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. As a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, I specialize in perinatal mental health. In addition to providing individual and couples therapy at The Catalyst Center, I also facilitate the Pregnancy and Postpartum Therapy Group.

Our pregnancy and postpartum group has been running since 2015. Group has always been my favorite part of the week. Since this pandemic, we have met via telehealth. Just as before, babies are always welcome.

The aspect that differentiates our group from others is that ours is a therapeutic group.  Members get the benefit of group support and also have access to a highly trained therapist to help them during their struggles. Our group is open to expectant and new parents (it doesn’t matter if this is your first or 6th baby). It can be harder to find group support for pregnant parents. We also do not consider the postpartum period to be wrapped up at a year. In particular with Covid-19, there are unique and new struggles for birthing people in pregnancy and postpartum.  We find it can be helpful for our clients to already be connected with support when the baby arrives.

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 (all donations are made to the Ardent Grove Foundation). We want clients to be able to attend regardless of finances or scheduling difficulties. You may attend a 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 the 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.

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.

For more information or to join group, text or call, 720.675.7123 or learn more about group here.