It’s nice to get back to work after our awesome roadtrip to New Orleans. What a ride, highlighted by so many interesting and inspiring people.
While I was away, I received an email from a therapist in Utah who wrote to give me feedback on my book, “Therapy and the Postpartum Woman” and her thoughts on doing this work. She shared her dream of specializing with this population and I was touched by her warm and thoughtful attention to this important work.
Therapists are motivated to do this work for a variety of reasons. I have learned so much from the clinicians who attend our trainings — about who they are, why they are so committed to this unique client population, why their passion runs so very deep. I’ve also learned that many enter into this work with a range of emotional readiness. Regardless of their number of years in the field or how much experience they have had in their particular practice, coming face-t0-face with some of the imposing issues specific to this group can be stunning to a clinician unfamiliar with this work.
I have made this post anonymous – feel free to identify yourself if you’d like 😉 With her permission, I would like to share her gentle words so other clinicians can ponder this and perhaps, share their own thoughts on the subject:
“I am writing to you today as I have been studying your website and reading your book, Therapy for the Postpartum Woman and felt the strong to express my gratitude. For approximately 8 years I have had a dream of working with women struggling with pregnancy related issues. However, there were no such trainings, clinics or groups that worked specifically with this population. So as a student I gained my education working with women but not specifically postpartum, miscarriage, etc. Now that I am in a position to be starting my own practice, I hope to create such a place for my community.
My expression of gratitude is best described by an experience I had with the Hawaiian ocean. I did my undergraduate work at a university on the north shore of Hawaii. I have always been drawn to water and particularly the ocean. When I first arrived to the island, I ran into the ocean fully clothed, thrilled to be at my new “home.” I continued to play in the ocean throughout the days to follow not considering the size of the waves, the strong pull of the current or the rising of the tide. I was very ignorant to the power of the ocean and could have gotten very hurt. Later I met a dear friend who had lived there many years and loved to surf. He sat me down one day on the sand and taught me about the ocean and the more I learned the more respect and caution I exercised. I realized how much I didn’t know and the more humility and education I gained, the deeper my love and respect grew for this great body of water. From there on, I approached the ocean very differently, taking into consideration all of the surrounding factors that would make it safe, risky or dangerous to enter.
I feel the same way as I am delving into the waters of postpartum depression. Initially I was jumping in fully clothed with little understanding. Now I am realizing how deep these waters go and how critical it is I become a life long student of learning rather than striving to be an expert who has arrived. The more I am learning the more I realize how much I don’t know. Thank you for showing me the respect and spirit necessary to be able to work with this group. I am humbled while excited.”