Date of Award

2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts Honours

School

School of Psychology and Social Sciences

Faculty

Faculty of Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Elizabeth Kaczmarek

Abstract

In recent years literature regarding peer support recovery services has been more prominent. However, little attention has been paid to how these services are used to treat postnatal depression and questions regarding what informs a consumer's decision to become a support person to others remain. The aim of this study was to explore women's postnatal depression and how their experience and recovery informed a decision to become a peer support group facilitator. Participants were eight women who were past or current facilitators with the Post Natal Depression Support Association Inc. (PNDSA). In-depth conversational style interviews were conducted with participants and a thematic content analysis was performed on the resulting interview transcripts. The main motivational factor behind the decision appeared to be empathy derived from women's own experiences. Women described symptoms of burnout and a loss of empathy as challenges of facilitating and reasons for discontinuation of the role. Future research may need to clarify the experience of loss of empathy in relation to facilitator's own recovery.

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