The Compassionate Mind Approach to Perinatal Mental Health Difficulties: Using Compassion Focused Therapy to enhance mood, confidence, and bonding.

When: Friday 10th January 2020, 9:30am to 4:30pm
Where: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston Campus (postcode B15 2TT)
Cost: £140 (University of Birmingham alumni are entitled to a 50% discount)
Speaker: Dr Michelle Cree

“I thought having a baby was supposed to be joyful?”


When we have a baby we hope we will feel joy, contentment, and love. Indeed we are surrounded by images on television and in magazines that suggest this is how we should feel. For many however, this is not the experience. The tragedy is that not only can our time with a new baby be very difficult, but when we struggle we can feel that somehow we are to blame for this. But when we shame and blame ourselves, we can find it very difficult to find our way through this potentially challenging time. This workshop looks at how shifting our relationship to ourselves from one of shame and blame to one of kindness, support, encouragement, non-judgment, and compassion profoundly affects us, even at a physiological level, and can offer us a way through even the most of difficult experiences.

During the workshop we will address:

  • Some of the many influences which “throw us off course” when we have a baby, which we do not choose but which we can end up blaming ourselves for.
  • Some of the myths of new motherhood which suggest we are “off course” when we are not.
  • How to develop a Compassion Focused formulation to understand how influences from our earlier life experiences may come to bear on becoming a mother.
  • Techniques for building our compassionate mind in relation to postnatal depression, and other difficulties which can arise in the perinatal period such as anxiety, and a struggle to bond.

The workshop will include practical experience of some of the compassionate mind training exercises. Participants are welcome to bring case material fordiscussion as we go through the day. The workshop is aimed at practitioners who are working with women experiencing perinatal mental health difficulties such as postnatal depression, anxiety, and bonding difficulties.

The workshop will briefly cover the fundamental principles of Compassion Focused Therapy but will assume some prior knowledge. Those new to the approach would benefit from visiting for a more detailed understanding prior to attending the workshop.

About the presenter

Dr Michelle Cree works as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist for the Derby Perinatal Mental Health Service, which provides inpatient and community care for mothers suffering from a severe mental illness in the late stages of pregnancy and up to one year postnatal. She provides both individual and grouptherapy using Compassion Focused Therapy. She has published a paperoutlining the use of Compassionate Mind Training with Perinatal distress in aspecial edition of the International Journal of Cognitive Therapy in 2010 and is due to publish a book in August 2015 in the “Compassionate Mind Approaches to…” series called “The Compassionate Mind Approach to Postnatal Depression: Using Compassion Focused Therapy to Enhance Mood, Confidence and Bonding”.

Michelle is also a Compassionate Mind Foundation board member and trainerand has trained a diverse range of individuals and professional groups in CFT across the country. She is a supervisor for the Postgraduate Certificate in Compassion Focused Therapy at the University of Derby.