Psychotherapy is a practical, effective method of non-medical treatment for mental health disorders. The most popular, evidence-based treatments for postpartum depression and other perinatal mood disorders are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Interpersonal Psychotherapy. Below are some guides for integrating CBT, IPT and other forms of therapeutic treatment into your practice.
The ECHO project was developed at the University of Michigan and is an adapted form of cognitive-behavioral therapy for those with postpartum depression which is designed to be completed in 8 sessions where each session is roughly 45 minutes long. The goal of the ECHO project is to have a therapy style that will help develop a realistic approach to address factors that stop those suffering with postpartum depression from being mentally well. ECHO Therapist’s Manual PDF Download
Interpersonal psychotherapy is a short term type of psychotherapy, roughly lasting 12 to 16 weeks. The main focus of IPT is resolving interpersonal problems, or problems with your relationships with others. Those who perform interpersonal therapy believe that psychological symptoms are in response to such interpersonal problems.
The manual below was developed by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to use IPT to treat depression in veterans, however it can easily be adapted for use with mothers and their partners who are suffering with postpartum depression. IPT Manual PDF Download
The IWK Reproductive Mental Health Service and Family Resources Centres in Nova Scotia, Canada have developed a Mother’s Mental Health group therapy curriculum to help support new mothers. In this method of treatment, a small group of mothers come together for information and support for 2 hours a week for 8 weeks. Each week focuses on something different and each focus point is openly discussed by all in the group to help promote personalized support for each mother in the group. In this type of therapy, child care is often included during group therapy sessions.
You can visit this link to find both their Mother’s Mental Health Toolkit: A Resource for the Community and the Mothers’ Mental Health Toolkit: Group Practice, a guide for community mental health workers who wish to organize and facilitate group therapy sessions.