Time for Me: the arts as therapy in postnatal depression
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2008 Feb;14(1):38-45. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2007.06.001. Epub 2007 Jul 16.
Time for Me: the arts as therapy in postnatal depression.
Perry C1, Thurston M, Osborn T.
Time for Me describes a creative arts group for mothers with children under two years of age, who were experiencing mild to moderate postnatal depression or anxiety.
This paper reports on findings from a small-scale qualitative study designed to explore and evaluate the extent to which the brief intervention of eight weekly sessions of creative arts was able to support these women.
Traditionally, severe postnatal depression has been treated with medication or cognitive behavioural therapy and in mild to moderate postnatal depression non-directive counselling ('the listening visit'), extra social and emotional support and group psychological therapies have been used. More recently, the use of complementary therapies in the treatment of depression has been explored and it has been reported that the arts can have positive effects on patients with mental health problems; for example, by helping their relationships, providing new ways of expression and by bringing about behavioural changes.
There is, however, limited research relating specifically to postnatal depression and complementary therapies. The study found that the Time for Me programme created a relaxed, safe space which was experienced as supportive by women who participated in the sessions.
Work in various areas of mental health care suggests that creative arts can be used to complement conventional therapy and that complementary therapies may a valuable adjunct to conventional interventions for women with postnatal depression and anxiety. It would, however, be naïve to imagine that a brief intervention such as Time for Me could be a solution for women with more severe depression but it does offer an area worth exploring in more detail.