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Dropping the Struggle Therapy Course

We are really pleased to announce that PANDAS have worked in collaboration with Kathryn from @KDV.parentmentalhealth to form a new course programme.

What is it? 

A 6 week structured therapy programme designed just for parents and parents to be – acknowledging the unique emotions and challenges that come with parenting.

When we feel overwhelmed, we try to control our world to feel safe, however trying to feel in control during ever changing circumstances puts us in a continuous fight with feelings and usually results in us feeling alone, ashamed and losing confidence.

This course uses CBT principles from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to help attendees learn how to manage difficult thoughts and feelings differently so that you can reduce the impact these experiences are having on your life and connect with what really matters to you.

The skills that you learn on this course will not only help you as a parent or parent to be, they will equip you to deal with all the changes and challenges that life brings; giving you the confidence to make your own decisions and choose what is right for you and your family.

The course will run for six weeks and each session is one hour in duration. The sessions take place over zoom which allows you to be in the comfort of your own home.

In each session we will explore the therapy concepts through presentations from the facilitator, practicing the strategies in session and group discussions. Each week there will be a strategy for you to practice in your daily life with a worksheet and / or recording.

This is a structured therapy group that provides time for talking and learning from each other but there is no need to discuss anything that you are not willing to share. We also ask that participants don’t share things that may be distressing to others. Your comfort is of upmost importance to us and if there is anything you would like to discuss or clarify before signing up to the course, please email Kathryn at kathryndivirgilio@pandasfoundation.org.uk


The course content is as follows:

Week 1 – We will be learning why we have difficult thoughts and feelings, we will begin to understand where they come from and look at the ways that we respond to them that are helpful and unhelpful.


Week 2 – We focus on intrusive thoughts and how we can ‘unhook’ from them and reduce the negative impact they have on our lives.


Week 3 – We will be exploring feelings and what we can do when we’re feeling overwhelmed to make room for these feelings so we can still do what’s important to us.


Week 4 – We will develop our ability to connect to the here and now, to stop our minds pulling our focus to the past or future. We will discover the connection that brings to ourselves and others.


Week 5 – We will identify what is important to you in your own life, how to let go of external pressures and focus on what you want for yourself and your family.


Week 6 – We will be putting everything together and creating our own plan for the choices we want to make and setting some goals for the future.


About the facilitator:

Kathryn Di Virgilio is a highly experienced, fully registered perinatal mental health therapist. She has worked in both the private sector and the NHS. She graduated as an occupational therapist over ten years ago and has extensive experience working in clinical settings in both the UK and Australia.


Kathryn is registered with regulatory body the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is a member of the Royal College of Occupational Therapy (RCOT).


What do others say? 

We’ve had some lovely feedback from previous course participants, including comments like this….


“Such an amazing course that has changed the way I cope with both little and big struggles that life throws my way. Would recommend that all parents should do this course!”

“This course has given me a completely different relationship with myself. I felt overwhelmed and didn’t think I couldn’t process anything else going wrong, but now I know that I have space for difficult feelings and can accept them. It has equipped me with the tools I need to work towards enjoying and focusing on the present moment. The 6 weeks has flown by, I have enjoyed every session, thank you so much PANDAS.”

“This course was fantastic! I highly recommend it. Kathryn is a very empathic, skilled Coach- and gently armed us all with brilliant tools, techniques and information to help us navigate our emotional seas. Thanks so much”

“I learnt some really useful, straightforward tools to use ‘in the moment’. It gave me an opportunity and a push to think about my values and the kind of parent I want to be / life I want to live. It felt like a safe, friendly space.”


How much is the course and do participants have to attend every session? 

How much is the course?
The course will be £200 for the programme of 6 sessions (you would need to sign up to the whole programme.)

If you feel that you are in a financial situation that prevents you from accessing this course please do reach out to have a discussion about this with our team. We are also accepting donations in kind for this course, so if you would kindly like to donate the cost of this course so that it can go to someone in need we’d be so grateful

Proceeds from the running of this course will be fed back into PANDAS to help us deliver our key, free services for parents and carers in the UK


When is it? 

Start date:  Thursday 5th October 7pm

Runs every Thursday at 7pm for 6 weeks (taking a break on Thus 26th Oct for half term)

To sign up please follow this link

For further information please contact Kathryn (Therapy Course facilitator) –  kathryndivirgilio@pandasfoundation.org.uk

Title: Dropping the struggle: Wellbeing skills for Dads

The next 6 week course is TBC.

If you are interested in attending any of these courses, please do email kathryndivirgilio@pandasfoundation.org.uk to book and for more info. Thanks so much

If you need urgent help….

If you need urgent help or are worried about a loved one, call the Samaritans on 116 123 or the emergency services on 999.

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