Watch, Wait and Wonder DownUnder

The Intervention Consolidated


Elisabeth and Roy Muir moved to Toronto in 1989 and the next 15 years involved using the modified intervention with families and learning from them. Elisabeth Muir was working with clinicians at the Hincks Center, notably Mirek Lojkasek refining the therapeutic technique, training therapists, moving between clinical work, presenting and publishing descriptions of the intervention. Then in the Hincks-Dellcrest Institute with Nancy Cohen as the Co-Principal Investigators of the Toronto Infant Parent Project.

Working with a clinical population, that is; infants and toddlers with moderate to severe difficulties, often long-standing, and parents who had problems themselves including mental health difficulties and experiences of trauma and/or loss, they found that more than 8 sessions were required. The apparently simple instructions that cover the main goals of the activity/play session were difficult for most parents to follow. The discussion time was essential for containing the anxieties stirred up by watching but not intruding on their child’s play, observing in the activity/play something of the relational difficulty.

Clarifying the role of the therapist over the two parts of a Watch, Wait and Wonder intervention session was critical for training, developing the Manual and research.