“I know this transformation is painful, but you’re not falling apart;
you’re just falling into something different, with a new capacity to be beautiful.” ~ William C. Hannan
I have spent the majority of my career working in the clinical and community mental health and addiction field. I have worked both in the United States and Australia within a variety of settings and with people from diverse backgrounds. During the course of my professional career, I have seen the barriers people face when trying to access mainstream mental health and addiction services. Funding cuts, gaps in service provision and bureaucracy lead to disempowerment and declining mental health outcomes.
I witnessed this disempowerment and gap in service provision first hand after the birth of my son. I was fortunate to have a healthy pregnancy and labour however, complications during the delivery meant I experienced a longer than anticipated recovery. Although I expected it would take time to recover, I did not foresee the physical and emotional toll it would take on my health.
My anxiety and depression surfaced soon after my son was born, but I didn’t begin to notice the more serious effects until he was around eight months old. Given my knowledge and carer in the mental health sector, I felt I should be the first to recognize I was struggling and to ask for support. Once I did I realised how difficult it was to access resources for postpartum depression and anxiety. There were limited services designed specifically for the postpartum period and the issue was not discussed as openly as I had hoped. Had I been prepared and provided with this information prior to my son’s birth my situation may have been quite different.
This led me to research doula’s and I quickly discovered the multitude of mental health benefits they can offer mothers and their families. I decided it was time to marry doula work with my professional skills in counselling and coaching and my personal experience with postpartum anxiety and depression. Thus, the synergistic triad of counsellor, coach and doula was born.
It is my mission to change the language we use to discuss maternal mental health and break down the stigma and shame that still surrounds it. I want to encourage and empower women and families to understand the importance of preparing not only for birth and the physical changes to the body, but also postpartum and the significance of the emotional and mental changes that occur. I also want to help mother’s reclaim their glow and celebrate the life changing transition from maiden to mother.
Why Choose to Work With Me?
As a counsellor, coach, doula and mother, I understand the complex needs of women and their families during this transformative period of their lives. Particularly, the mental and emotional impact this experience has on you and your family. I am a strong advocate for mother's mental health and will work to provide you with the support you need emotionally, mentally and spiritually as you transition into motherhood. I am a big believer in the phrase, "caring for mum is caring for baby". If mother's do not give themselves permission to practice self care and nurture their physical and mental health it can have long term implications on the family. I will motivate and support you to prioritise YOURSELF and explore ways of practicing self love and self-compassion.
What I Professionally Bring to My Work?
I am an experienced Registered Counsellor and also provide coaching and doula services.
I am skilled in working with people and families who have or are experiencing mental health issues, addiction, the death of a child through miscarriage or still birth and those with a combination of medical and mental health issues impacting pregnancy and postpartum. I have worked with individuals in crisis and provided care coordination and care planning. This means I can provide you an additional level of understanding to some of the more complex needs you may have and assist you in navigating different health care systems.
I am a certified reiki practitioner and can offer this healing as part of my services. This can help provide you with a sense of relaxation, self care and nourishment.
What I Personally Bring to My Work?
I experienced a less than ideal birth and postpartum experience resulting in physical health issues and postpartum anxiety, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder. I understand the physical, emotional and mental demands that labour and postpartum can place on you and your family. I also have the experience of not having my own immediate family close by throughout my pregnancy and postpartum. I recognise the stress, isolation and loneliness that can occur without this support and can help you access resources within your community and social circles.
Master of Science in Mental Health Counselling (USA)
Bachelor of Science in Counselling Psychology (USA)
Certificate in Forensic Services (USA)
Emerging Doula -Angela Gallo's Dynamo Doula Training
& Child Birth International
IPT-Level A Certified (Interpersonal Therapy)
Certificate IV in Training and Assessment
Reiki II Certified
Womb Keeper- 13th Rite of the Womb
Australian Counselling Association (ACA)
Kindred Clubhouse- Founder & President
PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia)
Mornington Peninsula Kids Magazine Spring 2017: Reclaiming My Glow- One Mother’s Journey Through Postnatal Anxiety and Depression