Meet The Therapists: Dr Rohini Gupta

Rohini Gupta, PsyD, LPC

Dr. Rohini Gupta’s Specialties Include:

 Approach to Healing:

Balance and Compassion

The members of The Catalyst Center are incredibly pleased to have Dr. Rohini Gupta on our team. She is a talented therapist who impresses us all with her ability to connect with her clients and help them make powerful changes in their lives. 

Rohini brings a warm, genuine, and non-judgmental approach to helping her clients to heal and change. She deeply believes in the power of a balanced approach to therapy, and works with her clients to build concrete, effective skills to manage the challenges they are facing with attention to mind, body, and emotional reactions. She excels at creating a safe and trusting environment in which to process and find meaning in life’s challenges.

 Dr. Gupta’s Training

Dr. Gupta graduated from the University of Denver’s Graduate School of Professional Psychology with a doctorate in clinical psychology and is a licensed professional counselor (LPC). She trained at various mental health settings including Swedish Family Medicine, Denver Health Outpatient Behavioral Health, and Metropolitan State College of Denver Counseling Center. She completed a psychology residency at Kaiser Permanente and has specialty training in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is currently adjunct faculty at University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Dr. Gupta is passionate about healing and sees clients in private practice where she is best able to provide the care needed to help them reach their goals.

Ready to book your free consultation with Dr. Rohini Gupta? Call us at 720-675-7123 or email CatalystCenterLLC@gmail.com

What’s Hard About Covering Up To Breastfeed?

Anytime a breastfeeding story comes up in the news, especially one in which a breastfeeding mom is asked to leave an area to feed her baby, I break my own rule about not reading online comments out of sheer, morbid curiosity. In real life, I’m surrounded by people who are very supportive of breastfeeding, so it interests me to read comments and questions about the appropriateness of breastfeeding in public.

Of course, there are always some unnecessarily mean people, but some sentiments that come up frequently are legitimately well-meaning. As a mom who nursed three kids in all kinds of situations, I thought I’d address a few of these:

“I totally support breastfeeding, but what’s so hard about covering up to breastfeed in public?”

That’s great that you support breastfeeding. I actually would love to get to the stage when we stop calling it breastfeeding, and just call it feeding. That’s all it is. You’re not feeding a breast, you’re feeding a baby. It’s babyfeeding. Should women have to cover their babies to feed them in public? That sounds a little silly, doesn’t it?

But to answer your question, there are several reasons why moms might not cover up in public:

1. It actually is hard to cover up and feed a baby at the same time. Especially when you’re a new mom, and you’re trying to wrangle a squishy baby into a comfortable position where they can latch on correctly. Even with my third baby, keeping a cover over my shoulder while latching on wasn’t easy. And really, the only time one would “need” to cover up due to possible nipple exposure (if that’s the reason you think moms should cover up) is during the latch-on. And balancing a blanket on your shoulder while trying to see what you’re doing to get the baby latched is a big pain in the butt. Truly.

2. Some babies hate being covered. Most of the time, my babies would try to pull the cover off. I wouldn’t want to eat with a blanket over my head, would you? Especially when it’s hot. Ugh, it makes me claustrophobic just thinking about it.

3. One of the benefits of breastfeeding is the eye contact between mom and baby. The location of the breast is designed to put the baby within the vision range of mom’s face. Yes, you can have the same eye contact when you’re bottle feeding, which begs the question – would you cover up your baby’s face while cradling and bottle feeding, rather than looking at your baby and smiling at him/her at regular intervals? That would be silly.

4. When I was nursing, I actually felt like using a cover drew more attention to what I was doing. Uncovered, most of the time, it just looked like I had a baby cradled in my arms, sleeping. No breast could be seen once baby was latched. Nothing screams, “Hey, I’m breastfeeding over here!” like a draping a blanket over your shoulder while awkwardly trying to get your baby into a comfortable breastfeeding position.

5. Covering up implies that there’s something inappropriate about feeding a baby. There’s not. It’s feeding a baby. That’s it.

“I breastfed all my babies, but I never did it in public. Why don’t women just pump if they’re going out?”

That’s great that you breastfed all your babies. That’s also great if you were able to pump and that your baby took a bottle. Not all moms can pump successfully. Not all babies will take a bottle. After working at it for a while, I could pump, but my babies never took a bottle. That wasn’t for lack of trying – they just wouldn’t. I’m sure if their lives depended on it, and if I wasn’t around for a long time, they would eventually take one, but having a baby is hard enough. I wasn’t about to go through that much unnecessary effort so that I could bottle feed in public.

