Clinicians on the Couch: 10 Questions with Catherine O’Brien
Every month we turn the tables and ask clinicians to take a seat on the figurative therapy couch. We ask them to reveal everything from what they love about working with clients to what they find to be the most challenging part. They also give us a glimpse into their personal lives, sharing how they cope with stress and if they’d follow the same professional path today. Plus, they share the biggest myth about therapy and the biggest obstacle for clients — and a whole lot more.
This month we’re pleased to feature relationship therapist Catherine O’Brien, MA, LMFT. She specializes in helping families prepare for the transition from pregnancy to parenthood by managing overwhelm, creating more ease and deepening connection. O’Brien is the founder of HappyWithBaby.com. She provides counseling and coaching for new and expecting parents. And she facilitates courses to help parents manage the expectations of parenthood and understand developmental milestones of infants and children.
She also is a Postpartum Support International (PSI) Co-Coordinator. She helped launch the Mother’s Heart, the Sacramento Regional Perinatal Mental Health Network, which focuses on the screening for pregnant and postpartum women for pregnancy-related or postpartum mood or anxiety disorders and provides a support line for women and their families. They continue to focus on support, education and resources to families and healthcare professionals.
O’Brien is married to her perfect partner and is a mother of a 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. She knows what it’s like to be a parent that is overwhelmed, exhausted and doubting her competency.
Learn more about O’Brien, and download free resources at HappyWithBaby.com/free-resources/. Follow her at www.Facebook.com/HappyWithBaby or www.Twitter.com/HappyWithBaby or Pinterest.com/HappyWithBaby.
1. What’s surprised you the most about being a therapist?
That who I am as a therapist has evolved the way it has. I knew from a young age I always wanted to be a therapist, but as life experiences have happened, my focus has changed. I think one of the great things about being a therapist in private practice is that I can change my focus [according to] what my interests are (though personally, I don’t see that changing anytime soon). And it’s not just about seeing clients in my office individually or as a couple, but offering groups and workshops, and opportunities to speak to large groups, as well as other professionals.
2. What’s the latest and greatest book you’ve read related to mental health, psychology or psychotherapy?
I’m currently reading and really loving the book, All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by Jennifer Senior. It definitely puts things in perspective, which is interesting for me as a mom and as a therapist whose focus is with new and expecting parents.