“The moment that you feel that, just possibly, you’re walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That’s the moment you may be starting to get it right.”
— Neil Gaiman
After a year of thinking/hesitating/strategizing and doing other things, I’m happy to announce the beginning of my counseling, support and education practice for parents. I couldn’t be more excited to be partnering with Ellee Owen & Jolynda Anderson at Birth & Soul. Starting in April I will be offering individual & relational counseling as well as monthly support groups! I am so fortunate to be working with those who share my passion for childbirth & parent education, coffee, and out-of-the-box thinking.
My earliest thoughts of starting this began at Familywise while finishing my undergraduate at the University of Minnesota in 2011. I worked with parents, infants and children on optimal emotional, cognitive, language, and physical development. I carried over this interest and experience into Marriage & Family Therapy program at the Adler Graduate School. The Adlerian principles of individuality, social connectedness, and social equality only sharpened my focus and desire to help families. In 2015, I started at the University of Minnesota Health’s Recovery Services and spent a year helping families & couples. During that time, I provided education and counseling to families and couples on stress, anxiety, healthy relationships, and communication.
Throughout all of this I became a father…twice.
Becoming a father at a young age is what made this work even more personal for me. I have felt that same feeling of being overwhelmed, confused, and frustrated during this life transition. As a father, I have felt my feelings and experiences were ignored. I have dealt with the sometimes contradicting and confusing expectations from society and loved ones. I have had to learn to better maintain my mental well-being and relationships with the daily and ever-changing demands of my kids.
However, while preparing for my second child, I was fortunate to not only be more experienced but more supported emotionally, physically, and socially. We had consciously decided on a doula & midwife and actively engaged and were supported by them throughout the pregnancy, birth and postpartum. We slowly began to unlearn the belief that asking for help shows “weakness” or “inadequate parenting,” and actively sought out our caring, reliable community of friends & family. These sort of experiences dramatically changed my outlook on becoming a father and mental heath professional. This also pushed me to explore and understand other important topics that impact fatherhood including brain changes, social problems, mental health, relationship health, and paternity leave. Eventually, I cumulatively wrote on these topics and more in my thesis on “The Impact of Paternal Perinatal Supportive Services: An Integrative Model Proposal.”
While finishing graduate school in 2015, I had the opportunity to talk about my thesis and experience as a father at the Minnesota Fathers and Family Conference in St. Cloud. I was able to share and discuss with other professionals my research on a biological basis for fatherhood and the need for a more integrative model of maternal care for families.
While this was just one discussion and presentation, the interest and excitement from both father and birth professionals in the room validated the need for this kind of support. I am thrilled for this next phase of my journey in helping families and parents. I look forward to giving the encouragement and support all parents and families deserve.
-Tim Neumann, M.A; of Minneapolis Postpartum Support & Fatherhood Science
Father Support Groups
1st Sunday of Every Month from 11am – 12 pm at Birth & Soul
Tim Neumann M.A. of Minneapolis Postpartum Support & Fatherhood Science is hosting a donation based support group where fathers will have the opportunity to learn more about and discuss issues related to fatherhood including fears about their birth participation, couple conflict, stress management, child development, and their experiences
during the birth. The purpose of this group is two-fold – to receive support for yourself and support other fathers.
Male gender norms have held that if there is an issue for a man, they need to fix the problem, not deal with the emotional effect. The accumulation of unexamined emotional disturbances begin to negatively impact their emotional well-being. In this support group, fathers can express these feeling and challenges of becoming a father in today’s world. This group is open to all fathers whether you’re expecting your first you’re already a father.
Birth Worker Support Group
1st Sunday of Every Month from 9:30 am- 11am at Birth & Soul
Birth professionals provide some of the most crucial support to expecting and new families. While it can be a miraculous and joyous experience, it can often be a very emotional and traumatic experience as well. This support group is a safe, non-judgmental space for birth professionals to both express and listen to others feelings and experiences.