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Therapy and the Postpartum Woman


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Table of Contents

Part I: The Framework: Women, Babies and Therapy. Masquerade: Clinical Profile. Everything Gets in the Way: Resistance. Don't Call it Therapy: Reframing. Anatomy of a PPD Therapist. The Holding Environment. Making a Diagnosis. The Voice of Depression. Therapeutic Models for Women at Risk. Perfectly Postpartum. Part II: The Tools: Doing what works. Initial Assessment: The Phone Call. First Things First. Screening: Are We Asking the Right questions? Assessment: Listening to Symptoms. Collaboration. Sharing the Session. Medication: Clinician's Perspective. Medication: Client's Perspective. Alternative Therapies. Part III: The Work: Clinical Challenges. Scary Thoughts. Help-Resistant Complainer. A Good Girl. Breastfeeding to Death. Countertransference: When is Yours, Mine? Sleeplessness. The Married State. Bonding. Suicidal Thoughts. Psychosis. Motherself. Prevention? Burnout, Boundaries and Other Pitfalls. Part IV: The Healing. The Umbilical Factor. The Bracelet. Therapy Exposed. Finding the Power to Heal. Recovery Revealed. The Search for Meaning. The Quintessential Mother. Appendix.

About the Author

Karen Kleiman, MSW, Licensed, Clinical Social Worker, author of This Isn't What I Expected, The Postpartum Husband and What Am I Thinking? has been working with women and their families for over 20 years. A native of Saint Louis, MO., Karen has lived in the Philadelphia area since 1982 with her two children and her husband. In 1988 she founded The Postpartum Stress Center where she provides treatment for prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety.


"Therapy and the Postpartum Woman is an essential resource for clinicians who work with postpartum women and the clients they serve. Postpartum mothers and those who love them will learn what questions to ask of caregivers and what educational and clinical experience to seek when choosing a therapist. By offering perinatal professionals and the women they serve an intimate view of the postpartum therapeutic experience, Kleiman's book creates a stellar benchmark for treatment quality and more efficacious outcomes." - Susan Stone, MSW, president, Postpartum Support, International and psychotherapist specializing in women's reproductive mental health

"A beacon of light and hope to women lost in the confusing world of postpartum depression, Therapy and the Postpartum Woman, is an invaluable tool for everyone engaged in the battle to help women cope with this devastating complication of childbirth. It is a resource that is destined to be at the right hand of any clinician whose mission is to ease the suffering of women with PPD and help them take those first steps on the road to recovery." - Liz Powell, director of the TLC (Talking Listening and Caring) for Moms perinatal depression program at Virtua Health in Southern New Jersey, USA

"[This book] provides tremendous breadth and depth of information, resources, theory, and interventions for treating this population. As a cognitive-behavioral therapist who works with women woth postpartum issues, I find her illustration of the types of distorted thoughts and beliefs of depressed mothers to be extensive and her focus on workable solutions right in line with my own experience with this population. Given the high incidence of depression and anxiety in postpartum women, and the potentially lethal consequences of these illnesses, this book is a must-read for any clinician working with mothers and mothers-to-be." - Antonia M. Pieracci, PhD., Senior Instructor, University of Colorado Depression Center

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