More than a Healthy Baby: How to Cope With Birth Trauma
Have you had an overwhelming, scary, and confusing birth experience? You are not alone. 1 in 3 people will experience a traumatic birth.
There’s 3 ways to work with me if you’ve experienced a traumatic birth
- A one-off birth debrief
- 1:1 coaching and counselling support
- My brand new More Than a Healthy Baby online course
The online course
Wondering what on earth just happened to you and where to even start? Not sure what you need, or if you’re even ready to talk to someone? Does the idea of being handed a pamphlet with a lotus flower and being told that “all that matters is a healthy baby” make you want to puke?
Want to have a little stalk into what a Psychologist might offer? Want to know what tools I used to cope with my own two traumatic births? Want to know what tools other parents have used to find strength and growth?
This course is not therapy. It’s not a replacement for being responsible for your own healing and trauma work. What I’m offering you is something other than pity, clichés and blaming.
In Section 1, I give you (and your partner and/or family) education and information about what birth trauma is, why did it happen, and what you need to know about trauma being your biggest teacher for growth.
In Section 2, I teach you practical, life-long strategies for coping. I know that they work because I’ve been teaching them as a psychologist for 10+ years experience. These are also things that I use myself. We cover strategies from CBT, Mindfulness and Meditation, ACT, Guided Imagery, DBT, Positive Psychology, embodiment practices and more.
In Section 3, I’ll give you the pros and cons of different treatment approaches, tips and advice for further support options. How to find support, and what questions to ask.
It’s beautiful, hopeful, bright and bold. I swear, I laugh. I teach you that doing work on your trauma doesn’t have to be heavy. You can do it while sitting on your couch in your pjs. I would love to show you that you’re not broken. That the strongest, most beautifully resilient version of yourself is yet to come.
More than a Healthy Baby 1:1 sessions
I offer highly intuitive, boutique support for birth trauma.
Either a one off birth debrief, or as a package of support
A one off birth debrief. As a stand alone session or as an upgrade to the More than a Healthy Baby course.
WHAT: 90 minutes of online or phone support to unpack, reflect and unwind. I’ll give you validation, compassion and perspective. You’ll get 2-3 manageable, practical coping tips to walk away with.
This is a good starting point if you just want to dip your toe in and see what might be possible. A birth trauma debrief is not therapy. It’s typically not going to serve as a stand alone option for trauma, but it is a starting point.
This may also be a good option if someone in your life could use some support (a client, friend or family member) and you want to gift them with this postpartum support rather than more baby stuff 😊
Cost: $376.50 AU for up to 90 minutes
You can book HERE
1:1 Coaching/counselling support
In my 10+ years of doing this work, I’ve found that a blend of counselling and coaching works well for most people. I can put my senior Clinical Psychologist hat on and talk symptoms and assessment where needed, but a large component of my stlye is mentoring and coaching. Not everyone wants or needs a diagnosis, and this is why what I do is a unique hybrid.
I support you over 3 months (give or take) to get you from struggling to thriving. This is the method I’ve used myself with my own two traumatic births and what I’ve been teaching clients for the last 10+ years.
The 4-5 key areas from More than a Healthy Baby are:
Step 1: Human 101 check (diving into your general physical, social and emotional support – creating the eco system and safety net for you to do this work)
Step 2: Understanding WTF just happened, what’s going on in your nervous system, and why it’s not your fault
Step 3: Mind-body trauma strategies
Step 4: Self-compassion practices
Step 5: Phoenix from the ashes: Strength, growth and lifelong coping
This is a guide. Working 1:1 with me is a highly individualised, tailored experience based. This is not your cookie cutter 10 sessions and hope for the best approach.
My approach is high end. Evidence-based, but with extras. All the strategies I teach are things I’ve used myself. My own births have been the blueprint for this work. I don’t take you anywhere I haven’t been myself. I’ve spent YEARS figuring out what works best for my clients.
Want to see if it’s a good fit? Book a free call HERE
What’s the structure?
We work together for around 3 months, with 10 sessions of 50 minutes each.
We start with one longer session of 90 mins to 2 hours because that’s usually how long it takes to unpack a birth and possibly multiple births.
You also get:
A clinical assessment (if you want and/or need one). Some people really need or want that diagnosis to communicate to their partner, family or boss what’s going on for them. Up to you. I also do basic assessment so that I can ensure online support will be right for you (e.g., if you’re struggling with severe PTSD, psychosis or are actively suicidal then online support won’t best serve you).
Accountability and assignments
Personalized macro and micro coping plan
Mind-body connection work (not just talking)
Weekly check ins via email, text, messenger or wassap
What’s the benefits of working with me this way (as opposed to traditional therapy?)
I have a LOT of experience in this area. I know how hard it can be to get to a session depending on what sort of night you’ve had. Getting dressed, finding parking, sitting in a waiting room can all add stress that doesn’t need to be there.
I don’t believe that all talking is the answer either. I teach practical embodiment strategies that not only will you use for the rest of your life (and wonder how you managed without them) but you get to spread the dandelion seeds and teach them to your kids, your family and your colleagues.
The benefit of picking a highly-trained Psychologist’s brain, without the burden of the medical model of assess, diagnose and treat.
