FAQ’s for our 1:1 Psychotherapy Sessions

How long are my sessions and how many do I get?

Our sessions are online or in person and last for 50 minutes.  Families generally have between 6-8 sessions. Once you have completed a course of therapy you may request further support right up to when your baby is age 2. Our clinical lead can help you with any questions or queries you may have. 

Are the sessions free?

We want to help your family to flourish and payment for services need not be a barrier as we can offer you free sessions if you meet certain criteria. To see if we can do this, you’ll be asked to complete a Request for DorPIP services form which will assess if you can access our other services for free as well. 

You may not find all the questions are relevant to the service you’ve requested however please complete the form as fully as possible as this will give us a good overview of what is currently going on for you and your family.  

As we are an independent local charity, we rely on grants and donations to keep our service going. A paid for therapeutic session would costs £55 per session, and we know that this amount is not affordable to everyone. If you would like to take up our service, a sessional fee will then be agreed based on your means and genuine ability to pay with your therapist.

Where do the sessions happen?

Our sessions happen online over Teams, however your counsellor may be able to offer face to face sessions at a prior arranged location. This is up to the discretion of your counsellor.  

Can my baby be there?

These are your sessions to use however you would like, if you’re comfortable with your baby being there, of course they are more than welcome. However if you would prefer your baby wasn’t there then please make the arrangements for that. 

Can my partner/baby’s other parent attend the sessions?

If you would like your partner/baby’s other parent to attend the sessions we ask that they also complete their own form so we can see what your family is like from both perspectives. 

We can also offer counselling sessions to both of you individually.  

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 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.

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.

Do DorPIP therapists have Qualifications?

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 include clinical psychologists, parent infant psychotherapists, family therapists and counsellors.

How do I access 1:1 Psychotherapy sessions?

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.

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.

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.

FAQ’s for our Infant Massage Courses

How long do the Infant Massage classes last?

Our classes are usually six weekly sessions that last 1.5 hours each. You can find the dates of our next course running on our social media pages and you’ll be given the dates when it comes to booking you on the course. 

Are the courses free?

If you meet our criteria, we are able to offer you funding to attend the sessions for free. To see if we can do this, you’ll be asked to complete a Request for DorPIP services form which will assess if you can access our other services for free as well. 

You may not find all the questions are relevant to the service you’ve requested, however this will give us a good overview of what is currently going on for you and your family.  

As we receive money to run these classes, we are unable to charge you to attend the sessions. If you do not meet our requirements for funding then unfortunately you won’t be able to attend. Please look on the IAIM website to see what other classes are running in your area.  

Where are the classes run and parking availability?

We have reoccurring six weekly infant massage courses running at these locations: 

Boscombe Family Hub:  22 Ashley Close, Bournemouth BH1 4PE 

Parking is on the streets nearby. 

 

Kinson & West Howe Family Hub: Moore Avenue, Bournemouth BH11 8AU 

There is parking available at the hub through the blue gate, however there is also parking available in the roads outside 

 

Old Town Family Hub: Green Road, Poole, BH15 1QB 

Limited on street parking.  Parking available at Sainsburys and then a 5 minute walk to Hub. 

Info for Old Town: Due to the Children's Centre's Fire Policy, baby's prams must be stored in the pram shed outside of the children's centre. Babies sleeping in a pram can be accommodated but not the empty prams.  

 

Somerford Family Hub: Draper Road, Christchurch BH23 3AS 

There is parking available at the Hub on the Somerford Infant School site and also on the roads nearby. 

 

Turlin Moor Family Hub: Turlin Road, Poole, BH16 5AH 

There is parking onsite at the Hub through the green gates. 

 

Sherborne St Pauls Church: St Paul's Close, Sherborne DT9 4DU

Parking is available in the roads nearby

Who will run my class?

Claire Heaney runs classes in Turlin Moor and Poole Old Town

Lisa Villa  runs classes in Sherborne

Lesley O'Brien runs classes in Boscombe and Somerford

Summer Cook runs classes in Kinson.

Do I have to bring anything?

