I’m a Holistic Matrescence + Postpartum Therapist: Here’s What a First Therapy Session with Me Looks Like

April 10, 2024

Vanessa Leveille

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I'm a therapist-mom who writes in hopes of helping moms of color navigate the matrescence journey and create a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

Mental Health
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Hi, I'm vanessa

Thinking about diving into therapy with a postpartum therapist can stir up a whirlwind of feelings, right? It’s like standing at the edge of a pool—excited to jump in but also a tad nervous about the plunge. 

You hear both good and bad things about therapy, and you don’t know what to expect, or what you might be expected to talk about. Even when you want to have someone to talk to about your problems, it can all leave you with questions. 

Trust me, I get it. 

In this blog post we’re going to peel back the curtain and explore what a first therapy session with me, a Matrescence and Postpartum Therapist, is all about, along with a sneak peek into what the journey ahead could look like. 

Now, I can’t really speak to what other therapists do because we’re all different in our approaches and style. I am a bit of a rule breaker when it comes to my approach and style, and may do things a bit differently. However, we all generally follow the same guidelines and foundation of talk therapy.. 

So, if you’ve ever wondered what happens during the first few sessions, or feel a bit hesitant to take that first step, you’re in the right place. 

Let’s break it down.

Some Background on Me and my Clients Seeking a Postpartum Therapist

I think it makes sense to start with what kind of therapist I am and who I work with. This will help to give you some context for why I structure my first couple of sessions the way I do. 

I’m a Holistic Matrescence and Postpartum Therapist. This means that while I am a licensed independent clinical social worker aka LICSW (more on that some other time, because the letters behind our names mean things), I am trained and specialized in taking a holistic approach to work with moms who are navigating Matrescence and Postpartum. 

If you’re not familiar with Matrescence, think of Matrescence as the adolescent version of becoming and being a mother, and the postpartum period as being the first couple of years after becoming a mother. 

Most of the moms that I work with are moms of color who are driven, and high-achieving. They are typically new moms, or in their first five years of motherhood. Occasionally, I get moms who are in different seasons of their Matrescence, and have older school aged children or even children who are off to college and they’re adjusting to empty-nesting. 

My approach is grounded in empathy, cultural sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the intersectional challenges faced by mothers in today’s society. 

I recognize that motherhood is a multifaceted experience, shaped by diverse identities, backgrounds, and aspirations, and as such I make sure we take a holistic approach by focusing on mind, body, and spirit.

What Happens with My Clients in Matrescence + Postpartum

Okay, another contextual reference. To get why I also structure sessions this way, you have to understand what most of my clients are coming to therapy for, specifically with me. 

As I mentioned before my clients are typically women of color, who are moms, and in the first few years of Matrescence and their postpartum period. These women are also driven women who put a lot of pressure on themselves to succeed and fare well in life. They are working women, hold prestigious positions, or are entrepreneurs (or as I like to call them, “mompreneurs”). 

In these first 5 or so years of Matrescence and postpartum, they have struggled with their sense of self after becoming a mom, and this has impacted them in several ways that show up across a spectrum of overall wellness, and areas of life. 

More than anything they want to develop a stronger and deeper sense of self, physically, mentally, and emotionally, and they want to see improvements in other areas of their life as a result of feeling more like the version of themselves they aspire to be. 

Why I Take a Holistic Approach:

Okay, now that we understand those pieces, in light of these complexities, I guess we should also talk about my holistic approach as a Matrescence and Postpartum Therapist. 

The goal of my work is to address the interconnected facets of mind, body, and soul. Because it is all related. 

In those early years of Matrescence and postpartum, the driven women that I serve struggle with sleep deficiency, nutrient depletion, birth trauma, resurfacing of childhood wounds, lifestyle adjustments, and so much more. 

So it doesn’t make sense to me to only focus on talk therapy, and not touch on how important it is that we create a supportive environment for holistic healing and growth. 

We have to discuss and create a plan for sleep improvement, for nutrient repletion through nourishing foods, healing disembodiment and getting the body moving, self-regulation and stress management skill building, and practical rituals for self-care so you can mother the mother. 

So How Does this Look in Action:

Session One: Setting the Foundation

Our journey begins with a virtual meeting via a secure telehealth platform, ensuring both convenience and confidentiality, and I typically call this the “initial session”, some folks call it the initial consultation, or intake. Sometimes I use these terms interchangeably. 

