Clinical pre-congress in Child and Adolescent psychoanalysis

Thursday 8. August

1300-1630 Clinical pre-congress in Child and Adolescent psychoanalysis 
1300-14.30 lecture by Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed: To look or not to look, that is the question – thoughts on early mother infant psychoanalytic work (for presentation of lecturer and abstract, see back of the sheet) 1430-1500 coffe break
1500-16.30 clinical supervision groups

Scientific Committee BUU: Ingeborg Aarseth, Linda Johanne Rolfsen and Evelina Čiapaitė

Download program


To look or not to look, that is the question
– thoughts on early mother infant psychoanalytic work

Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed

When a new mother is getting in touch with me as a psychoanalyst, there’s no time to waste. Something needs to be done, or at least sorted out, and the mother is in a hurry. Things must not go wrong, everything needs to be just fine at the least, but rather perfect, before time has passed.

Quite often, one of the first concerns is the eye contact between the infant and the mother. The mother perceives that the baby doesn’t make eye contact with her as the baby does with other people. Occasionally, the fear of autism is tangible, and the mother wants an immediate assessment, or at least a quick glance from an experienced psychologist. Do you think he might be autistic since he doesn’t look at me?!

In Stockholm, Sweden, the incidence of autism has increased over the last few years. So, the worries do not come out of the blue. Still, I am not talking about autism spectrum disorders here. I speak about the narcissism of the new mother, her own suffering, her will of making things great, of not being psychologically contagious to her own baby, of doing her best with the extreme and yet ordinary assignment of motherhood, of trying to learn who this new person is, and of the revived relationship towards her own mother. In short, I am talking about attachment.

On his mother’s lap sits an infant, a baby boy, Åke, curiously exploring the new environment around him, using his eyes, and babbling to get in touch with me sitting in front of him. Åke seems happy and possibly a bit stressed out, very busy adjusting to a new milieu and to a psychoanalyst, who admittedly says hi and welcome but who doesn’t sound and behave like other adults normally do when he gets to see them. Where did he end up?

– Well, as you can see for yourself, he doesn’t look at me, the mother says with a slightly discouraged look.

Åke doesn’t need to, since he knows you are there, I think to myself. Additionally, he is sitting with his back towards her.

Still, now Åke and his mom are here, and I need to listen and try to learn what they have to say, and how and if I can help out.

In this paper, I’d like to elaborate on a clinical case of a mother and her baby boy, and possible implications of this kind of psychoanalytic work.


Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed lives in Stockholm, Sweden. She is a psychoanalyst (IPA) and a member of the Swedish Psychoanalytic Association. Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed

is also a licensed, clinical psychologist in private practice, a specialist in psychotherapy and psychological treatment, a licensed psychotherapist, and a PhD student at Stockholm university.
Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed is working with parents and their infants, with teenagers and with adult patients. Before, she has been working in the specialized child and youth psychiatric health care. Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed also a fan of creative writing and writes poetry. Reading is another big interest and passion.

Registration opens on 10. April

To register, please go to

If you are not able to attend the Clinical pre-congress in Child and Adolescent psychoanalysis at The Hub in person, we will consider to offer an Online option by Zoom for Hannah Holmqvist Mohammed ́s lecture – depending on the demand.

Please send an e-mail to by 1. July to register for the Online-option. The fee will be NOK 400,-.

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