Ellyn Bader

Today’s blog is meant to bring some smiles your way!

It’s about a video and book that are guaranteed to make you laughand help your clients, too. It is a poignant look into a husband and wife’s journey when a new baby comes.

The New One: Painfully True Stories from a Reluctant Dad, by Mike Birbiglia takes you on an emotional ride.

After all, when one spouse wants kids and the other doesn’t, what could possibly go wrong?

Mike started with a strong skepticism of children. He said, “I’ve lost a lot of great friends to kids.”

His book begins, “I live in Brooklyn with my wife, Jen, and our cat, Mazzy, and we have long decided that we are not going to have kids.” He has so many superb reasons…

He loves his marriage.

He has a cat.

His body is a wreck.

The earth has enough kids.

He doesn’t know why it rains.

But what happens when his wife changes her mind?

You get to go inside his mind. Follow the raw, honest, and heartfelt moments as this couple travels the journey from no kids, yes kids, infertility, then a baby and on to a 4-year old.

Mike and Jen’s path to parenthood is sprinkled with comedy, drama, and emotions that most folks understand but never verbalize.

Poems by Mike’s wife, J. Hope Stein, appear throughout the book, giving us a peek into her world as well.

Right now, my husband is playing guitar and singing
s
omething real stupid
Itsy-bitsy-peek-a-boo and songs about babies.
who won’t sleep
The three of us twirling like idiots –
We learn to dance before we learn to speak.

Netflix is streaming The New One as a solo comedy show. This is an incredible homework assignment for you to recommend to soon-to-be parents, those who just became parents, or even those old hands at parenting. They’ll laugh at themselves and then smile and laugh at a side of parenting that is tender, inspiring, and always testing even the best humans.

Your clients will love you even more for suggesting it. Mike claims he has heard folks say, “It saved my marriage.

It’s even fun for folks like Pete and me who have been empty nesting for a while but still remember those moments when Molly cried all night or threw up on us as we headed out for our first Thanksgiving dinner with friends.

About 

Ellyn Bader, Ph.D., is Co-Founder & Director of The Couples Institute and creator of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. Ellyn is widely recognized as an expert in couples therapy, and since 2006 she has led innovative online training programs for therapists. Professionals from around the world connect with her through internet, conference calls and blog discussions to study couples therapy.

Ellyn’s first book, "In Quest of the Mythical Mate," won the Clark Vincent Award by the California Association of Marriage & Family Therapists for its outstanding contribution to the field of marital therapy and is now in its 18th printing. She has been featured on over 50 radio and television programs including "The Today Show" and "CBS Early Morning News," and she has been quoted in many publications including "The New York Times," "The Oprah Magazine" and "Cosmopolitan."

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Arva
Arva
1 year ago

Thank You Ellyn for suggesting this! I believe that teasing and humour make a couple’s realtionship better.

Michele
Michele
1 year ago

Thank you for the recommendation! I will definitely check it out.

Robert
Robert
1 year ago

I love Birbiglia! He makes me laugh so hard, and with almost no putting down of other people, which is the basis of so many other comics. Look forward to watching this!

hannah sherebrin
hannah sherebrin
1 year ago

I will deffinitely check it out We need a good lough this days.

Laura
Laura
1 year ago

Thanks for the suggestion. Laughter is such good medicine. I watched the Netflix trailer however I just don’t find gun violence jokes funny.

Lori
Lori
1 year ago

Thank you Ellyn for recommending this great resource! I love working with couples with young children, struggles and all. I look forward to this book/Netflix show and will definitely recommend it to my clients.
Great timing for some comedy relief!

Nancy St John
Nancy St John
1 year ago

Thanks Ellyn. I started reading this book and love it!!!

