A team of clinical psychologists and parent infant psychotherapists offer brief psychological interventions for parents expecting a baby and parents with a baby in the first year who are finding the transition to parenthood challenging.
The service provides a safe place for parents or expectant parents to share in confidence their thoughts and feelings about becoming a parent. It aims to improve the emotional wellbeing of parents, enabling them to develop positive relationships with their baby. Referrals are accepted for mothers and/or fathers.
Appointments are usually offered individually, with an average of six to 12 sessions. The team is not able to work with people who have severe post-natal depression or chronic or severe mental health problems. The needs of these clients are best met through adult mental health pathways, i.e. North London Partners Specialist Perinatal Mental Health Service (SPMHS).
As part of the referrals process, the Parent and Baby Psychology Service asks all referrers to alert the health visitor to the concerns raised as they will be able to offer the parent Listening Visits while they await an appointment with the service (waiting time is between six and eight weeks). This is part of the agreement with the Health Visiting Teams and in accordance with the local perinatal mental health pathway.
- low mood and depression, which is having an impact on coping and feelings about being a parent
- anxiety, in the form of worries, panic, fears, obsessions or sleep difficulties
- issues to do with parent/baby bonding
- losses and gains, such as change in role and loss in relation to work, socialising or other aspects of life
- parents’ own memories of being parented that may be difficult or upsetting, and hopes for parenting differently
How to refer
The following clinicians can refer to this service:
GPs, midwives, health visitors, adult mental health professionals
Referral methods: Email
A referral form can be found in ISL EMIS under
ISL global documents > Mental Health > Parent & baby psychology service
Parent and Baby Psychology Service