Getting pregnant and having a baby is not always the experience we dream it to be or others tell us it is. Clients say they had no idea the difficult or lack of emotions they could experience while pregnant or after the birth of their child. No one told them they could feel disconnected or unable to bond, they would want to run away from their new life and want their old one back, feel they made a huge mistake having a child or suffer the unrelenting anxiety, sadness, pain or emptiness that fills their body and mind every day.
Perinatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD and psychosis have become more familiar terms in our society but often women and men struggle to seek or receive treatment. Whether it is due to a physician’s lack of identifying the illness, an individual’s fear of stigma or being separated from their newborn or infant, people often do not get the treatment needed to get better.
As a perinatal mental health certified specialist, PMH-C, I offer a safe space to express your thoughts, feelings, fears and hopes about motherhood/ parenthood. I help to create a supportive environment both in my office and in a client’s life where they believe and see they can heal and feel better.
There are many different reasons for seeking counseling for perinatal and postpartum depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD and psychosis that can include the following:
- Identify and change negative/distorted/automatic thoughts that cause depressed and anxious feelings
- Develop awareness of triggers and stressors
- Acknowledge, discuss and understand “scary thoughts” (intrusive thoughts) (80% – 100% of the population experience intrusive thoughts)
- Develop and learn to use healthy coping skills
- Explore and process feelings of helplessness, guilt, anger, shame
- Learn to remove judgment about your symptoms and know that they are symptoms not who you are
- Learn to express your thoughts and feelings in a supportive environment
- Utilize self-care and ask for what you need
- Identify your strengths and support network
- Identify additional therapies for support
- Begin to feel like yourself again