Dipping in and out of counseling – just knowing we are there – activating referral sources

When Alice* was referred for counselling after being screened early in her pregnancy by the PMHP counsellor, she declined the offer. Four months later, a midwife referred her again to the counsellor, since she had come in for pains that were understood to be stress-related. She told the counsellor that she had found out that her husband was abusing drugs.


Despite expressing a significant amount of distress, she did not want further counselling after the first session. She seemed to be managing fairly well when the counsellor contacted her 5 months later for the postnatal assessment when her baby was 8 weeks old – she was then divorced and happy about it, working from home, and getting support from her family with her baby and other children.

However, 6 months later she herself contacted the counsellor as her mood was very depressed, she was struggling to accept the divorce, and was angry at her ex-husband. The counsellor worked with Alice for 11 sessions, and made a number of referrals to community organisations for help with single parenting, mediation with her ex-husband, and also for a specific psychological problem her 6 year old had developed. The counselling helped Alice’s mood, coping and ability to access other necessary services, significantly.

Fictional story based on mothers’ real experiences.


Posted on April 28, 2015, in Maternal Mental Health, Update. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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