Physical Therapy with Newborns and Infants: Applying Concepts of Phenomenology and Synactive Theory to Guide Interventions

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date



Physical Therapy


Physical therapy involving newborns and young infants is a specialized area of practice reserved for therapists who have advanced training and the competence to help newborns, young infants and their families meet their goals. Beginning at birth, infants apply a significant amount of effort to actively participate in and shape their world. Infants make their intentions and requests for support known through their behaviors during social and physical therapy encounters. The therapeutic encounter viewed from the infant’s perspective has received limited attention in the physical therapy literature. The purpose of this article is to discuss concepts related to phenomenology and synactive theory that are relevant to physical therapy with newborns and young infants during the first few months of life after birth.


PMID: 25671353