Approximately 20% of mothers (and 10% of fathers) will experience a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder (PMAD) making it the most common complication of childbirth. If you believe you may be experiencing a PMAD you are not alone. Becoming a parent, whether it’s for the first or fifth time, can be a big transition and that can mean big challenges. There are lots of good reasons to seek therapy during this transition (or at any time during your life), but here a few of the most common reasons people come to see me:
I am a licensed as a mental health counselor (LMHC) and certified in perinatal mental health (PMH-C) through Postpartum Support International.
I began working in the mental health field in 2005, after completing my masters in psychological counseling from Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. From 2009 until 2011, I took some leave from direct care as a therapist to re-enter graduate school and work towards a PhD in Human Development and Family Studies from Iowa State University. My doctoral studies and post-graduate work focus on childbirth, child development, parenting, and the intersectionality of these three. I am also a birth doula and childbirth educator. Over the past decade, I have worked with several local, national, and international birth and human rights advocacy organizations promoting improvement to our maternity care systems.
Currently, I am also a faculty member in Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University.
I am in the process of completing my Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University. I’ll be accepting pro Bono clients in order to help me complete my program requirements under Amanda’s supervision.
My desire is to work with anyone who feels that there is something preventing them from living their best and most fulfilling life. I especially have a passion to work with anyone experiencing the unique challenges that often accompany chronic illnesses and chronic pain.
Chances are that if you are reading this, you are considering getting in touch with a counselor. Regardless of the reason or reasons, I believe that it is important for you to recognize and honor your strength in reaching this point. Creating an environment that is judgment free and unwaveringly supportive is exceptionally important to me. I know that it can be difficult to ask for help, but if you are ready, I am here.
I recently completed my Master’s degree coursework in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Northwestern University and am in the process of finishing my clinical internship hours. I am also a board certified Clinical Alcohol and Drug Counselor in training. I can offer pro bono mental health services as well as substance use treatment and evaluations under Amanda’s supervision.
As a feminist and multicultural theoretically oriented therapist, it is vital for me to see the world through your eyes and your lived experience. I offer integrative, unique treatment modalities based on your personal preferences. Viewing the therapy space as a collaborative experience, I enjoy incorporating creative concepts including EMDR, yoga, mindfulness, and movement as well as traditional talk therapy, journaling, and CBT. My areas of interest include anxiety, grief, parenting, perinatal loss, recovery, sexuality, and trauma.
On a personal note, I am in awe of the resilience and strength I get to witness in my clients everyday. For people who have experienced trauma, loss, or heartbreak, seeking therapy can be intimidating and even scary. I want you to know that it is an honor and privilege to do this work. Whether we end up working together or not, please know that you will be supported completely in this practice.
At present, there is no university program, which I am aware of (and believe me, I’ve looked) that allows a track or specialization in the perinatal mental health. All of my training and study in this area has been post-grad. In 2018, Postpartum Support International (a non-profit) attempted to meet this need by creating training and certification in perinatal mental health (PMH-C). I completed their training and passed my certification exam in February of 2019.
Between winter 2020 and spring 2021, I completed both the training (part I & II) and consultation requirements with The Institute for Creative Mindfulness on EMDR Therapy for PMH Specialists. The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an approved provider of training in EMDR Therapy by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA).