I have always worked in mental health, mainly in antenatal and postnatal (perinatal) mental health and distress, as well as some time in adult mental health in the community and child mental health in public health.
I am super motivated to support and equip new parents to be the parents they want to be. It can be really hard to be pregnant and preparing to be a new parent, or to have little children, and to have many old thoughts and feelings come to the fore when everything is changing. My role is to help new parents to build understanding of and settle the many conflicting thoughts and feelings that can be so shocking for new parents. This is really important for new parents to be the happiest, most energetic and present they can be with their baby and children. This is so important for babies and children to develop and evolve into the best people they can be too.
Occupational Therapy is a really broad way of working with people who are distressed or experiencing mental health issues – seeing the person and their family as a whole, what is meaningful for them in all parts of their lives, developing goals in building a fulfilling life and skills to make it happen. Mental Health Occupational Therapists like me also have additional skills in counselling, psychological treatments and other areas of specialty.
I am trained in Family Therapy which helps me to bring a rich understanding of what people bring to their experiences of pregnancy, birth and becoming parents from their own childhood and early life – their ‘family of origin’. And then how new parents work together to build their own ‘family of creation’ at one of the most stressful times in their lives. This is really important work but very difficult part of being new parents.
Also trained in Perinatal Loss in Practice, helping people who have lost a baby through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal loss. These experiences are devastatingly life changing and having a safe space for support and processing is important.
I am also trained in The Richards Trauma Process. I first learnt about TRTP for my own trauma recovery process and could see its power with new parents with distressing and traumatic experiences. I love TRTP because it goes beyond counselling to work with the person’s unconscious in states of guided deep imagining. This shifts these distressing and traumatic experiences that are making life today with their new baby or little children very difficult, creating calm in their internal threat system (fight, flight, freeze) and reducing things like anxiety, depression, and PTSD.