I’ve known some women who couldn’t get anything from pumping. Some women can’t relax enough with a machine hooked up to their body to get a letdown. Totally understandable.

But the real answer to this question is, they shouldn’t have to. Think about what you’re suggesting: that a mother skip a feeding to pump, or pump regularly enough to have the extra milk to pump outside of a feeding, then find a way to keep the milk cold in transport, then find a way to warm up the milk once she is where she’s going, then feed the baby with the bottled milk, then deal with the leakage or discomfort of the full breasts she has from feeding with the bottle instead of the breast for that feeding, and then wash and sterilize the bottle afterward–all instead of just taking her baby with her and feeding the ready-to-go milk she has on hand in her own body?

Doesn’t that seem a little ridiculous?

Most women who successfully pump have a system and a routine for it, and usually it’s because they’re away from their babies for a certain amount of time on a regular basis. More power to them. I’ve known lot of working, pumping moms, and I think they’re amazing.

But the idea of pumping just to go out in public with your baby, when your breasts are right there with you, is goofy to me. How long have breast pumps been around? How long have humans been feeding babies? When did we get to the mindset that feeding babies in public is better done with machinery and accessories than with mom?

“I don’t mind if moms breastfeed in public, as long as they do it modestly. Especially if there are kids or teens around.”

That’s great that you don’t mind if moms breastfeed in public. But let’s discuss the modesty idea. I hope you have the same feelings about modesty when you see a woman in a bathing suit, or a low-cut top, because 99% of the time, that’s all you can see of a woman’s breast when she breastfeeds.

Granted, there might be a couple of seconds of nipple showing. If you really don’t want to see that, pay close attention to moms with babies. Here are the cues that a mom is getting ready to breastfeed:

1. She starts to lift her shirt or adjust her bra. There you go. As soon as you see that starting to happen, look away. If you’re really concerned about your children seeing a woman breastfeeding, take that cue to show them something in the other direction.

But really, if kids are going to have any exposure to breasts (and they already have, if you have ever taken them to the grocery store and waited at the checkout stand where they keep the magazines), isn’t that the kind of exposure they should have? Don’t you want your children to see what breasts are primarily for? They’re getting plenty of messages on billboards, television, and other media that breasts are sexual. Seeing them used in a decidedly and awesomely unsexual way can only be good, in my opinion.

“Can’t you just go to the bathroom to breastfeed?”

1. Bathrooms are gross. Would you want to eat in there?

2. Many bathrooms don’t have a chair to sit in.  This leaves Mom with the option of sitting on the floor (yuck) or on the toilet (double yuck).

3. If a mom wants privacy to nurse because she feels more comfortable that way, that’s great. I’m a big fan of having lounge areas for nursing moms. But it should be for her comfort, not for yours. When I was nursing, I occasionally removed myself to nurse because it was too loud or I wanted a little space, but the times I removed myself because of my worries about other people, I felt exiled. When a mom feels that she needs to hide to breastfeed, the message is that there’s something shameful or wrong with what she’s doing. And that’s not right.

Along with the presumably well-meaning comments, I’ve also seen a few more, ahem, “strongly-worded” sentiments I’d like to address:

“Breastfeeding is totally natural, but so is going to the bathroom / having sex, and people don’t do that in public.”

Going to the bathroom is gross, stinky, and unsanitary to do in public, which is why we don’t do it. Feeding a baby is none of those things. Sex is an incredibly private, intimate act. Feeding a baby can be intimate in that it’s a bonding experience between baby and mom, but it’s more of a holding hands kind of intimacy–not something that needs to be confined to the privacy of a bedroom or home. The comparisons are apples and oranges.

“If you want to breastfeed, that’s fine, but I don’t want to / shouldn’t have to see it.”

Then don’t look. And I don’t mean that in a snarky way. You really don’t have to watch a mom breastfeed. (See cues in third question above.) Just look the other way and move on.

“Women who breastfeed in public are just trying to get attention / make a statement.”

Actually, 99% of women who feed their babies in public are just trying to feed their babies. Having been around hundreds of women who breastfeed, including dozens at a recent La Leche League conference, I can attest to the fact that most women are very matter-of-fact about feeding their babies.

