Having a baby on the neonatal unit can be an overwhelming experience which can have a negative impact on your emotional wellbeing.
Sometimes it helps to talk to someone who is not a family member or friend but does understand the challenges of neonatal care. In addition to our peer support volunteers, we also work with a trauma therapist and a clinical psychologist who are available to help parents navigate life on the neonatal unit or any challenges that may come up in the following weeks, months or years.
Working with a trauma therapist
Parents who experience neonatal care may start to feel unfamiliar emotions, or it may heighten existing stress levels. During and after time in NICU, we can feel very overwhelmed the and our bodies have their own way of dealing with the stress. These feelings can make us feel uncomfortable and out of control. Our therapists can help parents develop techniques to help calm and regulate parents through their experience. This can be via hypnotherapy, yoga therapy or EMDR therapy or even just a one off chat to look at coping strategies. Therapists can help us understand what’s happening with the nervous system help us find the tools to cope with our situation. Our trauma therapist has extensive experience of working with new parents . Using bespoke techniques and therapies that are evidence-based and relevant in the clinical setting and beyond. The methods are designed to equip parents with tools to deal with stress and anxiety in the long term. Helping the transition into parenthood and providing you with the space to process, navigate and make sense of your experience.
EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprogramming) is very different to counselling and is not a talking therapy. The therapist will gently encourage you to recall traumatic events, whilst asking you to follow their finger with movements from your eyes. It is not entirely clear how EMDR works but the process is thought to produce an advanced stage of REM (Rapid Eye Movement) allowing the brain to process troubling thoughts and images. The therapy doesn’t simply take away symptoms, it also addresses the past, present and future and achieves better emotional health.
Below is a quote from one of our parents who has accessed the therapy sessions
Therapy with Janine through lockdown has been a blessing. I spent so much time before hand feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and tense. Feeling cooped up inside and not knowing how to take a moment for myself. Janine has been a life saver, friendly and professional and she has given me so many tips and tricks to help me through those moments when I feel particularly overwhelmed. She has also been a focus point for me each week, I have felt better just knowing that in a matter of days I would be having a session with her and would be able to offload and find some contentment, I honestly could not be more grateful for everything she is doing for me, and for this opportunity for therapy thanks to Spoons
Parents can self refer for trauma therapy here
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