The exploration of postnatal depression through psychodynamic and feminist perspectives

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Kaprale, Viktorija
Issue Date
Higher Diploma in Arts in Counselling and Psychotherapy
Dublin Business School
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Transition to motherhood including the pregnancy and post-partum period can be a very exciting, as well as challenging and overwhelming, time for many women, resulting in postnatal depression (“PND”). This research presents an exploration of PND through psychodynamic and feminist perspectives. Feminists argue that motherhood is a patriarchal institution that sets unrealistically high expectations for mothers and the societal myth of motherhood as a “happy time” often leaves new mothers feeling depressed if they fail to achieve it. On the other hand, the psychodynamic perspective helps to understand the potential cause of PND which is rooted in the infant-mother relationship and determines the formation of the personality. Two prevailing models to explain PND - medical and social - are discussed, and a brief outline of “holding” in therapeutic encounters from the psychodynamic perspective.