Providers & Interventionists FAQs

Q: What is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) explores relationships among a person's thoughts, feelings and behaviors. As it related to Mothers and Babies, a CBT approach emphasizes three key components in the curriculum: focusing on the types of mental behavior one engages in (thoughts), increasing pleasant activities that one can do (by oneself, with baby or others) and focusing on the type and frequency of personal contacts. These three elements can be in the form of things one experiences in one’s mind, things one does, or experiences one shares with others.

Other resources

Association for Behavioral Cognitive Therapies
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Q: What is Attachment Theory?

Attachment theory emphasizes the central role that early relationships play in child development. It is based on the premise that the quality of the relationship a child forms during infancy with her/his primary caregiver, mainly the mother, has a sustained effect on the child’s unfolding personality patterns, including the early origins of psychopathology (Ainsworth, Blehar, Waters & Wall, 1978; Bowlby, 1969/80). There is empirical evidence documenting that the mother’s mental health is a predictor of the infant’s quality of attachment (Greenberg, 1999). Throughout Mothers and Babies, we highlight forms of parenting that are conducive to the development of secure attachment in the infants. We discuss the relationship between maternal depression and attachment in the three modules of the course (i.e., thoughts, activities, and people), and provide psychoeducation regarding the effects of maternal depression on their mothering, the socio-emotional health of their children and the mother-child relationship.

Q: What is psychoeducation?

Psychoeducation is a type of psychosocial treatment that teaches individuals about their mental health and treatments. As it relates to the Mothers and Babies curriculum, we emphasize understanding core CBT concepts (pleasant activities, thoughts, contact with others) and how these concepts relate to one’s mood.

Additional information on psychoeducation

Q: What types of clients/families should receive Mothers and Babies?

Mothers and Babies is designed to be universal—that is, we believe that any pregnant woman or new mother can benefit from the skills in the curriculum. However, women who are experiencing more significant depressive symptoms and/or are experiencing clinical depression may benefit from services and resources beyond Mothers and Babies. For these women experiencing more significant depression, Mothers and Babies may be a stepping stone to accessing these additional services.

Q: How can Mothers and Babies be implemented?

The MB Course can be delivered in group or individual settings. The group version consists of six, two-hour sessions while the individual version consists of twelve 15-20 minute sessions. Sessions can be delivered with varying frequency, in person or over the phone, and individual sessions are brief enough to be able to incorporate within the context of other types of visits (e.g. home visits, WIC, prenatal visits, etc.)

Q: Is there evidence that the program is successful?

Four randomized controlled trials (RCTs) have provided evidence of the efficacy of the MB Course. These RCTs have demonstrated that the MB Course, when implemented in a group format and led by a trained mental health professional (e.g., clinical social workers), leads to fewer new cases of clinical depression, reductions in depressive symptoms, and improved mood management. Along with data on mental health outcomes, we have received strong and consistent positive feedback from participants on the usefulness and user-friendliness of the MB Course curriculum. For example, participants consistently indicated that the material presented in group sessions was easy to understand, enjoyable to learn, and included skills that could be incorporated into one's daily life. Current effectiveness trials are underway examining the MB Group Course in WIC programs, and the MB 1-on-1 Course in home visiting programs.These randomized trials have been conducted with women from different racial/ethnic groups.

Q: What type of supervision is provided for sites trained on Mothers and Babies?

After a program is trained on Mothers and Babies, supervision should be conducted to address any issues related to implementation. Supervision can be provided by the Mothers and Babies development team, infant mental health consultants trained on Mothers and Babies, or program supervisors trained on Mothers and Babies.

Q: What is the cost associated with supervision?

Costs will vary for supervision depending on who is conducting the supervision and how many individuals/agencies require supervision. Similar to training costs, we work closely with programs to fit supervision costs within available budgets.

Q: Is supervision required?

We believe that supervision is necessary when a program is implementing Mothers and Babies for the first time after being trained.

Q: When is supervision scheduled?

Supervision tends to occur every 2-3 weeks. We suggest conducting supervision during regularly scheduled staff meetings to facilitate its integration into an agency’s work flow.

Q: Who can I contact if I have questions?

Please e-mail us at

Q: How can I get trained?

Training can be provided by the Mothers and Babies development team, as well as a network of Infant Mental Health Consultants. Please contact us with inquiries at

Q: What does training look like?

In-person training is typically conducted for 1 full day, including didactic instruction, group activities, and reflective practice. This training is conducted in person by the Mothers and Babies development team.

Q: How can I receive support once I am trained?

Typically 6 months of supervision is recommended, as providers implement the MB Course for the first time. This supervision can be provided by the Mothers and Babies development team, a network of Infant Mental Health Consultants, or program supervisors trained in the MB Course.

Q: What is the cost for training?

We work closely with programs to fit their available budgets. Costs associated with training include travel and lodging for the trainer, a sliding-scale training fee, duplication of manuals for those attending the training, and refreshments for training participants.

Q: Is The Mother and Babies program just in Illinois?

No, there are many programs around the United States that are using Mothers and Babies. We are always interested in expanding to other cities, counties, and states so please encourage the agencies around you to contact us.

Q: What types of programs can implement Mothers and Babies?

Any program that works with pregnant women and new mothers might benefit from Mothers and Babies. These include, but are not limited to, home visiting programs, WIC programs, Head Start programs, pediatric primary care clinics, and prenatal care clinics.

Q: Does Mothers and Babies work with only certain home visiting models?

No. Mothers and Babies can be implemented by home visiting programs using different models. Currently, we have programs using Healthy Families America, Parents as Teachers, Early Head Start, Nurse-Family Partnership, and other models all using Mothers and Babies.

Mothers & Babies Modules


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