This paper contains my view on Homeostasis balance. In particular, I am reviewing the stage where the fetus is starting to respond to the outside world through a facial expressions or controlled movements, denoting pleasure or disgust. The process of a fetus to be able to accumulate capacities of the external world through mother’s body and take it to the higher level with the growth. The newborn already has an organized behavior that includes feelings, needs and phenomenal survival skills with visual, grasping and auditory stimulations. With all that preparedness to step in to the new environment new baby also carries over a habituated behavior. He has a set point. It is the ideal state of a bodily system. If child’s body detects a discomfort then negative feedback is stepping in and trying to keep the body in the previous, most familiar condition.
At first, child’s system will detect the change. Then the body will react to the change and finally will try to stabilize the body to the original state. These changes are bringing a discomfort that can include high blood pressure and increase in heart rate. The symptoms can lead to the anxiety if the set point is getting disturbed to often. This process will not happened if bodily system habituated to repetitive stimulation, attuned to the environment and disturbing effects on physiological condition of the child are absent. As an example, I would like to present a case.
A mother brings one-year-old infant to the therapy. The reason for it is inability to ride a car since birth. The child has an accelerated anxiety and vomiting when placed in the car or even seeing a car image. Family has a difficult time to function with the child’s condition. It also brings arguments into marital life. Therapist has a result of physical exam that child is in the good health. During the assessment therapist should look for many reasons why the child has such disturbing behavior. If there is an absence of medical conditions in the child then during the assessment counselor should find out chronological steps of relations between child and a car, parents behavior in relation to the car rides. During the assessment the therapist should create a report about family history ( ) and parents past and present medical history.
In this case woman suffered from car claustrophobia during pregnancy. Currently she has occasional car claustrophobia attacks. During pregnancy every time she would get in the car the fetus will react to it by increased movements and accelerated heart rate. Mother knew about possibility of her anxiety transferring to the fetus. Unfortunately, she had to function and take a car rides every day. It should be taking into consideration that at this stage infant have a very close connection to a mother. He can hear her voice, feel her breath, responds to the anxiety and calmness. Also he is already seeking and responding to the environmental conditions. In this case the child already achieved the stage of homeostasis. The infant is in need for mother’s ministrations when getting in the car. The frustration and fussiness followed by anxiety appears when mother does not meet his needs. She can’t provide him a care while fighting car claustrophobia. The child can also have a genetic predisposition.
The car claustrophobia transferred to the baby from one of the parent. As a counselor, I will provide the following therapeutic treatment. First of all, baby should have a several CBT session with the desensitization or exposure therapy. Since the baby also has a strong reaction to the car image. Mother should also attend similar CBT sessions. Since, the infant has a strong interconnection with mother repeating her disorder, a “specificity of regulatory fittedness between a particular infant and particular caregiver” should be established immediately (Sander 1975). Therapist should emphasize that the caregiving routine, especially if related directly to the car, should be carefully examined and changed if needed.
I would also recommend to disable the alertness of the baby during the ride, mother should remain in the most calming state as possible, avoid family arguments before getting into the car, keep positive atmosphere while in the car, surround baby with toys and another entertainment tools. I found the sunglasses could be helpful. It blocks the side vision and car door do not even exist. Headphones, music and favored cartoon can be in use for the baby. Since the baby is closely connected to the mother and capable of having a conversational exchange, mother should talk to the baby during the trip.
Courtney from Study Moose
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