We’re excited to share that Senior Therapist and Director of Tribeca Maternity Rachael Benjamin has been quoted in several publications, discussing topics including loneliness and questions that couples considering having a child should ask themselves.
Earlier this month, Rachael was featured in The Guardian’s “Can Loneliness Be Cured With a Pill? Scientists Are Now Asking the Question,” which posits whether a pharmaceutical treatment for loneliness may not only be possible, but helpful. While not anti-medication, Rachael observes that medicalizing loneliness can, in fact, “make us feel more isolated.” As she explains, “Pills can’t build intimacy,” advocating instead for the intimate relationship that can be built between a therapist and a patient.
More recently, Rachael joined other relationship and couples therapists in Insider’s “8 Questions You Should Ask Your Partner Before Deciding to Have a Kid, According to Therapists.” Even though family planning is a big decision, couples can often avoid talking about potentially divisive topics. Beginning with the seemingly obvious yet, at times, complex, “Do you want to have children and why?”, the article suggests a series of questions for couples to ask themselves before having a kid. This ranges from practical financial concerns (“How would you handle finances around raising a child?”) to what role religion would play in their child’s life, which can, as Rachael admits, be “a sticking point.”
In particular, Rachael explains that couples should discuss what did and didn’t go well in their own childhoods. She observes, “Our past experiences with family are going to influence how we parent…The other person gets to know the kind of trigger [their partner] might have.” Couples should not only talk about what they would do differently than their parents, but positive experiences from their childhood, including: “What kind of things in their childhood feel really warm and cozy?”
Similarly, another critical question Rachael mentions is learning about each other’s fears around having children, even if there’s no immediate solution. “Fears are so important to talk about…You talk about them slowly. There shouldn’t be a solution or an answer, but allow the partner who has the fear to get to take up some space, but not get absorbed,” Rachael says.