The use of language and story has the power to transform situations and relationships. The field of Marriage and Family Therapy has developed and researched theories around use of language, communication patterns, and stories. Our use of language falls generally into either fostering a problem saturated story or supporting a secure attachment story. This session will address the narratives that doulas and childbirth educators experience within medical settings and birth experiences. During this session the presenters will provide a brief background regarding the evidence for language in fostering change. The presenters will then provide case examples of common narratives that occur before, during, and after childbirth. They will provide guidelines for doulas and childbirth educators in languaging the birth experience and re-storying the relational process that can shape family relationships and create a trajectory of positive parenting narratives for the future. Time will be used for participants to practice re-storying their experience in smaller groups.
- Track: Compassion
- Presentation Level: Beginner/Intermediate
- Understand the power of the spoken word to create meaning and behavioral change for families.
- Provide evidence-based support for the use of language as a mechanism for change.
- Reframe interactions and events into secure-attachment moments for mother, baby and family members.
- Shape family relationships with positive words and set the tone for a positive parenting narrative.
David Van Dyke
David Van Dyke is a professor and a licensed marriage and family therapist. He has been teaching and practicing for about 20 years. He received his M.S. degree in Marriage & Family Therapy from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1995, where he specialized in working with children and parents through play therapy. At the University of Georgia he received his Ph.D. in Child and Family Development, with an emphasis on parent-adolescent relationships. In his post-doctoral work, David trained and was a preceptor for family residency physicians focusing on how context, development, and relationships affect individual health. Currently David serves as director of the MA program in Marriage & Family Therapy at Wheaton College. He is frequently speaking and training in the U.S. and other countries around the world. His family has also contributed to his own personal and professional development. David married Tara in 1992, and the parenting of their four children (now ages 22, 20, 18, 16) has brought the biggest challenges and growth opportunities for him. Though David jokes that his children are the learning lab for his book knowledge, in truth their responses, behaviors, and emotional health teach him a great deal about the importance of being relationally present. An expression of these personal and professional educational experiences has been the development of With U Parenting, Inc. Tara and David founded With U Parenting in 2016 to provide evidence-based information, to reduce anxiety, and to foster deep and meaningful connections in all stages of parenting. In his own life, David finds connection and joy in outdoor adventures, cooking classes, and watching baseball with his family.
Tara Van Dyke
Tara Van Dyke has been working as birth doula in the Chicagoland area for the past 9 years. After the births of her own four children, she found less satisfaction in her field of editing and discovered a passion for helping birthing families to discover their options, their strengths, and their confidence as parents.
Tara completed her childbirth educator training in 2002, and her birth doula certification in 2008, both through ICEA. In 2016 she became certified as a Gottman Bringing Baby Home educator. She delights in building strong relationships with medical providers in the hospitals where her clients deliver, and she collaborates with other local birth professionals to create a strong community network of resources. She is the cofounder of the DuPage Doula Network, which provides discussion groups for doulas and community gatherings for families.
To continue her professional growth, Tara has taken courses in prenatal development, birth photography, global health and childbirth, rebozo techniques, breastfeeding, and the use of TENS for pain relief. Her global travel and time living in Australia, Africa, and Japan have given her a deep appreciation for cultural differences and traditions in parenting.
In 2016, Tara founded With U Parenting, Inc., along with her husband of 25 years, David, who is a marriage and family therapist. Together, Tara and David hope to provide support, guidance, connection, and resources for families in all stages of parenting, from pre-birth to teens.
When not working with families, Tara loves to kayak, travel, or explore local eateries with her husband. When she really needs an adventure, she’s been known to take her children skydiving.