Perinatal Anxiety Resources for Clinicians

Books, Guides and Workbooks

The Pregnancy and Postpartum Anxiety Workbook by Kevin Gyoerkoe PsyD, ACT, Laura Miller MD, Pamela Wiegartz PhD, ACT.  This anxiety workbook offers proven-effective strategies drawn from cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for keeping anxious or obsessive thoughts at bay and getting back to productive and positive thinking.  Through a series of exercises and worksheets, this workbook includes skills for relaxing yourself when you feel stressed, as well as strategies for reducing the frequency and intensity of anxious feelings many pregnant women and mothers of infants face. 

Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders: A Clinician’s Guide by Cheryl Tatano Beck; Jeanne Watson Driscoll. Designed for clinicians delivering postpartum care, including clinicians, midwives, OB-GYN nurse practitioners, and women’s health practitioners, this text overviews the six different mood and anxiety disorders that may present during a woman’s postpartum year. Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders focuses on assessment, screening tools, diagnosis, treatment, and implications for practice, and includes case studies to integrate the process. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Perinatal Distressby Amy Wenzel with Karen Kleiman
Countless studies have established the efficacy of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for many manifestations of depression and anxiety. In Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Perinatal Distress, Wenzel and Kleiman discuss the benefits of CBT for pregnant and postpartum women who suffer from emotional distress. The myths of CBT as rigid and intrusive are shattered as the authors describe its flexible application for perinatal women. This text teaches practitioners how to successfully integrate CBT structure and strategy into a supportive approach in working with this population. The examples used in this book will be familiar to postpartum specialists, making this an easily comprehensive and useful resource.

 The Art of Holding in Therapy: An Essential Intervention for Postpartum Depression and Anxiety by Karen Kleiman
First conceptualized by D.W. Winnicott, “holding” in this book refers to a therapist ‘ s capacity to respond to postpartum distress in a way that facilitates an immediate and successful therapeutic alliance. Readers will learn how to contain high levels of agitation, fear, and panic in a way that cultivates trust and the early stages of connectedness. Also addressed through vignettes are personality types that make holding difficult, styles of ineffective holding, and how to modify holding techniques to accommodate the individual woman. A must-read for postpartum professionals, the techniques learned in this book will help clients achieve meaningful and enduring recovery. 

Dropping the Baby and Other Scary Thoughts: Breaking the Cycle of Unwanted Thoughts in Motherhood. by Karen Kleiman and Amy Wenzel
This book, geared toward both providers and parents, addresses intrusive thoughts–what they are, why they exist, and what you can do about them.   


Anxiety BC for Moms To Be and New Moms A website for moms-to-be and new moms that provides psychoeducation, tools, and tips for navigating perinatal anxiety.  

International OCD foundation Provides information about OCD and a searchable list of providers who specialize in OCD. Most content is not specific to perinatal OCD.

PASS, the perinatal anxiety screening scale printable version of the 31-question perinatal anxiety screening scale. 

Using PASS, the perinatal anxiety screening scale.

Client handout about intrusive thoughts or “scary thoughts”

SpeaktheSecret: campaign about scary thoughts A long list of intrusive thoughts submitted by (anonymous) real women, intended to reduce the isolation stigma around intrusive thoughts. May not be appropriate to share with all clients.