Ramon Presson
Ramon Presson
1 year ago

My wife and I have been enjoying the audiobook. It’s not only read by the author, but with Mike Birbiglia being a stand-up comic it sounds like he’s doing his stand-up material instead of someone just reading. Mike is also an inspiring character because he is overcoming a number of physical health challenges which he describes in his trademark humorous way. For example, he has a rare sleep order that requires his wife to zip him tight in a sleeping bag each night. He’ll tell you about it…

Ellyn Bader
Ellyn Bader
1 year ago

Thanks for your comments! And we all need to be able to laugh at ourselves sometimes-and especially now!!

Victoria Labalme
Victoria Labalme
1 year ago

For anyone needing a wonderful dose of humanity, heart, hope, humor and breathtaking honesty, Mike Birbiglia & J Hope Stein’s “The New One” book (and Netflix special) are a true inspiration. For couples, for fathers to be, for therapists…this is a gift. So glad you posted about this Ellyn!

Audrey
Audrey
1 year ago

Thank you Ellen – what a great recommendation! So many parents and parents to be are afraid of not being “perfect” parents. So human and real. So necessary.

Audrey
Audrey
1 year ago

Sorry – spelled you name wrong Ellyn, Excited!

Andrea
Andrea
1 year ago

Hi! After reading the intro I asked my husband to join me to watch the comedy show with Mike B. Both of us love comedy and often enjoyed his routines.
This show was unique, poignant and so “right on.” Although Val and I have a wonderful, self-sufficient 23 y/o, we could relate all too well to the trials/tribulations we attributed to our child that nearly took out our marriage many times.
When doing couples work, many of the thoughts/feelings Mike B pointed out so vibrantly, I shared in session. (not as vibrantly, but with compassion)
It was important to hear/feel his pain as he shared those issues he endured on behalf of men. However, not just men have endured this solitude and separation: any partner may face this struggle who doesn’t happen to bear the child.

A Glossary of Terms that are sometimes Confusing

Couples Therapy is a counseling procedure that seeks to improve the adjustment of two people who have created an interdependent relationship. There are no standard procedures to help two people improve their adjustments to each other. Generally, a more experienced therapist will offer more perspectives and tools to a couple. Length of treatment will depend on severity of problems, motivation and skills of the therapist. A couple can be dating, living together, married or separating and may be gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Marriage Therapy is a term often used interchangeably with marriage counseling. The term marriage implies two people have created a union sanctioned by a government or religious institution. The methods used in marriage counseling, marriage therapy and couples therapy are interchangeable and depend more on the specific challenges of each unique couple.

Psychotherapy is one or more processes to help improve psychological and emotional functioning. Examples are psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, Rational-Emotive therapy, or group therapy. Many forms of psychotherapy are blends of different approaches. For example, newer forms of psychotherapy called energy psychology draw upon recent advances in brain and neuroscience. These approaches often build on cognitive behavioral methods.

Clinical Psychologist. After graduating from college, it usually takes about five years of graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Psycholgy. It then requires an additional two years of supervision and passing a written (and often) an oral exam. There are a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medications (with additional training) but that is uncommon.

Psychiatrist. After graduation from medical school, there is a generally a 4-year psychiatric residency. After the completion of this training, psychiatrists must pass an exam issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to obtain certification and legally practice in the field. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

Clinical Social Worker. This profession usually requires two years of study after obtaining an undergraduate degree. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, most require clinical social workers to obtain 3,000 hours or 2 years of supervised clinical experience, after obtaining a Masters degree. Social workers can also specialize in diverse fields such as human services management, social welfare analysis, community organizing, social and community development, and social and political research.

Marriage and Family Therapist. Obtaining this license requires a Masters degree which takes approximately two years of post graduate study. The license also requires 3000 hours of supervised work and passing written exams.

The Couples Institute. We have assembled a group of top notch therapists at The Couples Institute. Whatever marriage help or marriage advice you are looking for, we are here to serve you. While most other therapists see only a few couples a week, we specialize in marriage and couples relationships, working to develop and bring you the most current and effective approaches to couples therapy. For more information about couples therapy or marriage counseling, see our couples therapy section.