Postpartum Depression and PMADs
While for some, pregnancy and the postpartum period are times of hope and excitement, many women and/or their partners experience some degree of anxiety, sadness, or ambivalence around the experience. An estimated 15-20% of women will experience more significant and sustained symptoms of anxiety, depression, or other mood concerns which may indicate Postpartum Depression or a Perinatal Mood or Anxiety Disorder (PMAD).
With effective and informed treatment, the vast majority of women who develop a PMAD will recover. I will work with you to develop a treatment plan which may include weekly therapy, referral to a reproductive psychiatrist for medication, and/or collaboration with providers that offer alternative therapies such as acupuncture or massage. I will also coordinate with OBs, midwives, and doulas to ensure a collaborative and comprehensive approach. To best meet the needs of pregnant and postpartum women, I offer phone and Skype session as needed. Babies are also welcome to join you in session, although you may find it helpful to have therapy remain a space just for you. In addition to individual therapy, I offer groups for pregnant and postpartum women and provide training and consultative services to other professionals on the diagnosis and treatment of PMADS. I also write a weekly blog on perinatal mental wellness called Maternity Matters and contribute frequently to other blogs and publications.
I have completed specialized training at the Postpartum Stress Center in the treatment of perinatal mood disorders. I have also completed Postpartum Support International's Certificate Training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. I am a member of the DMV Resource Guide which provides a comprehensive vetted list of practitioners with significant expertise treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in the DC area. You can also find me listed on the Postpartum Project site.
I strongly believe in the importance of an expanded understanding of gender and sexuality that honors each individual's unique experience and expression of identity. I work hard to provide a safe, supportive and affirming atmosphere for my LGBTQ clients. I have helped support queer identified clients with a variety of concerns including but not limited to coming out, identity concerns, relationship challenges, and family building. I also have experience supporting individuals who identify as transgender, gender non-conforming, gender queer, and those in poly/non-monogamous relationships.
Throughout graduate school, I focused my research and clinical training on issues that disproportionately impact women and girls. Specifically, my research focused on the intersection between media messages about gender and sexuality with ethnicity, and the overall impact on body image and mental health. I also received specialized training in working with women who have experienced gender based violence. I am passionate about treating all aspects of women’s mental health and work with women to address body image concerns, perinatal mental health, infertility, pregnancy loss, pregnancy terminations, work-family balance, dating and relationships, concerns about sex and sexuality, parenting and family issues, stress management, trauma.
I collaborate closely with psychiatrists, nutritionists, and other wellness professionals who share similar training and expertise in women’s health.
Anxiety is the body’s natural way of preparing us to react to perceived threats in the environment. It is a normal, expected, and necessary emotion. Anxiety can become problematic when it feels overwhelming, persistent, uncontrollable, and interferes with everyday life.
As anxiety has many causes and can manifest in many ways, I believe in an integrative approach to treatment. Generally, I begin with a more active, symptom focused approach such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you gain a greater sense of mastery over your anxiety. I then integrate Mindfulness-Based Techniques and ACT-based interventions to help you reframe your relationship to your anxiety.