All therapy is currently online, using HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms. 

Therapy consists of weekly sessions which last about an hour. After taking a history we will create a treatment plan.  I will help guide you through this collaboration in identifying problem areas and intended goals.  I prioritize  building the therapeutic relationship to create safety and shared goals, and creating an understanding of how to work with your nervous system before moving into deeper work.  If trauma processing is necessary, I work carefully to help co-regulate you so as not to re-traumatize. I work with both top-down and bottom-up approaches. This means that we will be attending to your nervous system as much as we will be working on the thoughts and beliefs you hold about yourself, others and the world.

Psychotherapy for perinatal disorders has been proven highly effective for mothers, and also protective for baby's physical and mental development. I am certified in advanced level training in Maternal Mental Health through Postpartum Support International. Perinatal psychotherapy is a specialized approach to psychotherapy for pregnant and postpartum mothers. Postpartum depression (a term used to describe many postpartum experiences including depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis, and traumatic birth experiences) affects around 10-20% of mothers worldwide. There are biological, psychological, spiritual and social factors that contribute to the likelihood of this happening. Unfortunately, many mothers don't receive the services they need because their distress may not look like typical depression. For many mothers, intrusive thoughts, high anxiety, or overwhelming fears may be the dominant presentation.

 

Becoming a mother is a tremendous transition that can bring historical issues to the surface. Mothers often struggle with their own unmet emotional needs from childhood. They may feel those emotional needs acutely, but not know what to do with them as they are being called into a parental role. There may be unconscious efforts to re-create, or, alternatively, to compensate for what happened in their own childhoods. Emotional vulnerability and new levels of dependency on others may be uncomfortable. Allowing for these needs and learning to communicate them in a clear and gracious way becomes paramount. We will work to identify what you need, how to meet those needs, and how to move forward when older needs cannot be met. 

 

Identity crises, sometimes experienced as,"I was that person then, but who am I now?" are common during postpartum adjustment. This is a time of role transitions and redefining oneself. I see this crisis as a unique opportunity. With the right support, it is an opportunity for personal growth.  Like most adversity, the reward may not present itself immediately but will be experienced over time. A sense of purpose may emerge, and priorities can be rearranged. Becoming a parent forces us to master conflicts that have previously been avoided.

Breastfeeding is another emotional challenge often wrought with hopes and expectations. Exclusive breastfeeding may not be realistic for some mothers, and this can feel like failure. Therapy helps mothers identify their expectations, grieve losses, and come to the best resolution for themselves. I bring a background in lactation education and a non-judgmental stance to supporting clients through these decisions. It may not need to be an either-or decision in the end. 

My therapeutic style is focused, but also flexible. I hope to provide a warm relationship and encourage you toward personal growth. During the process of therapy I wear many hats, moving between teaching skills to listening for your personal narrative. Most clients find they are need of both active skills building and insight and exploration at different times in therapy. Finally, I am committed to a personal practice of keeping up with clinical research, consultation, and essential self care that keeps me replenished for clinical work. I learn most from my clients, and am grateful to those who allow me to join them in their process of healing.