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Our Transition to Parenthood seminar is aimed at professional therapists. The group combines readings on theory, literature and the latest research concerning the treatment of perinatal women and families. We also incorporate case consultations and presentations.

Participants will collaborate on topics and readings based on interests and current client presenting problems.

This season will focus on culturally competent care in psychotherapy for black women in the perinatal period and is entitled “Perinatal Mental Health for Black Women: Understanding the Transition to Parenthood in Cultural Context.”

Through a combination of readings, lectures and case consultation, we will consider the history of the intersections of systems (including the mental health care system) and the treatment of black women as well as intergenerational impacts of racialized trauma on black women and their experience of pregnancy, the postpartum and the transition to motherhood. We will also address self-of-therapist issues that may negatively impact providing psychotherapy to black women in the perinatal period and provide frameworks for creating a culturally sensitive safe space in the therapy room.

Topics include:

  • History of Mental Health Among Black Women
  • Stereotypes & Generational Socialized Messages: Untangling Narratives
  • Developing a Culturally Sensitive Safe Space
  • Culturally Competent Care Frameworks
  • Guiding Culturally Informed Attachment Development 
  • Creating an Equitable and Inclusive Practice
Group Type
Day of Meeting
The seminar group will meet virtually once per month
9 a.m.
11:50 a.m.
$660 (two payment options: payment in full or $110 monthly installments for six months). This includes all readings and lecture materials as well as a total of 18 CEUs that are eligible for maintaining the Certification in Perinatal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International of 6 CEUs per year, and/or meets the requirements for the Advanced Psychotherapy training requirement for Certification in Perinatal Mental Health.

Certificate of Completion provided at the conclusion of the seminar.

What to Expect

Participants will be assigned two to three articles per meeting, and should come prepared to present at least one clinical case (preferably of an individual, couple or family dealing with some aspect of transitioning to parenthood) during the six-month course, and to actively participate in group discussions.

Meetings will take place virtually via Zoom and will be co-taught by Heather Lofton, Ph.D., LMFT, Core Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy Program, and Nikki Lively, M.A., LCSW, Clinical Director of the Transitions to Parenthood Program.

Participant Requirements

Participants make a six-month commitment with the option to renew.

Please contact Nikki Lively for more information about the next cohort starting September 2022.


Nikki Lively, M.A., LCSW

Clinical Director, Transitions to Parenthood Program
Ms. Lively is a certified Emotionally Focused couples Therapist ​and Supervisor (EFT), ​Certified in Perinatal Mental Health (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International and ​trained in Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). Her main area of expertise is supporting women, men, infants, couples and families in the transition to parenthood ​and specializes in women's reproductive health.

Heather C. Lofton, Ph.D.

Core Faculty, Marriage & Family Therapy Program
Dr. Lofton is an integrative therapist, well-versed in addressing mental health concerns among individual adults and couples from diverse racial ethnic backgrounds, socioeconomic statuses, religious beliefs and sexual orientations. Her specialty areas of treatment are women's health issues and professional women with depression, anxiety and work-life balance concerns.