with Marnie Levenson, Licensed Therapist
Perinatal Mental Health Certified
Becoming Mothers Counseling is a mental health therapy practice offering flexible maternal wellness services for ALL stages of motherhood. Support is available in 2 different locations across the Bay Area, virtually, or in your own home. You can choose whatever is right for you and change at any time.
In our work together, you will learn how to be kinder with yourself while facing the unique challenges of motherhood. Whether pregnant, postpartum, or navigating further stages of motherhood, you deserve to feel empowered. I am a 2x survivor of Postpartum Depression and Becoming Mothers Counseling was founded after losing, and then finding myself again in my own motherhood journey.
Becoming a mother is a profound evolution, marked by physical, emotional, and psychological changes through a process known as “matrescence”. As your body adapts to pregnancy, labor, birth, and beyond, your heart and mind also undergo a profound shift. Motherhood is an ongoing transformation, an ever-evolving process that shapes not just identity but your very essence, as you work to embrace the role of protector, nurturer, and guide to a new generation.
As a mother, you may find yourself on a challenging journey of self-discovery and transformation as you navigate the intense responsibilities of motherhood. In the process of nurturing and caring for children, many lose touch with their own individual identities. The demands of parenting, coupled with societal expectations, can sometimes overshadow your personal interests, career ambitions, and even your sense of self. If you’ve lost sight of your own needs, you’re not alone. This journey of rediscovering yourself amidst the beautiful chaos of motherhood can be a deeply fulfilling process, ultimately enriching your sense of self in new and meaningful ways.
“For me, becoming isn’t about arriving somewhere or achieving a certain aim. I see it instead as a forward motion, a means of evolving, a way to reach continuously toward a better self.”
All services are offered as home-based, virtual, or in office. choose the option that’s right for you
“The fastest way to break the cycle of perfectionism and become a fearless mother is to give up the idea of doing it perfectly – indeed to embrace uncertainty and imperfection.”—Arianna Huffington
Becoming a mother, whether for the first time or again, can be a difficult and surprising identity change. This period can often lead to unwanted anxious thoughts, depression, self-doubt, and not feeling quite like yourself .You may be worried about getting it “right” or feel overwhelmed about becoming a mother. Loneliness is also common, even for those who are rarely alone.
Living in an achievement-oriented world can cause moms to feel pressured to “bounce back” immediately after birth, but it’s ok to redefine what success looks like right now. Maybe you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything or you’re finding it tough to get through each day. You deserve support during these vulnerable moments and can learn skills to ease some of the unique challenges in this journey.
Becoming pregnant and giving birth can be a powerful experience and it can also bring up difficult emotions. Oftentimes moms want to feel more calm and empowered about their labor process or need support in processing an intense or traumatic birth. You might be feeling challenged by body image negativity as you adjust to all the physical changes you’re experiencing during this time.
Supportive counseling can also be helpful for those experiencing or recovering from a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Both babies and parents may perceive this experience as traumatic or highly stressful and mental health treatment can be beneficial for the whole family.
Some moms find it difficult initially to bond with their baby, but this doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with you. Before you were a mother, you had a whole other identity and you may be trying to get back to yourself. You can learn to accept your baby’s behaviors and feelings as their own and unique from yours, while developing patience and acceptance to form a secure, trusting attachment.
70% of couples report relationship dissatisfaction during the first year after their baby’s birth, but tools exist to nurture your relationship. There are many different ways to create intimacy and closeness with your partner during this time.
Grief and loss is a difficult process, but it’s something you don’t have to suffer through alone. Whether you’re grieving a pregnancy or neonatal loss, navigating hopes and unmet expectations of becoming a parent, or feeling unsure about how to move forward, counseling can be a healing tool.
The stress of infertility can feel isolating and unmanageable, and place strain on your relationships. Gain support in processing these challenges and caring for yourself during this time.
The decision to have another baby is a big one, especially if you’ve previously suffered from a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder (PMAD). You may even feel fearful of it happening again. Moms who have previously experienced a PMAD are at higher risk during subsequent pregnancies and postpartum periods, and this can often feel terrifying. Whether you’re considering having another baby and feeling worried about the possible return of symptoms or currently pregnant/postpartum again and struggling with another PMAD, things can be different this time. With support, you can feel more confident and create a gentler experience this time for both you and your family.
