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The Center for Postpartum Family Health Newsletter

March 2017, Issue 8

Website:  Email:  Office: 713.561.3884
Why Does There Need to be a CPFH?
by Sherry Duson, M.A. Director
Sometimes I am asked “Why does there need to be a special counseling center just for perinatal mental health?” The short answer is, there does not.  But, if we are talking about the optimal place for someone who is pregnant or postpartum who is experiencing a mental health crisis, CPFH is the place to be

Here are 3 specific reasons why:
  1. We look at the concept of “Motherhood” and mental health within the context that it occurs.  We consider the impact of the couple, the extended family and the cultural factors with each client.  The stress of motherhood is often made harder by the messages given to women about work and home life priorities -- the result can be unrealistic expectations about working an outside job while at the same time giving birth and learning to be a mother, plus the challenges of finding a sense of self within this new role and its responsibilities.  The pressure to handle such a major life transition yet making it look easy and “natural” is often THE trigger for the mental health issues which can emerge.
  2. Our therapeutic approach shapes how we view the problem and discuss the issues, as well as the interventions we suggest.  Our “systemic perspective” switches the focus away from the individual mother, who is usually feeling blamed and guilty, to helping her look at the bigger picture.  For instance, a new mother needs validation for how challenging the “juggling” act between work and baby can be, or the struggle of being left alone in isolation all day.  If we only looked at the individual, we may perpetuate that blame and shame the mother is already feeling.  We empower new mothers to challenge the stressors, not continue to blame themselves for feeling badly.  If they have a true diagnosable illness like postpartum depression, we can give clear guidance on options for treatment and the road to recovery.  If it’s not truly a mental health issue, we help mothers find a way to take care of themselves with kindness and compassion, and to reject the unhealthy messages which perpetually praise self-sacrifice and suffering in women. 
  3. We support healthy, functioning families by promoting good mental health care for all family members.  The optimally functioning family usually has a balance of closeness and structure for all the members.  If only one person in the family is treated, the rest of the family needs to adjust.   Many models of treatment focus only on what is going on in the individual.  We take the “bigger picture” approach and promote wellness for all family members.  Sometimes conflict between members is the source of stress. We encourage participation by anyone involved in the conflict so that it might be resolved in a healthy way. This means that husbands, boyfriends, parents, other children, and in-laws are invited to come work on the solution that is best for everyone. 
We hope this clarifies WHY we are different at CPFH and why we feel our approach is best for healthy moms and healthy families.  If you have questions or comments, or would like to make an appointment, please contact us at 713.561.3884 or email                                  
Nurture Your Mental Health at the End of Winter

Shared from 
Late winter is challenging. Many are still struggling with seasonal depression. Even without seasonal affective disorder, people can feel sluggish and down. Despite this, we're not powerless. We can take charge of our mental health by taking action to do things that are forward-thinking and bring hope. (Visualize and See the Life You Want)
Perhaps one of these ideas for improving mental health at the end of winter will inspire you.
  1. Start a garden. Decorate a small pot with inspirational sayings or designs. In it, plant something that makes you happy. Nurture it indoors until you can transfer it outdoors.
  2. Use your plant to nurture yourself. Put it in a light spot, sit by it for at least 10 minutes every day, and meditate, practice deep breathing, be mindful of the present moment, write in a journal, etc.
  3. Plan. What are you looking forward to once spring is here? Use a special calendar or journal to create plans to make it happen. Be specific.
  4. Countdown to the starting point of your plans. Realize, though, that your starting point is now. Don't wait for joy. What small things can you do to put your plans into action right away?
Don't stop here. What other activities can you create to kindle your hope that spring will come, and mental health and wellbeing are yours?
CPFH Announcement

Congratulations to CPFH Associate Clinical Director and therapist, Kim Jones, on the birth of her new baby girl! Join us in wishing her well as she begins her maternity leave from CPFH.

Welcome New Clinician. The Center for Postpartum Family Health is happy to announce the addition of new therapist to the clinical team!

