chapter  1
18 Pages

Introduction

ByApril E. Fallon, Virginia Brabender

Parenthood is a transformational experience, both personally and professionally. Awaiting a child, whether through pregnancy, assisted reproductive technology or adoption, can be a wonderful time in lives of men and women. The mental health practitioner who is an expectant parent, a new parent or both is likely to be affected by an array of sociocultural forces related to work, gender roles, economics and education. Conceptualization of the expectancy and new therapist literature encompasses two broad and related categories: the method of building a family and the parenting structure. The methods of building a family encompass pregnancy, stepparenting, foster parenting and assisted reproductive technology. Of all expectancy situations, the pregnant therapist has received the most attention. Lessened role specialization can increase the psychological burden of parents, in that it leads both mothers and fathers to question whether sufficient time is spent either at work or at home. This chapter also presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book.