I’ve never talked to a counselor or worked with a coach before, I usually just handle things on my own. Do I really need to see someone?

I totally get it, you’re a woman and/or a mom, and these alone have taught you pretty well how to be tough, how to hold things together, and how to find your own way out when the road gets dark and lonely! People who ask for help are definitely not weak, and it takes tremendous courage to reach out. I believe we all need extra support now and then, and in our work together I will help you explore where you could use it. Whether you’re navigating plans for motherhood, recovering from a perinatal mood/anxiety disorder (PMAD), struggling with a birth experience that didn’t go as planned, or looking for ways to enrich your life and reclaim joy, I’ll help you identify the places where you feel stuck and use your strengths to get back on track to happiness. Reach out to me by phone or email if you’re ready to get started!

How does it work, and how long does it take?

Because everyone has unique issues and goals, our work together will be different for each individual and I tailor my approach to your specific needs. Also the length of time we work together will vary depending on your goals and needs, but generally the more committed you are to the process and work in between sessions, the more quickly you are likely to see results and feel better.

What are PMAD’s (perinatal mood and anxiety disorders)?

Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) are the most common complication of pregnancy and they affect as many as one in five women, or one in ten men/fathers! They are a set of anxiety or mood (i.e., depression) disorders that occur sometime during pregnancy or the postpartum period (up to the first year following delivery). Specifically, these conditions may include depression or generalized anxiety (the most common), as well as obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and in some rarer cases perinatal bi-polar disorder (a mix of mania and depression) or postpartum psychosis.

What is birth “trauma”?

After my own experiences, this is one I’m pretty passionate about! Many women report that their birth experience didn’t go as they hoped, and some even experience a complicated, scary or life-threatening delivery. Whether from a long and extremely painful labor, an emergent or unplanned c-section, extensive medical interventions or severe tearing, a baby’s stay in the NICU, or a host of other experiences that didn’t go as planned, many of the moms I see report that their birth experience left them feeling powerless and unsupported, which left them with feelings of stress, trauma or grief afterwards. As many as 9% of women have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their birth experience, and symptoms may include feeling anxious, irritable or on-edge; having intrusive flashbacks, nightmares or re-experiencing the birth; panic attacks; feeling detached from reality; and/or avoiding people, places, thoughts or feelings related to the event. If any of these sound like something you’re going through, don’t wait to reach out – I can help you process your experience and begin to heal right away.

How do I know if I have a PMAD?

It can be hard to know for sure if what you’re experiencing is PMAD-related without a direct evaluation from a healthcare provider, but there are a few general indicators.

While the “baby blues” or mood fluctuations, irritability and tearfulness are all a normal part of the initial postpartum adjustment (due to fluctuating hormone levels), these generally don’t last more than a few weeks. If these symptoms persist for you after the first month, it’s important to get checked out and find support right away. Some of the symptoms indicating a perinatal mood/anxiety disorder may include:

  • Sadness, feeling “down” and/or crying more than usual
  • Hopelessness or feeling discouraged
  • Feeling bad about yourself, like you’re not “good enough”
  • Loss of interest, motivation or pleasure in activities that you used to enjoy
  • Having thoughts of suicide or that your family would be better off without you
  • Fear or panic
  • Frequent worry
  • Irritability, anger or more frustration than usual
  • Feeling anxious, “on edge,” or like you can’t relax
  • Thoughts that are frightening or bothersome to you

If you’re experiencing two or more of these symptoms, please reach out for a free consultation today and to get connected to the support you need.

How are perinatal depression, anxiety, or other PMAD’s treated?

Treatment for perinatal depression, perinatal anxiety, or other PMAD really depends on what symptoms are presenting and affecting your life. But there are some general approaches that work really well with these disorders, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Interpersonal Therapy techniques which have both demonstrated great effectiveness in the treatment of PMADs. In our work, we will also focus much of our therapy on proven approaches that speed up the recovery from PMADS, like building social support, prioritizing sleep, getting more physical activity, and normalizing your experience – because you are not alone!

Do I need medication?

There are some PMADs and other mental health conditions that really need medication support for stabilization, like bipolar disorder and postpartum psychosis. Otherwise, it is totally possible to heal from PMADs or go through other life transitions without medication.

For PMADs, some form of professional support is essential for complete recovery, and often other forms of integrative medicine (i.e., acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, etc.) can really help the healing process as well. Whatever treatment you decide, the earlier symptoms are addressed, the more quickly you will begin to feel better!

What if I’m not ready to ask for help?

I definitely understand, and that’s why I have compiled some resources for you to check out and try to learn more about what you’re experiencing and to get clarity around your goals. Check out my resource page, my blog and video entries, or follow me on Facebook or Instagram to get more support, tips and techniques for growth or healing.

Also it’s important to remember that if you’ve tried some of the self-help strategies and don’t feel better or your symptoms are getting worse, you probably need some kind of professional support. Please reach out to me by phone or email and I would be happy to process your experience and determine what type of support would help, whether it’s counseling or something else.

Can I work with you even if I don’t have a PMAD?

Absolutely! While I have specialized training in the treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, I also have other strengths as a therapist and coach and love working with women who are experiencing a number of other life change or stress! This may include helping you prepare for birth and motherhood, prevent a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, reinforce your relationships and improve self-care, get clear about your life goals, or adjust in healthy ways to other types of life transitions. Contact me to see how I can support you and your needs today!

How do your online services work?

I’m so excited to offer you flexible options for my services because I know how unpredictable life (especially for moms) can be! When you sign on to work with me for counseling or coaching services, I will have you sign a “telehealth agreement” which covers us to make any appointment a secure-video session (even last minute if we need to!). These are conducted through my “Simple Practice” online platform, from which I send you a link to my “virtual office” with the click of a button. This software is accessible to you from any desktop/video equipped computer, or mobile device (iPhone, Android, tablet, iPad, etc.) with a quick (free!) download of the Simple Practice app. Many of the women I work with really appreciate this option since it gives you flexibility to see me for our scheduled visits from wherever you are (i.e., stuck at work, home with a sick child, or just running behind). Ask me more about my online options today if this appeals to you!

What is the difference between counseling and coaching? Which one is right for me?

I’m so glad you asked! Counseling and Coaching often overlap since they both help you explore goals for yourself and make changes that will move you closer to who and where you want to be. However, there are some important differences.

COUNSELING is a mental health expert driven process of identifying symptoms that are getting in the way of your life, and working together to help you heal from them. In the counseling process, we work on identifying problematic behaviors, thoughts & relationship patterns so you can begin to apply this awareness, reduce symptoms of distress, and move forward with more healthy coping skills in tact. So, counseling may be better for you if:

  • You currently have symptoms or problems that negatively impact your daily functioning and overall well-being (i.e., Perinatal Mood/Anxiety Disorder symptoms)
  • You’re hurting from a past relationship or trauma and finding it hard to recover from painful life experiences.
  • You’re struggling to navigate your current relationships in a healthy, happy and effective way.

COACHING is a process of identifying concrete goals and creating a plan with immediate action steps that will help you make specific desired changes. The process involves guided exploration of your goals, getting supportive feedback about your progress and advice for when you feel stuck. So, coaching may be a good fit for you if:

  • You have specific goals and need support and expert advice to navigate the path to meeting them.
  • You could use someone to hold you accountable and also cheer you as you navigate change.
  • You are looking for more support with your health and wellness as you transition into motherhood.

If you still have questions about what services or support may be right for you, call or email for a free consultation today!

Contact Today

44 Merrimon Ave.
Asheville, NC 28801

(828) 407-0324

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