Growing your family is a beautiful thing, but can also create additional stressors for you, your partner, and your child(ren). If you have a toddler at home and already feel like you’re spread too thin, you might be wondering how you can possibly manage a baby at the same time. Perhaps you are just beginning to feel like you’re getting the hang of this whole motherhood thing, finally having time for yourself, and are worried about losing that again. Learn tools for planning a smoother transition and let me help you find balance in this phase of life.
518 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto
1145 St. Francis Way San Carlos, CA 94070
Before even meeting (virtually or in-person), we’ll have a short phone call so I can learn more about what you’re looking for in a therapist and see if we’re a good fit. If it feels good, we’ll schedule our first visit. At that time we take a deep dive into your pregnancy, birth-related, or motherhood/relationship challenges. We’ll talk about your goals and how to get you on a path moving forward.
Our time together typically lasts 50-60 minutes per visit. At the beginning of our work together, I suggest we meet weekly to get to know each other, build trust, and really figure out how to get you feeling more like yourself. Once we’ve got some momentum, we’ll chat about how often it feels good for us to meet. Some moms find they enjoy the structure of weekly sessions and others decide they want to scale back in frequency. Some moms stay in counseling for a specific season of their life and others come and go as their experience in motherhood changes. I’ll help you to identify your goals and needs, and collaborate together on the best course of action to feel better.
The letters are a fancy way of identifying the education, training, and specialty of each provider. LPCC, licensed professional clinical counselor, means I use evidence-based counseling interventions to help you with personal growth, adjustment issues, relationships, crises, and everything in between. Life is messy!
PMH-C, Perinatal Mental Health Certified, means I have additional training and expertise in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. I support women at any stage of motherhood, whether pregnant, postpartum, or later stages of “mom life”.
Yes! For ultimate flexibility, I also offer services in an office for those moms who need to get out!
Meeting in your “own space” can be in your home, yard, nearby park, etc. The intimacy of home visits creates a unique bond in our therapy relationship. You benefit from in-person contact with the ease of being at home. You might be wondering if you need to clean up before I arrive. Please don’t!
One of the most significant benefits of virtual therapy is the convenience of “counseling from your couch.” You might feel more comfortable in the familiar setting of your own living room and enjoy the ease of simply opening up your laptop. Perhaps on a lunch break from work or during a child’s nap is the best time for you.
Yes! @becomingmotherscounseling is on Instagram and Facebook. I post helpful and empowering messages, articles, and resources for women at any stage of motherhood. I also share updates on groups and workshops I’m running.
It’s so easy to lose your own sense of self in motherhood. Maternal wellness is about feeling more confident in your identity and giving yourself permission to prioritize your own needs. I’m here to support you in this wild journey. Even moms who have a robust support system (if you don’t, we can work on building one) benefit from these services because I offer a unique perspective based on years of clinical education and mental health training.
Yes (mostly)! Confidentiality is critical to the trust in our relationship. You have a legally protected right for confidentiality, except in situations described by Federal and California Law. Limits for confidentiality are described in a Consent for Treatment Form and in HIPAA Notice of Privacy Practices. You will receive those forms and discuss the limits of confidentiality at your first visit.
I’m an out-of-network provider for most major insurance companies. This means you pay Becoming Mothers Counseling directly at the time of service. When accessing services out of your insurance network, you may be eligible for at least partial reimbursement. Contact your insurance provider for specific information. I often write letters to insurance companies for my clients to help them in this process.
I have a limited number of lower fee slots for clients in need. Check to see if they are available at this time.
Great question! This is something I’ll ask you during our first visit. The better we can understand your goals, the more likely we’ll know the answer to this question. For most, how long you’re in counseling depends on the challenges you’re facing, the support available to you, and how much time and energy you have to spend working on your goals. If you’re not sure, we’ll figure it out together.
I work with women at any stage of motherhood.
Yes! I work with women at all stages of motherhood. Whether you are trying to conceive, pregnant, postpartum, a mom to older children, or anything in between, I’m meeting you where you are.
Let’s chat! I’ll help direct you to alternative services if the Becoming Bundles, Wellness Drop-ins, Virtual Therapy, or any of the group offerings aren’t right for you.
There’s no commitment, pressure, or obligation.
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