Counselling for postnatal depression

The transition to motherhood is unfortunately a distressing time for many women. What is supposed to be a time of happiness and joy, can in fact be a difficult, lonely and miserable experience. Postnatal depression is estimated to affect approximately 17% of mothers, however I believe the incidence rate to be vastly higher. Through my postnatal depression counselling research and clinical experience, I know that talking about your difficult feelings can be enormously beneficial.

Sadly, many women suffer such symptoms in silence. Oftentimes it can be difficult for many women to talk about their postnatal feelings because those around them are excited about the new baby, and society at large (through social media and entertainment industry for example) insists that becoming a mother is a joyous and positive experience. Mothers are bombarded with positive messages about the bliss and joy of having a new baby, which not only provides a distorted image of mothering a baby, but also compound many women’s fears that their feelings are ‘wrong’ or that they are bad mothers for feeling this way.

In my experience, postnatal depression is rarely just about being a mother. This powerful experience in a woman’s life oftentimes triggers unresolved issues from the past or present which aren’t necessarily related to the baby or becoming a mother.

For further information, please read my article Why do women get postnatal depression? (Therapy Today, Nov 2014)

Difficulties include:

  • depression and anxiety

  • confidence/assertiveness problems

  • isolation and loneliness

  • relationship difficulties including intimacy problems

  • obsessive concern about appearance or intrusive thoughts about skin health

  • body dysmorphia

Therapy can help by:

  • providing a neutral and safe space to talk about the difficulties (psychological impact)

  • exploring the psychological factors that may be contributing to the skin problem (psychological contribution)

  • supporting the development of healthier expression of feelings

  • supporting a conventional dermatoglical regime