Therapy for Women: A Focus on Women’s Issues

"No need to hurry, no need to sparkle, no need to be anybody but oneself." — Virginia Woolf

As a woman, would you like a safe space to explore, understand, and heal from challenges unique to your gender? Therapy for women not only offers sanctuary to face mental health issues, but it fosters resilience and emotional well-being, too. From the impact of gender roles and societal expectations to reproductive health concerns and trauma, therapy plays a pivotal role in helping women not only survive but thrive.

At Goodman Psychologist Associates, we understand the specific difficulties in a woman's life, such as body acceptance, fertility, careers, sexism, family members, relationship issues, trauma, aging, and so much more. We have female and male therapists who are well-versed in women's issues and create a supportive environment for you to heal. Therapy for women's issues means mental health professionals will treat mental health conditions within the framework of your female experience and help you achieve harmony and peace in alignment with your beliefs and values.

Common Women's Issues Affecting Mental Health

Both men and women can experience depression and anxiety disorders, but women of all ages are more likely to suffer from these common mental health problems. More than one in five women in the United States develops a mental health condition every year, often because unique circumstances in a woman's life put her at a greater risk. For this reason, therapy for women becomes a crucial part of all-over wellness. The following are some women's issues that can lead to mood disorders, emotional dysregulation, and mental illness.

Reproductive Mental Health

Women have biological, religious, and cultural expectations of motherhood placed on us, both by society and ourselves. Pregnancy, childbirth, perinatal, and postpartum intervals can be exhausting. Hormonal change, lack of sleep, weight gain, breastfeeding, and the gravity of becoming a mother can lead to postpartum depression and anxiety. Therapy for women can also help navigate physical reproductive health and emotions surrounding infertility, the loss of a child, premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), menopause, and more.

Symptoms of Postpartum Depression:

  • Intense sadness
  • Severe mood swings
  • An urge to isolate and withdraw
  • Trouble bonding with your baby
  • Disgust when thinking of touching or holding your baby
  • Changes in appetite
  • Severe insomnia or over-sleeping
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Severe anxiety, fear, or panic attacks
  • Thoughts of harming yourself, your partner, or your baby

Some mood swings, anxiety, and exhaustion are expected for the first two weeks after giving birth.

However, if you've been experiencing these symptoms for over two weeks, it's important to talk with a therapist and your doctor immediately to be evaluated for postpartum depression. Postpartum depression is serious and requires attention.

Eating Disorders, Body Image, and Low Self-Esteem

Women are often affected by societal pressures related to beauty standards, usually because we compare ourselves to other women to measure our worth. Marketing, celebrities, and the constant images of "perfection" in social media have increased this self-judgment. In the United States, women are the majority of the 28 million people who have or will have anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorders, and 1 in 100 Americans have body dysmorphic disorder. Therapy can aid in cultivating a healthier body image and improving self-esteem by challenging harmful beauty ideals and fostering self-acceptance.

Women's Health Issues and Aging

As women, the aging process can have a significant impact on our lives. Our bodies change, things slow down, and feeling comfortable with your body and the changes can be challenging. Counseling can help you to feel comfortable in your body, cope with the aging process, and reinvent yourself should you choose to do so.

Career Management

Women sometimes face gender-related challenges in the workplace, such as discrimination and the gender pay gap. In addition, many women find managing family and work expectations arduous. Therapy can assist in navigating these issues and help women not only thrive in their careers but find their own work/life balance, too.

Trauma and Abuse

Unfortunately, women are disproportionately affected by certain forms of trauma and abuse, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, and sexual assault. Mental health professionals working with women offer a lifeline to those affected by trauma from physical and sexual violence, war, survivors guilt, substance abuse, and other painful events, as well as the diagnosis and management of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD). CPTSD is often diagnosed in women who endure chronic trauma, usually starting in childhood. Past traumas extract a serious toll while also putting women at a higher risk of developing mental health issues alongside PTSD.

Signs and Symptoms of PTSD and CPTSD:

  • Anxiety
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Self-harm
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Flashbacks
  • Nightmares
  • Avoidance of people, places, and objects reminiscent of the trauma
  • Trouble maintaining relationships
  • Increased feelings of guilt and shame
  • Overly impulsive
  • Increased aggression

If you experience any of these symptoms or have had life experiences that you struggle with, therapy can help you manage the physical and mental reactions to trauma.

Relationships, Death, Divorce

Everyone can have relationship problems, grieve the loss of a loved one, or have trouble transitioning from married to single. However, women are at more risk emotionally and financially than men in cases of death and divorce. Counseling for women can help you find peace and acceptance of your situation. Therapy can also help you find more effective ways of communicating and setting and maintaining boundaries between yourself and your spouse, your children, or at work.

Intersectionality and LGBTQ+ Women

Although women share common mental health concerns, not every woman's issue will be the same. Women's counseling offers inclusive care for women independent of their sex assignment at birth. We acknowledge other mitigating factors like race, ethnicity, culture, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status that can compound the issues other women face today.

You Can Be Yourself

Women face many challenges, including unequal access to healthcare and employment, reproductive expectations, and constant pressure to "sparkle." Our female therapists have experienced many of these difficulties and can provide an understanding and compassionate environment for self-discovery. Many in-person and online therapy services are available, like individual therapy, marriage counseling, group therapy, trauma therapy, or family therapy. The most important thing is getting the mental health care you need from the right therapist.

Therapy for women is an essential resource for those facing mental health struggles both in and out of the female experience. Women's counseling at Goodman Psychologist Associates offers a safe space to explore your specific needs and treatment options so you can heal. It also assists in building resilience, personal growth, and empowerment.

If you are a woman struggling with your mental health, make an appointment today by calling us at 630-377-3535 or visiting our appointments page. You deserve to be healthy and in charge of your own life.

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