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Preparation for Parenthood Program
With Gayle Peterson, Ph.D.

Discovering the parenting styles that were prominent for you and your partner during childhood, helps you to identify the strengths and weaknesses each of you brings to your parenting relationship. Clear communication and identifying vulnerabilities in yourself and your partner can help you work as a team in supporting each other through the trying and the joyful periods of raising young children. Short term counseling during pregnancy can help you feel more confident about your ability to make a healthy family. The following 4 sessions are offered for new parents:

    Exploring your Childhoods Together - (2 sessions) Discovering the styles of communication and family structure that existed in your childhood. Partners take one session each to explore his/her family -of-origin, identifying strengths and weaknesses and the kind of support they may need from the other in the years ahead.

    Traveling through the Family Life Cycle - Partners construct the life line of the family in the years ahead, identifying the natural transitions of family life and the predictable stressors they will face given their own childhood experience.

    Establishing your own Family - Consolidating the couples' bond before and after a baby arrives. Clarification of characteristics of healthy family relationships and a conscious agreement to work together on the personal issues identified in your family history.

Psychological research on the characteristics of healthy families has given us new and valuable information about what contributes to psychological health and nurturance in a family system. With all of the public attention on dysfunctional families, it is important for parents to know what contributes to emotional and psychological health. The following concerns can be addressed through counseling during pregnancy, or as needed throughout family life:

  • developing characteristics of healthy families: healthy communication and boundaries
  • resolving marital conflict
  • blending families
  • parenting problems
  • step-parenting problems

Dr. Gayle Peterson is available for individual, couple or family appointments at: (530) 346-2534 or (510) 594-6801. Phone consultations of 1-3 sessions are also available for those outside of the area. E-mail Dr. Gayle for phone consultation.

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