Therapy for Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

The intricate relationship between postpartum depression and a history of trauma is often overlooked, yet it plays a crucial role in the mental health of new mothers. Common occurrences such as a baby's cry might trigger deep-seated panic and traumatic reactions, exacerbating the symptoms of postpartum depression. These intense responses amplify feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and emotional overwhelm, intertwining the challenges of new motherhood with unresolved traumatic experiences.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy can be an important piece of the treatment puzzle and can be particularly beneficial for postpartum women with a trauma history. By processing traumatic memories and reducing their psychological impact, EMDR can help alleviate the heightened emotional responses that contribute to postpartum depression. This therapy, alongside other supportive treatments, offers a pathway to healing. It enables these mothers to manage their trauma-induced reactions better, understand their emotional experiences, and nurture self-compassion, leading towards a more balanced and fulfilling journey into motherhood.

Heal from Postpartum Depression & Feel Whole again

Addressing Postpartum Depression and Anxiety through Integrative EMDR Therapy

Rebecca Hoffenberg, Psy.D
Clinical Psychologist
Postpartum depression, anxiety & overwhelm
EMDR, trauma-informed & mindfulness
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How We Work with Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

Living with postpartum depression can feel like being trapped in a shadow, even amidst the brightest moments of new motherhood. It's a relentless fog that dulls the joy and wonder that one is expected to feel, replacing it with an overwhelming sense of sadness, emptiness, or numbness. This depression can manifest as a constant, inexplicable feeling of exhaustion that isn't relieved by rest, a sense of detachment from the baby, or an irrational but pervasive fear of being an inadequate parent. Often, it's accompanied by a guilt that lingers for not feeling the happiness and connection that society says a new mother should. 

When trauma intersects with postpartum depression and anxiety, the effects can be significantly intensified, creating a more complex and challenging experience for new mothers. For many mothers, past trauma can resurface or become amplified after childbirth. EMDR works to lessen the emotional response to these memories, making them less triggering. The combination of EMDR with other therapies can lead to greater resilience. By addressing the root causes of emotional distress and providing tools for coping, mothers can build a stronger foundation for dealing with future stressors.

"Trauma, especially unresolved or relational trauma, acts as a magnifier, amplifying the typical symptoms of postpartum depression and anxiety. EMDR functions to reduce the intensity of the emotional reactions associated with these memories, thereby diminishing their triggering effect."

Our Specialist in EMDR for Depression

Dr. Rebecca Hoffenberg

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Hoffenberg, equipped with her professional expertise in postpartum depression and her personal experience as a new mother, brings a deeply empathetic approach to her practice. She places significant emphasis on EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help new mothers confront and reshape negative self-beliefs, particularly those concerning their capabilities as parents. This aspect of therapy is pivotal in tackling the self-doubt and guilt that frequently accompany postpartum mental health issues.

Her deep understanding of relational trauma and abandonment issues is central to her approach. Dr. Hoffenberg’s trauma-informed care provides a secure and empathetic environment for mothers to process these complex emotions. This understanding is especially crucial for those who may have experienced past traumas related to abandonment or relationship difficulties, which can resurface and intensify during the postpartum period.

By focusing on how EMDR facilitates a shift in self-perception and assists mothers in embracing their new role, Dr. Hoffenberg supports them in navigating the emotional intricacies of new motherhood. Her blend of professional knowledge and personal insight, coupled with her understanding of relational trauma, makes her an invaluable support for mothers working through these multifaceted challenges.

How EMDR Helps Individuals Overcome Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) has emerged as a highly effective therapy for individuals suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety. EMDR's primary strength lies in its ability to process past traumatic experiences, which are often at the heart of postpartum mental health issues. Many individuals find that their postpartum depression and anxiety are exacerbated by unresolved traumas, parenting challenges, or personal histories. 

A key aspect of EMDR therapy is its focus on reframing negative self-beliefs, which are common in postpartum depression and anxiety. These might include doubts about one's abilities as a parent or feelings of inadequacy in coping with the demands of new parenthood. Through EMDR, individuals can transform these negative perceptions into positive, empowering beliefs, enhancing their confidence and self-worth. This shift is crucial in developing a healthier, more balanced mental state.

FAQ About EMDR for Postpartum Depression & Anxiety

What are some common signs that postpartum depression is linked to past trauma?

Common signs include heightened anxiety, flashbacks, panic attacks, intense irritability, and feelings of detachment or numbness, especially if these symptoms relate to past traumatic events or are triggered by reminders of the trauma.

Can EMDR help with anxiety and other issues related to postpartum depression?

Yes, EMDR is not only effective for depression but also for treating anxiety, PTSD, and other mental health issues that can occur alongside or as a result of postpartum depression.

How does EMDR help with postpartum depression?

For postpartum depression, EMDR can be particularly effective in addressing unresolved traumas that may be exacerbating the symptoms of depression and anxiety during the postpartum period.

Can EMDR be used to treat childhood trauma that's contributing to postpartum depression?

Yes, EMDR is effective in treating childhood traumas that may be underlying causes of postpartum depression. It allows individuals to process and heal from these early traumatic experiences.

How can I differentiate between 'normal' postpartum challenges and trauma-related symptoms?

'Normal' postpartum challenges typically include mood swings and mild anxiety, but if you experience severe anxiety, flashbacks, panic attacks, or persistent feelings of sadness and detachment, these might indicate trauma-related symptoms. We are here to help you differentiate and overcome these challenges!

Ready To Rid Yourself of Postpartum Depression & Anxiety?

Begin a path toward self-awareness and liberation from the clutches of postpartum depression. Let us assist you in moving towards a more tranquil state of being, fostering a balanced relationship with your emotions and thoughts during this pivotal time in your life.