Transitions to Parenthood
The Transition to Parenthood Program is a team of psychotherapists specializing in supporting the entire family as each relationship shifts to make room for new additions! Our staff understand the joys, stresses and general overwhelm of becoming parents and provides individual, couples, family and group psychotherapy to support families in getting off to a loving and fulfilling start.
We provide individual psychotherapy for pregnant and postpartum women struggling with mood and anxiety disorders including depression, bi-polar spectrum disorders, generalized anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder as well as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which could be the result of a past trauma re-triggered by the experience of being pregnant, giving birth, or breastfeeding or as a result of a traumatic birthing experience or previous pregnancy loss. Our team believes in holistic care for pregnant and postpartum women and we are committed to collaborating with other providers in the community such as lactation consultants, birth and postpartum doulas, physical therapists, and most commonly, reproductive psychiatrists. If you desire to explore medication as an adjunct to your therapy, or if your therapist believes you may benefit from a psychiatric consultation, we work with several providers in the community that specialize in treating pregnant and lactating women.
We provide individual psychotherapy for men struggling with mood and anxiety disorders or PTSD during the pregnancy and postpartum period as well! We recognize that the mental health of new fathers is vulnerable during this transition, and that men have a unique set of stressors in the journey to parenthood. Among the challenges men commonly face are increased financial pressures in the family, new or re-triggered feelings of helplessness (especially if your partner struggles with a postpartum mood or anxiety disorder), and feelings of jealousy or being left out of the mother-infant relationship.
Our team believes in the importance of both parents to their children, and sees the strong emotions that are triggered in this transition to be an opportunity to re-work past experiences, explore and clarify values, and integrate your new identity as a mother or father into a fuller sense of self.
We provide couples psychotherapy for couples at all points along the journey to becoming parents together regardless of your path - be it pregnancy, surrogacy, adoption, etc. Our staff have specialized training in providing therapy for the couples’ relationship, and in supporting couples with the many challenges they may face in the transition to parenthood including: new/unexpected disagreements or problems communicating, identifying and communicating new needs and expectations of each other, grief and loss issues related to pregnancy loss, and sadness and frustration around infertility.
Our team believes that the couples’ relationship is the foundation for the new family and deserves to be a priority for care and nurturing. New research supports what we’ve seen in practice which is that the more safe and connected a couple feels in their relationship, the more resilient each partner will be in coping with life challenges including parenthood!
We provide family psychotherapy to support all family relationships including the parent-infant bond, new sibling relationships, as well as the relationships with in-laws and grandparents. Our staff understands that the most stressful times in a family are those when members are being added or lost, and believes that our relationships with each other are the most important source of resiliency and healing.
We have specialized training in parent-infant attachment and helping parents learn to understand the non-verbal messages that their baby is communicating. Some babies are tougher to understand than others! In these cases, we support parents to learn and practice mindfulness skills to find their inner wisdom about how best to attune to their baby. Our team believes that empowering parents to trust themselves and to know their particularly baby so they can make decisions about what is best for their family is the best parenting philosophy out there!
We also know and understand common family dynamics that arise during the transition to parenthood including sibling rivalry with one or more older children, changing needs and boundaries with one’s own parents, and negotiating the needs and expectations of new grandparents. Though these dynamics can be stressful, our team believes these intersections of conflicting needs present a wonderful opportunity to understand yourself and family members more deeply, and to find the courage and confidence to have authentic conversations that lead to greater intimacy and connection.
We provide various group psychotherapies that offer parents psychoeducation on various emotional skills that support parent-infant attunement and bonding. Our groups are informed by our program’s treatment philosophy that empowering parents to trust themselves and to know their particularly baby so they can make decisions about what is best for their family is the best outcome of therapy. Our team has specialized training in providing a warm, safe atmosphere where parents can come together and learn as well as explore and clarify your parenting values and identity.
Ms. Lively also offers workshops on various topics relating to perinatal mental health. Past topics include “Integrating Mindfulness into Psychotherapy with Perinatal Women”; “Relational Approaches to Psychotherapy with Perinatal Women”; and “Working with Distress in the Postpartum Couple”. Please contact Ms. Lively to discuss your organization’s training needs and to create a customized training agenda.