Tracy received her master’s degree in Psychology with a concentration in Individual, Couples, and Family Therapy from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. Her personal and professional journeys have been unconventional, and she brings a broad range of interesting life experiences thus -- from human services work at residential treatment centers, drug and alcohol recovery programs, foster care services, and HIV clinics, to personal challenges with infertility and miscarriage, divorce and single parenting, step-family issues, and successful co-parenting. Additionally, Tracy has specific experience with families experiencing illness, hospitalization, and rehabilitation, including years of working closely with medical staff and patients as an advocate. She brings all these touch-points of life to her current work at Center for Postpartum Family Health.
With specific training in Collaborative Dialogical Approaches, Narrative, and Solution-Focused therapies, Tracy offers conversational therapy, compassionate support, time and space for exploring thoughts and feelings, and room for finding clarity with troubling life circumstances.  Her experience with clients include:
  • fertility & infertility
  • pregnancy
  • postpartum depression and anxiety
  • parenthood
  • young adulthood challenges
  • managing transitions in life at all stages
  • addiction
  • living with a creative talent
  • pursuing a spiritually-influenced life
  • and relationship connections (and disconnections) of every kind.
Tracy is practicing under the supervision of Sherry J. Duson, M.A. LMFT-S, LPC-S. To schedule an appointment with Tracy call 713.561.3884 or email her at As always, initial phone consultations are free.

Did you know CPFH now offers therapy services in Mandarin Chinese?
Therapist Moni Tang grew up in China but has been in the US for the past 10 years. She is fluent to conduct therapy in both English and Mandarin Chinese. Whether you need individual, couple or family therapy, Moni is available and is currently accepting new clients in both languages. 

CPFH Upcoming Events
CPFH Director Sherry Duson will present at Hope & Healing Center on April 12, 2017. This presentation includes an overview of common maternal mental health issues such as postpartum depression and anxiety, their risk factors, and prevention methods. Focus is on self-care, building support systems, and seeking professional care when needed. 

Event Details: 
Topic: Lunch and Learn, The Well Mom - How to Stay Happy and Healthy After Having a Baby
When: April 12, 2017 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Where: 717 Sage Road, Houston, TX 77056 
Cost: Free
CPFH therapist Lorissa Eichenberger will present at a local mother's support group "Starting Right" at WoodsEdge Community Church in The Woodlands.  Supplemental texts will include excerpts from Brene Brown and Harriet Lerner, two renowned authors dedicated to empowering women.

Event Details:
Topic:  Women and Self-Care
When: Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 09:30am
Where: WoodsEdge Community Church Room 206
            25333 Gosling Rd, Spring, TX 77389
Cost: Free
CPFH On-Going

To help us connect and promote maternal mental health on social media, we have created hashtags for use! Join us by adding 

#findyourspace                        #tellyourstory                        #healyourself

Free Support Group. Brown Bag Lunch Mom’s Circle. Weekly support group for new moms and families to talk about pregnancy and postpartum depression and anxiety, as well as personal and family adjustment. 

Wednesdays from 12 – 1pm.  Free to attend, babies in arms welcome.

Speaking engagements. If your group of mom’s or other professionals would like an educational presentation on perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, please feel free to call.  We have a presentation ready to go, or we can tailor one for your group.

Mental Health counseling beyond just postpartum. All of our therapists are trained in marriage and couples therapy, parenting techniques, family therapy, substance abuse, and other issues.  We are happy to see male clients, children, teenagers and family members besides just moms! (Just thought you should know…)


Part of our mission at CPFH is to educate the community and raise awareness regarding maternal mental health and other related topics.  Our trained therapists are available to do presentations on wellness, mental health, and relationships, and are able to tailor our talks to your group or organization. To request us at your next event, please email us.

If you would like CPFH brochures, the Well Mom checklists, or would like to subscribe to our monthly newsletter, please contact us at

Copyright © 2017
The Center for Postpartum Family Health
All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
3418 Mercer St., Suite 100, Houston, TX 77027

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The Center for Postpartum Family Health · 3418 Mercer, Ste. 100 · Houston, TX 77027 · USA

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