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Table 2 Overview of final 3-session counselling intervention

From: Developing a task-sharing psychological intervention to treat mild to moderate symptoms of perinatal depression and anxiety in South Africa: a mixed-method formative study

Session goals Approach In-session techniques In-session reference guide
Session 1
Developing the counselling relationship, educating and identifying unique symptoms, engaging in activity to improve mood
Behavioural activation “get moving” Psychoeducation
Basic counselling skills
Engagement
Normalise, validate
Engaging coping skill
Basic assessment
Pictorial rating scale
Common symptoms
List of symptom words
Safety
3 standard questions
Steps to enhance safety
Psychoeducation
Depression and worry pit illustration
Activity scheduling options
Context relevant examples
Session 2
Identifying problems causing distress and finding ways to manage or cope with these problems
Problem-solving (introduction)
Identify the problem
Think of solutions
Positives and negatives
Select the best solution
Create an action plan
Review (next visit)
Basic counselling skills
Problem-solving steps
Encourage action steps
Explore barriers
Engaging coping skill
Basic assessment
Pictorial rating scale
Safety
3 standard questions
Steps to enhance safety
Problem-solving steps
Question guide
Resource guide (referrals) Local resources
Session 3
Reviewing the action plan and practicing problem-solving skills
Problem-solving (review) Basic counselling skills
Problem-solving steps (review)
Encourage action steps
Promote daily coping skills and remind of benefits
Basic assessment
Pictorial rating scale
Safety: 3 standard questions
Steps to enhance safety
Problem-solving steps
Question guide
Resource guide (referrals)Local resources
Enhancing coping skills (optional) Mindfulness and belly breathing
Helpful thinking
Social support
Conflict management
  1. After delivery of the 3 structured sessions, ongoing practice can be reinforced during routine visits. In the case where symptoms do not improve or a safety risk present, it should be discussed with the supervisor for a further referral