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Maternal Mental Health: Working with Expecting and New Mothers

I am a licensed psychologist in private practice. I specialize in maternal mental health, helping pregnant women and new mothers to psychologically prepare for and adjust to new motherhood. I strive to provide a safe and nonjudgmental atmosphere in which we can work together to foster your relationship with your fetus/baby, emerging identity as a mother, and understanding of your new baby's feelings and needs. While pregnancy and new motherhood are often assumed to be idyllic periods in a woman's life, most women experience some stress during pregnancy and after the baby is born.

Many women need support coping with this major life transition. Some expecting mothers feel conflicted over what kind of mother they will be, overwhelmed by anxiety, or detached from the experience of pregnancy. Similarly, some new mothers feel overwhelmed or experience difficulty bonding with their baby, or feel insecure about themselves as mothers.

Every individual is unique and I work collaboratively with each expecting or new mother to better understand how her own life experiences impact how she feels about motherhood.

Importantly, I also help support women on their journey to motherhood, through fertility treatments, miscarriages, perinatal loss, and planned terminations. For women trying to conceive, fertility issues and miscarriages can leave one feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed, yet isolated, and in need of someone to talk to.

General Counseling and Psychotherapy

I work collaboratively with individuals struggling with a number of different presenting problems from parenting issues, to anxiety and depression, self-esteem, self-identity, and interpersonal difficulties. My approach to counseling and psychotherapy is to provide the kind of relational experience that the client needs in order to be his or her best self. For many clients, presenting problems or symptoms diminish as they more fully experience and process emotions and engage in interpersonal relationships. My theoretical orientation is influenced by psychodynamic, attachment, emotion-focused, and interpersonal psychotherapies. Although my theoretical orientation is a blend of these varying approaches, I am largely guided by attachment theory. According to this theory, the way we bond with early caregivers influences our interpersonal relationships later on in life and how we learn to regulate emotions. Because of early experiences, some adults may have difficulty with intimacy in relationships and with experiencing intense emotions, while others may have difficulty being autonomous and feel overwhelmed by their emotions. Similarly, attachment experiences can influence our parenting style, how we bond and establish closeness with our children on one hand, and how we set boundaries and support their individuality and autonomy on the other. However, I believe (and research suggests) that more than any technical skill or theoretical orientation, what is crucial to clients’ meeting their therapeutic goals is the establishment of a good therapeutic relationship.

 

*[Please note that Dr. Markin sees patients in the Bryn Mawr office, but not the Philadelphia office]*

SpiegelBook

Dr. Markin's new book!

"This is the first well-informed and scientifically rigorous extension of attachment theory to group psychotherapy. It is a wonderfully constructed and imaginative text that is sure to become a clinically invaluable tool for all those who work with groups and an excellent introduction to students learning the art of psychological treatment."

— Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, Chief Executive of the Anna FreudCentre, and Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University College London, England

Order your copy here!