Have we been asking parents the wrong question?Jun 06, 2021
The other day I was having one of those conversations that happens from time to time on social media about 'who' is best placed, most qualified, most appropriate to support parents who are struggling after a traumatic perinatal event.
There was lots of hemming and hawing from a fellow mental health professional who felt it was potentially unsafe for non therapeutically trained perinatal professionals to gain the necessary skills and techniques that would equip them to effectively support parents traumatised by birth.
I felt my case was solid; perinatal specialists understand the kinds of traumatic events that parents experience. They are well placed because they are already supporting parents, and so already have well earnt trust and rapport in place (the cornerstone of any therapeutic alliance without it nothing good happens).
Besides the reason that so many perinatal professionals are adding these skills to their toolbox is because of parental demand for practical help and support. Surely if parents themselves are choosing to pursue support with a perinatal professional, rather than traditional therapy, then these parents must have a good reason for doing so?
When all of the other issues were reasoned with, the biggest concern remaining was whether non therapeutically trained professionals could really be capable of discerning between what was serious PTSD and mild to moderate trauma symptoms.
All TBR College trauma training courses contain this information (the difference between trauma symptoms and PTSD) in the very first module.
Ultimately my fellow mental health professional felt that it would be hard for someone non therapeutically trained to know because so often parents didn't know the severity of their symptoms THEMSELVES.
It was at that moment that I realised that the traditional psychotherapeutic model for 'assessing' and 'pathologising' parents experience was so different to the approach that TBR College teaches that really we were talking two different languages. No wonder we were struggling to find a common ground to the question about who is best placed to support traumatised parents.
The TBR approach starts from a point of asking 'what has happened to you? And then secondly and most importantly ‘how is that still impacting on your life now?'
The medical/psychological model asks 'what is wrong with this person?' first and then 'how bad are they?' second.
Most of the parents that choose my support in private practice know extremely well what their problems/symptoms are AND also when they started. They have chosen to work with me and so they have already made an empowered decision to feel better after researching what I offer and deciding that it could be something that benefits them.
I completely appreciate that this is a very different route to treatment than that of a ‘service user’ accessing the IAPT pathway. A pathway that relies solely on CBT as a treatment which necessarily will require this kind of assessment that my fellow professional was talking about.
Increasingly parents are feeling empowered to seek out support like that which is offered by TBR 3 Rewind Practitioners. Support that acknowledges and validates the impact that their trauma has had on them first and seeks to understand their goals for recovery second.
If you would like to join this quiet, but powerful, revolution in perinatal mental health then there are still some places available to train in person with TBR College.
Learning these transformative skills can make such a huge difference to parents seeking recovery from their perinatal trauma.
This in person training is scheduled for the 14th & 15th of October at a West London venue and includes all online training materials to give lifetime access to video case studies, content review and materials.
Payment plans available.
I really hope you can join us.