All Monarch Wellness therapists are generalists, meaning that they are able to work with a very wide variety of problem areas using the therapeutic approaches that seem to be best for that particular client. In addition to this background, we all do have areas of additional interest and expertise in which we have sought experience and training above and beyond our generalist backgrounds.
We encourage you to choose a therapist more based on personality fit than area of expertise; research shows that feeling comfortable and supported in therapy is more important than the education, background or xx of the therapist. However, there are some problem areas that really require a therapist with particular expertise in that area. These include eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, fertility difficulties, and certain anxiety conditions. If you aren’t sure if the issue you’re struggling with requires a specialist please reach out to discuss it.
Anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder and compulsive overeating all require a familiarity with the territory. Difficulties in nourishment effect the brain and body in particular ways that being knowledgeable about is key for effective treatment.
In addition, it’s important to treat an eating disorder in the right setting. There are levels and types of malnourishment that effect the brain such that outpatient therapy is not likely to be effective; proper nutrition has to happen first in order for the brain to have enough energy to fight the eating disorder. An eating disorder specialist is best positioned to help you to know if residential or partial hospitalization programs would be more likely to be effective for you.
As of this writing all Monarch therapists have a specialty in eating disorders. Hayley works best with people who have been struggling for some time or who also have trouble regulating their mood. Dr. Bledman has particular expertise and interest in binge eating and compulsive overeating, and Carissa Hannum works with younger folks and families who have been affected by food problems.
Traumatic experiences result in a predictable effect that your therapist must be knowledgeable about in order to help you effectively. Dealing with trauma in the wrong way can sometimes even make it worse, creating “retraumatization” by dealing with the trauma material inappropriately or out of sequence.
Additionally, trauma symptoms can feel and seem crazy, and a trauma therapist is well positioned to understand, and help you understand, that the problem is not you but what happened to you. Please keep in mind when considering whether to work with a specialist that trauma reactions occur to
Fertility issues occupy a unique territory because there really isn’t anything for you and your therapist to “fix”. There is some evidence that stress has a negative impact on fertility and that modulating anxiety would be good, but having problems with fertility is just inherently stressful and there isn’t any way around that.
This being said, feeling supported and understood can go a long way towards ameliorating the anxiety. Working with a therapist who understands the unique world of fertility issues, the likely effects of any hormone therapy you may undergo, the expected effects on your relationships and worldview, the nuts and bolts of the processes and all of the acronyms involved can help you to feel more grounded and centered even as you move through this squarely de-centering process.
Dealing with chronic pain is another psycho-physiological issues that requires the deep tech
The world of the neonatal intensive care unit is another one that you can’t really understand unless you have interfaced with it personally. It’s important to work with a therapist who has some sense of the acronyms, the mood of the place, the impact on parenting and the effect on you. To this end, I refer you back to our section on “trauma” – whether or not the hospital stay was expected and whatever the medical status of your baby, you are going through a tremendous ordeal and you deserve the support of someone who truly understands.