“I’m so exhausted, why can’t I fall asleep?”
“What if our marriage can’t survive this?”
“Why can’t I be like all the other moms?”
“What if we never have sex again?”
“This wasn’t supposed to feel like this. What if I’m going crazy?”
“Will my wife ever feel like herself again?”
Postpartum Depression & Maternal Mental Health Counseling:
“No one said it’d be easy but this is not what we expected!” If becoming pregnant, having a baby, or adopting has left you feeling constantly anxious, sleepless, irritable, angry, and tearful even when you think you “should” feel happy, you may be suffering from symptoms of pregnancy or postpartum depression without necessarily feeling “depressed”. In fact, these symptoms fall into a category called “Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders” meaning conception through the first year after birth, and can be far from what we think of as “Postpartum depression”. They also apply to adoptive parents including same sex couples. (See my signs and symptoms tab for more info on different conditions) Rage, insomnia, constant worries, and even scary thoughts are common for around a quarter of all moms in the first year after adding a new baby to the family. Because most mothers with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are able to take great care of their children and will feel more anxious and irritable than sad, these serious conditions are easy to dismiss. However, the cost of not getting support is high for mom and the family. Symptoms of PTSD are present for an equal number of women following childbirth. Women who don’t seek help early on may feel not like themselves for months or years. My approach is structured, solution-focused and individualized to help you feel better as quickly as possible. I have worked with hundreds of “postpartum couples” and have witnessed parterships strengthened, energy restored, and the experience of parenting enjoyed once again, or perhaps for the first time over and over again. There is hope. You will feel like yourself again! My expertise in maternal mental health also includes working with those facing traumatic birth, a NICU baby, bi-polar disorder, adoption, infertility (see below), miscarriage, infant loss, and termination.
When you try to talk to your partner do they always seem defensive, angry, or withdrawn? Does it seem the more you talk the further your partner pulls away? Do conflicts seem to escalate to yelling or one of you shutting down completely?
How to communicate effectively in a way your partner can hear is rarely a skill we learn on our own. I can work with you to identify your fears and behaviors that keep you from getting what you really want in your relationship. I also help those unsure if they are in an addictive or abusive relationship to identity what’s “really going on”, find their voice, and discover new choices and ways of thinking about their situation.
If you find yourself wondering why love isn’t enough, or why you feel so alone within your relationship, you are not alone. High conflict, infidelity, addictions, sex/intimacy issues and parenting conflicts challenge the strongest of partnerships during the course of a relationship. I approach couples by working to get to the source of problems, not just communication skills. I utilize the Gottman Method of couples counseling which is evidenced based, simple in approach, practical, and effective. I typically meet with you and your partner together, then each individually and after having you complete some online questionnaires, we meet again together to go over a “relationship blueprint” for making the changes you desire. When we can understand the fears behind the “attack, blame, withdraw” cycle so many of us find ourselves in, relationships can be transformed and old wounds can be healed. There is always hope for growth in a relationship when we explore our own feelings, needs, and behaviors and learn concrete tools for managing and communicating them. I’m honored to work with many couples who have reestablished their bond, improved their sex lives, and feel more connected and joyful in their partnership.
Are you a couple struggling with getting pregnant? Is it difficult to see other new and pregnant moms? The challenge of fertility struggles can be difficult for others to understand, leaving you feeling isolated, angry, lost and as though “everyone else can do it, why can’t we?”. Fertility counseling provides a safe place for your feelings to be heard, understood, and to strengthen communication as you navigate difficult decision making that brings up fears and perhaps shame in one or both of you. I can help you explore your feelings and needs and get what you desire from your partner during this challenging time. Many couples report feeling more connected, closer, and with more trust and understanding in the relationship, regardless of what outcome or choices result from their journey.
Please leave me a message or text today and you’ll hear from me within 24 hours.
(541) 337-4960. I look forward to working with you!