Contemporary Family Therapy

, Volume 37, Issue 4, pp 417–425 | Cite as

Fathers Matter: Family Therapy’s Role in the Treatment of Paternal Peripartum Depression

  • Cassidy J. Freitas
  • Curtis A. Fox
Original Paper


Peripartum depression is a major health issue for parents and their children. This problem is often thought to be endemic to peripartum mothers, and in some cases have led to fatal outcomes. However fathers may also bear this burden, and paternal peripartum depression is beginning to receive warranted attention. This conceptual paper focuses on peripartum fathers and their experiences in the context of their relationships with their intimate partners, children, and healthcare providers. Family therapists are in a position to provide systemic assessment and approaches to treatment within various environments, a maximal impact platform for fathers and families affected by paternal peripartum depression. This paper will describe how peripartum depression manifests in men and how this problem might be assessed and treated through a systems lens. A multi-disciplinary model will be offered, with special attention given to the role of the family therapist. Clinical considerations and implications for future studies will also be discussed.


Postpartum depression Fathers Family therapy Intervention Interdisciplinary treatment approach 



We acknowledge the help of Jackie Williams-Reade, Ph.D., Zephon Lister, Ph.D., Brian Distelberg, Ph.D., and Daniel Singley, Ph.D. for their input and encouragements on this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Counseling and Family SciencesLoma Linda UniversityLoma LindaUSA

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