Will you be able to tell me why I'm finding it hard to bond with my baby?

We will be able to help you discover any unconscious emotional blocks or past trauma that may be affecting your feelings.

How does your therapy differ to normal therapy?

It differs because, although it’s a type of family therapy, it specialises in the time period from conception to aged two – which is pre-verbal on the part of the child. In our therapy, we act as the bridge between infant and parent – putting ourselves in the position of viewing the parents as the infant might – meaning that we can then act as the voice for the child.

Will you report me to social services if I tell you something that worries you?

We don’t report ‘thoughts’ and realise that disturbing thoughts are very common. There’s also a big difference between thoughts and action. If you said something that was of real concern, we would work with you to ensure you had the best possible support and we are bound by local safeguarding regulations (Safeguarding Children’s Board).  

Might my own childhood be an issue?

Giving birth can often trigger intense memories from your own childhood. Perhaps you didn't have a good experience of being parented, or traumatic things happened? The realisation that your own experience of being parented was lacking can be a shock and affect the way you feel about how you'll be as a parent now. We can help you process these thoughts and emotions.

Can you help me come to terms with the birth, it was horrendous?

Yes, birth trauma is a type of PTSD and we can help you process this experience - which you were probably not in control of. We will do this in a sensitive way so as to not re-trigger the trauma, showing you techniques to help your brain understand that you are no longer in danger.

My baby was in intensive care. Can you help me with that?

Yes, this is one of our core specialisms. We work closely with neo-natal units to support families as they make the transition from hospital to home.

I was in hospital after I had my baby. Can you help with this?

Yes. We deal with many parents who’ve had traumatic births. This can also impact on dads who’ve witnessed their wife suffering, and research has shown that they can also be significantly impacted by birth trauma.

I couldn’t breastfeed and think it’s the reason I can’t bond with my baby. Can you help?

Yes. We understand how incredibly demoralising issues with breastfeeding can be and work to overcome your feelings about it, as well as exploring how it relates to bonding.

Aren’t all these feelings normal? After all, we all know motherhood is hard

It is, but experiencing something like the lack of any kind of joy in motherhood is probably a good indicator of when you need help. One parent realised that she’d lost the ability to make herself happy or to care deeply about both herself and her child. That’s when she realised she needed external help. Another sign is not being able to shower etc., care for your home.

Can’t I just take some pills for depression?

Evidence shows that pills don’t just work on their own – it's the combination of pills and talking therapy that helps the healing. Any illness, left untreated, is unlikely to spontaneously get better, and something like PND can last up  to six years. Support for you and your infant is vital as your illness will impact on your ability to attune to your baby’s emotions and be  appropriately responsive.

Is there are particular name for your type of therapy?

Parent infant psychotherapy.

Do you all have special qualifications in it?

We are a multi-disciplinary team, all with a specialism in attachment. We all also have three year’s post-qualifying experience and a specialism working with families. Our teams includes clinical psychologists, parent infant psychotherapists, family therapists and counsellors.

How do I access the counselling?

We accept self-referrals via email, telephone and through our contact form  It’s a confidential service and calls are handled by an appropriately trained member of the team. We begin a telephone assessment and then an appointment can be arranged with a therapist.  We also take referrals from health professionals such as health visitors, midwives, GPs and other psychotherapists as well as family outreach workers, social workers and speech therapists.

Is there a waiting list?

We aim to have no waiting lists – because babies can’t wait.

What is the initial assessment?

The initial assessment is on the phone with a qualified therapist – who'll talk to you about your concerns or needs, answer any questions and assess your suitability for the service. The conversation normally lasts about twenty minutes.

Who is expected to attend the sessions?

The primary carers and infants. However, this is flexible. Sometimes we see one parent or primary carer, sometimes we see both. We are led by you.

What if my co-parent refuses to come?

That’s fine – we can still do the work with you and your baby. Often times partners can’t attend every session and that’s also fine. We endeavour to make sessions available to those people working –  through evening and weekend appointments, but unfortunately it’s not always possible to do this.

What if my baby cries throughout the session?

Babies are unpredictable and we work with whatever happens on the day. We try to create a space where everyone in the room can tolerate the baby crying. Unfortunately, sessions cannot be aborted and refunded as the room will have been booked etc.

How many sessions will I need?

The average number of sessions is between eight and twelve. Fundamentally we aim to support you as a family unit from conception to aged two through our therapy sessions as well as our ‘Keep in Touch’’ groups, specialist baby massage classes etc.

What happens in the sessions?

There are no expectations of what will happen. You could sit in silence for the time if you want. We are led by you and your child in terms of the shape of the session.

What if I hate it?

You’re welcome to attend one session and see how you get on. If you don’t feel it’s for you at this moment in time then you’re not committed to continuing.

How much does it cost?

Sessions cost £55 for fifty minutes. However, there are discounted rates available – please see below.

What if I can’t afford it?

We are a charity and are able to offer our sessions to anyone on Universal Credit for a nominal cost of £5 per session.  We also understand that money can often be tight when you have a baby, and if you cannot afford the full £55, we have a sliding scale of fees and ask that you tell us what you can afford.

What proof do you have that it works?

We use evidence-based best practice and have testimonials from parents on the website, with many more available.

What if my English isn’t so good. Can I have someone translate?

Yes, but you would need to provide the translator.

What if I can’t attend a session? Will I still have to pay?

We have a 48-hour cancellation policy.