You don’t feel the way you do by accident. There’s a reason you’re experiencing pain, detachment, depression, anxiety, and other uncomfortable feelings. There’s also a reason you’ve developed certain coping mechanisms to make it through each day.
And that’s okay. My goal is to help you gain clarity about your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours in a safe, non-judgmental space. Whether you’re experiencing perinatal mental health concerns or carrying trauma from your family of origin, you have the capacity to heal.
I’ll show you how.
Depression, anxiety, PTSD, and trauma do not discriminate. Everyone is at risk, and everyone deserves a chance to heal. No matter your gender, race, ethnicity, sexual preference, or religious background, you are welcome at my practice.
Being a parent is one of life’s most rewarding and wonderful honours. But it can also be highly stressful, challenging, and exhausting. Sometimes, the experience is different from what you had imagined.
You may feel sad, anxious, depressed, irritable, and unable to bond with your baby. Or perhaps you dealt with a challenging pregnancy or traumatic birth, leaving you reeling from what you thought would be a positive experience.
You’re not alone. One in seven women and one in ten men experience emotional struggles during pregnancy and postpartum.
Unfortunately, Hollywood, television, and social media have set unrealistic expectations of becoming a parent, causing many individuals like you to avoid postpartum counselling services. Having a baby is often glamorised. So when you’re exhausted, anxious, and depressed rather than happy, fulfilled, and full of joy every moment of every day, you end up feeling like a failure.
But you aren’t a failure. You’re experiencing prenatal and postpartum mental illness symptoms, just like millions of others.
Not only are you dealing with challenging emotions, but you may also feel:
- Ashamed: of your feelings and emotions. You likely judge yourself with questions like, “Why am I thinking like this? A good mother would be happy and able to bond with my baby.”
- Afraid to admit how you feel for fear of being labelled as an “unfit mother.”
- Unsure if your feelings are “normal” and a result of changing hormones and sleep deprivation or if it’s something more serious. Many women struggling with perinatal (prenatal/postpartum) mental health issues think they’ll “get over it.”
Left untreated, perinatal mental health concerns can negatively impact relationships with your partner and your baby. It can affect your everyday life, happiness, overall wellness and life fulfillment.
But there is hope.
Your symptoms are 100% treatable. You have the ability to understand why you feel the way you do and overcome your struggles. You just need an empathetic, understanding perinatal counselling guide to help you.
Family of Origin Therapy
The family you grow up in, whether biological or adopted, profoundly impacts you and your development. It’s where you learn to become who you are, communicate, process emotions, and adopt beliefs and values.
Your family of origin should be supportive, nurturing, safe, and healthy. But unfortunately, you may not have had this experience.
Sometimes, rather than feeling loved and safe, you feel the opposite. Family of origin trauma can occur from:
- poor living conditions
- unsafe environments due to war
- unsafe environments due to crime and violence
- racism, discrimination, and generational trauma from your family’s past
- emotional abuse
- physical abuse
- sexual abuse
- substance abuse in the home
- unhealthy family dynamics
Family of origin trauma negatively impacts your mental and physical help and how you relate and interact with others. The childhood trauma you experience may severely affect your ability to connect with others. It can lead to depression, anxiety, PTSD, low-self esteem, and other mood disorders.
But you don’t have to live this way. You can heal.
I provide in-person family-of-origin trauma therapy in the Kitchener-Waterloo region and online counselling in Ontario. I can help you explore the emotions triggered by negative beliefs and traumatic events you’ve suffered throughout your childhood using evidence-based trauma therapy methods.
In a safe and supportive environment, you’ll learn to trust yourself more, gain clarity about why you feel and behave the way you do, and develop healthy coping mechanisms to live beyond your trauma.
Effective Treatment Methods to Help All Parts of You Heal
Every part of you is welcome at my practice. You’ll never feel judged or shamed about your current coping mechanisms. Instead, you’ll learn how to examine your internal system to discover the “why” behind your thoughts and behaviours.
This treatment method is called Internal Family Systems Therapy (IFS) and has been proven highly effective in treating trauma and postpartum mental health issues. IFS recognizes that numerous parts make up your conscious mind, each with different goals, agendas, and fears.
In an attempt to help and protect you, these parts of your personality activate as you go about each day. But rather than helping these parts conflict, creating discord and additional problems leading to “negative” coping behaviours.
IFS therapy focuses on bringing all parts of your psyche into mental harmony and balance, allowing you to:
- increase your clarity about the intentions behind your thoughts and actions
- build a better relationship with all parts of your mind
- process the original traumatic wounds that started these “negative” coping patterns
- create a sense of internal safety, reducing the need for coping strategies
As a certified IFS therapist, I can effectively use this form of therapy to help you heal and move past your trauma.
I am also trained in using other science-backed therapy methods, including:
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
- Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)
- Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT)
Depending on your individual needs, your postpartum counselling or family-of-origin therapy program may include one or more of these proven methods.
Get Started in Three Easy Steps
If you are local, you can attend my in-person perinatal and trauma counselling services in the Waterloo and Kitchener area. Or, if you prefer getting the therapy services you need from the comfort of your own home, I also provide online counselling in Ontario.
Getting started with my in-person and online counselling services in Waterloo, Kitchener, and Ontario is simple:
We’ll Get to Know Each Other
During your consultation, we’ll discuss your struggles and treatment goals and see if we are a good fit to work together. If so, we’ll establish an effective treatment plan.
Continue Working to Meet Your Goals
Your trauma counselling or postpartum counselling treatment plan is tailored specifically to you. No matter how long it takes, we’ll work at an effective yet challenging pace to meet your goals.