Life is about possibilities. Feeling that there are possibilities gives one hope that life will get better. Yet often, one can become stuck in a maze of negative beliefs about themselves and their abilities. For some, they feel weighed down by their fears, anxieties and depression from previous life experiences, making it difficult to envision a life that would be “worth living”. With support, people can develop both a better understanding of themselves, and learn new skills to overcome life conflicts and manage emotional vulnerabilities. Counseling can provide people with the confidence and tools needed in important life choices.
Specialties & Issues:
Anxiety, Depression, & PTSD
Emotional vulnerability and distress tolerance
Life survival skills
The truth is that all relationships take work. It is not uncommon that differences arise between partners; if not talked about, these differences can turn the best of relationships into a dysfunctional one. When one partner does not feel safe emotionally or physically with the other partner, these unclear moments can trigger even more conflict, making each feel that their only solution is separation or divorce. Patricia helps her patients identify these triggers, anticipate them, and learn how to respond to them differently. Patients learn to express themselves, but also learn to hear the other partner’s feelings, needs, and desires without reacting defensively– One of the best ways to work on this is to get to know your partner better and the family that he/she grew up in.
Marital & Couple Communication Differences:
Partners with ADHD
Deciding to start a family
Fertility & Family Building Options
As an infertility and pregnancy loss survivor and seasoned mental health professional working in the field of reproductive health, Patricia understands the stressful uncertainties that confront those seeking accurate information and emotional support in their quest to parenthood. When the journey to parenthood includes loss and disappointment, or requires the help of a donor and/or surrogate, the psychological decisions and financial costs can cause intended parents to feel overwhelmed and the path to parenthood almost unattainable. Having an experienced mental health practitioner with vast knowledge and connections in reproductive health can be helpful to unlocking the knowledge needed to choose the best path to parenthood. Options may include: low-tech approaches, IVF, identifying and procuring egg/sperm/embryo donors, and/or finding surrogates and gestational carriers. Patricia can provide support when deciding whether to end fertility treatments and move on to adoption or to accept childfree living.
Decision-making in family building:
How to build a family when single
Unable to get pregnant
Seeking information, help, and support for fertility treatments
When egg/sperm/embryo donation is needed
What to consider when choosing surrogacy
Miscarriages, terminations, and late-term losses
Postpartum depression and anxiety for both women and men
Parenthood is not for the faint of heart. Parenthood is about learning how to support your child without overdoing for them. It also involves learning how to partner with your spouse or others in raising your child when there are differences in how each person sees their role as a parent. When a child has learning challenge or is created with the help of others such as a donor or surrogate, there are additional challenges to understanding your child and who they are. At different points in life, parents often feel they are inadequate because they do not instinctively know what to do when it comes to raising their children. It is important to keep in mind, however, that parenting skills are not instinctive, but learned! Patricia’s work involves helping parents understand themselves, and how their children are both the same and different from them. Working with Patricia, parents develop their communication, listening, and mindfulness skills for helping their children as they mature both cognitively and developmentally.
First-time parenting adjustments:
Being a single parent
Differences in parenting
Blended family challenges
Parenting children created through donation and surrogacy
Parenting children with ADHD/learning differences
Parenting your parents
Grief & Loss
It often comes as a surprise to many that sometimes beginnings, not just endings, can trigger many emotions of both sadness and anxiety from even the most confident of individuals. Even when there is an anticipated divorce, the finality can be very unsettling. When one experiences the death of a spouse, partner, parent, or close friend, the impact of that loss can flood one’s life and bring into question whether they will find their path to stability. And for others when confronted with the death of a child, the emotional strains can be so intense that they question if they can ever have a life worth living again. When there is an unexpected loss in pregnancy through a miscarriage, stillbirth, or termination, the emotions for women and men can be so different, yet just as devastating for both. There is no one way to grieve a loss; there is no set timeline for it. Counseling provides an individual with support and understanding to explore the meaning and impact of one’s loss in a safe, non-judgmental environment.
Death of a spouse/partner
Death of a child
Death of a parent