Paternal Mental Health
Yes!!! Dad's can experience increased depression and anxiety while their partner is pregnant and after a baby is born. The elevated stress during this season in life often increases risk for men as well not just women. In fact if their partner experiences depression or anxiety, Dad's are 50% more likely to also experience depression or anxiety. We don't live in silo's right? Our relationships are important and can impact us. Research shows that between 10-20% of men experience depression and anxiety during the pregnancy and postpartum period. It can also be very traumatic and overwhelming for Dad's to watch their partners giving birth and this can lead to feelings of extreme terror, lack of control, dissociation and "checking out" which can warrant processing through in a safe environment. Dad's can choose to met with us individually or if it feels more comfortable with their partner.
Having kids (or trying to have kids) has had no impact at all on your marriage or partnership, right? No one has said that, ever. Of course that's not true! Trying to have kids, then having them and raising them is tough tough work. When you feel like you're doing that alone or you and your partner aren't connecting in this season it really sucks. But there's hope! Having a safe space, with a skilled facilitator who is unbiased, gives couples a wonderful opportunity to work through tough things and build a solid foundation. What is amazing about couples counseling is that it can really really work. Couples counseling can help you both be on the same team (and not act or feel like enemies), learn how to have empathy for one another and feel emotionally connected. All of the things you thought would happen when you got married, right? It's time to get back to that and stop feeling like your are living with the enemy.
At this time, Joslyn, is the primary therapist who may work with couples. Partners are also always invited and encouraged to attend a session or two with their partner even if they aren't in couples counseling.