Psychotherapy for Women
Anxiety and Depression in Women: It's Not Just In Your Head
You’re excellent at looking like you have it all together, but you secretly feel like you’re breaking down. You frequently wake up with a panicky feeling, dreading the day. Somehow you will yourself to go through the motions, but there has to be more to life than this. Everything feels so hard, and you’re so lonely.
So many women feel this way. We grew up hating our bodies. We felt bad about having strong emotions. We didn’t think we could support ourselves. We thought our worth was wrapped up in our looks or our ability to breed.
Taught by society that our role was to care for others, many women struggle to feel connected to themselves. Perhaps we were told we were “too sensitive,” and then we grew up criticizing and questioning our own feelings.
Empowerment for Women
As women, so much of healing is about taking our power back. Violence against women permeates our society, showing up in rape culture. Perhaps you survived a rape or assault, or someone violated you when you were a child. Even if nothing obvious happened, women face harassment, belittling, and sexism every single day.
It's not your fault.
Violence against women has been condoned for thousands of years, and persists in patriarchal societies like our own. Women are socialized to be subordinate; we're taught from birth that we are to be "nice," "polite," and submissive. We are taught to deny ourselves and to feel inadequate. When we're constantly given the message that our worth is connected to our physical beauty and sex appeal, we may begin to develop violent feelings about our bodies, forgetting that we are so much more.
When you experience this kind of treatment, it impacts the way you view yourself and the world. Together, we’ll look closely at your experience of being a woman. We’ll look at where you place your worth, and why.
In my therapy practice, I help women who are struggling to cope with:
Rape and sexual violence
Childhood sexual abuse
Body image issues
The Mother-Daughter Relationship
The relationship between mother and daughter is profound and complex. It’s our first, and perhaps most important relationship. When this relationship isn’t ideal, due to the mother’s own depression and/or anxiety, this can have a tremendous impact on the developing baby’s ability to feel safe and secure (because the mom doesn’t feel safe and secure). When we’re that small, we're completely dependent on our caregivers to meet our needs, including our emotional ones. If this doesn’t happen, we never learn how to meet our own emotional needs, and we suffer tremendously as a result. We may feel lonely, empty, worthless, and scared all the time.
It’s possible to learn how to be the mother to yourself that you never had.
It’s also possible to grieve what you didn’t get. I know from years of working with women that we often blame ourselves for our mother’s inability to love us as we needed. It’s what we keep doing to ourselves that causes the most suffering.
In the therapy world, it’s generally believed that it takes a relationship to heal a relationship. A child comes to know themselves and the world through the relationship with the mother. The therapy relationship is a way for you to come to know yourself in a new way: in a way that fosters confidence, strength, and a greater sense of security within yourself.
If you're ready to start healing this wound, I would love to hear from you.