Beginning therapy can mean the start of a new way of seeing and living. Although it can take a great deal of courage to begin this journey, I believe the benefits can make an enormous difference in the quality of your life. Understanding what hurts or blocks you today can lead to unlimited choices for growth. This growth can mean better relationships with others and a better relationship with yourself.
I work with individuals facing life crises or coping with interpersonal patterns that lead to depression or anxiety. I also have a particular interest in working with individuals and couples facing challenges related to pregnancy, the postpartum/early parenting time, and reproductive losses. Further information and resources related to these topics can be found on my pages titled Pregnancy Loss Resources, Postpartum Resources and Articles.
The following are brief descriptions of the primary issues in which I specialize:
Depression – Symptoms may include sadness, irritability, inability to enjoy hobbies, leisure activities or time with friends or family, or difficulty with concentration. Additionally, vague aches and pains or other physical symptoms, as well as changes/problems with eating or sleeping can be symptoms of depression.
Anxiety – The worry may be about general everyday things or specific fears and may include physical sensations (such as racing heart) and panic attacks (a discrete period of intense fear or discomfort, with multiple physical symptoms).
Grief – There are many definitions of this but I find this one by the American Academy of Bereavement especially useful- “Grief is a whole person response to the actual or threatened loss of anything to which we are psychologically attached.” People grieve losses of many kinds including loss of relationships, unfulfilled hopes and those arising from life changes.
Pregnancy Loss (miscarriage, stillbirth or termination)/Early Infant Loss or Other Type of Neonatal Loss– After any of these type of losses, many women (and their partners) experience sadness, shock, anxiety, anger, isolation and difficulty eating or sleeping. Complicating factors can include lack of recognition of the loss by others, hormonal changes that are a part of any postpartum recovery, previous unacknowledged losses and concerns about future pregnancies or decisions about having children.
Issues that arise during Pregnancy – Although often touted as a time of happiness and excitement, many women actually experience distressing symptoms such as excessive fears about their pregnancy or relationship problems with their partner. Additionally, all postpartum disorders (postpartum depression, anxiety, etc.) can begin during pregnancy.
Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders – The “Baby Blues” which are normal, begin within days of birth and last 2 weeks or less. The symptoms are sadness, tearfulness, worry that is not totally preoccupying or debilitating, or other mild symptoms that do not cause significant concern or impairment in functioning. However, about 15% of postpartum women will experience a more serious episode of depression, anxiety or other postpartum disorder. If symptoms last more than two weeks, involve significant eating or sleeping disruption (e.g. not sleeping when the baby sleeps), or are affecting relationships, leading to increased isolation or distress, affecting functioning at home or at work, or include any other distressing signs or symptoms, further assessment is needed.
Emotional Aspects of becoming a Parent/Growing as a Parent – The process of parenting or considering becoming a parent may awaken old issues that cause pain and confusion. This is also an opportunity to reevaluate and better understand old patterns of thinking, feeling and behaving. Getting in touch with your values, hopes and needs regarding parenting, as well recognizing and evaluating your expectations, can lead to increased satisfaction with your decisions in this area.
Family and Work Transitions/Life Balance – Many people find that experiencing a variety of responsibilities at home and at work can lead to guilt and dissatisfaction with one or more of the areas that they’re trying to balance. Tuning into your individual needs, challenges, strengths and potential pitfalls can lead to more thoughtful and rewarding choices at home and at work.