Three ways that IPT can practically help you in the postpartum period

Postpartum comes with its challenges - a definite change in identity and a possible lifestyle change. You can ask anyone, and they will tell you that your social support makes all the difference in how you cope with this change.

Interpersonal Psychotherapy (IPT) is a therapy that focuses on relieving symptoms of anxiety and depression by improving your relationships with others.

The basis of IPT is practical, as your symptoms of anxiety and depression do not live outside of the influence of your support. In the same way, the quality of support directly impacts the experience of depression and anxiety. 

Here are three ways IPT can add practicality to your improved well-being during this time. 

1. You can work towards reducing your symptoms of depression and anxiety NOW.

  • Here is an analogy: Think of our thoughts, feelings, memories and conflicts experienced over your lifetime as a fireplace. Our interactions with others serve as fuel; stressful social experiences (or lack thereof) are what can light the fire (past trauma), causing distress (depression & anxiety). Rather than restructuring the fireplace, we can reduce these symptoms more quickly by reducing the “interpersonal fuel”.
  • It is helpful to understand the bricks that make up the fireplace. Still, being in the postpartum period, I know how detrimental it is to get the support you need right NOW. It is likely practical support that the people in your life can provide. 

2. You develop personalized communication tools that will help you solve future conflicts outside of therapy. 

  • There are a few communication “tools” that we will build on and refer to while in sessions that will cover: who is in your circle of support, pinpointing the event(s) causing stress, what help you need to solve the stressor, and who would be the best person to discuss these needs with. 
  • These tools help you tell your story in your OWN words, making it easy to make sense of your goals and the direction you want to head in.
  • It can be hard articulating everything you learn about yourself and your needs in therapy, OUTSIDE of treatment. You will always have these tools to practically guide you through communicating your story and needs.

3. You can get support in grieving loss in a way your family and friends would not be comfortable doing.

  • We have evolved to grieve in our community. Still, sometimes family and friends may drop the ball by making unhelpful comments, “Thankfully you have a healthy baby!” or by tip-toeing around questions that can help with grief, such as “What was it like?”.
  • IPT lends the space where you can safely develop your story of loss and then discover who it is that you want to share this story of loss with. Grieving on your terms is possible with the people you need to do it with.

In summary, there is a therapy method where you can immediately work on reducing symptoms, invest in a communication tool to help you cope with future stressors, and achieve valuable grief support from the people who matter most. 

If you’re quickly approaching the postpartum period or find yourself in the depths of it with little social support, let’s talk and visualize what practical, personalized support in therapy can look like.

Book a consultation call