COUNSELING FOR PARENTS
Feel like you are failing in the parenting business?
Do you worry constantly about whether you are raising your child right?
Feel like parenting got easier for a short time, then really hard again?
Or maybe it has never felt easy for you like you thought it should?
Feel like your parenting journey has spiraled out of control?
Find that you are often angry or get upset easily?
Concerned about your relationship with your partner and feeling distant?
Find yourself isolated from your support network and are not sure where to turn for help?
Do you feel exhausted and overwhelmed and are not sure how you make it through each day?
Parenting is hard. Very hard. And it is exhausting. And it is even harder if you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety as a parent. Depression and anxiety are quite common.
That is 20%. Walk down the street tomorrow or count those on the train next to you. That is nearly 7.5 million adults who have been diagnosed with clinical depression, which is when symptoms of depression are severe enough to impair functioning. And that is 15 million children who are impacted each day by depression.
You may feel alone in this process but please trust me when I tell you that you are not. You may feel an urge at this time in your life to just put your head down and plow through it, but you deserve to do more than just survive the day, the week or the month. You deserve to feel happy again and to enjoy these years of your child’s life. Therapy can help you reclaim your joy again. Depression is treatable. And there is hope.
1 IN 5 PARENTS HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH DEPRESSION.
It is important to not ignore what you are feeling or to hope it just goes away. We know that depression does not go away because we will ourselves to be better. I wish that were the case, but it just isn’t.
When parents get depressed, it impacts their ability to function as they would like to as a parent. Often, depressed parents will find it hard to make it through the day or will turn to isolating their selves from their usual support network. Guilt ensues, and it becomes a vicious cycle. Depressed parents are more likely to be impatient and quick-tempered and to yell at or spank their child.
HOW DEPRESSION IMPACTS THOSE CLOSEST TO US.
The good news is that counseling is very effective at treating depression. There is hope for recovery and the even better news is that, when treated early enough, the effects on your children and relationships can been mitigated or sometimes even reversed.
You may be wondering if you should come in for individual counseling or if you should come as a couple if you are feeling the strain on your relationship. The answer is you can do either. While couple’s therapy may be more effective at decreasing overall relationship distress, individual therapy alone is effective at improving mood and emotions and that can often have a positive ripple-effect on the relationship.
The first step in therapy is to identify your goals. We will determine together what your previous level of functioning was and what your ideal level of functioning is in the future. We will work together to set realistic and attainable goals. You will gain tools to help you cope with upsetting emotions and help seeing situations from a different perspective. You will learn to feel more in control of your emotions, rather than feeling like your emotions are controlling you. We will explore how to take care of yourself and your relationship and how to be the best parent you can be for your children. We will also focus on how to communicate your emotions to your partner and how to maintain intimacy in your relationship.
We will look at perfectionism and explore ways to let go of your quest for perfection and instead identify models of self-care that embody self-compassion. Most importantly, you will find a safe and confidential space to speak your truth and be heard and validated.
As a licensed professional who is also a parent, you will find that I bring my real self and experiences into therapy. I understand what it is to go through this time in your life. I am very thankful that I have my training from graduate school to rely on as I navigate parenthood because, lets face it, parenting is hard. I continue to use these tools as I make various parenting decisions. It is now my humble calling to help disseminate these tools to parents to help them too feel confident and able.
If you are feeling overwhelmed and lost in the fog of parenting, I am here to help. You will find the support and validation you have not found from your usual support system. Counseling can help you survive this time in your life and embrace your future with open arms.
I SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIGURE THIS OUT ON MY OWN.
It is impossible to have the answers to everything all the time. We are, after all, simply human. Parenting is hard and there is an ever-changing curve to navigate. I will work with you identify the strengths you have within you and will equip you with the skills you have not been taught, helping you learn to surmount depression with patience and perseverance.
I HAVE SO LITTLE FREE TIME.
Time is one of the single most limiting factors that stop people from getting help when they are feeling down. That is why I decided to offer shorter, 30-minute session times for new moms. After the initial evaluation session and an additional 1-2 getting to know each other session (which are standard 45-55 minutes), we can discuss if 30-minute sessions would be appropriate.
I also work to keep treatment brief, focused, and only as often as is clinically necessary. Once we determine you are finding the relief you have been searching for, we can discuss how to maintain these gains and can begin spacing out sessions to a couple of times a month.
I AM A VERY PRIVATE PERSON AND FIND IT HARD TO OPEN UP.
So am I. I get that it can be incredibly difficult to talk to a stranger about things you find hard to tell even your closest friend or partner. We will go at your pace and only talk about what is top of mind for you. This is your counseling after all and it will focus on helping you achieve your goals. You may even find that it is easier to open up once we have met in person. Many people tell me that I am easy to talk to.
Many parents feel at their wits end with their child’s behavior which seems out of control, not realizing the impact their own depression has had on their child. Behavioral problems, health problems and academic struggles are more common in children whose parent is depressed and they are more likely to experience depression their selves as they get older.
Marriages and relationships also suffer as a result of untreated depression. Statistics show that the divorce rate is nine times higher when one partner is experiencing depression. Dissatisfaction levels are also significantly higher when depression is present in one or both parents. When a person is depressed, functioning is not at optimal levels and when a child is involved, the other parent tends to step up more to fill in the gaps. This can lead to anger and resentment towards the depressed parent. Rather than feeling supported, the depressed parent feels unloved and overlooked and depression with likely increase.