How to find a qualified therapist to treat perinatal depression/anxiety
Seeking treatment with a therapist who specializes in pregnant and postpartum women is important. These specialists, often called perinatal psychotherapists, are educated about pregnancy and postpartum depression treatment options. Mood and anxiety disorders present differently during this time and require different treatment as well. The therapist should be a member of an organization that serves perinatal women, such as Postpartum Support International or our local chapter and the Utah Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. They should have received training from PSI or another reputable organization or provider, such as 2020Mom or a well-recognized PSI Coordinator, as many offer this training in their state. A qualified therapist can name five books for families and five books for clinicians with ease, as well as name several online resources.
Ask the therapist what type of therapy he or she would use. Research has shown that cognitive-behavioral and interpersonal psychotherapies are the most effective methods to treat postpartum depression and anxiety. This is not the time to delve deeply into childhood issues, but rather, the focus should be on skills, solutions, and crisis intervention. Treatment should include referrals to appropriate complementary resources, such as a support group or a psychiatrist, if appropriate. Ultimately, trust your intuition and keep looking elsewhere if the fit doesn’t seem right. It may be tempting to see someone on your insurance panel if the perinatal specialist near you isn’t on their panel. Be sure to read our “Tips on finding a therapist” handout to ensure you receive quality treatment. Sometimes a family member or clergy can help you afford the specialized care you deserve. Keep reaching out! You deserve to be well.