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Why Group Therapy for Postpartum Distress?

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

by Kimberly Belben, MA


In her text, Therapy and the Postpartum Woman, author K. Kleiman states, “A postpartum woman needs refuge from the suffering.”  She needs to feel supported, accepted, to find direction and make meaning of her experience, and gain greater understanding of what has transpired in her life.
Why group therapy for treatment of Postpartum distress?
Group therapy can be an effective way of treating Postpartum distress for a number of reasons.  These include:
  • Decreased feelings of shame and guilt
    --The image of “mom” has been idealized.  Group therapy cuts through the stigma surrounding Postpartum distress and any fears of what it might say about what kind of mom you are or will be. 
  • Taking care of yourself is a necessity, not a luxury
    --Taking care of yourself is a necessity.  It is not a luxury, nor is it selfish.  Getting help allows you to better care for baby and enhances mother-infant bonding.  Taking care of mom is invaluable to her baby.
  • Becoming part of a community
    --The postpartum period can be incredibly isolating.  Group therapy offers a chance to get out of the house and to interact with others who are in a similar place in their lives.
  • Hearing another’s story is a reminder that you are not alone
    --It can be frightening to disclose the intrusive, scary thoughts that are experienced during the postpartum period.  Group therapy provides a safe space to acknowledge these scary thoughts and work through them with others who are understanding and accepting.
Kimberly Belben, MA
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Sioux Falls Psychological Services