I’ve known one mom who exposed much more breast for much longer than any other moms I’ve known, but she was raised in Africa, so that explains it. I’ve known of one other mom (don’t know her personally) who sounds like she has some exhibition issues and takes the opportunity to show more breast than necessary any old time she can. That’s by far an exception, and not the norm. Most breastfeeding mothers don’t “let it all hang out.” They do what they need to do to feed their babies, no more, no less.

“This isn’t a village in Africa. It’s culturally inappropriate to bare your breasts in public here.”

I’m curious about what this says about villages in Africa, or other places where breasts are common sights. Why is it culturally inappropriate here? I don’t necessarily think it should be, I just want to walk through the reasoning for our cultural views of breasts. Is it because our society views breasts as primarily sexual in nature? Are African breasts not sexual in nature as well? Would you shield your eyes from a National Geographic magazine showing bare-breasted women in Africa? Would you hide that from your children? If so, why? Are African women inappropriate? Is there some kind of fear that if we start accepting breastfeeding in public without freaking out about covering up, women will eventually start walking around bare-breasted all the time? Lots of questions pop up from this statement that are worth examining.

I personally think it should be culturally appropriate for women to bare a breast for a brief second in order to latch a baby on, no matter where in the world they are. There’s nothing sexual or inappropriate in that act. I think it should be way more culturally appropriate than, say, going to Hooters. Our priorities are a tad bit skewed when it comes to what’s culturally appropriate regarding breasts. If we want to get all righteous about the appropriateness of breast exposure, let’s direct our energies at movies, music videos, billboards, magazines, and other popular media. Leave moms who are trying to feed their babies out of it.

And if you really don’t want to see a woman feed her baby in public, don’t look. Don’t make her feel ashamed, don’t exile her to the bathroom, don’t make erroneous assumptions about her motives, don’t compare feeding her baby to defecating, don’t make hypocritical cultural statements, don’t make it harder to do than it already is. Just don’t look. It really is that simple.

http://www.scarymommy.com/whats-so-hard-about-covering-up-to-breastfeed-in-public/

Meet The Therapists: Dr. Joey Tadie

Joey Tadie, Ph.D., LCP

Approach:

Integrating Spirituality, Optimism, and Warmth to Create Lasting Change

Many clients appreciate Dr. Joey Tadie’s approachable nature, his easy sense of humor, and how effortless it is to feel comfortable with him quickly. Joey has a contagious enthusiasm for life; he brings an energetic, optimistic perspective to his work with clients and to life in general. He is adept at integrating his client’s spiritual or faith perspectives into his work with them, and is affirming of the diversity of spiritual and faith perspectives. He strives to help his clients feel totally accepted for who they are and fosters a non-judgmental, healing environment where his clients are able to make lasting change.

 

Ready to book your free consultation with Dr. Joey Tadie? Call us at 720-675-7123 or email CatalystCenterLLC@gmail.com

We Recommend: Yoga and Psychotherapy Group for Survivors of Trauma

Essential Dialogues LLC

Reclaim Your Body…Transcend Your Trauma

Yoga and Group Therapy Intervention for Survivors of Trauma

Benefiting the Colorado Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CCASA)

 

What: Trauma-sensitive yoga group combined with group therapy

When: New round starts August 2014 for 12 weeks (2-hour sessions)

For Whom: Women-identified survivors of trauma

Where: Denver

Cost: $60 per session (2 hours)

We know from research that the effects of traumas live in our bodies. If you are a survivor of trauma feelings of being overwhelmed are not lost on you. You might feel like you are on a rollercoaster that you just cannot get off of no matter how hard you try. It does not have to be this way. This group will show you how!

Don’t take our word for it! Here is what past clients have said: “I feel taller, stronger, braver!,” “I am more forgiving of myself.” “I intentionally hurt myself less.” “Having 2 hours where it was safe to be myself without punishment was a gift I will always cherish.”

No prior knowledge or experience with yoga is required to attend. This group will be a “closed group.” This means that no new participants will join after the group begins. All participants will start and end the group together. This format is conducive to building trust within the group – a quality that is crucial for healing to occur.

Want to join? Need more information?

Click here, Call 720-295-8067, or email drmerchant@essentialdialogues.com 

Limited space available. Call today!

All participants will attend a brief pre-group meeting with Dr. Merchant to learn more about the group and determine if the group will be a good fit for you.

