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Circle of Motherhood: Therapeutic Support Group

Our Circle of Motherhood therapeutic support group is a Sunshine Coast based mother’s group run by perinatal psychologists aimed at supporting perinatal women in their transition into motherhood.

It is well known and documented that one of the key contributing factors to perinatal mental health concerns is social isolation and reduced supports. We no longer have the “village” that once existed. Often family and friends do not live nearby, and today’s life is so much busier and harder to connect with those supports.

We also know that pregnancy and having a baby is a time of significant vulnerability and change (physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially), that can also be risk factors for the development of perinatal mental health concerns, such as Perinatal Anxiety and Depression, and on the infants mental health and development also.

In addition to this, over the years of running groups one of the common themes that we hear is that so many mums struggle to “fit” in with traditional mothers’ groups where it can be difficult to open up about how they are really feeling. That’s why a group with other mums with similar difficulties can be so beneficial as it reduces the sense of feeling alone.

In pregnancy, so much of the focus is placed on the preparation for birth and not so much on the emotional changes and transitions that occur throughout the perinatal period and the subsequent impact this then has on mental health which may develop into perinatal mental health concerns, such as Perinatal Anxiety and Depression.

Lastly, all of these contributing factors have been made more salient with the increased stressors and isolation as a result of COVID.

Our Sunshine Coast Perinatal Mental Health Group is also aimed at supporting perinatal women develop secure parent-infant attachments which in turn supports child mental health and wellbeing. Our mother's group has also provided an alternative service option for perinatal women transitioning from individual support services and/or prevented the need for this.

Our mother's group covers topics drawn from a variety of Psychology concepts in evidence-based programs as well as evidence-based theoretical frameworks such as Psychoeducation, Mindfulness, Compassion Focused Therapy, Attachment Theory and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. We focus on exploring the transitions, adjustments, emotions, and challenges that being pregnant and having in infant brings. Additionally, we will focus on strengthening and exploring relationships (with others, yourself, and your baby), and facilitating a supportive and positive parenting experience.

The perinatal psychologists running the group will prompt conversation of a variety of topics that are relevant to navigating the adjustments and challenges within the perinatal period including:

· Understanding and managing common concerns in the perinatal period including

· Supporting self-compassion and relationship with self

· Discovering parenting strengths and personal values

· Teaching relaxation and mindfulness strategies

· Identifying assertiveness skills

· Exploring expectations of parenting- influences from the past

· Supporting self-esteem and challenging critical internal dialogue

· Navigating changes to relationships with others

· Developing a more helpful thinking style

· Exploring triggers and coping strategies for managing anxiety and panic

· Discussing partners and their perinatal mental health

· Navigating transitions to couple relationships, or co-parenting in


· Adjusting to isolation

· Managing outside pressures i.e. children, household, work, social media pressures

· Interacting with baby and recognising developmental needs

The group is facilitated by Clinical Psychologists Cassie Osborne and Emilie Bull. Both perinatal psychologists who are passionate about working with mothers at this stage of life and supporting them in developing an enjoyable parent-infant relationship.

The group has limited spaces and is open to mothers with babies up to 12 months on the Sunshine Coast.

There is no out of pocket cost with referral for Psychology.

When: Thursdays 9-10:30

If this sounds like something you might be interested in please email at the Perinatal, Child & Family Hub located on the beautiful Sunshine Coast for more information.

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