Supporting parents and infants at Wheathampstead Wellbeing Centre, and children and families at Batford Nursery
Having a new baby is a momentous experience and many parents feel overwhelmed at the beginning. Sometimes, parents and babies continue to struggle in their relationship and may find themselves asking the following questions:
“Why am I struggling to connect with my baby”
“Why am I feeling overwhelmed – this isn’t what I thought having a baby would feel like”
“I’m worried that my feelings of anxiety/depression will impact on my baby”
“Why won’t my baby sleep for more than half an hour at a time – I’m exhausted”
“Why do I keep having thoughts and horrible images of the birth? They keep coming into my mind and it’s stopping me from enjoying my baby”
“Why do I feel as though I’m not managing even the simple day to day things like I used to; I’m so tired, angry and irritable”
We can also offer you support if your baby was premature and has spent time in a Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) / Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).
What is Psychoanalytic Parent Infant Psychotherapy?
PPIP is a bit like counselling and psychotherapy, but instead of thinking of you solely as an individual, the therapist will explore with you what might be going on in the relationship between your baby and you. Both babies and parents bring something important to that relationship and when everything feels difficult it can be helpful to try to tease things out what might be contributing to the difficulties. Addressing this early on in the relationship helps to make moving forward a smoother journey together.
How we can help you
We offer a confidential service, in which we will work with you to help you understand your relationship with your baby.
Together we will think about you and your baby, your concerns, your strengths, what your baby is trying to communicate to you and how you want to respond.
We see parents with their baby in person at Wheathamstead Wellbeing Centre.
We also offer an online Parent Infant Psychotherapy Service for families who are unable to attend sessions in person.
Art therapy for under-fives
Our under-fives art psychotherapy service uses art as a way for young children to express themselves without the primary need for words.
Individual art therapy
The art therapist will work with your child to help understand the meaning of the images that are created so their emotional experiences can be understood. Toys will also be available to help your child express themselves through play. Art therapy is a safe and creative intervention for young children who may not have words for what they have experienced.
Group art therapy
Similarly, to individual art therapy, group art therapy uses art materials and toys for children to express themselves. Group art therapy provides weekly sessions for several children who attend the group each week. Group art therapy can help children who may be struggling in personal or social ways and provides a safe and supportive space where children can be together in new and helpful ways. The art therapists will work with the group to make sense of the group’s feelings, play and art making, so age-appropriate words can give meaning and understanding to these.
Some of the reasons children may be referred for art therapy include: emotional, behavioural or mental health problems, learning or physical disabilities, life-limiting conditions, neurological conditions and physical illness.