Around 10 pct. fathers suffer from perinatal depression. This disorder should be viewedas arelational disturbancerooted in relationsfrom the father’s own upbringing, constitutingitself in relationsas a parenthood disturbance also influencing the motherand influencesrelations in future, namely by having impact on the child’s development.Psychotherapytherefore mustapproach this suffering as a relational disturbance.In addition, therapy should engage with ‘male specific’ mental states, because many men intheir upbringing-and in the cultural and societal expectations of masculinity-areconfronted with and have psychologically internalised an ambivalence between autonomyand freedom on the one hand, and closeness and attachment on the other. This ambivalencebecomes sharpened in men’s mental states during the process of being a parent, and it is avital issuein postnatal depression in men. This ambivalence is often displayed inaman’stendency to withdraw himself from relationships in the hope that he will find relief indistancing himself from close family. It also appears in many men’s wanting to quickly getaway from agony, sometimes by alcohol abuse, irrational actions, etc. Finally, this alsoappears in some men’s tendencies to act out in angry out-bursts, violence, or differentabuse.Besides the mainstream psychotherapy that builds upon psychodynamic,mentalising,narrative, or cognitive methods it is therefore useful to include the above-mentioned topicsin a treatment model suited for men with perinatal depressionand men’s other familyrelated disorders.

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