Read on to better understand how I can help you!
Hi, I’m Marnie. I’m originally from the midwest and received my Master’s degree in counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota, before ditching my parka for a raincoat and heading to the Pacific Northwest to establish my counseling practice in Seattle, Washington. I eventually invested in new Birkenstocks and sunglasses and made the move to the Bay Area.
To recharge, you’ll find me hiking in the hills with my dog, Louise, strumming my ukulele, or taking a few moments on my yoga mat. I value my relationships and find joy sending handmade cards to friends as well. My own journey to motherhood has been messy and beautiful at the same time. The days seem to last forever and time passes in the blink of an eye. I founded Becoming Mothers Counseling because when I became a mom, I saw home-based maternal wellness as a valuable service missing in my community and I wanted to provide this important piece of care.
I like to joke now that I’m a “recovering perfectionist.” I never really knew how much of a perfectionist I was until I became a mother. I’m someone who craves structure, control and likes to be prepared…for everything. During pregnancy, I listened to all the podcasts and read all the books (but always skipped the sections about postpartum complications and mental health challenges). I figured I’m a therapist – I don’t have to worry about this without realizing that perinatal/maternal mood disorders don’t discriminate. No one is immune, no matter how educated or informed you are.
When my son joined our little family, all seemed well and “normal” after his birth. Then things changed. I suffered from unresolved physical pain from the labor and delivery that eventually required surgery. But the cause of my distress was much deeper than that. The identity change of becoming a mother and the demands on me combined with the loss of control was shocking and debilitating. Despite my education and experience as a mental health therapist, someone trained to recognize depression and anxiety in others; I couldn’t see what was happening right within myself.
I finally sought professional help. Eventually, I started to recognize myself and began to accept this new part of my identity as “mom.” Three years later, the birth of my daughter led me into that familiar darkness once again and I felt powerless to stop it. After surviving postpartum depression and anxiety yet again, I emerged from these experiences with a profound respect for the power of therapy, medication, and a good support system as tools for healing.
My experience inspired me to found this practice, and ultimately I learned so much about myself from my struggles – including my new identity as an “imperfect mother.” I don’t have all the answers, but I understand the unique challenges of motherhood – of fiercely loving your children while balancing your own needs, desires, and personal goals.
In our work together, the focus is on you, your healing process, and your journey to maternal wellness. I won’t often share about myself or my personal story, but if I do, it’s because I’ve thought carefully about whether my experience will be meaningful to you. I share my story here, not only because we must spread awareness and decrease the stigma about perinatal mental health challenges, but also because perhaps it’s helpful to have a better sense of who I am and understand the path that led me here.
Welcome to my practice. I enjoy teaching mothers to know their worth. We tend to be our own harshest critics and, at times, underestimate our value. Out of love for our child, unrealistic expectations, or comparison to other moms, we also often strive for “perfect” when perhaps “good enough” could be a better standard. In our work together, you will learn how to be kinder and more compassionate with yourself while facing the unique challenges of motherhood.
I believe therapy can be an opportunity to get to know yourself better. I will help you see yourself through lenses of kindness and empowerment. I’m collaborative and see myself as an active part of your journey in being well. Humor is a part of who I am, both personally and therapeutically, and I like to bring that to our sessions.
My aim is to develop a relationship where you feel respected and understood, yet challenged to engage in meaningful self-exploration. You don’t have to do this alone and you deserve to be well .
The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.”–Rajneesh
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor of California, LPCC
Perinatal Mental Health Certified, PMH-C
Postpartum Support International (PSI)
California Association for Licensed Professional Clinical Counselors (CALPCC)
Blossom Birth Board of Directors
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