My journey to motherhood was a bumpy ride. I told myself, as means of coping perhaps, that I would one day help others who struggle with similar issues. I’ve been a therapist for several years now, but my road to motherhood is what pointed me in the direction of maternal mental health. When I struggled with fertility issues, miscarriage, and postpartum anxiety, I was lucky enough to have a network of friends who are therapists and mothers who had also struggled. I also met with my own therapist… in fact, I went into labor in her office. I was fortunate to have these strong women there to normalize the feelings and validate my experience. My background is treating individuals and their families through addiction and/or eating disorders. For many years, this was my passion, but my personal journey is what guided my professional path and I knew I was meant to help other mothers and couples.
I know what it is to need to feel like I’m not alone while trying to be everything for a new baby. I know what it is to feel like a complete failure because I can’t get pregnant. I know what it is to discover the deepest lows of grief, anger, pain, loneliness, and sadness after a miscarriage. I was lucky to have the support I needed to cope. I also know that not everyone gets the help they need. So many women suffer in silence. I want every woman to know that you are not alone and I’m here to help!
So often the path to parenthood is nothing like we thought it would be.
I have designed my practice to be an environment that is conducive to providing therapeutic support to as many clients as possible, specifically, women/couples going through the struggles of infertility, coping with the grief of pregnancy loss, and adjusting to parenthood.
Here are some ways that I’m reducing the barriers to therapeutic support:
Bring your baby or babies to therapy! If you don’t think you can make it to therapy because you have no one to watch your baby or babies, bring them with you. The last thing I want is for your child or children to present as a barrier to your self-care.
Bring your partner! If you feel that you need help as a couple, then both of you should come. The experience of infertility, pregnancy loss, and perinatal/postpartum mental illness is different for each of you but it effects both of you. Also, you can learn how to support each other in this difficult time. (Again, bring your baby if you need to.)
Online counseling sessions and in-home visits. Sometimes you just can’t get out of the house. Perhaps because you are feeling depressed and overwhelmed due to hormones, grief, or just the new schedule of life with a baby. I’m happy to meet with you online to ensure that you are still getting the support you need. On occasion (and based on location), I will come to you! In-home visits are a nice way for me to make sure you know that you are not alone while allowing you feel comfortable in your own home.
I’m working on developing a community support group that will be offered free or at a nominal fee to group members. This is an option for individuals who cannot currently afford individualized therapy sessions. This is taking some coordination so I’m not ready to reveal the details, but it’s coming… stay tuned.
I maintain a private practice in Aliso Viejo, CA. If you or someone you know is struggling with any of the issues I’ve talked about today, please reach out. I’m here to help. I am a licensed marriage & family therapist specializing in maternal mental health. For more information, please visit my website: MelissaWrightMFT.com. Please feel free to call: 949-246-5700 or email: MelissaWrightMFT@gmail.com.