Sunday, May 23, 2010

Happy Birthday to The Birth Center

This weekend the Birth Center (, Sacramento county's ONLY freestanding midwife owned and operated birth center celebrated its Birth Day! They recently moved to a new location on Laurel Hills Drive and with the move they were able to open The Nursing Nook: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
For women who are sexual abuse survivors pregnancy, labor, delivery, and the postpartum period can be a vulnerable and EMPOWERING time. Choose your attendant carefully. This means if your OB or midwife doesn't feel right interview more, hire a doula, and get training in relaxation techniques. Sorry to say the brief minutes spent on relaxation breathing during a hospital's general l&d class are woefully inadequate to prepare any woman for birth and should be considered an introduction and not a full preparation education. Looking into Hypnosis, Bradley, or Lamaze classes in order to have the best experience possible.
For sexual abuse survivors being pregnant can open up fears about your body, trust, sexuality, and vulnerability that are reminiscent of being abused. Talk about your feelings with a trusted therapist, your midwife or doctor, or clergy person. Use the time that your body is growing and changing to learn to trust yourself again and restore faith in your body's awesome abilities. Do not tolerate further intrusions in the form of medical interventions if they are unnecessary and don't feel right. If your midwife or doctor treats you like a child or an unequal participant you have the right to find a care provider that is more competently able to provide services. You deserve a care provider who is as compassionate as they are competent.
One of the most fabulous, normalizing books I found about childbirth and pregnancy was this one:
"The Complete Book of Pregnancy and Childbirth" by Sheila Kitzinger
Good luck and happy deliveries...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

How much do you want it?

I started to write this geared towards other mental health professionals and marketing but then I realized...this topic is applicable to EVERYONE. Read on for more info.
When I was little my mom had a friend named Thelma. She was so funny and great with kids. Sometimes when I would ask her for something (a drink, a snack, etc.) she would say "How much do you want it?" or "What's it worth to you?" I was reminded of this recently on an online forum for therapists where the topic was marketing. Some therapists were remarking they had been in practice for months with few or no clients. When asked their list of marketing activities seemed spotty at best. No websites, few regular networking or marketing activities. I wanted to ask them, "How much do you want a full private practice?"
When I went into practice I wanted to go full-time. I was told by MANY people, "Nobody can do that, you should have another part-time job, it takes YEARS to build up a client base." Within 6 months I was almost full. Within a year I was so busy I had to turn clients away. But I wanted to be a private practice therapist really bad. So in sheer desperation I did the right thing and worked REALLY HARD.
I wanted to work 40 hours per week so when I wasn't seeing clients or doing paperwork I was marketing and networking for the full 40 hours per week. No marketing job was too big or small. My website, advertisements, search engine optimization all got put up almost immediately and then re-worked based on what worked or didn't work. I contacted everyone in my palm pilot and email book and let them know I was accepting clients. A few weeks later I contacted them again. I met professionals that I found online that I thought would have businesses that complimented my practice and met them for lunch or coffee. I sent thank yous for referrals. I made up spreadsheets to track the success or failure of marketing efforts (postcards, articles written, Internet listings all got noted). I brainstormed new marketing projects and started at the top and worked my way through them one by one. A few months later I noticed my 40 hours was filled with clients and not marketing activities. I was on my way.
So what does this have to do with the average person? Do you have a goal that you find yourself dreaming about? Weight loss, running a marathon, fixing up your home, being a better parent or improving your marriage? Let me ask you how much do you want to achieve that goal and how much time are you willing to put into it? What are you willing to do to change your life for the better? The marathon runner doesn't get up one morning and just go run a race. They spend time every day running. If you want to improve your marriage, reduce anxiety, lose weight, whatever it takes effort on a daily basis.
I know this is a gross oversimplification but sometimes it's not a bad idea to just start changing your life by making a daily effort and see how far you can go.