We ask that you bring: 

2x small towels, 1 fleecy blanket, a bottle of water for you and anything else you feel your baby may need 

What is provided: 

  • A 50ml bottle of Organic Cold-Pressed Sunflower Oil, which is yours to keep so you can continue to practice at home. Please note, the bottles can sometimes get a bit slippery or leak so if you could bring a spare bag to pop the oil in it will stop any unwanted spillages in your bag.

  • Parent Handbook detailing all strokes and discussion topics covered, plus any relevant articles. 

  • Cold refreshments 

What if my baby has just had their jabs?

You know your baby better than anyone else, so if you feel like they would be comfortable attending a class afterwards, then of course please come along. However, if you would rather skip the session that is completely fine as well. Your instructor can refresh you on the strokes you missed, as well as being able to see it in your IAIM parent handbook. 

What happens if I miss a class?

IAIM classes normally run for 5 weeks for 1-hour sessions, however we have extended it to 6 weeks for 1.5 hours per session. If you miss a class your instructor can catch you up on anything you’ve missed, and you can also refer back to your IAIM parent handbook to have a look at the strokes.  

We ask that you give us as much notice as possible, either by texting or phoning us on 07393 524874, emailing your instructor directly or emailing [email protected] 

If you decide the class isn’t for you, please let us know as our spaces are limited and we could offer it to someone else.

What happens if my baby is sleeping, needs feeding, needs changing or is unsettled and crying?

These classes are completely baby led so it is completely so don’t worry if any of the above happens. There are comfortable spaces available to feed, change and comfort your baby. If baby is sleeping, you’ll usually still get an opportunity to massage your baby as the classes go on for 90-minutes and/or observe the routines for you to then practice at home. 

Can my partner attend?

If there is space available, partners are more than welcome to come along but we do ask that they complete their own form to register with our service. 

F.A.Q'S for PeaPods and DorPIP Dads Online Courses

Do I need to have my microphone on?

This is your Choice. The host will ask questions to the group throughout the sessions, you can reply with your voice or via the chat option. Although to get the most out of the class, we would encourage you to turn on your mic to chat with the host and the other attendees.

Do I need to have my camera on?

It is up to you whether you have your camera on or not. It can feel nice and contribute to the ‘community’ feel by turning your camera on, but if you enjoy the privacy or have a busy household and would rather keep the camera off, that is also fine. Please note that if you do have your camera on, spend a few moments finding the best place for it, keep the light or window in front of you or you’ll be a shadow, and position it away from you, so we can see you. 

Are the online sessions free?

We want to help your family to flourish and payment for services need not be a barrier. Our PeaPods and DorPIP Dads online courses are Free to attend. As we are an independent local charity, we rely on grants and donations to keep our service going, you’ll be asked to complete a Sign-up form for DorPIP services form which will assess if you can access our other services for free as well. 

You may not find all the questions are relevant to the service you’ve requested however please complete the form as fully as possible as this will give us a good overview of what is currently going on for you and your family.  

  

Can my partner/baby's other parent take part?

Our PeaPod sessions are open to both parents, If you would like your partner/baby’s other parent to attend the sessions we ask that they also complete their own sign-up form.

Our DorPIP Dads sessions is open to Dads only. 

 

Do I have to attend all the sessions?

No you don’t. You can drop in and out of sessions to suit your needs. You are more than welcome to attend all the sessions, but we understand that life with a newborn or in the late stages of pregnancy can be difficult.  

What device/tech do I need? 

Our live online classes are delivered via Zoom and Microsoft Teams which gives you a 2 way experience with the host and other participants if you choose. You can access these via your Mobile phone, computer or tablet. Lisa our specialist Midwife will be leading the PeaPods Sessions and Mark Williams, founder of International Fathers Mental Health Day will be leading the DorPIP Dads course. A DorPIP administrator may also be present incase any technical difficulties arise.

F.A.Q'S for Little Pips Peer Support Group

Info for Old Town Sessions

Info for Old Town: Due to the Children's Centre's Fire Policy, baby's prams must be stored in the pram shed outside of the children's centre. Babies sleeping in a pram can be accommodated but not the empty prams.