Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I have postpartum depression?
Try the free screening tools on my resource page to see if you have the symptoms. While it's hard to get an official diagnosis without a face-to-face evaluation, it can give you an idea of what you may be struggling with.
You can sign up for exclusive access of my free guide for overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety here.
Can therapy really help me get better? Do we just sit there and talk for an hour?
I know that terrifying thought of possibly never getting better. It is really hard to believe that anything can help when you're in the middle of that dark, anxious place. It's a really scary step to open up when you're feeling so much shame about your postpartum thoughts and feelings, too, making it much easier to hide and suffer alone.
That shame loses it's power when we begin to open up, though. It was the first step to healing for me. I believe it will be for you too, as it has been for all of my clients. I work hard to make sure you feel safe, heard, and supported, which does a lot for the healing journey.
While providing you support and care is a very important part in our work togther, we don't just leave it there. My therapy approach is active and goes beyond just sitting and talking. If you're willing to invest in your recovery, I am dedicated to helping you learn skills and techniques to help feel better as soon as possible so you can get back to living life.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
Length of treatment depends on a variety of factors, especially your level of willingness to dive in and engage in our work together. I can't ethically make promises on your recovery, but I can say that currently, most of my postpartum clients feel significantly better after about 5 double sessions, all showing symptom relief from the very first session.
What are double sessions?
With TEAM-CBT, double and triple sessions can be extremely effective and speed up recovery. Even if it's every other week, I've found it to be more effective than weekly single sessions. Dr. Burns has found that extended sessions and intensives (2 double sessions per week) often work far more quickly and can have long-lasting effects. If you’d like to set up an extended session or intensive treatment, let me know. Surprisingly, intensive treatment can reduce the cost of treatment overall, since the rate of recovery may be much faster.
How do you treat postpartum depression and anxiety?
My therapy approach is called TEAM-CBT. Currently, I am the only certified TEAM-CBT therapist in the state. I love this therapy approach so much. This is an active approach with tons of effective techniques to help you overcome depression, anxiety, and improve your relationships. You can read more about my therapy approach here.
Reasearch shows that supportive therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) are most effective in treating postpartum depression and anxiety. TEAM-CBT has all of these components combined in one powerful treatment approach. I continue to pay for training and weekly consultation with other TEAM-CBT therapists around the nation so I can keep up my treatment skills and enusre I use the most effective, up-to-date tools to help you.
How do I know I'm getting better?
We will use an objective assessment developed by Dr. David Burns, the creater of TEAM-CBT, to measure your symptoms before and after every single session to make sure what we're doing is helping you get better.
Do I need medications to get better?
It really just depends. I’ve worked with women who haven’t taken any meds and fully recovered. I’ve also worked with women who really felt like medications were very effective in helping them feel better and was an important part of their recovery.
The two postpartum conditions in which meds are definitely recommended are:
- Postpartum bipolar disorder: manic symptoms may include rapid speech, inability to sleep for over 48 hours, impulsive behaviors, feeling grandiose/all-powerful, religious fixations, etc.
- Postpartum psychosis: hearing voices or sounds others don't (auditory hallucinations), seeing visions others don't (visual hallucinations), beliefs that are not in touch with reality, paranoia (delusions). Family will often be more aware of these symptoms than the suffering person.
With everything else, I support you in whatever route you choose.
What if I don't want to take psychotropic medications?
There's still a lot of shame surrounding taking medications for our mental health. This is like your antibiotics for an infection. For many, it is temporary but important in treating a serious condition. The more serious the condition, the more important it to get the professional help. With postpartum issues, you often do not have to take the meds forever, either, and you can work with your doctor to wean off once you have some solid recovery in place.
Natural options that have been shown to be equally effective as psychotropic medications for some women with postpartum depression include fish oil, probiotics, and regular exercise. All are good options you can discuss with your doctor. It is also an option to try psychotherapy first.
There is reasonable evidence to support the use of psychotherapy as a stand-alone, first-line intervention for the treatment of various degress of postpartum distress, even for severe depression (Stuart, S., O'Hara, M.W., & Goraman, L. L. (2003). The prevention and psychotherapeutic treatment of psotaprtum depression. Archives of Women's Mental Health, 6 (Suppl.) 56-69.
Why did this have to happen after I had my baby?
