Life can change in unexpected ways once you become a parent. A little support can go a long way to help you navigate the changing landscape of the first few years.
Counselling for parents

Becoming a parent

Becoming a parent and parenting are some of the biggest and most rewarding challenges we may face in life. It can be a joyous time but also one where issues from your own life, past or present, may come into focus. You may find it difficult to gain clarity and insight to your feelings when there is so much going on in family life and so much changing relative to the life you are used to leading.

Counselling can provide the space for reflection, clarity and exploration of the emotions and issues that may be arising for you now. Postnatal depression or anxiety are common experiences in the first year of parenting and many other experiences need support in integrating this huge life change. Coping skills are important for new mums and dads who each face different challenges in the new family dynamics.

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Conscious parenting

Conscious parenting means becoming the kind of parent you aspire to be. Exploring underlying feelings and issues that influence parenting and family making can affect our sense of self as contemporary parents. Finding space and time to explore your aspirations for parenting and coping with its many challenges is a great way to reduce the burden, gain understanding and open up a conversation about what it is to be a family.

We are often asked how talking can help. A counsellor brings an unattached perspective that can help you find new insight. Your counsellor often has experience of issues from a range of perspectives that can help to broaden your scope of understanding, self-compassion and capacity for coping and accepting change. Often, a counsellor is called upon to assist people when things aren’t going well or we are experiencing some kind of difficulty. Using of a range of approaches aimed at providing support and reducing distress, a counsellor can help you improve your mental health and wellbeing.

Common reasons for parents seeking help

In the first year after having a baby, common reasons for seeking counselling help may include:

  • Postnatal depression
  • Postnatal anxiety
  • Adjustment to parenthood
  • Adjustment following a premature or multiple birth
  • Difficulties feeling attached or bonded with your baby
  • Unsettled or sickly infants
  • Sadness at early breastfeeding cessation
  • Lack of enjoyment in parenting
  • Lack of bond with baby
  • Desire to understand and foster the emotional life of your baby
  • Feeling irritable or guilty
  • Feeling overwhelmed (“This is too much”)
  • Thoughts of harming yourself or your baby
  • Maintaining couple intimacy in the transition to parenthood
  • Consulting about parenting practices and approaches

It is so important that you know you are not alone in this.  We all need extra support during this time.

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Read more information about specific counselling related to pregnancy, birth choices, birth preparation and support and birth debriefing.

Read more about our counsellors:

Rhea Dempsey – Available on the first Tuesday of every month for Birth Debriefing consultation.

Suzanne Hurley – Available Tuesday in-person and Wednesday and Friday by Telehealth

Chanel Keane – Available Tuesdays and Thursdays by Telehealth and in-person sessions – call reception to find out when in-person is available. Chanel is also a Mental Health Accredited Social Worker and so medicare rebates may apply for up to 10 sessions per year – this requires you are referred from your GP or medical practitioner with a GP Mental Health Treatment Plan and have a valid medicare card. The rebate is $77.80.