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Complex Interventions in Perinatal Practice

Module titleComplex Interventions in Perinatal Practice
Module codePYCM093
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Alex Boyd (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This is an optional module on the Perinatal Clinical Psychology Training (PCPT) programme. If you are taking this module are required to have first completed the module PYCM092 The Fundamentals of Perinatal Practice. If you are taking this module you are also required to be clinical or counselling psychologist working in specialist perinatal mental health services. The modules have been developed in response to a Health Education England (HEE) tender to support the training of these professionals in new and recently funded posts across England and cover HEE and British Psychological Society (BPS) perinatal competencies.

This module will include evidence-based intervention skills for work with people with perinatal, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Tokophobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and personality disorder (PD)/Problems in emotion regulation. It will provide key information about the presentation of these problems in the perinatal period. You will gain key skills in using this knowledge to adapt assessment and evidence-based interventions for these problems in the perinatal period.

The module will be taught using a variety of pedagogical approaches including structured, online, distance-learning materials (padlets), and remotely (or face-to-face) delivered practice-based workshops with experts in the field. These will then be supported by and remotely-delivered “action-based learning groups” facilitated by experienced perinatal clinical psychologists. ┬áThe distance-learning materials are designed to communicate to you, and engage you in the underpinning knowledge-base for the topic area. This learning will prepare you for further teaching, skills practice and opportunities for reflection on learning both in the workshops and in the action-based learning groups.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to provide opportunities for you to develop and demonstrate knowledge, understanding and skills in the following areas:

  • Specialist perinatal clinical assessment skills and psychological therapy competencies in delivering perinatally adapted, evidence-based, NICE-recommend interventions
  • Specialist perinatal competencies in working with perinatal, PTSD, Tokophobia, OCD, personality disorder and emotional regulation problems.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe perinatal factors affecting mental health problems
  • 2. Conduct comprehensive perinatal mental health assessments and formulation.
  • 3. Conduct a comprehensive perinatal risk assessment
  • 4. Provide perinatally adapted, culturally sensitive psychological interventions.
  • 5. Account for couple and family needs in perinatal psychological interventions and how mental health problems affect the parent-infant relationship.
  • 6. Describe how mental health problems affect the parent-infant relationship.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Practise as a scientist practitioner, advancing your knowledge and understanding and develop new skills to a high level.
  • 8. Implement psychologically informed assessment, formulation, intervention and evaluation.

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Take personal responsibility for clinical decision making in straightforward and complex situations.
  • 10. Tackle and solve therapeutic problems with self-direction creativity and originality.
  • 11. Adapt psychological practice with sensitivity, ensuring equitable access to people with diverse needs and presentations.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Structured, online, distance-learning content will include:

  • Perinatal presentation of PTSD, Tokophobia, OCD, and emotion regulation difficulties/oersonality disorder
  • Exposure-based approaches
  • Intergenerational transmission of emotion regulation problems

The three-day remote or face-to-face workshop will include:

  • A formulation based approach to assessing trauma and developing a shared narrative
  • Prevention and intervention strategies for PTSD after childbirth
  • Working with multidisciplinary teams in Perinatal PTSD/Tokophobia
  • Intervention strategies for tokophobia and safety of exposure during pregnancy
  • Couple approaches to support treatment for PTSD/Tokophobia
  • Evidence-based psychological treatment (CBT/Exposure) for perinatal OCD
  • Couple/family approaches to support treatment for OCD
  • Self- compassion/IPT approaches for OCD
  • Mechanisms in emotion regulation problems/PD
  • Evidence-based treatments for perinatal emotion regulation problems/PD
  • Group approaches to perinatal emotion regulation/PD problems
  • PPI presentations

Four action-based learning groups will be delivered remotely (using zoom or skype video-conferencing) fortnightly following the workshop, in groups of approximately six students, for two hours and will be facilitated by an experienced perinatal psychologist. The final session will include assessment of application of learning to practice via a case presentation (see assessment information). The content will focus on your individual goals for applying the module learning to practice.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching2Structured online materials to be completed prior to attendance at workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching19.5Face-to-face teaching on module content including skills practice and reflective exercises
Scheduled Learning and Teaching8Remotely delivered action-based learning groups focussed on implementation of learning in clinical practice.
Guided Independent Study18Guided independent study and clinical practice.


Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Case presentation5020 minutes1-11Oral and written feedback
Practice diary and reflective summary 504 weekly diary/log entries submitted with a 500-word reflective summary of learning as applied to practice1-11Written
Self-rated assessment of competency pre- and post-module01-11Requires completion only


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Case presentationWritten case report addressing areas previously failed1-11Within four weeks of original feedback
Practice diary and reflective summary4 weekly diary/log entries submitted with a 500-word reflective summary of learning as applied to practice addressing areas previously failed1-11Within four weeks of original feedback
Self-rated assessment of competency pre- and post-moduleNot applicableNot applicableNot applicable


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Ayers, S., McKenzie-McHarg, K., & Eagle, A. (2007). Cognitive behaviour therapy for postnatal post-traumatic stress disorder: case studies. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 28(3), 177-184.
  • Challacombe, F. L., Salkovskis, P. M., Woolgar, M., Wilkinson, E. L., Read, J., & Acheson, R. (2017). A pilot randomized controlled trial of time-intensive cognitive–behaviour therapy for postpartum obsessive–compulsive disorder: effects on maternal symptoms, mother–infant interactions and attachment. Psychological medicine, 47(8), 1478-1488.
  • Howard, L. M., Molyneaux, E., Dennis, C. L., Rochat, T., Stein, A., & Milgrom, J. (2014). Non-psychotic mental disorders in the perinatal period. The Lancet, 384(9956), 1775-1788.
  • Mycroft et al. (2018) Fear of Childbirth (Tokophobia) and Traumatic Experience of Childbirth: Best Practice Toolkit.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE page: URL?

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Perinatal mental health, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Tokophobia, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, personality disorder, emotion regulation

Credit value
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites

PYCM092 The Fundamentals of Perinatal Practice

Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date