Sometimes Words Will Do


  • I thank Charles Fernyhough for his useful comments.

concerning this article should be addressed to Elizabeth Meins, Department of Psychology, Durham University, Science Laboratories, South Road, Durham, DH1 3LE, United Kingdom; e-mail:


Abstract— Parental embodied mentalizing (PEM) provides an innovative way of characterizing engagement with infants’ internal states in terms of caregivers’ physical or kinesthetic behaviors rather than their verbal comments. In order to ensure that PEM becomes a useful addition to methods of conceptualizing and assessing the quality of infant–caregiver interaction, D. Shai and J. Belsky (2011) must maintain their focus on PEM as a dyadic and relational construct, and consider how caregivers’ verbal recognitions of their infants’ internal states can complement and inform the PEM construct.