Women’s Mental Health and Wellness
Research consistently shows that women suffer from mental illness at a higher rate than do men. This is likely due to a combination of the unique stresses women face—such as the pressure to conform to an unrealistic beauty standard or to be a perfect mother—as well as factors such as hormonal shifts.
We work with women of all ages to combat mental illness and manage challenging mental health symptoms. We understand that mental health concerns—whether they be relationship issues or serious depression—rarely derive from a single cause. Instead, we treat the whole woman, looking at the complex interplay of biology, life history, environment, nutrition, and much more.
Infertility and Pregnancy Loss
Though both men and women often aspire to be parents, women are taught from an early age that motherhood is a special, and perhaps mandatory, calling. For this reason, infertility can directly affect a woman's self-esteem and overall mental health. Moreover, the complex biological changes associated with treating infertility can wreak havoc on a woman's hormones, making an already difficult time even more stressful.
Women who struggle with pregnancy loss are often hesitant to seek help. There is still stigma associated with miscarriage, and well-meaning loved ones may inadvertently say hurtful things. Your partner might not feel as connected to the baby as you did, and the sudden hormonal shift associated with a pregnancy loss can compound these challenges. We work with women to navigate the pain associated with infertility and pregnancy loss, to talk to their partners about their pain, to regain a sense of identity after pregnancy loss, and to move forward with confidence no matter what the outcome of fertility treatments may be.
Food and Eating Issues
Women face enormous pressure to be thin, and to meet society's ever-shifting standard of attractiveness. The result is that 90% of people with eating disorders are women. Though anorexia and bulimia tend to get the most attention in the media, some eating disorders cause their sufferers to eat more, not less—notably binge eating disorder.
Eating issues can make you feel terrible about yourself. They also assault your health, and can even contribute to additional problems, such as diabetes, infertility, and anxiety. We work with you to help you establish a healthy relationship with food, achieve a healthy weight, and ignore the near-constant pressure you may feel to conform to an unreasonable beauty standard.
Trauma and Abuse
Trauma is a common experience among women. As many as 1 in 4 women has been raped, and 1 in 3 has experienced intimate partner violence. This type of interpersonal trauma can have far-reaching effects on your self-esteem, relationships, and sense of safety. Women who have experience trauma may develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or adopt unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as drinking or refusing to leave the house.
We work with you to help you understand how your trauma has affected your life and sense of self. We never push you to talk about something you're not ready to address. Instead, we move slowly and deliberately, helping you feel safe to discuss the pain you have faced.
Prenatal and Postpartum Depression
Pregnancy is a life-altering event that spurs a whirlwind of changes in your body—weight gain, strange medical symptoms such as swelling and high blood pressure, a sense that your body is no longer fully your own, the challenges and triumphs of birth, and so much more. It's no wonder that so many women experience depression either during or immediately after pregnancy.
Hormonal shifts play a significant role in pregnancy-related mental health issues, but hormones are not the sole culprit. Women are more vulnerable to pregnancy-related mental illness if they feel unsupported, have a history of trauma, struggle with financial issues, experience health problems during or after pregnancy, or do not receive adequate assistance to tend to their own health.
We work with you to tease apart the various causes of your depression. We don't write you off as just another case of hormones gone awry. Instead, we'll craft a comprehensive plan to help you get back to being yourself, so you can enjoy motherhood and find a sense of meaning in bonding with your baby.
Transitioning Into Motherhood
There is perhaps no more profound life change than the transition to motherhood. Suddenly you are responsible for caring for a small person. Many women find that the burdens of motherhood fall primarily to them, thanks to generations of gender norms. And women without partners may feel completely alone. From navigating breastfeeding to coping with the stress of a screaming infant, and from managing the mixed emotions of transitioning back to work to rediscovering who you are separate from your identity as a parent, we can help you make the transition to motherhood a smooth one.
From an early age, women are taught to prize their relationships. Relationships make us human, enrich our lives, and offer support through the challenges of life. Too often, though, relationships themselves become the source of life's worst challenges. Infidelity, divorce, breakups, abuse, and relationship conflict can overwhelm even the strongest women, leaving them wondering how to cope.
We can work with you and your partner to get your relationship back on track. Even if your relationship is ending or your partner is unwilling to seek counseling, though, we can hep. A few sessions offer you clarity, a renewed sense of hope, and a deeper faith in your ability to resolve the problems in your relationship—or to move onto a relationship that works better for you.
Mental Health Disorders
Women experience mental illness as a significantly higher rate than men. Doctors don't fully understand why, but the unique pressures of being a woman coupled with the many hormonal shifts women face throughout their lives are likely culprits. Depression, anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and similar issues are common, but highly treatable. We partner with you to find solutions, both medical and lifestyle-based, that fit into your life and comport with your values.