Beyond the Baby Blues welcomes referrals from providers at agencies, hospitals, medical practices, and programs working with women who are experiencing symptoms of a perinatal mood disorder and believe that a group experience would be a positive addition to the treatment plan for their patients or clients. If a woman is not currently receiving other services, we strongly urge her to arrange her own therapeutic services or to contact the Perinatal Depression program of Evanston Hospital /Northshore University Health System and their excellent hotline service at 866-364-MOMS. Contact us for further information or to make a referral.
Beyond the Baby Blues offers group members the opportunity to openly and honestly discuss their experiences with other mothers who are dealing with similar struggles. The group is offered free of charge. Every woman referred to the group has an initial phone interview which is followed by an individual meeting prior to the first group session. If it is indicated, BBB staff will conduct the initial interview as a home visit. The groups meet for six weeks, and are followed up by another individual session with each participant.
Although we work to create an environment in which our group members feel safe and comfortable sharing the often painful and overwhelming emotions they have been experiencing, we also strive to ensure that they focus on the skills they bring to problem solving and to grappling with their current crisis. Although most of our clients enter the group feeling an array of negative emotions, our group itself is upbeat, and we bring in and encourage elements of humor from the beginning of our work together.
the power of the group
We believe in the power of the group experience to help our clients feel that they are not alone or unusual in their struggles. Over the course of the group, women’s shared feelings of shame, guilt and embarrassment lessen and are replaced by self-acceptance and belief in recovery.
We help our clients to understand what has happened to them so that they can create a narrative that is meaningful and put their experience in context. This will enable them to make better use of the other therapeutic modalities that are a part of their treatment plans.
INFANT MENTAL HEALTH PERSPECTIVE
When a mother is struggling with a perinatal mood disorder, her ability to be emotionally available to her baby can become part of that struggle. We work to support the mother-baby relationship. Watching and commenting on the babies' changes from week to week, we help mothers think about any concerns or observations they have about their babies. All of our therapists/facilitators are experienced infant mental health professionals who understand infant development and the development of the mother-infant relationship.
our community partnerships
Evanston Hospital’s Perinatal Depression Program is Beyond the Baby Blues Community Partner. Their staff and our’s worked together to design BBB and to advertise it to Chicago and North Shore providers. We work closely with them to develop our intake and our outcome measures to monitor and improve our services.
We also partner with Fussy Baby Network at Erikson Institute to co-facilitate Fussy Baby Blues, a 6-week, secure, online video chat-based group for moms who struggle to attend in person. Contact Nancy Mork at 312-893-7195 for further information.