I transitioned into psychotherapy after working as a birth doula and childbirth educator and recognizing that traditional prenatal care and childbirth education did not necessarily meet my client's needs, particularly those who were also managing mental health issues, disabilities, addiction or past trauma. As one client noted, “I think I read every book that’s out there and none of them talk about how to be a mom with depression and PTSD.”
There are few spaces available for women or families to deeply explore what pregnancy or family building means to them. Pregnancy, whether it is welcome or unwelcome in one’s life, opens the door to some of life’s biggest questions, hopes and fears. In the clinic, we would often say that pregnancy “shines a bright light on one’s life.”
Individualized Conception/Birth/Postpartum Preparation
While there’s no way to plan for how your body is going to conceive or birth, individualized birth/parenting preparation can help you sort through all your hopes, needs and fears to build the skills for an empowering birth and parenting experience. Examples of tailored birth/postpartum planning might include individualized support plans for managing PTSD triggers, harm-reduction and self-care for reducing use of psychiatric medications while conceiving/pregnant, skills for effectively communicating with medical providers, working with medical fears/phobias for those with prior trauma or collaborative birth planning for all members of an adoption plan.
Holistic Pregnancy Options Counseling for Individuals or Couples
If a pregnancy has come at a time in your life when it is unwelcome or if you and/or your partner are struggling to come to a decision about what to do next, you deserve a warm, non-judgmental space from which to make decisions, free from stigma. Holistic options counseling can help you integrate your heart, your head and the practical realities of your life to develop a care plan that feels like the best (or “most right”) decision for you.
Consultation in Conjunction with Existing Medical or Mental Health Team
“I’m really excited to be a mom, but I am still figuring out what my bipolar means for my pregnancy and what my pregnancy means for my bipolar.”
Not all therapists or psychiatrists are experts in pregnancy and not all doctors or midwives are experts in your particular mental health diagnosis. If you already have the members of your care team in place, but need a little help tailoring your care to your particular medical, recovery or mental health needs, I am available for short-term consultations or solutions-based counseling to identify how you can best honor your pregnancy and your wellness or recovery.
Grief and Loss Work for Interrupted Pregnancies
If you have experienced a pregnancy that was interrupted by miscarriage, an unexpected prenatal diagnosis or experienced a loss at birth, individual or couples/family counseling provide a safe space for all the ways grief manifests.
Family Building Options Counseling for LGBTQ or Non-Traditional Families
There are many different paths to parenting and nurturing children. Conceive? Adopt? Foster? If your are trying to identify which path makes the most sense for you or seeking support while you are building your family, I am available to provide options counseling, individual or couples sessions.