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Have you had unwanted and unpleasant thoughts about your baby?

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Have you had unwanted and unpleasant thoughts about your baby?

You may be able to help us understand how men experience intrusive thoughts


Sometimes, people have thoughts that come into their mind even when they don’t choose to think about them. They might include thoughts about hurting your child, either by accident or on purpose, even if you know that you don’t want to hurt your child. These thoughts can make people feel guilty and scared.


Thoughts like this are more common than we think, but we still don’t know much about them. It is thought that around 60% of new mothers and fathers have these thoughts, but they often feel so repulsive that people who experience them don’t feel able to talk about them.

We know a little bit more about how mothers experience these thoughts, but we don’t know much about how fathers do. We are hoping to speak with some fathers who have experienced (or continue) to experience these thoughts, so that we can build a better understanding of what it is like, and to start developing some ideas to provide better support for fathers.


To take part you are;

  • Over 18 years of age
  • Able to take part in an interview over the phone or online by video call (Zoom) for up to two hours (at a time that suits you)
  • Have experienced, or continue to experience intrusive thoughts about your baby or young child


For more information on taking part please contact Lara:

This research project is overseen by Dr Jane Iles and Dr Paul Hanna at the University of Surrey.

This research is being conducted by a trainee clinical psychologist in part fulfilment of a doctorate in clinical psychology (PsychD) at the University of Surrey, between December 2020 and May 2022. This research has been approved by the University of Surrey ethics committee.

Topic starter Posted : 27/07/2021 5:17 pm

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