Becoming a mother for the first time, or bringing a new child into your family is often a time of great excitement and joy. This time can also be very challenging because you are dealing with all sorts of physical changes and mood changes, while taking on a huge, new set of responsibilities all at the same time. In our experience, most women have periods of feeling overwhelmed and stressed during this major life transition. MotherCare clinical services were created to provide the support and community that women need during pregnancy and postpartum. Click here to learn more...
MotherCare: Supporting Moms, Supporting Families
Support for Moms When They Need it Most
Becoming a mother for the first time, or bringing a new child into your family is often a time of great excitement and joy. This time can also be very challenging because you are dealing with all sorts of physical changes and mood changes, while taking on a huge, new set of responsibilities all at the same time. In our experience, most women have periods of feeling overwhelmed and stressed during this major life transition. MotherCare clinical services were created to provide the support and community that women need during pregnancy and postpartum.
Created by, and for moms!
MotherCare services were designed with input from mothers and mothers-to-be, and guided by the philosophy of our clinicians at the Women’s Mental Health Program, that the best way to support women and mothers is to provide a community of supportive relationships. This, in turn, supports the relationships women are developing with their infant and children, and the changing relationships within her family. We believe that healthy and satisfying relationships are crucial to the health and well-being of women and families.
Parent-Infant Relationship Support
The MotherCare Circle is an educational and therapeutic support group led by members of our team with specialized training and experience in women’s mental health, working with families, and understanding and supporting parent-child relationships.
The MotherCare Circle aims to provide a safe and nurturing space for mothers and mothers-to-be:
Joining the MotherCare Circle
The MotherCare Circle is a 10 week commitment and runs in cycles. Interested women are able to join the first week of the cycle. The group meets weekly on Wednesday evenings from 11:00 am – 12:30 pm. Two, one-hour assessment and information sessions are a requirement before coming to the MotherCare Circle. To schedule an initial appointment, or for more information, please call Nikki Lively, LCSW at 312.355.4387.
We do not want childcare to be a barrier to attending the MotherCare Circle, so though we do not encourage women to bring their children to the group, we also recognize that childcare arrangements may not be accessible. For this reason, child supervision will be provided in an adjoining room during group where volunteers will be available to engage children in play activities while group is meeting.
Being in a committed relationship offers many opportunities for connection and joy, but also moments or phases of feeling disconnected, frustrated or alone. Relationships can be especially vulnerable during major life transitions and/or life stressors leading to patterns of communication that can eventually damage the relationship. Couples therapy can be helpful in assisting couples to learn communication techniques to get back on track, restore the friendship, and develop greater intimacy. Nikki Lively, LCSW is receiving training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy (for more information on this method, please visit the Gottman’s website www.gottman.com) which requires that couples’ sessions be videotaped both for quality assurance and as a learning tool for the couple. (Click here to view the consent form)
How can couples get started?
Couples therapy begins with an assessment process which includes one initial 60 minute meeting with the couple together to explore the reason the couple is seeking therapy, and to gather some history of the relationship. This meeting is followed by each member of the couple meeting with the therapist separately for 60 minutes to explore the individual histories of each person. During this time, each member of the couple will be given a set of questionnaires to fill out about their relationship. Ms. Lively will then integrate the information gathered in the interviews and the questionnaires and present this information and make recommendations for treatment goals at a treatment planning session.
For more information or to schedule an initial appointment, please call Nikki Lively, LCSW at 312.355.4387.
Parent-Infant Relationship Support: A service for parents of young children (0 – 3 years)
An important time in your family’s life
Becoming a parent is often an exciting and joyful time in the life of a family. The first months and years after delivering a child, or adopting a child, are usually greatly anticipated by parents, and there is a sense of hope and discovery as this new person enters into the family. Yet, the parents I have worked with have taught me that having a young infant and toddler is also a major change that can feel overwhelming and stressful. Our culture, in many ways, does not allow parents to acknowledge how stressful parenting can really be. Parent-infant relationship support offers a safe place where parents can acknowledge their stresses, get support, and build confidence in their new roles and responsibilities.
What happens in Parent-Infant Relationship Support?
In Parent-Infant Relationship Support, the parent, their baby, and the therapist meet together to build and support their developing relationship. Parent-Infant Relationship Support works from an Infant Mental Health perspective, meaning that young children’s physical, social, and emotional development is directly related to the quality of their relationships with their primary adult caregivers. More specifically, it means that infant and toddler development is best served in the context of warm, nurturing, and consistent relationships with adults. In Parent-Infant Relationship Support, the therapist is a partner to the parent in getting to know their infant, figuring out how they want to parent their baby, and how best to achieve this.
Who can benefit from Parent-Infant Relationship Support?
Parent-Infant Relationship Support is appropriate for parents:
How can parents get started?
Parent-Infant Relationship Support begins with an assessment process that helps the parent teach the therapist about their lives with their baby, and their experiences parenting him or her. The assessment process generally takes between 4 – 6 hour long sessions and includes an initial parent interview, a developmental screen of the infant, and a video-taped parent-infant interaction. Parents usually report that this is a time of discovery for them as well because the assessment tools help parents see themselves and their strengths more clearly, uncovers the hopes and dreams they hold for their baby, and helps them uncover any road blocks that are getting in the way of them being the parent they would like to be.
For more information, or to schedule an appointment, please call Nikki Lively, LCSW at 312.355.4387.