In the Denver area, we are fortunate to have many types of support available to families expecting a child or during the postpartum period. Many of these are support groups run by wonderful doulas and lactation consultants. Our group is run by Lies van Bekkum, PsyD who specializes in perinatal mental health and is also the Perinatal Coordinator at the Catalyst Center. In addition to providing individual and couples therapy, she also facilitates the Pregnancy and Postpartum Therapy Group.
The aspect that differentiates our group from others is that ours is a therapeutic group. Not only do you get the benefit of group support, but in addition you have access to a highly trained, specialized therapist. Our therapy group is open to expectant and new mom’s (it doesn’t matter if this is your first or 6th baby). It can be hard to find perinatal group support focused on mental health and well-being that allows you to transition from pregnancy to postpartum. We find it can be beneficial for our clients be connected with support when the baby arrives. Currently, our group is being held using telehealth. Many of our new mom’s have found it so helpful to receive the support they need from the comfort of their own homes.
Topics frequently addressed in group during pregnancy include:
- Difficult relationships with family or support network
- Struggles with intimacy and changes to body
- Communication issues with partner
- Challenges during pregnancy with anxiety and mood
- Anxiety about birth
- Fears about postpartum
- Fear about loss and miscarriage
- Infertility struggles
- Not feeling excited or connected to the pregnancy
Topics frequently addressed in group during postpartum:
- Challenges of the fourth trimester
- Struggles with support network
- Communication and changes in relationships
- Changes to identity and adjustment to life with baby
- Difficult recovery and traumatic birth
- Postpartum Depression/Anxiety/Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Issues around feeding baby and sleep deprivation
- Challenges with returning to work
- Bonding with baby
- Struggles with dynamics with an older sibling
While individual therapy can be helpful during the perinatal period, cost and scheduling can be obstacles. This is why we designed our group to be drop-in and donation based. We want clients to be able to attend regardless of finances or scheduling difficulties. You may attend group when your schedule allows. Regular attendance is most helpful, but the ability to have a place to check in with a therapist, feel supported, and receive guidance when needed is also important. Many of our clients in group may already have an individual therapist, but are wanting the group support for this transition in their lives. Research indicates that there are benefits of individual and group support. All donations go to the Ardent Grove Foundation, our sister non-profit mental health clinic, which provides high-quality, low fee therapy services to the community.
Benefits to group therapy:
- Hearing different perspectives and experiences from group members
- Having feelings validated by other group members who are also struggling can help you feel less alone
- Learning about other difficulties ahead of time as other topics may be brought up that you are currently not struggling with, but can now feel more prepared to handle
- Being able to laugh and cry with a group can be more powerful as members are simultaneously in the role of giving and receiving support
- Learning more about yourself and your relationships and how to communicate. Group can be a safe practice space for clients to speak up and advocate for their needs.
Overall, our Pregnancy and Postpartum Therapy Group is a wonderful environment for people to get the support they need while also supporting others. Call or text, 720.675.7123 for more information or contact us here and our intake coordinator will be in touch with you shortly.
Photo by Heather Mount on Unsplash
Photo by Jenna Norman on Unsplash