Therapy & Coaching for moms

with Marnie Levenson, Licensed Therapist

Perinatal Mental Health Certified

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About Becoming Mothers Counseling

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.

Why “Becoming”?

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.”

-Michelle Obama


About Me


About THE LITTLE BLUE HOUSE

Maternal wellness services

All services are offered as home-based, virtual, or in office. choose the option that’s right for you

POSTPARTUM EMPOWERMENT SESSIONS


More about the sessions

Wellness drop-ins


More about the drop-ins

Birth Storytelling


More about birth storytelling

Individual therapy


More About Individual Therapy


All Services

“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

Postpartum transitions

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.


LEARN MORE ABOUT Postpartum transition


Pregnancy, birth preparation & recovery

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.


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Relationship building with baby & partner

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.


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Fertility challenges & loss

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.


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Pregnancy & Postpartum after a PMAD

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.


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Growing 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.  


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What Moms Say


Tamika L.
Tamika L. Read More

The first year of motherhood can be intense! Having Marnie’s support through the process makes it so much easier. She’s warm, compassionate, and very attentive to your needs. I especially love the practical tools that she provides that are unique to each stage of motherhood. If you’re looking for a strong therapist to help you navigate motherhood, I highly recommend Marnie!

Rachel M.
Rachel M. Read More

Becoming Mothers is an accessible resource that comes through on their promise to meet clients where they’re at. For me, it’s while I mindlessly scroll during my kid’s nap! The content that Marnie shares on social media is a refreshing treat and helpful blessing. There is an excess of flippant parenting advice on the internet that becomes overwhelming and unhelpful. Becoming Mother’s insight is focused specifically on maternal wellness, grounded in clinical research and expertise, enriched with honest and real personal mothering experience, and makes you want to sit down with a cup of something and chat longer with Marnie! I highly suggest you put up your feet, open that bag of chips, and have a scroll! #selfcare

Andrea O'Connor
Andrea O’Connor Read More

I have three kids and with each of them came different experiences, wonders, and challenges. Marnie helped me through anxiety around wanting to leave the house with the baby, but feeling overwhelmed by it, as well as finding a new balance with more kiddos in my life and a full time job. Marnie’s approach made me feel safe and supported and I am forever grateful to her for her empathetic, thoughtful guidance.

Ella S. Read More

Marnie is a transformative postpartum therapist. She came to my home and talked through the significant trauma surrounding the birth of our second daughter. Marnie helped me shift the narrative I was holding onto which gave me ease and peace. She created an intentional space to have conversations about the challenges of new motherhood as well as processing the shock of a really difficult hospitalization and birth. She was intimately aware of how hard and dysregulating new parenting can be (and parenting multiple children). Marnie, gently, yet purposefully guided me through my trauma in a way that wasn’t too overwhelming. She was keenly aware of the difficulties of the very vulnerable postpartum time and she was focused and asked questions at the right moments. Marnie was present, insightful, grounded, attuned, and astute. It was easy to be honest and forthright with her. She guided me on the exact journey I needed to take and she managed to find the right balance of support, listening, guidance, and sage advice. I can’t express enough how helpful it was to work with Marnie.

Sarah F.
Sarah F. Read More

As a fellow women’s health care provider, I had had the opportunity to collaborate professionally with Marnie on improving access to perinatal mental health services, and supporting women in their transition to motherhood. Marnie’s dedication to providing compassionate and therapeutic counseling to women in an often vulnerable and challenging time in their lives is tremendously inspiring. She is kind, intelligent, insightful, and generous — all qualities that make her a wonderful and well-rounded therapist.

Melissa M. Read More

Marnie is exactly the type of mental health provider who I love to refer families to. She has a warm, calming, compassionate demeanor and recognizes the challenges that new families face as they transition from one role to another. I feel grateful to be able to recommend her to families I work with, and our community is fortunate to have her as a supportive provider.

Anne Kenny
Anne Kenny Read More

Marnie combines her professional training and lived experience to support women as they transition into motherhood. She works 1:1 with clients and organizes community circles for moms to connect and support one another. We collaborated on a custom card design to include as a gift to her clients, drawing from the wisdom of her Motherhood Map resource. Marnie’s thoughtfulness, attention to detail and grounded wisdom shined through our design process. I loved getting to know her!

Melanie S. Read More

I left Marnie’s group feeling seen, validated, supported, and immensely re-energized in my role as a mother of two. Marnie has the unique ability of setting a tone and intention for a space that allows participants to reflect and share their thoughts and feelings. Despite only having met most of the other mothers minutes before our session began, I was able to think and share vulnerably. A week later, I’m still finding myself reflecting on comments and themes that emerged that evening, and I’m counting down the days until another session.

Deborah E. Read More

Marnie is great! I was lucky enough to find Marnie after having had a negative experience with another therapist in the months following having our daughter. I struggled with postpartum depression for almost a year before finding Marnie.
On top of the depression, I dealt with a high risk pregnancy and traumatic birth. Becoming a mom was shocking, to say the least! Marnie understood all of my fears and feelings. She helped me understand that everything I was feeling was normal! And she helped me feel like me again…but a new, better me. I can’t thank her enough
Marnie also referred me to a psychiatrist to deal with some other issues surrounding anxiety and that has been going very well. She thought the psychiatrist would be a good fit for me and she was right. She is very in tune with her patients! I don’t hesitate to recommend Marnie to new moms and I plan on seeing her again every so often because she has a very grounding nature that is so helpful!

Nicole K. Read More

Marnie is an incredible therapist with a unique and valuable set of skills, specifically as it relates to perinatal mental health. As a therapist and mom myself, I would recommend Marnie to anyone looking for support as they navigate motherhood at any stage. She is smart, caring and empathetic with the personality and warmth of someone you want in your corner.

Angèle C Read More

Marnie is an outstanding bringer together of people. I have been fortunate to experience several gatherings that she convened and was awestruck by her ability to bring intentionality, compassion, and warmth to meaningful discussions. Her gatherings will change how you think about your experience as a mom and I recommend them most highly!
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518 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto

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Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect during the first appointment?

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.

How long are the sessions and how often will we meet?

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. 

You have quite a few letters behind your name. What do they mean?

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”. 

Do you have an actual office?

Yes! For ultimate flexibility, I also offer services in an office for those moms who need to get out!  

What’s the value of meeting in my own home?

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!

What’s the value of meeting virtually?

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.

Can I follow you on social media?

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. 

How can maternal wellness help me?

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.

Is therapy confidential?

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.

Can I use my insurance benefits?

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. 

Do you have a sliding scale?

I have a limited number of lower fee slots for clients in need. Check to see if they are available at this time. 

How will I know when I’m done?

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’m a mother, but I’d like support with some challenges I’m having outside of my role as “mom. I have older children and I’m becoming a mother (again) so this isn’t my first baby. Are the Becoming Mothers services still right for me?

I work with women at any stage of motherhood.

I’m not a mom yet, but I’d like to be one. Can Becoming Mothers services still help me?

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.

 

More questions?

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.

Try a free consultation and see if it’s right for you.

There’s no commitment, pressure, or obligation.


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