Medical science seems to be catching up with knowledge that psychotherapists and other mind-body practitioners have held for years: our minds and bodies are not separate entities.
Stress, anxiety and depression have an enormous impact on our physical health. The quality of our closest relationships can make the difference in whether a health problem can be managed well or not. Conversely, when you or a loved one or suffers from a life-changing illness, your entire family is affected.
Caregiving presents a special set of challenges. Caregivers of spouses or parents are often likely to neglect their own well-being as they struggle to meet the multiple demands of their busy lives, all the while coping with illness or disability in someone they love. I have worked for over 20 years helping individuals and families to meet the challenges presented by life-changing health problems. In therapy, I will help you:
- Improve communication with family members, so that you can better support each other.
- Sort out complicated feelings that arise in the caregiving relationship, such as love, guilt and anger;
- Look at how you can change old patterns of responding to stress and find new ways that will support health and well-being.
Health, Chronic Illness and Caregiving
I have worked extensively for more than 25 years with older clients, individually and in couples and families. Concerns include most of the issues that younger adults bring in to therapy, such as anxiety or depression, but may also include:
•Concerns related to health problems, mobility and independence
•Loss of social network as friends move away and die
•Improving or healing difficult relationships with your adult children
•Caring for a spouse or partner with illness or dementia
•Looking for meaning and satisfaction in later stages of life
We think of the years of childbearing as some of the happiest times in our lives - pregnancy, parenthood, starting and growing our families. Sometimes, though,these life transitions bring unexpected challenges:
•How will I handle pregnancy and childbirth?
•Will we be good enough parents?
•Will difficult emotions or experiences from my own past get in the way of parenting?
•What about my relationship with my spouse or partner?
•How we will we adjust to the new demands of parenthood?
•Why do I feel let down or depressed now that I have had my baby?
Concerns about Postpartum Depression or Anxiety
Postpartum depression is a treatable condition that affects many new mothers. If you are experiencing sadness, hopelessness, anxiety, mood swings, scary thoughts, sleep or appetite changes, you may be suffering from a postpartum mood disorder. Please don't wait to seek help. Psychotherapy, alone or in combination with other approaches, is an effective treatment that can help you to feel better and to enjoy being a parent.
•This should be the happiest time in my life. Why do I feel so low?
•Is this just "baby blues" or something more serious?
•Why am I having scary thoughts about my baby?
•Does this mean I'm a bad mother?
•How can I help my wife/partner to feel better?
Concerns about infertility can affect us as individuals and as couples
•Why is this happening to me (or us)?
•How can we support each other as a couple when we each have such different feelings about what we are going through?
•How can we make the best decisions about Assisted Reproduction Technologies or adoption?
•Miscarriage, perinatal loss