Tag Archive | prenatal ocd

TRAPPED IN MY HOME

Online psychotherapy is suitable for people who due to temporary or permanent reasons can’t go out of their (safe) environment.

Temporary obstacles
In this category I am including temporary situations that require people to stay at home. Here we can talk about different kind of physical injuries that needs longer period of time to heal as well as risk pregnancies and Postpartum (postnatal) depression and/or anxiety and/or obsessive compulsive disorder. In the last case, due to a newborn baby, it is often easier for the new mother to be able to have therapy from home. In my personal experience, I also do therapy where the baby can be next to a mother if she doesn’t have babysitter or wants to have baby near her.

More permanent obstacles
In this category I am including social phobia, agoraphobia, anxiety disorder that leaves us with a bitter taste to go to the places where we experienced panic attacked and also other physical challenges that cost us difficulties to visit therapy face to face. Although the first disorders are not permanent per se, it often feels like they are to the person who is experiencing it. You don’t see the end of it. Isolation can become an issue for some when dealing with emotional difficulties and online treatment can help tremendously in that cases.

DOES ONLINE PSYCHOTHERAPY WORKS?

I got a lot of positive response from my clients. I got more skepticism form coworkers or people who haven’t tried skype therapy jet. I believe any form of therapy has its pros and cons and I don’t find online therapy any different.

In my psychotherapy education I was told that skype therapy doesn’t work, that it is not the same as face to face and mostly I hear comments like that form colleagues. But I decided to give it a try before I made my own decision.

In my experience, online therapy does work the same as face to face. With clients I can form a profound relationship that heals. People are different, and we can form different kind of relationships, some more deep, other more businesslike, no matter what type of therapy we are having.

The only down side of online treatment for me is that I can’t do body therapy with my online clients. I am also trained as body psychotherapist and I do body work with face to face clients if they are open to it. That gives me a new challenge to think and developed different types of possible exercises for skype therapy. I use movie therapy, writing, drawing and relaxation techniques.

I would also like to share some different studies that you might find interesting on online therapy. In general studies show that online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face therapy.

This research is focusing on therapeutic relationship (or working alliance) over the Internet and whether it influences treatment outcome as it does in traditional face-to-face therapy. More here.

“Despite limitations, however, working alliance levels demonstrate that participants felt a collaborative, bonding relationship with therapists, and comments overwhelmingly indicated participants’ belief that online therapy was a positive experience with unique advantages over face- to-face counseling.” (Doyle and Cook, p. 102, year 2002). More here.

Systematic review of online therapy for adults. More here.

POSTPARTUM ANXIETY

With a new baby in the house some worries are expected. Especially if it is our first born. But what if worries are persistent and with little base ground? Probably you already heart about postpartum depression, but what about postpartum anxiety? According to Germany University of Heidelberg, 11% of mothers developed postpartum anxiety, while 6% developed postpartum depression. Overall this affects 1 out of every 7 women. Unfortunately, postpartum anxiety and depression often occurs together. Read personal story about that HERE.

What are the symptoms that shouldn’t be overlooked?

If you had a baby within the last 12 months and are experiencing some of these symptoms for at least 2 weeks or longer you might have postpartum anxiety. Anxiety can also appear during the pregnancy.

• Having trouble quieting your mind. You are worrying all the time. You feel like something horrible will happen.
• You are unable to relax. You feel tense and on edge. You feel that you have to do something all the time.
• Disturbing thoughts which can vary from “harming your baby” to “not being a fit mother”.
• Physical symptoms like stomach cramps, headaches, shakiness, nausea, panic attacks.
• Disturbances of sleep and/or appetite.
• Feeling that something is off with you.

Seeking help is important

In the culture where motherhood is represented as something joyful it is hart to seek help when you are experiencing postpartum anxiety (or depression or obsessive compulsive disorder). Never the less, you are not alone.
It is very important to seek help sooner than later even with mild symptoms of postpartum anxiety. Left untreated, can interfere with your ability to bond with your child. Many moms find it helpful to talk to psychotherapist. It is important to have someone who acknowledge your panic, gives you support and strategies to deal with anxiety. Use of medication is also possible, even if you are nursing. This is determine on a case-by-case basis.

Could I predict it?

Knowledge about postpartum anxiety can help to catch the disorder in early stages which make treatment easier. If you have family member with (postpartum) anxiety or previous history of anxiety you have greater possibility to develop postpartum anxiety.
But that can happen to every mother, no matter the history. There might be a physiological explanations for mood disorders during and after birth. During that time our body goes through drastic hormonal changes. Which makes pregnancy a particularly vulnerable time for conditions such as depression and anxiety.

Read some personal stories and wisdom’s on following links here and here.

You are not alone! Encouraging video from other moms