Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

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Thirty (30) women in the first trimester of gestation will be recruited from a local clinic to participate in this study. They will be randomly assigned to a control group and an experimental group. All the subjects will answer the Edinburgh Post Natal Depression Scale (EPDS) and the Beck Depression Inventory- II (BDI-II) before and after they give birth and the Mother-Infant Attachment Scale (MIAS) as an additional post test after they give birth. The only difference will be that the experimental group will undergo CBT session once a week. Results will be compared to validate if CBT has been instrumental in helping the experimental group manage their PPS and attachment issues or not. Introduction This study purports to answer the research question: To what extent does Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) help women with postpartum depression and difficulty with attachment to their infant as compared to women who do not receive CBT? Postpartum depression (PPT) affects a growing number of new mothers and its consequences for both mother and infant can be damaging. It usually occurs within four weeks after the birth of the infant (O’Hara, 1997), and affects one in every seven new mothers, reflecting a prevalence rate of 13% (Wisner et al., 2006. O’Hara amp. Swain, 1996). The seriousness of the impact of PPD has been alarming, making it an important public health problem (Cuijpers et al., 2008). To prevent PPS, Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) has been known to be an effective intervention. It is a psychotherapeutic approach of training an individual to think of positive things instead of dwelling on the negative. Thus, it may provide significant impact on women with postpartum depression and difficulties with attachment to their infants. CBT can help the new mothers to understand how their thinking and behaviour affect their emotional state and this in turn affects their feelings and ability to attach to their babies. Review of Literature Depression Depression is associated with feelings of extreme sadness which not only last for long periods of time, but it is also recurrent and may further develop into suicidal tendencies (NHS, 2010). It is usually manifested with negative behaviors stemming from negative emotions. Sometimes, the person experiencing it is not even aware that he or she is undergoing depression. Its concept as a serious and debilitating illness, one which has had great impact globally, has become recognised within general medicine and the public eye in more recent times (NHS, 2010). In 1996, the World Bank published a report on the global burden of disease implicating the importance for the realisation that the impact of depression worldwide is vast. In 1990, 11 million sufferers of depression were identified in the US alone (Scott et al, 2003) . Cognitive Behavior Therapy Aaron Beck, one of the proponents of Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), agrees that much of our psychological problems are caused by cognitive distortions due to our acknowledged human fallibility. Individuals who undergo depression have belief systems or assumptions that may have developed from their negative early experiences which were not resolved well. Thus the negative experiences may have lead to the development of dysfunctional beliefs about the world, which may easily be triggered certain events (Field, 2000). Beck (1987) came up with the concept of negative cognitive triad that describes the pattern that triggers depression. In the first component of the triad, the client exhibits a negative view of himself. He is convinced that he is to blame for whatever pathetic state he is currently in because of his personal inadequacies. Secondly, the client shows negative view of