Perinatal Service

Helena Belgrave - Counselling Psychotherapist

Dr Helena Belgrave
Counselling Psychologist (CPsychol, HCPC registered)
07580 662 917

Perinatal Counselling
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 Narrative Exposure Therapy and CBT for trauma.

Relevant Issues
Issues that I cover include:

  • Antenatal depression
  • Postnatal depression
  • Anxiety
  • Birth trauma
  • Panic attacks
  • Adapting to having a baby / being pregnant
  • Attachment / bonding issues
  • Relationship issues

Perinatal Experience
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.

The Sessions
Sessions are for 50 minutes once a week. The length of time 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.

Skype sessions may also be an option if you would prefer to stay at home, or the distance is too far.