Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario

Non-Directive Counselling for Postpartum Depression

  • Provides support through empathy, active listening, encouragement, and developing positive therapeutic relationships where persons are encouraged to find solutions or approaches that work for them.
  • Can be effectively provided as a type of psychosocial support for postpartum depression in both individual and group formats, and it can be facilitated by trained nurses or other health-care providers.
  • Requires nurses of members of the interprofessional team to take the following steps:
  • establish a positive relationship with the person;
  • focus on the person’s experience; support their ability to manage their own situation and solve any identified problems;
  • ensure a clear understanding of the person’s perspective;
  • be open and transparent in all communications;
  • refer to additional supports (such as a psychologist or other mental health specialist) in cases of more moderate-to-severe depression; and
  • refer and facilitate access to an urgent care facility in cases of identified risk of  self-harm or suicide by the person.
Women and Children
Assessment and Interventions Perinatal Depression
Point of Care Resources