Posted by: Peggy Kaufman
Recently, faculty, family, and friends gathered to celebrate the graduation of ten participants from the JF&CS Infant-Parent Training Institute two-year Fellowship. I am pleased to share an excerpt from the speech delivered by one of the graduates, Dahlia Khankan.
I'd like pay tribute to what I call "the magic" of the lived experience of these past two years. But of course, herein lays the challenge, because how does one put into words what was actually felt and experienced on a non-verbal level? How do we talk about a felt-knowing, about that in between space that we create – one with the other – when we are in connection, in relationship?
This magic has left us feeling transformed, both professionally and personally. Many of us began to feel its effects almost immediately, starting with our first year. We shared and we held, and we continued to sit together, diving deep into attachment and then deeper still, into trauma. The faculty skillfully set the tone and modeled a way of being that not only put us at ease but also gave us a safe place, a secure base from which we were allowed to safely journey deep within ourselves and out again, ready to explore once more.
Our journey then of reflecting and wondering continued into our second year, where we have been able to further integrate and practice much of what we had already started to take in. We became more confident clinicians and supervisors, each of us becoming more comfortable in finding her own voice, and in developing a more authentic clinical self. And what I've only just come to realize and now appreciate, is that by all the IPTI faculty holding us in mind, and by their joining us in "our own not knowing" at times, they actually freed us up to "know" on an entirely different level.
I leave inspired by the level of self-reflection, care, and compassion that all my fellow graduates have shown, as clinicians and as individuals. I am honored to have shared this time with you, happy to know that in the months and years ahead I will carry you with me, in mind and in spirit. The magic we have created together will live on.
We are taking Dahlia's messages to heart as we are planning for, recruiting, and building our cohort for the next IPTI Fellowship.Peggy H. Kaufman, MEd, LICSW is the founding director of the JF&CS Center for Early Relationship Support. With a background in perinatal emotional health and the growth and development of parents, her interests include the earliest relationships. Ms. Kaufman is the recipient of multiple awards for her groundbreaking programs and her commitment to increase awareness of postpartum depression and maternal and infant mental health.