Patricia O’Laughlin has been a contributing parenting expert for a number of media outlets including:The Today Show, BabyCenter, Parenting Magazine, and About.com. Details and article links can be found on this web site. She also keeps a weekly blog called POP where she writes about the psychology of parenting and communicates regularly through her fan page on Facebook and Twitter.
I recognize my clients’ strengths and empower them to identify what they need and the steps they can take to make positive changes. I combine the theoretical orientations of cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and narrative therapy to create an exploratory collaborative environment.
I provide psychology of parenting (POP) services for moms and dads:
Making the Decision Whether or Not to Become a Parent
Some people are afraid of losing their freedom and identity if they become a parent. I work individually with women and men to help them make this life changing decision. In some cases, couples disagree on whether or not to have children. I can help you communicate effectively around these issues to reach an understanding.
Preparing as an Individual
Your relationship status does not have to dictate whether you are ready to become a parent or not. I can help you address your preconceived notions about what a family looks like, and identify the individual strengths you would bring to parenting, as well as which complementary traits you seek in a partner. Whether you are ready to have a baby, or are interested in forming a deeper understanding of yourself for parenting in the future, therapy is a good way to get a clear understanding of what you want and how to get it.
Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
Some people experience fear around their ability to be a parent during pregnancy and after a child is born, making them doubt their desire to have a baby at all. In my career, I have witnessed how children can be impacted when a parent does not seek help. I set forth to support parents and underline the importance of therapy for parents, so children and families can be happier. Post-partum and pre-baby depression can be helped greatly by therapy. You aren’t alone, and you won’t feel this way forever.
Parenting can strain a couple’s inherent bond, and alienate you from your partner. This can lead to loneliness, causing some to engage in extra-marital affairs, separation or divorce. Couples therapy can help mediate the discussion and allows you to voice your feelings and hear your partner, while individual therapy can help you sort out how to get what you want from your relationship. Learn more about couples therapy here.
A child’s needs can be overwhelming. It can cause a lot of frustration and anger for some parents. Unwillingly our children pick up on this frustration and sometimes pull away from us or start troubling behaviors. This issue can be compounded by a child that has a disability or has been abused. I can help you deepen your attachment to your child, while still getting the things you need.
Empty Nest Prep
The shift from full-time parent to an empty-nester can cause a person to ask, “what now?” We can talk about how to restructure your life after your kids have left, preparing to reenter the workforce, and how to find support from others in your life.
I truly understand that parenting is challenging, if you add a child with any sort of atypical development it becomes even harder. There is an enormous amount of responsibility and stress in preparing a child who has additional challenges for adulthood. I focus on the isolation and fear that occurs for parents in these situations, as well as I am able to help people make decisions about what their child needs to someday launch. Coordinating one or multiple services is a part time job, and therapy can help it feel more manageable and help a parent feel confidence in whatever direction they choose to follow. You can find out more about my approach here.