“Pregnant women are expected to be joyful, radiant and glowing. No one wants to admit that pregnancy is anything less than perfect,” says psychotherapist and Licensed Professional Counselor Terri L. Rieth, Ph.D.
But Dr. Rieth, who practices at Regional Obstetrical Consultants in Chattanooga, knows that for some women, pregnancy can be stressful - or even terrifying.
“There are numerous reasons why pregnancy may not necessarily be a happy time,” says Dr. Rieth. “Many women struggle psychologically and emotionally because of an unstable home life, marital conflict, lack of a partner, or financial issues.
“Others may be faced with complications, such as miscarriage or birth defects, symptoms, like exhaustion, nausea, or hormonal changes, or ongoing fertility problems. Sometimes patients who become pregnant for the first time are suddenly faced with unresolved conflicts involving their own mothers, or the resurfacing of a past psychiatric illness.”
She notes that, based on ongoing studies by the Harvard Medical School Perinatal and Reproductive Psychiatry Clinical Research Program at Massachusetts General Hospital, the UCLA Pregnancy & Postpartum Mood Disorders Program and the Emory Women’s Mental Health Program, “a conservative estimate would indicate that at least 3 out of 10 pregnant women are suffering from a psychiatric disorder such as anxiety or depression.”
But Dr. Rieth specializes in counseling for women facing high-risk pregnancies. She offers psychoanalytic psychotherapy, supportive psychotherapy, group counseling, grief counseling, marital and family therapy, substance abuse counseling and stress management.
She explains, “Since psychotropic medications can be controversial during pregnancy, it is important to consider all possibilities. Many alternative approaches to medication have been found to be effective. It can be essential to find a qualified therapist or counselor to work with routinely before, during and after pregnancy.”
Dr. Rieth’s degrees include a Post Doctoral Certification in Psychoanalysis from Emory University, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, a Ph.D. from Fielding Graduate Institute, Human and Organizational Systems, an M.A. from Fielding Graduate Institute, Organizational Development, an M.S. from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, Psychology, and a B.S. from Penn State. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Mental Health Service Provider.
Regional Obstetrical Consultants, PC, offers services for high-risk pregnancies locally and throughout the Southeast. They also provide in-house psychotherapy, couples counseling, and family therapy for emotional, social, and psychological issues. 902 McCallie Ave., Chattanooga TN 37403. (423) 664-4460. www.rocob.com