What does it feel like to have a mood issue?
That's complicated because each person feels differently. One thing that unites us as parents with mood issues is that bringing it into the light and asking for support will help. We can be well again.
A peer support group- lead by a peer who has experienced Depression/Anxiety/OCD/PTSD- is meant to be a safe confidential space.
Is it therapy? No. But it feels therapeutic and cathartic at times. We do not share with outside groups your information. I can provide assistance to find referrals to professionals upon request.
Am I the right fit for this group? It must be new moms with babies. True. New moms with first babies come. Moms on their third babies come. Fathers and partners come. Parents experiencing mood issues 6 months, 12 months, even 4 years out from birth come to group. Why? It's a safe understanding space. Other common parent experiences include pregnancy loss, infant loss, infertility, IVF, foster, surrogacy, hospitalization, domestic violence, birth trauma. I get asked this question a lot. These issues are parenting issues that we all benefit from learning to hold space for- because that perfect "blissful experience" is just not everyone's reality. Knowing you aren't alone is a powerful feeling.
What if I cry? Most people do. Especially the first few times or when recounting a vivid story. The members of group knows what it feel like to be vulnerable.
Is it instructional like a lecture or do we share feelings/stories in a circle? Mostly the latter. That being said, group is not a place to tell you how you are doing things wrong. This is not a group that tries to problem solve, fix your issues, or judge you. Nope. Against group rules to tell someone what they "should" do. We walk around feeling enough "shoulds" everyday already. We get to dump those frustrations in group, and hopefully we walk away feeling lighter.
What do we do in group? We learn to hold space. With confidentiality, people feel safe enough to share vulnerable stories. Holding space is an act of accepting another person as they are. Give it and receive it in our peer support group.
For example- we start group with introductions. Who are you, why are you here, what do you hope to get from group. Then we share our mood issue brags and drags- what have you struggled with recently and what have you felt you overcome. Then we open group up from there and talk on issues relevant to our discussion so far. I include books, activities, meditations, and speakers.
I'm feeling better- why should I continue to visit group? On a road to recovery, helping others with your compassion is not just good for them, it feels GREAT for you. Compassion and empathy are muscles we need to practice in order to use often for ourselves. When we leave group, we leave behind those stories and take the compassion we practice with us. Numerous group members in recovery feel coming to group also reminds them how hard they worked and how far they come- it brings hope to themselves and new members
Issues discussed in the past include: vulnerability, shame, guilt, "should", partnerships, siblings, birth traumas, birth stories, working parenting and stay-at-home parenting, depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, psychosis, mind-body connection, resource finding, tool box building, finding our super power, finding gifts in our mood struggles, physical health, pelvic health and trauma, energy, suicide, and more.
What Clients Are Saying
"Choosing Sophie as my postpartum doula is one of the wisest choices I have made related to the birth of my daughter. She comes into our home and provides an immeasurable amount of support and assistance. From helping with meal prep, to nursing advice and assistance, and helping me process how I am doing mentally band emotionally, Sophie does so much to help me feel capable and grounded in this time of change. Sophie doesn't just help with tasks around our home, she gives me tools and knowledge to help me care for myself, care for my baby, and understand and process the journey we are on together."
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