Reviewed by: Dawn Bhat, MA, MS, NCC, LMHC
Elly Taylor is sensitive to the joys of starting a family and the challenges inherent in the process. As a relationship therapist, columnist, perinatal researcher, and a mother of three, Taylor has written her first book, Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family that Thrives.
Her heartfelt desire to share her skills and research is evident as a means of transforming and enhancing the initial period of starting a family, which she refers to as “becoming us”. In some ways, what Taylor was not prepared for personally and professionally drove her urge to fill a gap in the literature with her new book. As a new mother myself, I know the period between pregnancy and parenting deserves attention, and Taylor, who provides parenting consultation out of Australia, has rightfully done so.
Becoming Us is written in a first-person familiar voice— it reads as if you are sitting with Elly, sharing stories over a cup of tea. It is an easy-to-access resource for therapists and laypersons alike. Drawing from current research and psychotherapeutic theories, Taylor writes with a simplicity that gets to the heart of ordinary experience:
“Becoming a family, any family, is all about growing, changing, adapting and connecting. At first, it’s the physical changes: the ripening and blossoming of breasts and bellies, the first flutters of movement, the wonder of another life, and then the momentous miracle of birth, which transitions you overnight.”
Therapists and somatic practitioners, especially those specializing in marriage and family counseling, can assuredly recommend this volume to couples transitioning to parenthood. Along with Elly’s personal reflections, there are plenty of experiential exercises that are based on evidence-based perspectives. Based on my experiences through pregnancy and now being part of an ‘us’, I think this volume is especially perfect for those during the prenatal and perinatal period to prevent issues fairly common when “becoming us”—it brings awareness along with the knowledge and skills to prepare couples for parenthood a priori.
Continue reading the full published article featured in Somatic Psychotherapy Today | Winter 2015 | Volume 5 Number 1