I have been a licensed psychologist and psychotherapist for 35 years, a mother for 34. I got interested in maternal mental health the way a lot of perinatal professionals do — I had a baby! I wasn’t particularly anxious or depressed, but I was shocked at how my life had utterly changed. I was finishing up my dissertation at the time, and knew no other mothers. The general attitude among my graduate school friends was not critical, but perplexed: “What did you go and do that for?” I was lonely and I began to try to understand this new place and new self. With no one to talk to, I looked for books. 34 years ago there was almost nothing available. I kept looking, though, and kept buying anything I could find, and started noticing mothering and postpartum issues in the clients I worked with. I have been fascinated by the transformations and challenges of mothering ever since.
I became involved in the birth community in the Twin Cities: I did some doula-ing before it was called that, and considered studying midwifery. But I decided instead to focus on the emotional angle of becoming a mother, even though I knew that distinction was somewhat artificial: it had become clear to me that birth was a quintessential experience of the space where body and mind and soul and heart are inseparable. I wanted to understand mothers’ experiences, whether they felt depressed or anxious or euphoric, whether they’d had a satisfying birth or a traumatic one, whether they’d given birth or adopted, whether they felt welcomed in a parenting community or had to create their own.
Mothers Matter was born as I felt called more and more to work with pregnancy, birth, postpartum and mothering. I now have three adult children and a grandchild. In my general practice, I continue to help clients who face challenging life transitions, depression, anxiety and grief.
I work with individuals and couples, with mothers and fathers and partners. I am available for consultation, workshops and speaking engagements.
I co-teach Another Birth/Another Story with Susan Lane, CD, CLC. We developed this class for couples who are pregnant again after a previous difficult or traumatic birth.
I was a founding member of Laurel Poetry Collective, and author of the full-length House of Music. The Mothers Matter blog on this site includes poems from my chapbook What Other Worlds: Postpartum Poems, and other poems about pregnancy, birth and parenting by new and famous authors.
I was Founding Director of Pregnancy and Postpartum Support Minnesota (PPSM) , and remain on the Steering Committee. I am a MN Co-ordinator for Postpartum Support International (PSI). I am on the board of Prevention and Treatment of Trauma in Childbirth (PATTCh).
As a member of the Childbirth Collective, I speak to parents about
- Couples: Becoming a Family
- Spirituality of Pregnancy, Birth and Postpartum