Claudia M. Gold, MD

Speaking Engagements

Are You My Mother?:
A Psychoanalytic Search for the Maternal

Using Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother as an illustrative focus, this panel will discuss psychoanalytic and psychodynamic perspectives on the search for the maternal in treatment and in everyday life.   • Read more »

Psychoanalytic Institute

Austen Riggs Center
25 West Main Street
Stockbridge, MA 01262

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Seeing the World Through Your Child's Eyes: Supporting Healthy Emotional Development

Dr. Claudia M. Gold will discuss an approach to common behavior problems of early childhood—including sleep issues, separation anxiety, and explosive behavior.  • Read more »

MIT Work/Life Center
Cambridge, MA

Wednesday, May 20, 2015
Room E19-603

Dr. Claudia Gold on The Diane Rehm Show   Listen  Read

"I am a pediatrician and writer with a longstanding interest in addressing children's mental health needs in a preventive model. I am the author of Keeping Your Child in Mind, with two forthcoming books Listening to Parents and Children, and The Developmental Science of Early Childhood. Read more »

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cover of Keeping Your Child in MindParents often come to a pediatrician with an expectation of advice and judgment. Our culture may support this expectation by our reliance on “behavior management” and increasingly on medication to treat “behavior problems” in children. Contemporary research at the interface of developmental psychology, genetics and neuroscience offers a different approach. Behavior problems, including such things as colic, sleep disturbance, explosive behavior and separation anxiety, are viewed as disruptions in relationships.

When parents are supported in their efforts to think about their child’s mind and reflect on the meaning of behavior rather than simply respond to the behavior itself, children learn to understand their own minds. In turn children learn to regulate difficult emotions, to think flexibly and to manage themselves in a complex social environment. This learning takes place at the level of structure and biochemistry of the brain.

In my current book, Keeping Your Child in Mind, as in my clinical practice, rather than telling parents “what to do,” I help them to “be” with their child in a way that supports their child’s healthy emotional development. Being present with a child in this way is not an easy task. In the face of fragmented families, a child with a challenging temperament and a myriad of other stresses parents face, the task may seem overwhelming. In my view, if we are going to nurture our children, we must first and foremost nurture their parents.

I am presently writing a new book, On Listening, scheduled for Spring 2016 publication, in which I aim to show the dangers in building a super highway to a quick fix while letting the alternative path become overgrown with weeds.

The ability to be curious, to wonder, to empathize with each other’s feelings, is what makes us human. It is not simply a question of “therapy vs. medication.” It is about valuing uncertainty, for letting the story unfold.

My central thesis in On Listening is that the most serious side effect of psychiatric labeling and medication is lost opportunity for listening. Yet this is not a book “against medication.” Rather, it is meant to serve as a cautionary tale of what will happen if we neglect to listen to each other, and of the good that can come when we do protect the time and space for “being with,” for healing through relationships and human connection.

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Read Dr. Gold's Child in Mind blog at  Read Dr. Gold's blog on Psychology Today

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