Watch, Wait and Wonder DownUnder

Welcome to Watch Wait Wonder® DownUnder


This site supports the training and development of the Watch, Wait, and Wonder® Intervention as modified in Dunedin, New Zealand and refined, manualised [1999] and researched in Toronto, Canada by Elisabeth Muir, Nancy Cohen and Mirek Lojkasek.

This empirically tested intervention [1999, 2002] is used with infants and young children who may have relational, behavioural, regulatory and/or developmental difficulties and parents who may feel troubled in their relationship with their child.

Following assessment, and with the family's support, dyads generally attend weekly for 8-24 sessions [the research averaged 15 sessions]. Most often mothers are involved with fathers attending regular family review sessions. These decisions typically reflect the primary nature of the infant’s relationships at this early stage of development.



The training is in line with the Recommended Standards for Independent Practice of the Watch, Wait and Wonder Intervention [1999©] established by Elisabeth Muir, Mirek Lojkasek and Nancy Cohen when all worked at the Hincks-Dellcrest Centre and Hincks-Dellcrest Institute.  Incredible Families is the Trust providing the governance and operational oversight of the training programme.

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The evaluation compared the Watch, Wait and Wonder Intervention with psychodynamic Parent-Infant Psychotherapy [PPT], with a random allocation of families to the two treatments.  67 dyads aged from 10-30 months were involved in the first study [pre and post treatment evaluation], and 58 of these dyads were re-evaluated 6 months after treatment ended. WWW  improved infant developmental functioning, emotion regulation, and attachment security; and enhanced parental sensitive responsiveness, confidence and feelings of efficacy.

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The infant/child-led dyadic intervention as manualised and researched was piloted in Dunedin, New Zealand [1986-8]. The origins of infant/toddler centred activity began with the work of Mahrer, Levinson and Fine [1976, 1980]. Johnson, Dowling, and Wesner working in a community setting  followed the child-led procedure outlined by Mahrer et. al.  and began a pilot project in 1977. With community representatives and  interested mothers they decided – that the new techniques could be successfully represented to the community in the slogan: “Watch, Wait, and Wonder” [Wesner, Dowling and Johnson, 1982].

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  • Upcoming Events
  • Breaking News

Introductory Training 2019 – rescheduled


18-20th February Wellington, New Zealand 


Registration now open: 2019 WWW Intervention Intro Training 




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