Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention
and Relationship-Based Therapies


CONNIE LILLAS 626 577 9332



About the Neurorelational Framework (NRF)

Infant/Child Mental Health, Early Intervention, & Relationship-Based Therapies: A Neurorelational Framework for Interdisciplinary Practice is a groundbreaking neuroscientific understanding of infant and child development, including a CD-ROM with supplementary worksheets, figures and tables.

The latest addition to the acclaimed Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology, this title answers the critical need for a more cohesive system of care for our youngest patients. Most practitioners are trained to view only their domain as defining a parent-child’s needs. This book provides a conceptual framework for interdisciplinary collaboration in order to treat the whole child optimally in the context of his or her relationships.

Who might benefit from this book?

Professionals from many diverse fields—child and adult mental health practitioners, infant mental health specialists, early interventionists (occupational, physical, speech and language therapists), educational therapists, teachers, pediatric medical practitioners, and teacher’s of master’s and doctoral level programs in any of these fields—might find material of value to them in this book. In general, this book will appeal to the following types of readers:

  1. Professionals who are looking for ways to integrate an understanding of the body, the mind, and relationships
  2. Professionals who value the brain as a template for providing a common language and framework for child development for all pediatric disciplines to use
  3. Professionals who value the context of relationships as a primary focus for assessment as well as a primary healing medium
  4. Professionals who value the need to understand early developmental processes, recognizing a link between early development and adult development and relationships
  5. Researchers who are looking for clinical resources to help them enhance the clinical relevance of their work (bench to bedside)
  6. Professionals involved in interdisciplinary study and/or practice
  7. Students and professionals interested in interdisciplinary approaches to clinical work

Overview of the Book

The neurorelational framework is a whole-to-part-to-whole type of framework, thus, the book’s sections are structured to complement this same process. Part I, The Big Picture, presents the global picture of the neurorelational framework. In Chapter 1, we explore the problems of fragmentation in how professionals view, understand, and treat concerns in infant, child, and family development. In attempting to resolve this fragmentation, the neurorelational framework draws on several salient current clinical approaches. Chapter 2 examines the neuroscientific underpinnings of the neurorelational framework and introduces its four major brain systems (which can serve as a touchpoint for the more detailed material in chapters 4 though 11). Chapter 3 focuses on the use of the socio-emotional milestones, paired with the four brain systems, as one way to assess and work with dyads. As this chapter represents the “relational” aspect of the neurorelational framework, this chapter also addresses an interpersonal triad that becomes further elaborated in the relevance and executive brain systems.

Part II, The Brain Systems, provides an in-depth exploration of each brain system in the neurorelational framework. Chapters 4 through 11 take the reader into the concepts of each of the four brain systems -- the regulation system, the sensory system, the relevance system, and the executive system. Each brain system is divided into two chapters. The first chapter addresses the key structures, function, and behaviors of the brain system. The second chapter addresses assessment and intervention priorities and strategies. Clinical applications of each brain system are demonstrated through the use of case studies. Each pair of chapters on a brain system shares a composite case study.

Part III, Bringing It All Together, provides a synthesis of the material presented and a vision for future directions. Chapter 12 holds the parts of each brain system in relation to the whole, conveying insights about the complex functioning of the child, the parent, and the dyad. This synthesis then guides a discussion of future directions for professional development across academic, research, and clinical settings.