A Response-Based Practice Perspective of Postnatal Depression Treatment

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Daigneault, Marie (Crystal)
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The purpose of this capstone is to explore and connect the concepts of postnatal depression (PND), response-based practice (RBP), and group therapy as a means of introducing a systemic/relational way to view and help families experiencing depression after the introduction of a new baby. Chapter one outlines the author's personal connection to the topic, introduces the research questions, defines PND, presents RBP principles, discusses the history and social context of PND, and describes its prevalence both nationally and globally. This chapter aims to advance an alternative idea that PND could be conceptualized as an understandable response of resistance to birthing and parenting in adverse relational or socio-cultural-political conditions. It provides evidence to support PND as a systemic and relational issue instead of a biological or intrapsychic dysfunction. Chapter two provides a literature review of PND and compares the medical, psychological, and feminist scholarly perspectives. It outlines the treatment modalities most used today, critiques their effectiveness, reviews the influence of culture on PND, explores the dominant narratives around PND and parenthood, and examines the literature on the effectiveness of group therapy as well as partner inclusion in the treatment of what has historically been viewed as an individual disorder. Chapter three applies response-based ideas to the treatment of PND and presents a novel response-based group psychotherapy framework for working with couples as a system when PND is present in their lives. The fourth and final chapter draws conclusions between the research and the proposed group model and discusses how the insights contained in this capstone may be built upon in the future or utilized to advocate for systemic change
postnatal depression , counselling , mental health , feminism , response-based practice , group therapy , partner-inclusion