Becoming Us Professional Training Course Outline
Becoming Us Level I - Tilling the Soil and Planting the Seeds
(4 x 90 minute sessions - 6 CPD points)
You’ll learn the difference between bonding and attachment and why the perinatal period is ripe for creating a stronger attachment bond between partners. We'll also look at relationship dynamics and how they change during the perinatal period (the new 'us' for couples). You'll also learn the three stages of a long-term relationship.
You'll learn why the term "the transition into parenthood" is such a huge understatement! You’ll discover that there are both helpful and unhelpful expectations of parenthood – and the effect of these on coping. You’ll learn about the Orchid Hypothesis, which grew out of research into neuroplasticity and how this applies to adult learning and get a “Seed Planting Guide” to plant healthy expectations for your clients.
You'll learn the stages of individual growth and how they apply to parenthood. You’ll also learn about the three steps for emotional wellbeing and be introduced to the topic of Perinatal Mood Disorders and how you can use this information with your clients, whether you work with them during pregnancy or beyond.
You’ll learn “the way we work” and (and get to try out) the guidelines and skills for intimate communication, a style of relating that can change relationship DNA. You'll learn a model of conflict resolution, an approach that won't just improve the situation, but your client's whole relationship.
Becoming Us™ Level II: The Becoming Us™ Model of the Parenthood Adventure
(8 x 90 min sessions -12 CPD Points)
Step 1 - Prepare Prenatally (Pack Carefully!)
We call it “expecting” but expecting is a huge waste of time and a lost opportunity. We should call it "preparing". Discover the common concerns for expecting parents, how to open the lines of communication and how to prepare your clients to reduce postpartum risk. You’ll learn more about antenatal Mood Disorders in this session.
Step 2 - Build a Nest
Couples often prepare a birth plan, but birth is just the beginning. The postpartum period, the fourth trimester, is pivotal for all members of a new family. You’ll learn about stress and coping, common concerns of new parenthood and postpartum Mood Disorders.
Step 3 - Adjust Expectations
According to research by beyondblue, 30% of mothers say unmet expectations of life and love post-baby contributed to their Postnatal/Postpartum Depression. You'll learn where parenthood expectations come from and how to gently tease out and manage expectations to support coping.
Step 4 - Set Up Base Camp
This stage prepares couples for the most likely challenges in the first few months of parenthood. Learn what mothers, fathers and partners need, and how to get these needs met, so they can best meet the needs of their baby. We’ll take inspiration from Maslow and you’ll learn how these needs are ordered to create a solid base for a family.
Step 5 - Embracing Emotions
Parenthood is a time of increased emotional vulnerability. You’ll learn the complex and typical feelings of new mothers and new fathers/partners. You’ll also learn how to help couples communicate what’s going on deep inside them, at the same time deepening the emotional bond between a couple through connection and empathy.
Step 6 - Welcoming Parent Selves (Identity and Self-Esteem)
Most parents expect aspects of life to change after baby but most don’t expect aspects of themselves to. Changes in both mothers’ and fathers’ sense of identity and self-esteem can undermine both parenting and co-parenting ability. In this session you’ll learn to support your clients to embrace the changes and understand the importance of being a team.
Step 7 - Growing Together through Differences
A whopping 92% of couples report increased conflict in the first year after baby. You'll learn the factors that contribute to conflict and the big issues for parents. You'll learn a way of managing issues that can bring couples closer, instead of sending them apart.
Step 8 - Connecting and Reconnecting
By this point, it may not come as a surprise to know that 67% of couples report declined relationship satisfaction in the first three years of family. In the final step of the Becoming Us model, you'll learn the “layers” of intimacy and how to keep couples connected - mentally, emotionally, sensually and sexually.
Becoming Us™ Level III: Extra Support for the Extra Hard Stuff
(2 x 120 min sessions - 6 CPD Points)
Reducing Risks for Affairs, Addiction and Abuse
It’s a tragic fact that pregnancy and early parenthood can be a time of increased risk for affairs, addiction and abuse. You'll know why and how to reduce the risk for your clients. And for those who have experienced it, there is hope. You'll bring more awareness, understanding, empathy and appreciation for your clients - and them for each other.
Reducing Risks for Birth Trauma, Grief, Depression and Anxiety
You’ll learn the impact of birth trauma and emotional distress such as grief, anxiety or depression on couple bonding. You’ll know the signs and symptoms for both mothers and fathers, how to reduce the risks and promote coping for your clients. You'll know how couples can grow closer through these challenges.