Creative Psychotherapy for mums with post natal depression

‘ Attending these sessions have been really useful in helping me identify why I feel the way I do, and this has been the only thing through everything that has given me the insight I needed. The therapist has been fantastic, and I would highly recommend it as a form of therapy. Thank you. These sessions with Helen have quite possibly saved my life’

For three years I was the Creative Psychotherapist working on a Project in Cornwall offering Group Support to Women with post-natal depression.

One in ten mums will experience post natal depression, and often access to support groups are a postcode lottery. This project was developed through a partnership between Penwith child and family services and Arts for Health Cornwall and ran between 2005 and 2008. Women could access the Creative Psychotherapy group for 2 hours a week for up to 20 weeks. In the sessions we combined art, dramatic techniques and crafts and self-reflection. At the end of the project a booklet was produced of artwork produced by the mums about their experiences of both the depression and their experiences of the group


How the mums felt at the beginning of the sessions

‘I feel like I’ve lost my identity. I don’t know myself anymore’
‘When I go to bed I think of the things I haven’t finished

‘I feel paranoid with all the things to do with my child’
‘My partner feels that his job is from 9-5p.m and is very tiring…mine is apparently 24 hours a day seven days a week.’
‘I think I look an awful lot older than a year ago. I don’t want to look gaunt and haggard.

‘There is an element of having to portray yourself as the perfect mother, who can look after a new baby, look after the house and maybe return to work. To friends and family I was coping, I was happy, but behind closed doors I was sobbing, crying my heart out most days and not understanding why.’

‘Helen Tanner has worked as a Creative Therapist running therapeutic groups for mothers experiencing post natal depression.Helen has been inspirational in her leadership of this group, and has turned around the lives of some of our most vulnerable families. Whilst full of fun and laughter, the groups have become a lifeline for the women involved, and this is all down to Helen’s skill and talent in bringing out the best in them, and re-building their self confidence.Responses from the women involved have been really positive, and the records that have been kept show that the outcomes are amazing. Helen responds to their needs intuitively, and yet with a gentle approach that instils confidence and a sense of security when it is most needed’. Caroline Willis Family Services Area Manager – Penwith Penwith Family Services

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