1st Edition

Integrative Perinatal Counselling The Becoming Model

By Mou Sultana Copyright 2024
    150 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    150 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book presents “the Becoming Model”, an integrative perinatal counselling model that provides a practical clinical framework to therapists working with those for whom the question of becoming a parent seems central.

    Becoming a parent changes your identity, household, worldviews, relationships, priorities and previous life goals. Based on the notion that one does not become a mother or a father overnight, rather that it is a process of “becoming”, this model provides a roadmap for therapists (psychoanalytic, behavioural, humanistic, integrative and others) looking to understand and explore their client’s experience of this transitional journey through talk-therapy. It defines the unique field of perinatal counselling, highlights major clinical considerations, presents clinical observations by drawing from real-life cases and provides the therapist with one-stop-information guides on each theme (ten) and sub-theme (40) by drawing from existing research i.e. evidence-based practice.

    Arguably one of the few counselling models specific to the perinatal period, this user-friendly guide, which is applicable to any modality, is designed to support psychotherapists, counsellors, nurses, midwives, and other mental health professionals working therapeutically with those who are going through the pre- or peri-natal period, or those who have experienced perinatal loss.

    1. Definition and Scope 2. Distinct Features of Integration 3. Becoming Model 4. Identity 5. Idea of motherhood/fatherhood - femininity/masculinity 6. Loss (symbolic) 7. Experience of conception, pregnancy and birth 8. Couple and/or co-parent relationship 9. Experiences of being parented 10. Socio-economic background 11. History of previous diagnosis 12. Ongoing risks 13. Support system 14. Closing remarks


    Mou Sultana, PhD, works as a Counselling Psychologist (CPsychol, BPS) and Psychotherapist (UKCP, MICP) in private practice Need2talk and with Vhi. She is a lecturer and supervisor at the Irish College of Humanities and Applied Sciences. She specialises in perinatal mental health, sexuality, domestic violence, trauma and neuroscience.

    ‘Becoming a mother – matrescence - involves major change - physical, psychological and social.  Contrary to a widespread belief, mental health problems in pregnancy and after delivery are common, affecting approximately one in five women. The problems range from severe distress to frank psychosis.  They impact not just the mother but many others, particularly the baby, partner and wider family.  Most women with perinatal mental health problems will benefit from counselling.  In her book, Dr Sultana provides a roadmap for therapists and other professionals working with women who are experiencing mental health problems.  She shares the findings of her PhD to illuminate the themes that predominate including those that are specific to the perinatal period.  The book will be a useful resource for the many professionals working in perinatal mental health.’

    John Sheehan, MB BCh BAO DO DCh FRCPI MRCPsych MMedSc MCPsychI, is a medical doctor who has worked as a consultant perinatal psychiatrist at the Rotunda Hospital since 1995.  He is an Associate Clinical Professor in the UCD School of Medicine.  He has a special interest in teaching and psychotherapy and was a Board member of the School of Psychotherapy at St Vincent’s University Hospital.