A: Healthy development and attachment security flourish when resonant, attuned, loving, and consistent parental behaviors mark the initial months of a baby’s life. Babies bask in a comforting balance between connection and exploration as a direct result of environmental safety and trustworthy role modeling. Sensing that the world is a safe place reinforces self-confidence, trust in others, and a feeling that love and growth are generative. Conversely, when infants experience their caregiver as threatening or regrettably unstable, fear of closeness can prevail. Our internal compass for establishing and navigating relationships is initially arranged through seminal infant-caregiver interactions. Simply put, when early life feels melodic and predictable, the world and others in it feel approachable. The template for how we come to understand what it means to be in relationship with others is set up during infancy. These formative relational patterns persist as we journey into adulthood.
Dr. Zucker is a psychotherapist in Los Angeles specializing in women’s health with a focus on transitions in motherhood, perinatal and postpartum mood disorders, and early parent-child attachment and bonding.
Earning a Master’s degree at New York University in Public Health with a focus on international reproductive issues led to working for the Harvard School of Public Health. After years of international public health work, Dr. Zucker pursued a Master’s degree in Psychology and Human Development at Harvard University with the aim of shifting her work from a global perspective to a more interpersonal focus. Dr. Zucker’s research and writing about various aspects of female identity development and women’s health came to fruition in her award-winning dissertation while completing her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Zucker is currently writing her first book (Routledge). For more information: www.drjessicazucker.com