All posts by alison


News from Open Doors Dec 2018

Through both education and counselling, Open Doors has always striven to make a difference in the community by bringing something of God’s light, peace and hope to all we do and to those we serve.

Last night I led my final Family Enrichment Parent/Child sessions for 2018 for a big primary school in Melbourne’s east.  I love watching the interactions between parent and child while they are having their various conversations. Depending on the age of the group these conversations can be about babies, puberty, or making safe choices.  It’s very satisfying to see dads and mums deep in earnest conversation with their children, sharing stories and helping them understand new information and discuss ways to make good choices.  This is time well spent by families and hopefully sets the pattern for continuing conversations at home.  By the end of this year, our small presentation team will have led 73 sessions at 41 schools across Melbourne for close to 2,500 families.

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Pre-marriage Education – ‘Prepare & Enrich’

Pre-marriage education is the most important part of your wedding preparations ...  It might just be the best wedding present you can give to each other!

Affordable Pre-marriage Education is available from Open Doors to help you  -

  • Identify your strengths as a couple
  • Explore areas for growth
  • Enhance your relationship skills

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When a pregnancy ends

When a pregnancy ends early, in whatever circumstances, it can be a devastating time for a woman.  Men can also be deeply affected.

Whether the pregnancy was planned or unplanned, you may experience a range of feelings which include disbelief, sadness, emptiness, anger, disappointment and a sense of isolation. These are normal feelings that we experience after a loss.

However for you they may have been unanticipated, especially if your pregnancy was unplanned. You may be overwhelmed and confused trying to make sense of the way you feel.

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Rachel’s Vineyard Retreat – a spiritual healing journey after abortion

2018 Retreats: March 23-25, July 20-22, Nov 23-25 Enquiries - anne@opendoors.com.au
About Rachel's Vineyard Retreats

Rachel's Vineyard Retreat is a beautiful opportunity for healing for any woman or man who has struggled with the emotional or spiritual pain of an abortion. It's a chance to get away from the daily pressures of work and family, to focus on a painful time in life, and to begin healing through a supportive and non-judgmental process.

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Creating Memories – ways to remember your baby

It doesn't matter if you lost your baby due to miscarriage, termination, ectopic pregnancy, IVF or stillbirth - feelings of grief are natural.  When you lose your baby you may feel a pressure to get on with your life. However, your relationship with your baby doesn't end when your baby dies.

Your grief is visible evidence of that. Your attachment continues and you long for your child. A loss early in the pregnancy is difficult as you may not have seen your baby or may not have known whether it was  a boy or a girl. This may cause you confusion about the depth of the loss you feel. Making your child real is a way to help you grieve.

There are a number of ways you can do this. Be imaginative and do what seems most meaningful to you. Remember - it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. This is about you and the loss of your baby.

Here are some suggestions for acknowledging and remembering your baby:

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Understanding and Managing Peri Natal Depression and Anxiety

Just 'the baby blues' or something more?woman thinking
The peri natal period describes the period from conception to 1 year after the birth. In the past we have tended to just focus on depression in the period after the birth (PND - Post Natal Depression.) However 1 in 10 expectant mums and 1 in 20 expectant dads experience depression during the pregnancy and may also need some support at this time.

Some mood changes and anxieties are expected with any normal pregnancy but where symptoms persist or are not manageable with the support of family and friends, you may need to reach out for further support from a caring professional.

This article outlines the various ways in which anxiety and depression may affect a person across the peri natal period.

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Relinquishing a baby

When facing an unplanned pregnancy, adoption is one option open to the pregnant woman.  This can seem like the best solution where terminating the pregnancy goes against the grain.  The aim for the mother is to provide her baby with as good as environment as possible - it’s a decision born out of love.

However, giving up her child to adoption comes with its own experiences of grief.  It is a grief that’s like no other as there’s no identified grieving process.  This leaves the mother to take up her life again and act like the pregnancy never happened.  She’s left to get by as best she can.

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‘Baby & Me’ – getting ahead of post natal depression

Being a new mum can be challenging...

Do you have a baby under 12 months old? Are you struggling to cope, feeling flat, sad or depressed?  The Getting Ahead of Postnatal Depression Program has been developed by the Parent-Infant Research Institute (PIRI) in conjunction with Austin Health.  Open Doors counsellors are specially trained to deliver this 12-week program which consists of 9 group therapy sessions for you, 3 sessions with your partner and comprehensive follow up care.  The program is low cost and includes babysitting options.

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I’m Pregnant – What are my choices?

Single Parenting?  - Abortion? - Adoption? - Marriage to the baby's father?
When facing an unplanned pregnancy, it's important to make an informed decision about the options available to you. You need to consider your thoughts, feelings and reactions about each of these options. Take some 'me time' and use the guide below to help you quietly think through your situation.

You may also wish to seek counselling from someone who is not emotionally involved.

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