How I Can Help:

In addition to Psychotherapy, I also provide Postpartum Doula and Coaching services to families who are not, and do not become, psychotherapy clients. Mindful Family Coaching provides therapeutic guidance to mothers and families through the life transitions of pregnancy, birth and parenthood. This includes a range of customized support, such as assistance with breastfeeding technique, newborn care education, positive parenting skills, integration of new babies into families with existing siblings, and connection to parenting groups and community resources.

 

I specialize in working with mothers experiencing Pre or Post Natal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMAD), which may include depression, compulsivity, fear & loss, trauma and mood fluctuations during pregnancy and up to one year following birth. I also include partners experiencing similar symptoms related to the stress of pregnancy and new parenthood. 

What is a Postpartum Doula?

The "fourth trimester", the period following birth, is often the most challenging and overlooked period in the transition to parenthood. Many new families in our society lack the continuity of care they need following the birth of their baby, and many new parents do not have extended family nearby to provide a helping hand. The postpartum doula bridges this need by educating, nurturing and empowering mothers and families toward confidence in their new roles.

 

Self-confidence has a tremendous impact on a person’s ability to approach any task, and parenting is no different. Evidence shows that the presence of a nurturing and supportive postpartum doula can ease feelings of overwhelm and anxiety that often accompany the arrival of a new baby and reduce the risk of mood disorders/postpartum depression, while increasing parental confidence and improving satisfaction with their new roles, 

 

Postpartum Doulas generally support the birth mother and family in their home in the first few days immediately following birth, and then for the next 4-6 weeks, on average, until the family feels comfortably adjusted to the addition of the new baby.

Why Family Coaching?

Many of our experiences in life are complex and multi-faceted. ​Amidst the beauty and excitement of welcoming a new life into the world, there may also exist fear, frustration, confusion and disconnect. You may be overwhelmed by unpredictable and intense emotions pre or post birth, or  feel surrounded by advice and input, with no one to listen to you and value your experience openly. You and your partner or family members may be experiencing discord or conflict, or perhaps you are in search of ways to grow closer during this intimate time.

 

Whatever your reasons, I view coaching as an opportunity to validate the strengths a growing family already has in place, while adding to their resources. I will guide you through an honest, creative and safe process to inspire you and your family to maximize your potential. Through this process, my hope is to equip you with practical tools for coping with stress and soothing anxiety, working through conflict and creating healthy dialogue with significant others, and encourage a strong sibling bond between your children in your home environment. 

Family Coaching

  • Managing stress & anxiety

  • Coping & Adjusting 

  • Maximizing potential as parents 

  • Identifying desired parenting philosophies

  • Managing interpersonal connections

  • Negotiating work/family balance

  • Mediating extended family relationships

  • Processing birth story

  • Strategizing care of multiple children

  • Support in developing healthy attachment between new baby and family members

  • Providing positive parenting skills

  • Ritualizing life transition into parenting, as wells as pregnancy & birth

  • Discussing and embracing fear, shame, anger or grief

Postpartum Doula Support

  • Assistance with the physical postpartum adjustment and nurturing of the new mother

  • Offers companionship & nonjudgmental support

  • Support with breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding

  • Emotional support for the whole family

  • Infant care & soothing techniques

  • Supporting parents in developing their own styles of nurturing and bonding with baby

  • Household assistance & including preparation of nutritious light meals and snacks, arranging of nursery, changing and feeding stations, and general home organization

  • Offers evidence-based information and educational materials 

  • Provides appropriate referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, lactation consultants and support groups when necessary

What is Mindful Family Coaching?

Structure of Services

As each family is unique, services are highly customizable to fit your needs, schedule and situation. For example, you may wish to meet for several coaching sessions before baby is born, begin postpartum services upon arrival, and complete additional sessions once you and your family begin feeling settled and self-sufficient. Furthermore, while we'll attempt to create a pre-determined and mutually agreeable schedule or "package", I realize that needs may change once baby has arrived, and I will therefore remain flexible regarding our intended schedule and services. 

 

I invite you to contact me for a complimentary consultation to discuss your anticipated needs, and how the care I offer could contribute positively to creating the parenting experience you envision.

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Kathleen Dahlen MA, LMFT provides integral counseling in the Pacific Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. She specializes in working with women in the midst of transitional life phases, co-dependance, anxiety and alcoholic family systems. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #97659 in the state of California, serving clients locally in the Bay Area and online for international clients and clients residing elsewhere in California.