Awaiting the therapist's Baby
A Guide for Expectant Parent-practitioners
Routledge – 2002 – 384 pages
The passage into and through pregnancy and new parenthood is one that affects all aspects of a therapist's life, including work with patients. It presents special therapeutic challenges, as well as special therapeutic opportunities.
Drawing on the scattered literature, interviews with people who have been in the roles of therapists and expectant parents simultaneously, and their own rich experiences, the authors consider therapists' psychological lives prior to birth (or adoption) and examine both therapist and patient reactions to the reality of a coming child. Whatever the therapist's theoretical orientation, the patient-therapist relationship undergoes changes, and therapists are faced with a number of important decisions not typically addressed in the psychotherapy literature, such as whether and when to inform the patient of what is anticipated. The authors offer practical advice that enables therapists to proceed through a sound clinical decision-making process and discuss the ways in which the changes can be harnessed in the service of treatment goals. Multiple modalities are covered--including individual, group, family, and couples therapy--which can be understood from a variety of theoretical perspectives. The needs of patients in different diagnostic categories at different developmental stages are addressed and the relationship between therapist and practice setting is examined. Throughout, the authors illuminate their points with vivid real-life case vignettes.
The issue of impending parenthood arises for male and female practitioners, adopters and biological parents, and their supervisors. All those facing it will find this book essential reading as they seek to identify and quell their anxieties and improve their clinical acumen and effectiveness.
"This long overdue book looks in detail at the complex influence of the therapist's pregnancy and impending parenthood on the therapist, her patients, and their therapeutic relationships….an invaluable resource for clinicians anticipating parenthood…also offers an excellent model for considering the influence of any major life event on a therapist's practice….Any therapist who is anticipating a baby, whether mother or father, biological or adoptive, will find some aspect of their experience reflected….Furthermore, she or he will find practical ideas for integrating the real life event of the therapist's into the psychic space and therapeutic frame….In sum…a wonderfully rich book…valuable reading for therapists, students, and supervisers."
Contents: J. Schoenholtz-Read, Foreword. Introduction. Patient Reactions to Therapists' Pregnancy: Dimensions of Transference. Therapists' Reactions Within the Therapeutic Setting: Dimensions of Countertransference. The Developmental Journey From Pregnancy to Motherhood: Psychological and Physiological Changes and the Management of Their Impact on Treatment. The Developmental Status of the Patient. The Diagnostic Status of the Patient. The Therapeutic Modalities. Relationships With Peers and Supervisors. The Adoptive Parent. When the Therapist's Wife Is Pregnant: Entrance Into Fatherhood. Conclusions and Future Directions.