Perinatal mood and anxiety disorder Groups

Welcome to our information page for the health professional. This page is designed to provide some more detailed information about the group process and what clients/patients can expect.

After many years of running groups, the group is now running four ten week terms per year at Ridge 26. Currently the group is full.

Each group consists of up to 7 members and is facilitated by Perinatal Psychotherapist and Director of Baby and Beyond Parental Counselling, Melissa Hughes and male counsellor Nick Garay.

Women and their partners are both welcome to attend the groups and there is a dedicated men’s week for partners to attend. Having the partners involved is an integral part of the healing process.


We encourage the group members to allow themselves the space to fully participate in the group experience and ask that child care arrangements are made for their children.


Prior to commencing group, group members will have a meeting with Melissa to discuss the process in more detail and assess their suitability for group, as for some people the group process may not be recommended. Once the group commences it is then closed, meaning that no new members can join.


Group members will often wish to follow on to the next term, for these people, they will be given priority status for the next group. For those wanting to explore group work in greater detail there is a follow-on group.


All the work that is done in the groups is based on Yalom’s model of Group Psychotherapy and the focus is on the here and now. This means that relationships that form within the group are explored in the moment and the aim of this is to further understanding each member's patterns of relating. This learning is then used to facilitate further understanding of each member's important relationships outside the group, such as with a child, partner or parent.

There is also an educational component with discussion of the issues related to depression, anxiety, treatments and self-care. 

Information is held in the strictest confidence unless the therapists have permission to disclose information or there are concerns about the safety or well-being of the group member or another.

There is ample evidence for the therapeutic effects of group therapy and we hope to further understand the effects of this treatment modality in the Perinatal period. We use the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) as a means of monitoring progress.


Potential participants can phone to make an appointment for a pre group assessment. If there is significant interest another group may be established to cater for more families.


Should you have any further questions about the group process please phone or email Melissa Hughes at Ridge 26 on (02)9002 1340