For Women Only, Book 1

For Women Only, Book 1 is the first in a series of books devoted to exploring women’s issues in psychotherapy and counseling. This first book presents the narrative of psychotherapy treatment of a new mother for the trauma-like experiences of a difficult childbirth and the depression that followed. Catherine’s treatment took just six sessions with a novel approach called Parts Psychology, which recognizes that the normal personality is not unitary but naturally divided into subpersonalities, or parts. Each of the six sessions is described in detail, including the patient’s visualization of both preexisting and new parts of the self that were created during the 36 hours of unrelenting labor pain. For Catherine, the 34-year-old mother who is the subject of the therapy, the two most important parts were Catherine 22, a younger part who fulfilled the role of an angry Catherine, and Medusa, a snakes-as-hair version of Catherine’s mother. Therapy included both reducing the anger of Catherine 22 and neutralizing the negative effects of the Medusa “introject”—an unconscious representation of many negative traits of the patient’s mother. Catherine’s emotional issues were compounded by her mother’s rejection of her at the beginning of her pregnancy. Once her best friend, her mother became a continuing thorn in her side by refusing to speak to her throughout her pregnancy. The narrative describes how the mother’s negative influence in Catherine’s life was diminished through therapy. Positive results were confirmed through testing of Catherine’s pre- and post-treatment symptoms. The narrative of Catherine’s therapy illustrates how the Parts Psychology model provides effective guidelines for bringing about rapid relief and healing of a woman’s childbirth and postpartum issues.

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