chapter  3
Effi cacy of CBT for Perinatal Distress
Pages 15

This chapter describes the behavioral strategies that are primarily targeted toward anxiety. Affective coping skills are tools that perinatal clients can apply to reduce high levels of anxiety and agitation to reasonable levels in order to become more centered, grounded, and able to address whatever challenges they are facing. Controlled breathing is a strategy in which clients learn to breathe at an even rate and depth. This strategy is especially useful for clients who report that overbreathing is a part of the way in which their anxiety manifests. The aim of affective copings skills, like controlled breathing and muscle relaxation, is to reduce acute symptoms of anxiety and agitation so that the client is more centered, grounded, and able to think clearly to address her life problems. Cognitive restructuring that is solely focused on the low likelihood of aversive outcomes occurring from the exposure can provide reassurance, reducing a client's anxiety during an exposure trial.