We had the good fortune of connecting with Bethany Warren, LCSW, PMH-C and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bethany, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?

May is Maternal Mental Health Month, and a great time to recognize women and mothers. Let’s hear it for women and parents right now during Covid and recognize how hard it’s been to change and adapt! During this last year, I started noticing a significant increase in calls from potential clients seeking out therapy. More folks are working from home and have more accessibility to therapy and there is also an obvious increase in stress this year. We also see this supported by research: people are struggling and their mental health is worsening.
More and more women are struggling, and how could they not? With job and income changes, women are juggling the impossible task of working from home while also possibly home schooling or facing a lack of childcare. This coupled with a loss of support systems caused an incredible strain on parents, and particularly on women. 1 out of 5 women already experience anxiety symptoms, and 1 out of 7 will have depression when having a baby. We’re finding that with this pandemic, these rates are rapidly increasing with around 1 out of 3 women experiencing perinatal depression and anxiety. Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders are already impacting women of color at disproportionately higher rates than White women, and this has worsened during the pandemic.
While this is discouraging, the important thing to know is that you are not alone. While it may be more challenging to find therapists right now because some therapists’ practices may be full, please do not give up. Because of virtual therapy availability, you can actually see anyone within the state of California.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?

I’m a psychotherapist in private practice here in San Diego. My office space prior to Covid was in Rancho Bernardo, and since the pandemic, I’ve been working from home, providing virtual teletherapy via video sessions. I’m so eager to eventually get back to an office space, and to see my colleagues and clients in person. But, for now, I’m pleasantly surprised by how effective and accessible teletherapy has been for people!

I’ve been in this field for over 20 years and have such a passion for supporting women and mothers. I started out in my career working at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla, in the Maternity Unit. I eventually transitioned into private practice working with the same population. I specialize in infertility, pregnancy loss, Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, and birth trauma. I’m certified in EMDR therapy, a therapy effective for treating trauma. I’m so passionate about helping clients overcome traumatic childhoods and life experiences, particularly reproductive ones.

I would not be where I am today without all of my colleagues and connections along the way. I’m such a people person and find a lot of meaning from relationships and my community. Social and reproductive justice is really important to me, and I love being around people who feel equally passionate about working hard for others.

I’ve loved my work serving on the board of the Postpartum Health Alliance and continuing my relationships working in the field of Perinatal Mental Health and reproductive trauma. It’s an honor to work with parents and I’m surrounded by some fantastic colleagues.

My book, The Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood Workbook, is due out later this fall, and I’m overjoyed to finally have this resource to offer to new parents and providers who work with parents. My colleague, Dr. Beth Berger, and I wrote it to provide tangible skills and information to parents impacted by mood changes when having a baby. We’re super proud of our book and can’t wait to see it out soon!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a tough but fun question! What is it about visitors that makes us do the fun stuff we don’t normally do? We love taking our bikes across the Coronado ferry for a day at the beach, and of course eating our way through the city too. I have never met a taco I didn’t like. Hiking just about anywhere, taking in a Padres game, or kayaking at Lake Hodges are always good options.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?

It is always said that it takes a village to raise a child. But I like to say that it also takes a village to raise a mother, and now even more so it’s important for women to feel supported during this time of isolation and added stress.

I am so grateful to organizations like the Postpartum Health Alliance, a nonprofit here in San Diego that I have been involved with for years, that serves to support parents. PHA raises awareness about Perinatal Mental Health and provides treatment referrals and resources to parents (such as support groups, therapists and psychiatrists).

I was previously on the board for several years, and served most recently as President up until 2018. I’m incredibly proud of all the work that we’ve accomplished, and continue to accomplish in supporting parents. This community of volunteers and professionals work tirelessly in the goal of spreading awareness and supporting parents. To learn more, please go to postpartumhealthalliance.org

On June 26th, there is a global event, Climb Out of the Darkness, which raises awareness and supports parents in overcoming Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). The local event is taking place at Kate Sessions park. Anyone is welcome! This event raises money for Postpartum Support International, an incredible nonprofit organization also devoted to information and support for PMADs.

I also am so grateful to Every Mother Counts, another nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring every woman across the globe has access to quality and equitable maternity care. This organization is inspiring in addressing maternal mortality rates, which disproportionately impact women of color. To learn more, please go to everymothercounts.org

Website: bethanywarrenlcsw.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bethanywarrenlcsw/

Other: Previously mentioned nonprofits: Postpartum Health Alliance (postpartumhealthalliance.org), Every Mother Counts (everymothercounts.org) and the Climb Out of the Darkness Event coming up in San Diego 6/26/21, info can be found here: Instagram (@climboutofthedarknesssandiego) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/climboutsandiego) and Postpartum Support International (postpartum.net)

Image Credits
Bio headshot photo by Renae Fieck

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