I received a specialization in Infant Mental Health and Early Childhood Development from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. My focus in this area is on providing services for individuals 0-6 years old and the incorporation of families in such services. Here are some of the many issues that arise during this time and that I address:
- Regulatory Difficulties: I work with parents of infants experiencing regulatory difficulties, such as feeding problems, excessive crying, difficult sleep patterns, and a number of other areas often experienced within the first year of an infant’s life that often leave parents feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and disheartened.
- Postpartum Depression: Most women (50-85%) experience “baby blues” after having a baby for about 2 weeks, which includes mild symptoms of depression, moodiness, tearfulness, guilt/anger, and/or sleep difficulties. Generally, these symptoms resolve in approximately 2 weeks. Postpartum depression is a longer lasting and more serious form of “baby blues” and occurs in approximately 10-20% of women. Postpartum depression can be treated with therapy or medication but often a combination of both is the most effective. I offer individual therapy sessions for women experiencing PPD symptoms to help mothers feel like themselves again and to help foster health, fulfilling relationships with their babies, partners, and other family members. A key to successful treatment and recovery is early recognition of PPD symptoms, seeking help, and building strong support group. Group therapy sessions may also be available to provide mothers with a place to connect with others who face similar struggles.
- Cleft Lip and Palate: A diagnosis of cleft lip and/or palate can be a difficult time for families, many of whom experience grief, guilt, and worry about the years to come, surgeries they will face, and what the social outcomes will be. I have worked with hundreds of families from the Cleft Lip and Palate clinic through Children’s Hospital Colorado, who have undergone the trials and triumphs of having (or supporting a family member who has) a cleft lip and/or palate. I am happy to be a part of both the trials and triumphs.
- Grief and Loss: The loss of an infant, child, or pregnancy can be devastating and can contribute to years of heartache and difficulties in other relationships. I offer grief support to help individuals heal from previous losses and maintain or develop healthy relationships despite such losses.
- Toddler Behaviors: Toddlerhood can be a challenging time for everyone. If you toddler’s behaviors (from biting and hitting, to running away or other dangerous behaviors) have left you feeling helpless or frustrated, you may find it beneficial to seek assistance without the fear of judgment, critique, or advice of family members or close friends.
- Trauma: Often, we think that children are too young to remember a traumatic event and, therefore, overlook the significance and critical nature of such an occurrence. However, researchers have revealed the importance of offering treatment to children who have witnessed or experienced traumatic events. Children who have witnessed or experienced a traumatic event (or many events) may display difficult to manage behaviors such as hyperactivity, impulsivity, irritability, and difficulties paying attention. They may also experience nightmares, have poor social performance, difficulty maintaining relationships with peers, delayed development, and later health problems. Traumatized children may have unexplained medical conditions, such as headaches, stomach aches, incontinence, or sleep problems. Although it is possible for children who have experienced trauma to lead very healthy, happy, and normal lives, it is also very important to address the trauma with a qualified professional.
- Foster Care and Adoption: Foster care and adoption work have been a significant part of my life and an area in which I have great interest. There are many emotions and, often, behaviors that accompany both the foster care and adoption process. I offer services to help families make this time as fulfilling as possible.