My Approach to Helping
I believe that therapy can be helpful throughout many transitions, challenges and life events. Whether you're seeking therapy for the first time or returning to therapy, I believe that you have the capacity to make the changes you seek in life and I welcome the opportunity to work with you to help facilitate change. My approach is mind-body focused and I believe the answers to your healing are within you and it is my responsibility to create the safe space to allow for healing. I am a Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner in Training working with the body to heal trauma. For more information visit: www.meagangeurtscounseling.com
More Info About My Practice
I love working with individuals on a variety of issues and from lots of different walks of life. My background lends itself to experience with individuals, families, women's issues (including postpartum depression and parenting issues), and life transitions.
Outside of my social work practice I believe in the importance of taking care of myself emotionally, physically and spiritually. I enjoy spending time with friends and family, running, hiking, yoga, reading, photography (taking pictures with my iPhone!) and finding new ways to make my daughters laugh.
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
My story of postpartum anxiety:
After the birth of my first daughter, things were great. I was off for maternity leave, and because I worked in the schools, my leave was extended through the summer. When I went back to work, my daughter was 5 months old - I was so lucky! Those first weeks back were tough, but everyone told me it would get better, it would get easier. But here's the thing, it didn't.
Each morning when I left my home, I told myself that the day would be different. I hugged my daughter and walked out the door. At the time, I had a 40 minute commute to work, and without fail, each and everyday my anxiety would gradually increase the closer I got to work - chest tightening, negative thinking patterns, intrusive thoughts - the whole nine yards. On the best days, I was able to fight through the tightness in my chest and get through the day, but on my bad days I was crying as I pulled into the parking lot and had to get myself together before walking into the building. On my worst day, I barely made it to my office before sliding to the floor in a heap of tears and shaking uncontrollably.
Remember, I'm a social worker, so I know all about mental health. It's different when it's happening to you! Here's the thing I didn't know at the time, postpartum depression and anxiety can start ANYTIME during the first year postpartum. By this time my daughter was 9 months (I'd fought my worsening anxiety alone for 4 months) and I finally reached out to a therapist who helped me understand what was happening to me and helped me figure out how to get my life back.
My experience with postpartum anxiety is one of the things that has fed my passion for working with women during the perinatal period (pregnancy and postpartum) as well as parenting. Thank you for letting me share my story with you.