Dr Helena Belgrave
Counselling Psychologist (CPsychol, HCPC registered)
07580 662 917
I specialise in therapy for mothers and mothers to be, so that those who are struggling, are able to experience a supportive environment where they can work on issues troubling them. Often unresolved issues come to the forefront before or after a baby arrives, and these can play a part in how the mother baby relationship unfolds. New mothers have often said that they utilise therapy to make a fresh start, with the hope that this will have a lasting effect on the well-being of their children. Having a baby can be a daunting, isolating experience, and I am here to help make this less so.
Birth Trauma Counselling
I also work with mothers who have suffered a traumatic birth, and need support to come to terms with what happened and move forward. My training in this area includes CBT for trauma and working with the body and trauma.
Issues that I cover include:
- Antenatal depression
- Postnatal depression
- Birth trauma
- Panic attacks
- Adapting to having a baby / being pregnant
- Attachment / bonding issues
- Relationship issues
I have worked with mothers and expectant mothers in my private practice for the last five years. In my previous NHS IAPT role there was a large focus on perinatal work – either as assessments or therapy. I also worked in a NHS placement purely working in a perinatal team where I saw mothers and expectant mothers for therapy. I have also held informal group discussions as part of the Jelly Belly postnatal pilates classes in East Dulwich. I am also a mother myself, having gone through the experience of having a baby twice.
At present, I am involved with the Make Birth Better movement, promoting less traumatic births. I am also an external lecturer for the perinatal component of the counselling psychology course at the University of East London.
Sessions are for 50 minutes once a week. The length of time needed depends on the issues and what the client wants to focus on. Immediate, pressing issues can often be alleviated within a few months, whereas long-standing issues would require more time.
For new mothers, there is the added logistical challenge of looking after a baby. Having the baby with you in the session can help with the therapeutic process if there are issues in relation to how you relate and interact with your baby. However, the sessions may also be an important time to have some space for just yourself. This is a decision for you to decide.
Please note though that It is not practical for babies older than 6 months to attend sessions, as they are more aware and require a lot more physical attention (i.e. crawling/walking).
Skype sessions may also be an option if you would prefer to stay at home, or the distance is too far. Please note, that skype sessions would only work if you are able to have your session when the baby is sleeping, or being cared for by someone else.