Date of Award


Document Type

Doctoral Research Paper

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

John Holmberg

Second Advisor

Scarlett Choi

Third Advisor

Tracy M. Vozar


Infant mental health, Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), Cardiac intensive care unit (CICU), Therapeutic playgroups, Caregiver-infant relationship, Prematurity, Attachment


This paper articulates a new therapeutic playgroup for caregivers of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) infants, named I See You! Play. This intervention is an adaptation of WePlay! (Gross et al., 2021), a cooperative learning and therapeutic playgroup for caregivers and their children from 6 to 36 months old. Dr, Tracy Vozar developed this program inspired by Saleem Penny’s program with the same name in Chicago. Parents of ICU infants face several challenges that can affect their experience of parenthood, their parenting skills, caregivers' sensitivity, their mental health, and their relationship with their premature infant. This in turn affects infant’s attachment patterns development. The quality of the caregiver-premature infant relationship and the infant attachment patterns can be improved by targeted clinical interventions among parents of premature babies that promote positive changes in the family environment. There is a need for group interventions for caregivers of ICU infants. I See You! Play was created to fill this gap. To create I See You! Play a comprehensive literature review and interviews with stakeholders were conducted. The results of these interviews and consultation provided a preliminary intervention base on which the pilot I See You! Play group will be implemented.

Copyright Date


Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Mariana Cerqueira Aokalani


Received from author

File Format



English (eng)


80 pgs

File Size

746 KB

Available for download on Tuesday, July 08, 2025