In the emotional murkiness of fertility difficulties, pregnancy loss, antenatal and postnatal challenges, and new parenthood, thousands of women and couples have walked through our doors in the past five years, finding light at the end of the tunnel.
Turning five is a milestone in anyone's book. It's a time that has brought reflection and gratitude for the meaningful position we find ourselves in - helping people through one of life's most profound stages. The childbearing years.
As a network of privately practising perinatal psychologists, we came together five years ago to provide a specialised service to people of Victoria who were seeking help specifically for challenges associated with conception, childbearing and child-rearing.
In five years, we have expanded to service 19 Victorian locations so that people can access help without having to travel too far.
We have stayed true to six core values that underlie the trust we have gained from obstetricians, gps, midwives, maternity hospitals and maternal and child health nurses.
APPN's core values
People seeking help need to know that the psychologist is competent - that she/he (I will use "she") is informed of the latest perinatal research and clinical evidence-base, and that she has helped other people with similar presenting problems during pregnancy and/or the postpartum. We stay up to date and active in professional development activities, and coordinate five Perinatal & Infant Mental Health Professionals Networks (Armadale, Kew, Western, Northern and Ballarat) - bringing together multi-disciplinary health practitioners from around Melbourne and Victoria for professional development opportunities.
The psychologist has the qualifications, specific training, and experience to substantiate her expertise in the perinatal field. This is reflected in our criteria for inclusion of psychologists to our service. In addition to our training as psychologists, we educate ourselves in the renowned Circle of Security Parenting training, and have all undertaken specialist training in perinatal loss.
Care and warmth
The psychologist shows a genuine concern about the well-being of clients, helping them to build their confidence and resources for managing the difficulties they face. The psychologist is warm, and easy to engage with.
The psychologist is empathic, kind and non-judgemental, with a deep-seated belief in the human capacity for psychological growth.
The psychologist has the temperament, experience and ability to tolerate and manage big emotions, intense grief, and crisis situations.
The psychologist can be trusted to care responsibly for clients and babies at risk. She communicates well with medical and obstetric practitioners, and has good relationships with maternal & child health nurses to fully support new parents. She works collaboratively with perinatal psychiatrists (knowing when to refer patients to such psychiatrists). She is vigilant about ethics, patient confidentiality, reporting, and follow-up that is in the best interest of the patient.
APPN's support services for new parents and bereaved parents
In addition to the counselling services we offer, we curate two Facebook pages to support both new parents and bereaved parents. These pages can be found here:
Five years on, we thank the obstetric, medical, midwifery, and maternal and child health practitioners who continue to entrust their patients to our service.
Thank you to the wonderful psychologists who work tirelessly to ensure people in need are well-supported and cared for in a timely fashion.
Happy Birthday APPN!
Written by Dr Renée Miller
Principal Clinical Psychologist
Download APPN practitioner list here.
If you are a health professional interested in signing up for one of our Perinatal & Infant MHPNs, please email Amanda Osciak.
Posted by Dr Renée Miller