Francesca Rutherford, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist

Francesca Rutherford

Lewes BN8
Shortlist Share
Francesca Rutherford, UKCP Accredited Psychotherapist

Francesca Rutherford

Lewes BN8
Shortlist Share

My Approach

I work with mothers, fathers and their babies and adults who are planning for or expecting a baby.

I understand that this can be a time of upheaval, be it joyful or one of trepidation, and often a mixture of the two! Indeed it is normal to experience a range of emotions during this vulnerable time and it can be difficult to make sense of it all. Even with planned pregnancies sometimes unexpected or unwelcome thoughts and feelings can feel worrying or overwhelming.
Sometimes the arrival of a new baby coincides with traumatic events such as separations, losses or poor health, perhaps the pregnancy or birth was difficult or having a baby has reawakened, in the mind, relationship difficulties either in the present or from the past. The baby may be difficult to soothe, or is perceived to fall short in some way. It is not always easy to understand why we feel as we do as troublesome thoughts and feelings can arise from both conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves. Sometimes parents can find it hard to bond with their baby because something is getting in the way and they are not sure what to do.

Parent-infant psychotherapy is for those who find themselves suffering in this way at any time from conception until baby is 2 years of age. I believe that this is a uniquely important and critical time. The baby's brain is developing rapidly and is being shaped by their environment and the relationships he or she has with key figures in his/her life. The parent-infant relationship impacts on how the baby develops, how they feel about themselves and with their relationships with others.

I offer a containing, non-judgemental, safe, caring and reflective space for us to consider together difficulties that might be hindering the parent-infant relationship. I provide a space for thinking about, playing with and observing baby together, to reflect on the thoughts and feelings being evoked and on baby's communications. The aim is to shine a light on and enhance the parent-infant relationship and to support positive attachments between parents and their baby.

I take a flexible approach, sessions can be short or longer term, face to face or on-line and the sessions can include one or both of the parental couple. Key figures in the baby's life such as siblings or grandparents may be included too.

About Me

I trained as a Parent-Infant Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist at the School of Infant Mental Health.
I have worked with babies and their parents in Children's centres in West Sussex, for Croydon Best Start team and for the charity BrightPIP in Brighton, in addition to working in private practice.
I live in Lewes, East Sussex and see clients face to face or on-line.
I work with mothers, fathers and couples who are expecting a baby.
I work with parents/carers and their babies.

I work with

  • Couples
  • Families

Special Interests

Like all UKCP registered psychotherapists and psychotherapeutic counsellors I can work with a wide range of issues, but here are some areas in which I have a special interest or additional experience.

Babies who do not sleep well Babies who cry excessively Babies who have problems eating Babies who appear overly sensitive, withdrawn, upset or sad
Past or present traumatic pregnancy and/or birth experiences Past or present traumatic events such as difficult early experiences, abuse, parental poor physical or mental health, death of a loved one, displacement, poverty, domestic violence, substance misuse Past or present mental health difficulties The pregnancy or birth coincides with traumatic events such as a family bereavement, separations or ill health Feelings of a loss of identity Baby reawakens difficult relationships Baby provokes feelings of disappointment or guilt Past or present post-natal depression or low mood.
For those who have experienced difficulties with conception Adverse circumstances around conception Complex or lengthy routes to conception
Parents who are struggling to come to terms with pregnancy, the birth or parenthood Parents who are having difficulty in understanding their baby Parents who feel confused or ashamed of their feelings towards their baby Parents who feel isolated, overwhelmed, depressed or traumatised by their baby Parents who feel unhappy since having their baby and don’t know why
For those who want to improve their relationships with their baby and children

Types of Therapies Offered

  • Parent Infant Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist

Types of sessions

  • Face to Face - Long Term
  • Face to Face - Short Term
  • Online Therapy

Lewes Office


Lewes BN8 5JS

View Map

UKCP College

  • Council for Psychoanalysis and Jungian Analysis College (CPJAC)
Francesca Rutherford

Francesca Rutherford

Lewes BN8

Bookmarks My Shortlist

All shortlisted profiles