating a Transitional Space Between Reassurance and Disorder”
Margaret Mahler Foundation/ Sackler-Lefcourt Center for Child Development New York, NY
February 20, 2016
“Are You My Mother? A Psychoanalytic Search for the Maternal”
Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute Austen Riggs Center
May 9, 2015
“Emotional and Behavioral Challenges in Children: Working Toward a New Model of Preventive Mental Health Care”
Paul A. Dewald Lecture St Louis Psychoanalytic Institute
October 2013

“Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Shifting From Diagnosis to Meaningful Narrative”
2ndAnnual Todd Ouida Children’s Foundation Conference Montclair State University: The Magic in Moments: Patterns of Early Relationships that Create Resilient Individuals and Peaceful Societies
May 2013

“Is “ADHD” an Artificial Construct?”
Maternal Child Health Commission Forum on ADHD Springfield, MA
April 2013

“Development of the Parent: The Child’s Contribution”
Interdisciplinary Council on Learning and Development Annual Conference; The Power of Affect: Developing Human Potential Through DIRFloortime, Self-Determination, and Mindsight
November 2012

“Confronting Childism: How the Field of Infant Mental Health Can Inform the Field of Child Protection”
Keynote address University of West Virginia Law School Symposium Child Protection in the 21st Century
November 2012

“Development of the Parent: The Child’s Contribution”
for Austen Riggs/Yale Conference The Development of the Parent as a Person: Psychological, Neurobiological and Genetic Contributions
July 2012
“Mentalization in the Pediatric Setting”
Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program UMass, Boston
May 2012

“Application of Infant Mental Health Concepts in Everyday Practice”
North Pacific Pediatric Society meeting
April 2012
“Infant Mental Health in the Primary Care Setting”
Newton Wellesley Hospital Grand Rounds, December 2011 Winthrop University Hospital Grand Rounds
April 2012
“Making Psychoanalytic Concepts Relevant and Meaningful for Parents”
Western Massachusetts and Albany Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy(WMAAPP)
December 2010

“Contemporary Attachment Theory in the Primary Care Setting”
Berkshire Psychoanalytic Institute
October 2008
“Preventive Application of Contemporary Psychoanalytic Theory in the Primary Care Setting”
WMAAPP Berkshire Study Group (APA, Division 39)
May 2007

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