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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/380

Authors: Williams, Marissa
Supervisor(s): Dr. Gina Wong (Athabasca University)
Examining Committee: Dr. Lynn Corcoran (Athabasca University), Dr. Luisa Barton (Athabasca University)
Degree: Master of Counselling
Department: Faculty of Health Disciplines
Keywords: Counselling
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Lived Experience
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Postpartum Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Issue Date: 29-Apr-2022
Abstract: Abstract Postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by distressing intrusive thoughts (obsessions), typically related to infant-harm, and behaviours (compulsions) that a mother engages in to reduce distress about the obsessions. Postpartum OCD is a common perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD) that causes mothers to suffer immensely. Mothers’ experiences of recovery following effective counselling are largely missing in the research literature. The purpose of this qualitative study was to use interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) to examine mothers’ lived experiences of recovery from postpartum OCD following effective counselling to fill current gaps in knowledge. Eight mothers participated in this study to elucidate their recovery experiences following counselling. Individual semistructured interviews were conducted via Zoom. Five postpartum OCD recovery themes associated with effective counselling were identified. These included: (I) Strong Therapeutic Alliance: Fostered through Trust, Safety, and Security, (II) Intervention Strategies including three subthemes: (IIa) Education about PMADs, (IIb) Cognitive Restructuring and Defusion, and (IIc) SSRI medication, (III) Self-Acceptance including one subtheme: (IIIa) Acceptance of Intrusive Thoughts and Postpartum OCD, (IV) Sense of Belonging within PMAD Community, and (V) PMAD Advocacy. Implications for counselling practice are discussed as well as practical guidelines and recommendations for counsellors and psychologists in order to best support mothers in their postpartum OCD recovery. Keywords: counselling, interpretative phenomenological analysis, lived experience, motherhood, obsessive-compulsive disorder, postpartum, postpartum obsessive-compulsive disorder, recovery
Graduation Date: Jun-2022
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10791/380
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