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Marte Meo as a Port of Entry to Parental Sensitivity - A Three-Case Study


Marte Meo as a Port of Entry to Parental Sensitivity - A Three-Case Study

Elise H Gill et al. BMC Psychiatry.


Background: Early parent- child relations play an important role in children's development. Therapeutic intervention towards infants and toddlers at high-risk intends to prevent mental health problems. In this work, the parent-child-dyad is crucial. The video interaction guidance method, Marte Meo, is one among different methods used in attachment-based treatment in an outpatient infant mental health clinic. Parental sensitivity towards infants and toddlers needs is considered significant in developing secure attachment. Secure attachment is further considered decisive for mental health and the extent to which children are at risk of developing mental health problems. Different treatment methods aim at strengthening parents' sensitivity. This study's purpose was to gain further understanding about parent's experiences with Marte Meo - therapy and highlight the importance for parental sensitivity.

Methods: This is a cross-sectional phenomenological hermeneutical study. Four biological parents of three infants and toddlers aged 0-20 months who received Marte Meo- therapy in a clinical context were selected. Data was collected using semi structured interviews.

Results: This article presents the study's key-finding; we suggest that sensitivity increases. The key components of this are: watching edited video interaction in a therapeutic context, emotional activation, mutuality, self-esteem / self-confidence and reflective function. These are further elaborated and discussed.

Conclusion: The findings indicate that Marte Meo contributes to facilitate development-supportive interaction, strengthen parental sensitivity, emotional availability, reflective functioning and coping - experience.

Keywords: Attachment; Infants and toddlers; Marte Meo; Parental sensitivity; Parents experiences.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments guided the study’s ethics considerations and choices. The Regional Committee for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REK) in South- eastern Norway approved the study with reference number 2013/1335. So did Norwegian Social Science Data Service (NSD), with reference number 35573. The Department for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and the Research Unit at the hospital gave their permission.

Informed written consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Consent for publication

Not applicable.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Dynamical explanatory model of parents experiences with Marte Meo

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