As we settle into our digital space, I’ll initiate the conversation about your therapy goals, listening intently as you share your aspirations and challenges. I’ll ask you questions, and give space for you to talk about what is coming to mind about why therapy, and why now. 

This session is a mutual exploration: you learn about my therapeutic approach and style, while I gain insights into how I can best support you. Typically you would have completed your intake paperwork ahead of time, and so we navigate through paperwork and policies, ensuring transparency and clarity from the outset. 

By the end of our initial session, we’ll have a shared understanding of what lies ahead, setting the stage for our collaborative journey.

Session Two: Delving into Understanding

It takes me a couple of sessions to get through the foundation of our work together. Because I take a holistic approach, I have created my own assessments and frameworks for our work together, so this process take time.

Now, I will say, this process can be prolonged if there are other more pressing issues that take precedence, but the goal is to use the next 2-3 sessions to get through the assessment and goal planning. 

In our second session, we delve deeper into your unique story through my comprehensive assessments. These tools serve as gateways to understanding your psycho-social landscape, wellness status, and perinatal experiences. With a focus on Matrescence—the profound transformation of motherhood—we explore the nuances of your journey, acknowledging the joys and complexities therein. 

As you reflect on your experiences, things will start to click and we’ll have more clarity on the pathways toward healing and growth, laying the groundwork for our therapeutic exploration.

Sessions Three to Four: Embracing the “First Five”

As we progress, we start to get into the holistic parts of my signature framework: the “First Five.” 

This framework addresses fundamental pillars of mother-care—sleep hygiene, nutrition, body movement, stress management, and self-care practices. Recognizing the profound impact of these factors on your well-being, I ask you questions to see where you are with each of these things and discuss ways we can incorporate improvements in these areas into our work together.

The “First Five” will always be a part of our work together. It doesn’t matter what you come to therapy for, I will always address these. Here’s the thing, it makes no sense to me if we’re talking about issues in your relationship with your husband if you’re so tired and sleep deprived, because this too is having an impact on your relationship with your husband.

So we have to get this right, from jump!

Session Five: Crafting the Path Forward

In our fifth session, we bring both our insights into a collaborative treatment plan, tailored to your unique needs and aspirations. 

You’ll tell me your identified priorities and I’ll tell you my professional observations, then we’ll create an actionable plan toward transformation and empowerment. This plan serves as our compass, guiding our therapeutic journey with clarity and intentionality. 

Throughout our work together, we will reference this plan to see where we’re headed and how far we have come. We’ll use it as a checkpoint along the way, and tweak it if we need to based on your Matrescence and postpartum journey. 

Final Thoughts:

I hope that has given you more of an idea of what to expect when you start therapy, especially with me. 

We start right into the heart of discovering who you really are, mending what needs a little (or a lot of) love, and grabbing hold of your power like never before. Picture our first meet-up as laying down the first brick of a super strong foundation for a journey we’re about to take together, built on heaps of trust, real-talk, and teamwork. 

And if you’re working with me, it doesn’t matter if you’re clicking in from your cozy living room in Massachusetts or your sunny backyard in Texas, we can do this together. 

So, Mama, now you know what the first few sessions with a Holistic Matrescence + Postpartum Therapist looks like. 

Seek Support from a Matrescence Therapist

If you’re a mom, who is also high-achieving, in Massachusetts or Texas seeking compassionate and culturally sensitive online therapy to help you navigate postpartum and Matrescence, I invite you to reach out to me. I am a therapist who specializes in working with moms of color and can provide you with the support and guidance you need to navigate the challenges of Matrescence and postpartum to create a life with more fulfillment and joy.

Fill out the form on my contact page so we can chat more and explore how I can support you on your journey.

Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. I’m here as a Holistic Matrescence and Postpartum Therapist to help you overcome challenges, thrive as a mother, and discover the strength and resilience that lies within you.

If you want to learn more about the journey of becoming a mother, called Matrescence, download your free guide today and embark on a journey of self-discovery and empowerment.

Click link here to download the free guide.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog post. What resonated with you most? What questions do you have? Share your insights and experiences in the comments section below.

Together, we can create a supportive community for moms of color, sharing our journeys, encouraging each other, and finding strength in our shared experiences.

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