I know it’s a terrible thing to experience. It was awful for me, too. We still don’t officially know the root causes of depression and anxiety, including postpartum depression and anxiety. It is fair to say that it is partially biological, partially psychological with our thought patterns and beliefs, and partially environmental (lack of supprt, etc). Regardless of the cause, we will get you to feeling better as soon as possible so you can get back to your baby and living life.
What if I can’t make it in for a session because no one can watch my child?
On-site childcare is provided to you on an as needed basis. This will help moms be able to focus on their treatment and have a moment of true self-care. A maximum of 4 infants/toddlers are allowed per session for safety reasons. Sara Morrow is my hand-picked childcare provider for your babies. She loves little humans more than most types of humans and is great with them! She has had a lot of experience working at her church childcare and co-op childcare and states she does not at all mind being pooped on or spit up on.
Pay in cash, check, or PayPal firstname.lastname@example.org. Childcare rates are as follows:
- Add $5/hour for each additional child
- If your session goes over the hour, add $3.75 for every additional 15 minutes
Contact Sara directly at (405) 600-8439 to coordinate childcare.
What if I can't make it into the office for some other reason?
I have a 48-hour cancellation policy or the full fee for the session is charged. Online counseling through a secure, confidential platform called doxy.me is an option for your convenience!
What if I need therapy but I’m not ready to take that step?
That’s okay! I don’t think any of us ever feel completely ready. I think most of us also want to try to get better on our own first. Try some of the self-help resources I listed on my resource page first. Follow me on Facebook where I provide daily info, tips, and techniques on overcoming postpartum depression and anxiety.
At the same time, it may be important to not "wait it out" for too long. If you've tried the self-help tools and still don't feel any better or if your symptoms are getting worse, it may be time to take the plunge and get some professional help. Call me at (405) 757-7708 or email me for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss ways to get you to feeling better.
Will you work with me even if I don't have postpartum depression?
Yes! Even though my practice has a special focus on treating women and men with postpartum distress, TEAM-CBT is effective in treating depression, anxiety, and relationship problems in the general population as well.
If you connect with me and my therapy approach, and you're ready to get to work on changing your life, I'll be happy to work with you.
What is your rate for therapy?
$125 per 60-minute session.
Therapy is an investment in time and money. It allows you to give your best self to your loved ones, and that has often been priceless to the women I've treated. I invest in continuous training and consultation in order to provide you the best treatment possible.
Do you take my insurance?
I take Health Choice and Blue Cross Blue Shields. I am considered an out-of-network provider for all other insurances. For my out-of-network clients, I can provide you a detailed receipt called a superbill to give to your insurance company for reimbursement. The reimbursement rate depends on your insurance, and it would be a good idea to call them to ask.
I recommend using getbetter.co to help you with the reimbursement process if you don't want to deal with the hassle of communicating with your insurance company. They know all the right questions to ask and will not get paid unless you get paid, which will be 10% of whatever is reimbursed to you. If your payment goes toward your deductible, their service is completely free.
What if I need therapy but can’t afford it?
There is a completely free individual counseling resource through the OKC Health Department, specifically for treating pregnant and postpartum families. Check it out on my resource page.
Are you Chinese?
No, I'm Vietnamese.
Are you Korean?
So your name is Thai-An, are you from Thailand?**
No. Thai An is a Vietnamese name. In Vietnamese, Thai means big or great, and An means peace, so my name means "great peace." I think my dad was sick of the war and imprisonment and wanted some peace in his life. My name was also inspired by my mom's name, which is Thai-Lan. Yes, like the country Thailand.
We came to America when I was 5, so this has become the only home I really know. We came straight to Yukon, Oklahoma in 1991, in the middle of winter, to my aunt's trailer home, on an isolated farm. Hell no, it was not my vision of America!
Interesting historical fact: the Bush senior administration allowed Viet Nam POWs who were imprisoned for 3 or more years to come to America with their immediate family. So from my dad's suffering, we gained this opportunity to have a new life. We are truly grateful.
So why is my mom named after the country Thailand?
Her parents wanted some diversity in their lives (or were smoking something) and named their 9 children after 9 different countries from around the world, and my mom ended up with Thailand (Thái Lan). This means I have an Uncle England (Anh), Aunt Russia (Nga), Aunt Germany (Đức), Aunt Italy (Ý), Uncle America (Mỹ), Uncle China (Tầu), Aunt Japan (Nhật), and an Uncle France (Tây). Fun right?
Well, that's all the questions I can think of right now. Call me at (405) 310-7713 or fll out the form below if you have any other questions! I'd love the chance to be a part of your recovery!