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Book Review: "The Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook"

At Goody Counseling Services we're here to foster not just healing, but also growth through the power of literature. At our practice, we believe in the transformative potential of learning, which is why we've established a vibrant book club comprised of our clinicians and interns. Each month, we delve into a carefully selected book, exploring its techniques, lessons, and insights. Our book club isn't just about reading, it's about sharing perspectives, cultivating resources, and enriching our therapeutic practice. Join us as we embark on this journey of self-discovery, personal growth, and comradery, one page at a time!


The book club book for the month of March is "The Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook" by Pamela Wiegartz, Ph.D., and Kevin Gyoerkoe, Psy.D.

Our interest in the subject of pregnancy and postpartum anxiety encouraged our commitment to this workbook. In administering Exposure Response Prevention (ERP) therapy, we recognize the emergence or worsening of Anxiety Disorders, OCD, Health Anxiety, and Panic Disorder oftentimes when female clients go through this life change. Our commitment to finding accessible resources and educating ourselves led us to this workbook. We acknowledge the challenges of fertility, pregnancy, and motherhood as a time in the individual's life which requires a true embrace to uncertainty, distress, and boundless love - all existing at the same time. Even for mothers who lack an anxiety-related diagnosis, this period of life is fraught with a lack of self-care, poor sleep, and adjustment so radical that it changes who we are as human beings. Supporting women through this unique journey in life is an effort we feel strongly about and which this month's book helped us become closer to achieving.

Broken down into four easily digestible parts, this workbook mirrors the progression of treatment typically found in therapeutic settings. Initially, readers are provided with essential education on anxiety and depression, alongside valuable techniques for managing associated symptoms. As the journey unfolds, the workbook delves deeper, teaching readers the rationale and efficacy behind these techniques. It then addresses the specifics of the anxiety experienced by the reader, offering targeted strategies for coping and resilience. It concludes by outlining methods for maintaining positive outcomes, ensuring sustained progress through continued practice and implementation of learned techniques.

As clinicians, we found this to be well-written and believe concepts explained are easily understood by the reader. The addition of charts and opportunity for feedback we feel is especially helpful in both engaging the reader in concepts, while also helping to illuminate next steps as it relates to solutions. We appreciate the comprehensive summary of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy as a whole, and even more impressively, the explanation of ERP therapy and advocacy for its specialty in the presence of anxiety-related disorders. Its efforts to assist readers in making decisions and walk through cognitive restructuring for a more rational path forward is well crafted and does so with validation for worries and instillation of hope. The emphasis on self-care is helpful and a message which we communicate often in our own sessions with clients during periods of anxiety. The workbook also makes space to acknowledge the impact of pregnancy and postpartum on new fathers and the impact of their own anxiety and depression in addition to their partners.

Don't forget to check out our monthly book reviews where we offer insights and reflections on the latest addition to our literary repertoire!


 

References

Wiegartz, P., & Gyoerkoe, K. (2019). The Pregnancy & Postpartum Anxiety Workbook. New Harbinger Publications.
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