What if I open to someone and it confirms that something is really wrong with me?! What if they don’t understand and I feel more alone? What if it’s so uncomfortable and awkward I want to crawl into the couch and disappear? Reaching out for help is risky. Feeling alone in your pain, fear and anxiety may be riskier. Being scared to reach out for help is natural but it can perpetuate these feelings and give them more power.
As we shared with you several weeks ago, Porch Light Counseling is coming to an end. We have been incredibly lucky to support each other as we took on the somewhat daunting task of starting a private practice, and now it’s time for us to branch out on our own. I’d love to share with you how I will be taking this next step.
When I began my work as a doula and a therapist, I did not expect to process traumatic birth stories with clients. In the infancy stages of both of those paths, I was under the impression that most people had the birth experience they wanted to. As a full-spectrum perinatal therapist, I have now seen the full range of labor experiences and outcomes and different they look for each family.
I am thrilled to announce my new private practice, Heirloom Counseling. As I spent time developing my practice and exploring what I wanted to offer in our community, I looked everywhere for signs pointing to the perfect name. I knew I wanted to continue the attachment work I already do with individuals and couples as well as the support I provide to people who are experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. While I was attending a training retreat in the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, I walked up to a giant bookshelf in the training center and chose a book. I opened it and in giant letters, I saw the word Heirloom and that was that (I love when that happens!).
As of Monday May 15, I will be at a new location: 53 Arlington Street. Other than the location, not much is changing.
Sharing this week’s blog with you is bittersweet as we are using it as an opportunity to share that the collective known as Porch Light Counseling is coming to an end. This summer, the therapists who make up Porch Light Counseling will begin to focus on developing our individual practices separately.
We each form a blueprint when we are babies for how we relate to other people. The security of the emotional bond that we form with our primary caregiver(s) in our first 12 – 18 months of life profoundly affects the way we approach relationships into adulthood. Kids who feel secure in their attachment with their parents/caregivers are likely to feel free to explore and be autonomous, both as children and as they grow up. Children who didn’t feel as secure in their relationship with their caregiver(s) may struggle to trust that people will stick around, be loving and kind, or value them for who they are.
The statistics vary, but there are approximately 7 million women living in the United States with impaired fecundity, meaning they have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a child to term. About 6% of women in the US have been diagnosed as infertile. In addition, as would be expected given the nature of the issue, folks dealing with infertility are much more likely (than those without infertility issues) to suffer from mental illness, most prevalently depression and/or anxiety.
Almost a year ago, following the swift and unexpected passage off North Carolina House Bill 2 , I wrote a love letter to the transgender community called, I’ll Go With You. Since I wrote that letter, members of the trans community, including trans and gender nonconforming youth, have continued to be targets of violence, disrespect, and what trans activist and lawyer, Dean Spade, calls administrative violence. I’ll spare my trans readers, who know this reality all too well, the potentially triggering details, but if you’re curious about what trans folks are up against here are a few links to follow:
At Porch Light Counseling, we are committed to supporting families in all life stages. We know one of the most challenging times for couples is the transition to parenthood. Whether adding to your family is a surprise or has been planned for a while, this shift can cause major stress for your partnership.
In a few months, I will observe 20 years in recovery from addiction. I don’t attribute much
significance to anniversaries but twenty years is a long time and this nice round number
demands acknowledgement and a bit of reflection.
As I was traveling this past weekend, I was amazed that despite my best efforts to “pack smart” I still took stuff that I never used or needed. I don’t notice my extra stuff as much when it’s in the closets and drawers at home, but when I’m actually responsible for taking it with me from point A-B-and-C, I start to have different feelings about that cute pair of extra shoes taking up space and weight that I’m lugging around.
Do you ever feel trapped and overwhelmed by your emotions? Instead of feeling in control, you feel like a hostage to your own emotional reactions. Once your anxiety, anger or fear gets to a certain point you start to look for external sources of soothing. Maybe the coping mechanisms you’ve tried haven’t worked, leaving you less hopeful and less trusting of yourself to manage your emotions. It’s a terrible feeling to feel trapped, stuck and powerless to affect positive change in your emotions. The good news is that you can change these patterns on your own, using your own internal resources.