Compassion-Focused Skills Group for Women struggling with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders


This skills group is intended for pregnant women (20th week and over) and mothers to an infant (under 1 year since delivery) who are struggling with symptoms of anxiety and/or depression and high levels of self-criticism. By participating in this Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) Skills group, you will work towards: - Understanding why you may be struggling with symptoms of anxiety, depression and self-criticism as well as some associated safety strategies. - Understanding how compassion may help you work with these experiences - Building capacity for compassion by contacting your soothing system. - Developing compassion for those around you. - Developing self-compassion. CFT is a form of evidence-based, Third-Wave Cognitive-Behavioural Psychotherapy that integrates the neuroscience of positive emotion, evolutionary psychology, developmental psychology and methods derived from Buddhist psychology. Founded by British psychologist Dr. Paul Gilbert, Ph.D., CFT helps people experiencing high levels of shame and self-criticism by developing and working with experiences of inner warmth, safeness and soothing, via compassion and self-compassion. The course will be led by Dr. Melisa Arias-Valenzuela, Ph.D. Dr. Arias-Valenzuela, Ph.D., is a doctoral associate at the Ottawa River Psychology Group and is currently pursuing her registration to become a clinical psychologist in Ontario. She specializes in working with people struggling with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders and has a special interest and passion for compassionate intervention approaches, particularly for Compassion-Focused Therapy (CFT) and Mindful Self-Compassion (MSC). Dr. Arias-Valenzuela has received advanced training from Postpartum Support International and is in the process of completing her certification in Perinatal Mental Health. She is a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, the Compassionate Mind Foundation and Postpartum Support International. Dr. Arias-Valenzuela has led many clinical workshops on the therapeutic use of compassion practices, including the 2020 Meeting of the Canadian Network for Compassion Focused Therapy. Early bird registration fee (by August 21st 2020) : 500$ General registration fee: 550$ For registration or more information, please contact the Ottawa River Psychology Group's office (613-656-3331 or * If you have third-party insurance, it may cover all or part of the cost of a therapeutic course. We recommend that you contact your insurance provider to confirm what health professions your plan covers (e.g. Psychologist), and that this coverage includes the types of therapies in question (i.e. a group program or course). ** Although therapeutic, this course is not intended to be a therapy group. The aim is to help participants to develop compassionate skills. *** Even though babies will be welcomed in this course, it is strongly encouraged that you take this time for you. New moms rarely have time to themselves and so, as a compassionate practice, we encourage you to take this time for yourself if it is possible.

Additional Information

PSI Social Support Course No

PSI Perinatal Mental Health 2-Day Certificate Course No

PSI/2020 Mom Online Maternal Mental Health Yes

Advanced Perinatal Mental Health Training Yes


44 Hawthorne avenue
Ottawa, Ontario

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