Prenatal and postpartum depression and anxiety affect 1 in 5 new mothers and 1 in 7 new fathers, making mental health the most common concern of pregnancy and childbirth. The perinatal period is one of great change whether you’re a single parent, newlywed, have been coupled for years, or have other children. No matter how you become a mother or father – biological or adoptive – babies deconstruct families and rebuild them afresh. Becoming to a parent of another human comes with thoughts and feelings that vary as much as each person. Common uncomfortable feelings include sadness and grief over losing your previous life and changes in your partner relationship, disconnection and disinterest in your baby, anxiety and overwhelm around caring for a young infant, pressure to “do it right” and guilt around choices you make in parenting. In addition, traumatic birth experiences or pregnancy loss can be difficult to process. To your journey, you bring your own experiences from childhood, which color your journey of parenting. Women and men experience perinatal depression and anxiety, but even in the same partnership, have their own journeys to process. And new-baby exhaustion complicates the struggle. Therapy during pregnancy and after birth or adoption can help reduce your risk of depression and anxiety. By discussing your history of being parented, your expectations of becoming a parent, and current support network and coping skills, we can work together to address how to move forward. With specialized training in perinatal mental health, trauma informed care, and general parenting concerns, coupled with your bravery in asking for help, we can work together to build support for your journey.
Adults carry with them all the experiences they have had from birth forward, mixed with their understanding of themselves as extensions of the messages they were given about How to Be. This lens colors every part of how we operate in the world. Intense work of unpacking the stories we tell ourselves offers the opportunity for transformational growth. In building emotional strength to recognize the deep Knowing of your core self, you can begin to identify patterns of behavior that no longer serve you and begin to make meaning of your journey. Issues adults often present with include:
• Depression and anxiety
• Parenting challenges
• Grief and loss
• Work/career difficulties
• Gender questions
• Shame and guilt
• Life transitions
• Separation or divorce and custody issues
We learn how to be in relationship in childhood, and often, these templates are unhelpful, outdated, and chaotic. We bring what we observed with us into adulthood, as does our partner. We begin the dance of intimacy with each other.
Couple therapy works to create a safe and protected environment where you can begin to unravel the complexities of your relationship dance. You will explore your differences, learn how to communicate, and find a deeper connection. A calm and neutral third party who can hold a structure for conversations allows partners to listen and be heard, in an effort to increase trust and vulnerability. In relationships struggling with tension, conflict, and fear, we work together to help reduce these qualities and find mutual validation, shared understanding, and heart-felt empathy. Couple therapy is beneficial for those who are of the same sex or heterosexual, partnered or married, newly together or in a longstanding arrangement, and those considering separation or divorce.
In couple therapy, it is imperative that both partners are present for each appointment; please bear this in mind when scheduling.