A GoodTherapy.org News Update
The prevalence of post-partum depression, or PPD, may seem out of place in a society that seems to unabashedly celebrate the processes of giving birth and becoming a mother. Yet many women experience PPD, which is widely recognized as having an adverse effect on infants as well as the relationship between a mother and her child. With this potential for long-term consequences in family relations in mind, a team of researchers with the Boston University School of Social Work set out to examine the efficacy and methodological details of modern therapies in the field. The study found that overwhelmingly, the integration of the infants themselves in therapy sessions was hailed as resulting in higher success rates and more deeply reaching change.
The researchers based their work on interviews with a panel of mental health professionals, comprised of an educator, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers, all of whom had twenty or more years’ worth of experience working with PPD patients. The interviewees described the ability of integrative therapies to help anchor the client in the present and create avenues of communication and understanding between a mother and her baby.
In the first few months of development, communication is a critical component of growth, yet many mothers, especially those suffering from PPD or related mood disorders, feel incapable of making such meaningful connections. The study’s body of professionals notes that introducing ways to understand infants and their behaviors during this time, as well as developing methods for response and interaction, can go a long way towards not only fostering healthy child development, but towards replacing the symptoms of PPD with positive, pro-active ideas and activities for affected mothers. The study aims to help mental health professionals increase their understanding of PPD and to spur new ideas about how to care for clients whether they’re new parents or as new to life as infants. The results appear in the latest issue of Infant Mental Health Journal.
© Copyright 2009 by By John Smith, therapist in Bellingham, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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