Group therapy for pregnant women
The most crucial possibility that pregnancy and the following months offer to parents is a great opportunity for change. Facing the rich potential of their child, it is as if parents rediscover what they could themselves have become and, thereby, resume a trajectory that may have been interrupted.
Pregnancy and the following months are characterised by particular modes of psychic functioning for the parents. Accordingly, given the remarkable plasticity of infants’ brain in the first months of their life and the parental desire to do the best for their children, massive and hitherto unknown forces of change are mobilised.
The uncertainties and numerous frustrations of social and economic survival troubling contemporary families may disrupt their first encounter with infants and destabilise the formation of a strong and healthy early parent-infant bond. At this stage, it is crucial to offer prospective and new parents a stable and safe place to express their weaknesses and worries regarding their ability to respond effectively to the needs of the foetus or infant. When parents work through their concerns in a safe environment—small groups of parents under the guidance of a health professional specialised in perinatal psychotherapy—, they can build a secure attachment bond with their children, thus optimising their psycho-emotional development.
This is an early intervention initiative. Thanks to group processes and dynamics, pregnant women and mothers:
- acquire a sense of “belonging”.
- leverage the group relationships and interactions, as well as the emerging thoughts and feelings, to comprehend themselves and their babies in the symbolic framework of parenthood.
The role of two group coordinators is to
- ensure the smooth and balanced functioning of the team, so that each is giving and also getting in sessions,
- and identify pregnant women, mothers, and/or infants in need of specialised early therapeutic intervention,
- while also serving self-assessment purposes for group coordinators and participants alike.
Outline of topics to be covered
The desire for a child: Starting with doll play?
Pregnancy: An opportunity to complete “unfinished business”?
Childbirth: Expectations and frustrations.
The first days: The mother – neonate acquaintance.
The mother-infant relationship: An intimate relationship, which can also prove daunting?
The infant: A “new personality”. Recognising and leveraging their early capabilities.
The father: Paternal presence and function.
The “normal” and “vulnerable” baby: Premature birth, infant hospitalisation, and maternal vulnerability when the baby suffers.
Separation from and/or absence of one of the parents: Illness, divorce, loss, single-parent households.
If this group therapy sounds like something you could benefit from, please don’t hesitate to contact us via the contact page.
Τ: +30 210 7719960