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Tips from a St. Louis Therapist on How to Talk to a New Mom about Starting Therapy - Part II

A mom and dad hold their twin babies. At Marble Wellness, a therapist near me, our team focuses on therapy for new moms and moms at all stages of motherhood in St. Louis, MO 63011.

In last week’s blog we talked about some strategies for suggesting therapy for new moms. While we as a society have made great strides in reducing the stigma around seeking mental health treatment, it’s not uncommon for people to still have some resistance, or at least questions about whether therapy is a good fit for them and their needs.

A great way to overcome resistance is through information.

For example, knowing what to expect in a first therapy session can take away some of the anxious feelings about showing up. When someone understands how therapy can help, they may be more likely to schedule their first appointment.

New moms in particular face some challenges in terms of time, ability to get out of the house, and budget. We get it, and we at Marble Wellness have worked hard to make the process of seeking therapy as easy as possible for new moms. Some of the ways we aim to make it easy for moms to access us, even with a new baby, include the following:

  • easy online appointment request ability. Truly, you can click right here and request your first appointment

  • or, if you have questions and want to chat with someone first, you can schedule a 15-minute, no obligation, free call with our Client Coordinator, Kim. She’ll talk to you about what’s going on so she can pair you with the best fit on our team.

  • we welcome babies under 12 months old in session (and please know: you’re not the first mom who will have utilized this!)

  • we offer park therapy so you can get some exercise and fresh air, and we routinely have moms with babies and/or toddlers on those walks!

  • we offer virtual therapy, if you want to avoid a commute but still meet with one of our therapists

Finally, knowing more about the benefits of therapy can motivate anyone to seek support.

Here are some talking points to help you have this conversation with a new mom, so she can get the help she needs.

Tips from our St. Louis therapists about talking to a new mom about therapy:

A new mom holds her baby. Moms in Missouri and Illinois can see therapists at Marble Wellness in-person, virtually, or for park therapy.

1. Talk about what therapy for new moms can do and what she can talk about with her counselor.

Here are some examples that may help when you’re on that point. She can:

  • Learn new coping skills

  • Get educated on hormones, the postpartum time period, and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, which may help her realize it’s “not just her”

  • Have a place that can be all about her, where she doesn’t have to be a friend/family member/partner in return

  • Brainstorm with the therapist about behaviors, routines, or environments that could change to help her decrease her overwhelm, anxiety, and stress

  • Explore her emotions, thoughts, and any minor, moderate, or significant challenges arising with the birth of this new baby (whether it’s her first baby or not!)

  • Develop new thought patterns and emotional regulation skills, to help manage this new world that often may feel like “too much”

  • Help her keep a piece of “herself” while learning her way around the new identity that comes with the birth of a baby (again, whether it’s her first baby or not!)

  • Manage relationship challenges and interpersonal dynamics that might feel harder or more tension-filled with the presence of a new baby

  • Much more!

2. Be prepared for pushback or reasons why she can’t go to counseling.

Do not delegitimize these claims, but instead validate them and have suggestions that may allow the mother to overcome those hurdles. Some of these reasons may include:

1. “I don’t have time”

Possible response: I know it feels like that. And probably is actually very close to how time passes for you. With some scheduling adjustments, it may be easier than you think to find 50-60 minutes one time a week. Also, virtual sessions make it that much easier! Or, if you do want to get out of the house, a lot of “mom therapists” allow babies in sessions.”

2. “It’s expensive.”

Possible response: It can be challenging to find room in the budget. Have you checked with your insurance to see if therapy is covered? Even if it’s not, there are so many qualified therapists in the Metro St. Louis area, and also nonprofits that have counseling for the community, that we can probably help you find something in your budget.

3. “I've been in therapy before and it didn’t work.”

Possible response: There are times that happens, and I believe you when you say that was your experience. But there are a lot of great therapists out there, and if we can find you the right fit, you may have a much different experience this time. There are also ways to test that fit before your session: you can read reviews; or blogs that the therapist has written; or even have a free 10-15 minute consultation with them. Sometimes, therapists even have short videos on their website so you can get a feel for how they talk and their mannerisms.”

4. “I’d feel weird talking about this.”

Possible response: I get it. That’s fair and I know a lot of other people who say the same thing. I also know that almost everyone, after they start therapy, says “this is actually pretty good stuff. I wish I had started this a long time ago! It’s the therapist’s job to help you feel safe and comfortable. They are literally trained to make what could “feel weird” actually feel pretty normal to talk about.”

5. “I don’t think I need it, this is just motherhood. After all, everyone says it’s hard, right?”

Possible Response: You’re absolutely right, motherhood *is* hard. But that doesn’t mean it has to stay hard, or that a little help wouldn’t be totally appropriate for that exact reason. Also, and I say this lovingly, it doesn’t have to be as hard as it’s feeling for you. Imagine if you felt a little more capable, a little less worried, and a little more like yourself? If those are things you’ve heard yourself saying to yourself or out loud, maybe therapy *is* worth exploring?

3. Be prepared to suggest therapy another time or two.

Make sure some time has passed between the suggestions so it doesn’t feel like an intense confrontation to the sleep-deprived, overwhelmed mother who is already wondering if she is doing/being “enough.” Also be ready to let the conversation/suggestion go. Sometimes, people just aren’t ready. And that’s okay!

A mom takes a walk with her baby on the beach. Marble Wellness therapists specialize in moms in St. Louis and Chicago and can help with postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety.

Your love and concern for the new mom in your life is admirable, and we applaud you for your encouragement to get the help she deserves. The team at Marble Wellness is here to support moms at all stages of motherhood – and their partners, relatives, and friends – as they go through this stage of life. If the new mom in your life is ready to start therapy, we at Marble Wellness are here and ready to help.</