1st Edition

The Art of Holding in Therapy
An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety

ISBN 9781138904958
Published January 30, 2017 by Routledge
288 Pages

USD $44.95

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Book Description

First conceptualized by D.W. Winnicott, holding in this book refers to a therapist’s capacity to respond to postpartum distress in a way that facilitates an immediate and successful therapeutic alliance. Readers will learn how to contain high levels of agitation, fear, and panic in a way that cultivates trust and the early stages of connectedness. Also addressed through vignettes are personality types that make holding difficult, styles of ineffective holding, and how to modify holding techniques to accommodate the individual woman. A must-read for postpartum professionals, the techniques learned in this book will help clients achieve meaningful and enduring recovery.

Table of Contents

Foreword Joy Burkhard  Preface  1. Hard to Hold  2. Preparing to Hold  3. Theories Behind the Concept  4. Postpartum Mamas  5. Mother and Therapist: On Being Good Enough  6. The Practice of Holding  7. Hands On: How to Hold Better  8. The Postpartum Voice of Depression: Revised  9. Ineffective Holding Styles  10. Holding Hard to Hold Symptoms  11. The Anatomy of Holding  12. Your Professional Identity  13. Clinical Challenges and FAQs  14. Therapist Hold Thyself  15. Holding and Letting Go  References

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Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW, is the founder of The Postpartum Stress Center, a treatment facility for prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety disorders. In addition to this, she instructs a postgraduate training course for clinicians who have an interest in treating women with postpartum depression and has authored several books on postpartum mood and anxiety disorders.


The Art of Holding in Therapy invites aspiring and seasoned perinatal psychotherapists alike to pull up a chair, settle in, and experience Karen Kleiman's wit, unflinching honesty, and endless wisdom as she teaches the reader both the ‘why’ and the ‘how-to’ of this essential cornerstone of psychotherapeutic treatment. This is guaranteed to be a book you'll take off your shelf again and again.”—Margaret Howard, PhD, professor of psychiatry and human behavior (clinical) and medicine (clinical),Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University; division director, Women's Behavioral Health, Women & Infants Hospital

“Karen Kleiman has done it again! She has written another great book to help clinicians use the technique of holding in a therapeutic relationship with postpartum women. Her previous books—Therapy and the Postpartum Woman: Notes on Healing Postpartum Depression and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Perinatal Distress—are extremely relevant and helpful to a therapist working with pregnant and postpartum women. Her new book, The Art of Holding in Therapy: An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety, is another great addition to your library and learning.”—Birdie Gunyon Meyer, MA, RN, past president, certification director, postpartum support international coordinator, Perinatal Mood Disorders Program, Indiana University Health