On Connecting

In this new year, I have been reflecting on the value of connection, and how this concept is so vital to mental health. So much so, that over the years I have wanted to introduce people to each other from various eras of my life. I’ve yearned to link clients I see today with those I’ve seen in the past — to give them each other.  I know intuitively that if I could fold time backwards, they would be each other’s perfect support. But I can’t do this, not only because of the slight time travel issue and my oath of confidentiality, but because many people who have experienced a challenging time in their past have healed and moved on.

For several years I facilitated groups for women who were pregnant and those who were newly postpartum. I  watched all of the rich, validating, and earnest connections arise in those groups. I watched as the friendships of these women transcended all the constructs of our culture — age, socioeconomic status, language, sexual orientation, physical disability, you name the divide. This proved to me, over and over again, that the most healing chemicals on the planet are those generated through simple human connection.

I might add that caffeine ranks here too but that is another topic.

In my practice I often witness the effects of limited connection, particularly in mothers — and how lack of social support causes very real episodes of clinical depression and anxiety.  In the birth community we talk often with outrage that parenting was never meant to be done in isolation, and that we would like to do more to encourage community among those caring for children, worldwide.

With this first blog post, I know I can’t solve this problem, but continuing to expose what we need in order to thrive as mothers, and as humans is something I endeavor to understand, find, and bring to you.

I hope the years’ endings and beginnings have given you some time for reflection as well. And if you are a new mother, I know just how those words feel — the luxury of reflection seems far from your reality right now.  But rest assured, you will have time once again to think and ponder.  Parenting, I’ve learned, is ever-moving, non-static, fluid, filled with frustrations, and identity-altering. Given time, though, you will find yourself again.

Sincerely,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Tell a New Mom to “Step it Up”

Posted by on Sep 7, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

A spouse asks: How do you ask your wife who is a stay-at-home mother to “step it up” without being insensitive? Kathryn answers: I think I can explain what’s happening with your wife and how to navigate it with compassion and sensitivity. The simple answer to what you are witnessing is: anxiety is overwhelming her. Taking care of young children 24/7 is an exhausting task, but not in the way we can always observe directly. Nursing a baby and simultaneously watching a 4-year-old requires that she be relentlessly engaged in the...

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Managing That Meltdown Hour

Posted by on Aug 8, 2017 in Blog | 1 comment

Many mothers feel the late afternoon and early evening hours to be the most challenging time for themselves, their children and partners. It makes sense: at that hour, hunger, weariness, and restlessness are common reactions to end-of-workday expectations and transitions. From infants to the elderly, sundown is a time when mental health is less predictable than other times of day. Some call it the witching hour, and as I say to my clients, there is a reason they call it “happy hour.” But instead of trying to fight through biochemistry and...

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The Mental Break Mothers Need: A Neuro-Reflective Pause

Posted by on Jul 12, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

The Mental Break Mothers Need: A Neuro-Reflective Pause

What is a NeuroReflective Pause ™, and why is it so important for a mother’s mental health? For years, in my private practice, as well as in my own parenting experience, I’ve tried to articulate a term for a very common mental health need among mothers. Almost every client I see who has young children feels depleted in a way she is challenged to explain. Physical exhaustion is a given. And it’s not about thinking too hard all day. Overwhelmed moms are seeking a reprieve from intention. They seek more inward-facing, restorative moments....

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A place to talk

Posted by on Aug 5, 2011 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

A place to talk

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You Snooze, You Win

Posted by on Sep 4, 2010 in Blog, Featured | 2 comments

You Snooze, You Win

As a new parent, getting quality sleep can sometimes be really hard to manage. However, this is not the time to “fight through it,” like you may have done pre-baby when you pulled an all-nighter. Sleep for baby and mom should be a priority — above chores, social obligations and appointments. Here are a few tips: -Try to get four-hour increments of solid sleep (no waking) at a time. -Block out window light, turn off computers, and use white noise in the sleeping room, both day and night if it helps soothe you and the...

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Welcome

Posted by on Feb 7, 2010 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

Welcome

At the Nurture Tree you will find a place to be heard, understood, and encouraged along your unique path to parenthood.  New motherhood can be a particularly challenging time.  Sleep deprivation, a steep learning curve feeding and caring for an infant (or three), and postpartum isolation can create a storm of anxiety and depression.  Many mothers experience these feelings.  A professional counselor experienced in treating postpartum depression can help you sort through your emotions,  ensure sure you have not overlooked any special health...

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