The reassurance that I can walk the walk. Not all coaches have experience, confidence or success with going to the darkest of dark places. I have successfully helped thousands of people through the most harrowing of experiences (suicidal ideation, psychosis, severe depression, addiction and harmful behaviours).
I have been there. What I went through with my own two births was the template for the strength and peace I teach others. Have I spent countless hours wishing I didn’t have traumatic births? Yes! But I’ve come to believe there was purpose in it. That I was called to do this work.
I’ve set up sustainable practices. I only take on a few clients a month. I only work two days per week. I ensure that I have the energy and the focus to be able to fully support my clients because this work is HARD. The burn out rate for people in this work is high. I’ve had to figure out how to keep working with trauma without burning myself into the ground. I can’t be banging on about self-care when I’m burning through 9 clients a day, 5 days a week (been there, done that!). I have to lead by showing my students and registrars that I teach that there is another way to work with trauma without going broke because you’re trying to help everyone and keep working for free.
Your investment to work 1:1 with me is $2510AU if all upfront or;
$3010 on a payment plan (one payment of $1003.33 each month for 3 months)
This is a guide. If finances are tough, let me know! If your commitment is there, then we can figure it out.
Private health rebates for counselling may apply, check with your provider if they will cover sessions with a Clinical Psychologist.
How do we get started?
Book a free discovery call HERE
Can my baby or children attend sessions?
As a general rule, no these sessions are for you and prioritizing your own growth. Having some child care is going to be necessary for this work to be effective. But there are caveats.
For babes in arms age (e.g., younger than 6 months) it’s a maybe. It depends on what we’re doing that day. Be mindful that your baby is highly attuned to stress, and if you’re filtering yourself, distracted or your baby is distressed that’s not productive for either of us.
Let’s just take it as it comes and communicate rather than you panic if childcare falls through
Can my partner, doula or other support person attend?
Yes, if it’s helpful you can definitely have a support person sit with you for a few sessions. Just understand that this is primarily 1:1 work, not couples or group support.
Why do I have to book a package? Can’t I just book week to week and see how I go?
- Commitment and organization is important in trauma work. Booking a package ensures that there’s actually a spot in my calendar for you on the day/times you want. My rule of thumb has always been that’s it’s much easier to change an existing appointment then to find a brand new one.
- Making a financial commitment signals to yourself, me, and the universe that you’re ready. That you’re not here to just see how things go, but you’re setting a clear intention.
- Self-sabotage, quitting and making excuses are HUGE factors in trauma work. Experience has taught me that most people will want to quit or ghost me when things get tough. It’s totally normal. Self-sabotaging is also normal. Setting yourself up with the commitment at the start ensures that you continue to see our work together through till the end – even when it’s rough. It also means I’m not sitting there wondering if I have the capacity to take on a new client if I haven’t heard from you in a while and am not sure if you’re coming back.
- I like to have an end goal in mind. I’m not someone who strings clients along for years without a clear idea of where we are headed.
Why do you charge that much? Other Psychologists are cheaper
I charge the recommended rate set by the Australian Psychological Society which is $251.00AU per 50 minute session. I’m a senior Clinical Psychologist with a PhD. I have over 10 years experience and I supervise and train other Psychologists and registrars. Birth trauma is my absolute passion and area of expertise. That might not be the level of expertise and speciality that you need, which is fine, there are other choices!
But if you want to work with me, then you acknowledge that you’re paying me for results. That one breakthrough that will get you to where you want to be.
I have given THOUSANDS of hours of free therapy over my career. I did free work as an intern for more than two years. I’ve worked with the homeless, people just out of prison, people living in deep poverty. I’ve experienced years of turning up to work and earning zero dollars for that day because people don’t show up or can’t pay. I’ve had countless Medicare rebates that bounced, accounts that were never settled, reports that were never paid for. Salaried positions in private practice are rare and seldom lead to stable positions, so I’m ok with saying I’ve done my time 😊
Most therapists don’t tell you how many clients they see in a day, or how many people are on their books. Some therapists see 9 clients in a row (and I know because before I had a mini stroke, I was one of them!). In order to create a sustainable business (including sick leave, holiday leave and proper self-care) and give my full attention and care to each client, I choose to charge a premium price point and see less clients.
Why don’t you offer Medicare rebates?
There’s a few reasons for this:
- With the current COVID-19 crisis, my work hours are drastically reduced. Like many mums, my two children are home 24/7 now. Medicare paper work is time consuming. I would rather spend what limited time I have actually seeing clients or creating free content to help people.
- Medicare rebates for online therapy are only available if a client lives in a remote area (zones 4-7 under the Monash model). This means that only a really small percentage of people are eligible for this rebate anyway.
- Strictly speaking, a Psychologist offer a Medicare rebate can only offer CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) or IPT (Interpersonal Therapy). I prefer to have the flexibility to use other modalities (including coaching rather than therapy or in addition to therapy) if it’s best for the person in front of me.
- You’ll need a diagnosis and ongoing appointments with your GP to receive a rebate which may or may not suit you.
- Medicare only grants a maximum of 10 sessions per calendar year, which simply isn’t enough in my experience.
What if I have more complex trauma and need longer than 3 months?
That’s totally fine, the package is simply a starting point that I’ve found effective for most people. Severe PTSD and complex trauma will likely take longer.
To book a free discovery call click HERE