1st Edition

Therapy and the Postpartum Woman Notes on Healing Postpartum Depression for Clinicians and the Women Who Seek their Help

By Karen Kleiman Copyright 2022
    370 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    370 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Written by a pioneer and continuing advocate for perinatal health, this book remains remains an enduring reference for any therapist working with pregnant or postpartum women and their families suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.This Classic Edition includes a new preface by Hilary Waller that reflects on changes in the field since the book’s first publication.

    Using a blend of professional objectivity, evidence-based research, and personal, straight-forward suggestions gathered from years of experience, this book brings the reader into the private world of therapy with the postpartum woman. Based on psychodynamic and cognitive-behavioral theories, and on D.W. Winnicott's ‘good-enough mother’ and the ‘holding environment’, the book is written by a therapist who has specialized in the treatment of postpartum depression for over 30 years. Chapters address diagnosis, medication, depression, psychosis, suicidal thoughts, bonding, as well as finding meaning and the power to heal during recovery.

    Bringing further attention to under recognized illnesses which plague mothers and cloud the childbirth experience, this Classic Edition serves as an accessible companion tool for clinicians and the women they treat.

    Introduction to the Classic Edition by Karen Kleiman and Hilary Waller; Part I: The Framework: Women, Babies and Therapy. Masquerade: Clinical Profile. Everything Gets in the Way: Resistance. Don’t Call it Therapy: Reframing. Anatomy of a PPD Therapist. The Holding Environment. Making a Diagnosis. The Voice of Depression. Therapeutic Models for Women at Risk. Perfectly Postpartum. Part II: The Tools: Doing what works. Initial Assessment: The Phone Call. First Things First. Screening: Are We Asking the Right questions? Assessment: Listening to Symptoms. Collaboration. Sharing the Session. Medication: Clinician’s Perspective. Medication: Client’s Perspective. Alternative Therapies. Part III: The Work: Clinical Challenges. Scary Thoughts. Help-Resistant Complainer. A Good Girl. Breastfeeding to Death. Countertransference: When is Yours, Mine? Sleeplessness. The Married State. Bonding. Suicidal Thoughts. Psychosis. Motherself. Prevention? Burnout, Boundaries and Other Pitfalls. Part IV: The Healing. The Umbilical Factor. The Bracelet. Therapy Exposed. Finding the Power to Heal. Recovery Revealed. The Search for Meaning. The Quintessential Mother. Appendix.


    Karen Kleiman, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker and internationally recognized expert on maternal mental health. With over 30 years of experience in the field, she is the author of several books on postpartum depression and anxiety and the founder of The Postpartum Stress Center, a treatment and training facility for prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety disorders.

    "Congratulations to Karen Kleiman and Routledge for offering this Classic Edition of Therapy and the Postpartum Woman: Notes on Healing Postpartum Depression for Clinicians and the Women Who Seek Their Help. Kleiman's sensitive, astute and clinically expert guidance continue to be greatly needed and valued by postpartum women, the clinicians who treat them and those who love them. Kleiman's wise yet down to earth approaches deeply connect with the women who most need support during most vulnerable time in their lives. What a gift that Kleiman continues to be a front-line resources, vigilantly protecting women when motherhood brings pain."
    Susan Dowd Stone, MSW, LCSW, Past president and President's Advisory Council Member, Postpartum Support International, Adjunct Associate Professor, Silver School of Social Work, New York University, USA

    "Karen Kleiman brings to light the unique clinical and social context of the postpartum woman seeking therapy. Karen adeptly encapsulates the practical aspects of working with postpartum women. She highlights the importance of clinician qualities of warmth, compassion and empathic confidence for establishing a strong therapeutic relationship and a supportive 'holding environment’ for the new mother."
    Dr Renée Miller, Principal Clinical Psychologist, Antenatal & Postnatal Psychology Network, Australia

    "Karen Kleiman has the magic touch when reaching parents on their journey through perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Her new book teaches all of us her magic of common sense and research-based techniques. We are all better off because of her."
    Chris Raines, MSN RN APRN-BC PMH-C, President, Postpartum Support International, Adjunct Professor UNC-Chapel Hill, USA