Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of having a new baby, we neglect to take care of our partnerships. Unfortunately, research has shown that 2/3 of couples experience a drastic decline in relationship satisfaction after the birth of a baby. Drs. Julie and John Gottman, the researchers behind the famous "Love Lab," developed a research-based 2-day intervention for new parents that has shown to be enormously effective. Compared to couples who did not participate in the program, couples who did participate experienced:
couple Relationship Quality
High stable relationship quality
Less hostility expressed by both husbands and wives during conflict discussions
In same-sex couples, these effects were even more significant
Greater sensitivity and responsiveness to their infant’s signals
Better co-parenting abilities during family play
Better attachment security (especially with dads)
Infant Development & Temperament
Fewer language delays in one-year-old infants
Babies expressed more smiling and laughter during family play
Mothers rated their babies as showing less distress in response to limitations (such as having a toy out of reach)
Fathers reported being more involved in parenting and feeling more satisfied and appreciated for their parental contributions.
More positive father-baby interactions, and better father-baby attachment security
1-year-old babies were rated as responding more positively to their fathers’ soothing
Less postpartum depression, the baby blues, anxiety, and other indicators of psychopathology such as anxiety in both mothers and fathers.
This workshop is designed for couples expecting a baby, or who have already transitioned into parenthood. I welcome babes-in-arms to come with parents to the workshop (usually under 6-months). Typically, there is a combination of couples who are expecting their first child, with more seasoned parents; and couples experiencing distress and struggle, with those who have not yet faced parenting challenges. Couples find the workshop intense, informative, emotional, fun, and enormously helpful.
For information about my LGBTQ BBH workshop, scroll down!
Fee: $250/couple for 12 hours of workshop, 1-hour of individualized couples' counseling, and Bringing Baby Home supplies and materials.
Scholarships are available. Please email me directly to inquire.
Covered by Microsoft EAP benefits
Dates: The first weekend of every month (except for February and September)! See Village Maternity website for specific dates.
Couples Workshop: Saturday 9 am - 4 pm, and Sunday, 9 am - 4 pm, with an hour on your own for lunch, both days.
Booster session: Along with the group workshop, I offer one hour of individualized counseling in my office, in your home, or via skype, at a mutually arranged time in the 12 months following the workshop.
Where: Kumon Learning Center of University Village.
How to register: My workshops are now offered through Village Maternity. Please register via their website.
Material: I present material from the Gottman Institute using PowerPoint slides, handouts, discussion, reflection, and skill building. You and your partner will be interacting a lot!
LGBTQ Couples Workshop: All couples are welcome to any of my workshops, but twice a year, I am excited to join with my colleague, Heather Harman, to offer a welcoming and open space for LGBTQ couples to work on their relationship and the relationships they have with their children. We use the same Gottman curriculum, revised and refreshed to be more inclusive of LGBTQ couples and their children.
Our next LGBTQ workshop will be March 16 & 17 at Seattle Counseling Services.
To inquire or register about our upcoming LGBTQ BBH workshop, go here!
Heather Harman is thrilled to be bringing her passion for working with new families as a co-facilitator of Bringing Baby Home. She holds a master's degree in education and taught elementary school before becoming a parent. Parenthood was an incredibly transformative time of life that greatly challenged her sense of self. She found it further challenging as a queer identified person to find the resources that matched her experience. This fuels her passion for working with families particularly in the LGBTQ community. She has worked as a parent educator at Seattle Central College in the Parent/Child Center and has facilitated groups through PEPS. During the week, she enjoys her work supporting preschool teachers, students and their families throughout greater Seattle. In addition, she is a certified Gottman Bringing Baby Home educator and is building a private practice as a life coach and parent educator. Heather lives in Columbia City with her partner and her 11 year old son.
At the end of this workshop, you will be able to:
• Understand what to expect during the transition to parenthood
• Understand the social-emotional needs of an infant
• Create strategies to co-parent with your partner
• Learn ways to improve communication
• Demonstrate how to strengthen friendship, intimacy and conflict regulation skills
• Recognize the signs of postpartum mood, anxiety, and adjustment disorders and be aware of support or treatment options
Moving through time together: the transition to parenthood
Building love maps: knowing each other
Share fondness and admiration
Turn towards: build an emotional bank account
Maintain the positive perspective
Ritualize the daily stress reducing conversation
Flooding, self-soothing and taking breaks
Recognize the four warning signs of relationship meltdown
Practice the four steps of constructive problem solving
Honor mothers and fathers
Recognize the importance of fathers
Understand the baby blues, postpartum mood disorders, and other mental health issues
Connect with your children
Preserve intimacy and romance
Create shared meaning and values