**If you identify as a man and are interested in this group please call or email. A men’s group is a possibility.**

Birth Trauma (Postpartum PTSD) ~Dr. Katie Godfrey

Birth Trauma: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) after Childbirth*

At The Catalyst Center we work to support women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum.  One of the areas in which we work is Birth Trauma.  It is reported that between 25% and 35% of mothers report experiencing a traumatic childbirth experience.  The causes of birth trauma include:

  • Medical Interventions, especially ones the mother feels were unnecessary
  • Lack of control during pregnancy and/or birth
  • Lack of support from partner and/or staff
  • Injuries experienced by mother or baby during childbirth

 Signs and Symptoms

Some women recover more quickly than others, physically and psychologically, while some find themselves struggling to move forward.  Typically the mothers who are struggling have symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Signs of Birth Trauma and PTSD include:

  • Weepiness
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability and angry outbursts
  • Panic attacks
  • Nightmares about the birth
  • A desire to avoid the baby or anything relating to the birth
  • Feelings of detachment from loved ones
  • A sense that some other disaster is imminent
  • Physiological and psychological reactions to reminders of the birth
  • Flashbacks of birth experience
  • Lack of memory of birth experience
  • Fear of having subsequent children

Healing

 Try to not judge yourself.  Your feelings and reactions are normal for someone who as encountered trauma.  People may tell you, “As long as the baby is ok, you should feel fine about your birth experience”.  While they are trying to be helpful, please keep in mind that this just is not true.  Your birth experience matters!  As Barbara Katz Rothman said, “Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers–strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”  Here are some suggestions to start the healing process:

  • Do not judge yourself.  Remember: your feelings and reactions are a normal reaction to trauma
  • Get support from family and friends
  • Join a moms group
  • Find support online
  • Get help caring for baby
  • Give yourself time to heal
  • Create art
  • Write in a journal
  • Write letters to the hospital staff (you do not have to mail them)
  • Exercise
  • Therapy, including EMDR
  • Find places to talk about your birth story
  • Body work (massage, mani/pedi)
  • Write your birth story
  • Re-write your birth story as you wish it had happened
  • Skin-to-skin contact with baby
  • Talking to baby about what the two of you experienced
  • Obtain medical records so you know exactly what happened
  • Consider talking to your doctor about medication

You do not have to go through this alone.  If you or a loved one are struggling with Birth Trauma and PTSD, please contact The Catalyst Center.  Change Begins Today!

*Adapted from: Griebenow, Jennifer J (Winter 2006). Healing the Trauma: Entering Motherhood with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Midwifery Today Issue 80.

The Catalyst Center is here to help.  We offer individual, couple, and family therapy, as well as a Birth Circle where mothers can share birth stories.  Please contact us for more information by calling 720-675-7123 or emailing us at catalystcenterllc@gmail.com.

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Dr. Katie Godfrey is a therapist at The Catalyst Center. Her specialties include:

Ready to learn more or book your free initial consultation with Katie? Give The Catalyst Center a call at 720-675-7123.

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The Pregnant Body Beautiful

catalystcenterllc:

A powerful reminder of the beauty and wonder of the female form during the miracle of pregnancy!

Originally posted on Nursing Clio:

Nursing Clio is honored to have Carrie Pitzulo as our guest author again today. Carrie is an Assistant Professor of History at University of West Georgia, where she teaches courses in the history of American women, gender, and sexuality. Carrie received her Ph.D. from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 2008. Her first book, Bachelors and Bunnies: The Sexual Politics of Playboy, was published by the University of Chicago Press in 2011. Carrie’s current project explores the role of women and gender in the nation’s last public hanging.

Sometime in the mid-1990s, I journeyed to see pop goddess Tina Turner in concert. Her opening act was the equally fabulous Cyndi Lauper. I assume, and hope, that Cyndi sang “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” and “Time After Time,” but I truly don’t remember the details, except for one. What I remember is that as one of the…

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Reconnecting with Your Partner After Baby: Asking Open-Ended Questions Activity ~Dr. Katie Godfrey

Reconnecting with Your Partner After Baby: Asking Open-Ended Questions Activity

Adapted from And Baby Makes Three by John M. Gottman and Julie Schwartz Gottman

The transition from couple-hood to parent-hood can be exhilarating, exhausting, fascinating, enchanting, and overwhelming. Oftentimes couples are focused on their babies (rightly so!) and may feel distanced from their partners. These open-ended questions serve to open up conversations between partners, thus recharging the connection you and your partner share. You’ll be surprised at how much your relationship will change if you shift from just making statements to asking your partner open-ended questions.

Instructions: First, read through this list. Then, each of you select one question. Take turns asking your partner the question you selected, and listening to your partners answer. If you have time, keep going and talk about another question or two. This is fun for a date night, a long car ride, or any time!

