Therapy usually consists of weekly sessions which last about 50 minutes. After taking a history and clarifying a diagnosis, we will create a treatment plan. I will collaborate with you to identify your problem areas and goals.
I prioritize building the therapeutic relationship as a first step. This is to create safety and a shared sense of treatment goals. This alliance is the foundation for successful therapy and for deeper work. My therapeutic style is focused, but also flexible. I wear many hats during therapy, from teaching skills to listening carefully for who you are and what your personal narrative is. Most clients find they need both skills-building and self-exploration at different times in therapy. I value kindness, humor, and irreverence, and hope that I bring these qualities to my work.
Psychotherapy for postpartum disorders has been proven highly effective for mothers, and also protective for baby's development. Perinatal psychotherapy is a specialized approach for pregnant and postpartum mothers. Postpartum disorders include depression, anxiety, OCD, psychosis, and traumatic birth experiences. 10-20% of mothers, and 7-10% of fathers are affected by these. There are biological, psychological, spiritual, and social factors that contribute to this.
Becoming a mother is a tremendous transition. It can bring old issues to the surface, or create new issues. Some clients find themselves caught in replicating their own parenting experience, or the opposite- over-compensating for their experience. Both of these are problematic.
Interpersonal conflicts with family and partners are common during the postpartum time. Learning how to identify emotional and logistical needs, and asking for them in a clear and gracious way is often helpful. We will identify what you need, how to meet those needs, and how to move forward when older needs cannot be met.
Role transitions that feel like "identity crises" are also common during this period. Mothers often ask themselves, "Who am I now after having my baby?". I see these crises as unique opportunities for change. With the right support, there can be tremendous personal growth. We will work together to figure out who you were, who you are right now, and who you wish to be going forward.
Feeding baby is often a postpartum challenge. Breastfeeding can be complicated by hopes and expectations that may not come true. Exclusive breastfeeding may not be realistic for all mothers, and some mothers feel like this is a failure. Therapy helps clients identify their expectations about feeding, grieve losses, and come to the best resolution for themselves. In the end, it may not be an either-or decision.
When working with perinatal clients, I focus on getting therapy (and sometimes a referral for medication management) started as quickly and seamlessly as possible. I enjoy providing the focus and support mothers need during this transition.