I began working at CALM in November 2013.
I am a bilingual Marriage and Family Therapist Intern, Intake Coordinator, and co- facilitator for the Women’s Empowerment group. I provide clinical services to pregnant women, parents and infants, children, and families through the Great Beginnings program. I provide therapy services in different settings, such as the home, child’s school, community based programs and in the center at CALM.
I worked with a mother who was referred by a doctor. Her infant was 3 weeks old. She also had two other children in their mid-teens. She felt incapable of being a mother to an infant once again. She had a history of trauma, negative thoughts, and feelings that were impacting her mental well-being, relationship with her baby, and other relationships. Throughout the course of therapy she learned techniques to decrease her symptoms of depression and anxiety. She also learned how to consistently implement physical and verbal strategies in daily activities with her baby, which helped enhance the mother and baby relationship. I remember her mentioning that she felt some guilt for not feeling this bond with her other children when they were babies, and wished that she could have had the support after having her first child. Not only did she develop a secure attachment with her baby, she also enhanced her relationships with others (partner, children and friends).
If I could do one thing to make kids’ lives better I would encourage all adults to provide positive and loving attention to all children by using a little magic (smile and praise).
I wish people knew that our services for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health is a huge component of CALM. The early years are crucial! Infant and children experience emotions, they develop relationships, and they learn. Here at CALM, we have the privilege to help parents and caregivers develop positive relationships with their infants and children, which promotes a child’s social and emotional development.