  • How can I be a better friend to you?
  • How have you changed in the last year?
  • What do you enjoy most about being a dad (mom)?
  • How have your goals in life changed since our baby has come?
  • What are you missing most in your live since we’ve become parents?
  • What are some of your life dreams now?
  • What do you value most in your life now?
  • Who do you think is the best parent you have ever seen? Why?
  • How can I be a better partner to you?
  • How do you think having our baby (or being pregnant) has changed our relationship? What legacy do you want our baby to have from your family?
  • What are some unfulfilled dreams in your life?
  • What changes would you like to make in your lifestyle now that Baby has arrived? What changes would you like to make in your home these days?
  • What would you like to change about your finances right now?
  • How has your family changed toward you since Baby arrived?
  • How has your outlook on life changed since you became a parent?
  • How are you feeling now about being a mother (father)?
  • What could we do to have more fun in our life?
  • What would you like to change about your work?
  • What would you like our life to be like in two years?
  • How would you compare yourself to your father or mother as a parent? What kind of person would you like our baby to become?
  • Who does our baby remind you of in your family?
  • What has been your favorite time so far in our relationship?
  • Do you long for anything these days?
  • What is the biggest challenge for you as a dad (mom)?
  • What are your major stresses and worries these days?
  • What are your thoughts and feelings about religion or spirituality these days? How have your political ideas changed since Baby came?
  • How have your friends or family changed toward you in recent years?

To enhance your relationship further, please contact Dr. Katie Godfrey at The Catalyst Center. Change begins today!

Suggestions for Family and Friends of Postpartum Moms ~Dr. Katie Godfrey

Postpartum Depression, Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsion, and Trauma:

Suggestions for Family and Friends

 Postpartum depression threatens the mother’s and partner’s health, relationship, friendships and careers, as well as the baby’s welfare.  Dealing with issues of day-to-day living becomes a special challenge.  With patience and understanding, you can give invaluable support and assist a depressed mother’s recovery.  Here are some suggestions:

  • Encourage her to seek the help of a physician and/or psychiatrist.  An evaluation is important, and medication may be very helpful.  There are some medications that are considered safe during breastfeeding.  Consult your physician.
  • Encourage her to seek therapy.
  • Let the mother express her feelings of anxiety and fear freely.
  • Encourage her to exercise and take time for herself.
  • Encourage the mother to join a PPD support group.
  • Help her develop a schedule with one or two simple tasks.  Notice when she makes an effort.
  • Don’t take her criticism personally.
  • You are justified in being frustrated with her attitude and actions, but be sure to direct your anger at the situation and her illness, not at her.  She is doing the best she can in her current condition.
  • Be aware that you can get depressed yourself, and may need help as well.  Talk to a friend, physician, or therapist.

**Adapted from Postpartum Education for Parents

The Catalyst Center is here to help.  We offer individual, couple, and family therapy, as well as a Birth Circle where mothers can share birth stories.  Please contact us for more information.  Change Begins Today.

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Dr. Katie Godfrey is a therapist at The Catalyst Center. Her specialties include:

Ready to learn more or book your free initial consultation with Katie? Give The Catalyst Center a call at 720-675-7123.

Spring’s Featured Catalyst Center Therapist: Dr. Katie Godfrey

ImageAs spring is approaching, many people are deciding it is time to take the opportunity to do some emotional “spring cleaning” and are looking for a great therapist to help them meet their goals. The Catalyst Center’s Dr. Katie Godfrey is an excellent choice for someone looking for a warm, genuine, and empowering therapist. Katie excels at building meaningful connections with her clients as they work together towards growth and healing. Her clients value the experience of being deeply cared for as they work with Katie to transform their lives. In her over ten years of clinical experience her clients have often told her that they value how genuine she is, and appreciates how she balances challenging them to grow with supporting them. Katie has specialized training in several areas of expertise including helping her clients heal from trauma with EMDR and treating postpartum depression and anxiety.

Dr. Katie Godfrey’s Specialties Include:

This quarter, Dr. Godfrey has graciously agreed to lend her expertise to our blog with a series of articles about the postpartum period. She has great advice for new moms and dads who are struggling with the amazing/crazy/awesome/exhausting process of becoming parents. We are incredibly lucky to have her here at The Catalyst Center and are excited to be able to share some of her insight with you all!

To learn more about Katie’s work at The Catalyst Center, or to book your free initial consultation with her, please give us a call at 720-675-7123.