by Kate Borsato | Nov 10, 2021
Message from Alisha
If you’re reading my message to you, it’s because you’ve identified a challenge, and you’re hopeful that it will get better. That’s a really great start!
In my work, I primarily focus on relationship issues that arise in the perinatal period. Pregnancy and the earliest months and years of your little one’s life are both major transitions that can affect your relationship and/or sexuality in ways you hadn’t anticipated.
First off, I want prospective clients—mothers especially—to know that it’s so normal to struggle with yourself, your relationship, and your sexuality while you’re adjusting to this stage of life. If these issues haven’t been normalized by those around you, it’s not because you’re the only one dealing with them. In fact, 67% of all relationships take a hit in the first year postpartum. To add to that, about 83% of women experience sexual dysfunction in the first year postpartum. Sometimes understanding that you’re not alone alleviates some of the pressure.
The next step is to work with a professional who can provide a safe and comfortable space to work through these struggles. That’s where I come in. I’m here to validate your experience, offer empirically-based treatment, and collaborate with you so that you can feel fulfilled by your relationship and sexuality even through this major change.
I’m a mother of two toddlers myself. Both were born prematurely. I know what it’s like to experience challenging, high-risk pregnancies, difficult labours, and postpartum struggles. I get it and I know how to help! With my guidance, you’ll be able to reclaim your sexuality, your relationship and articulate your needs in regards to both.
I would like to gratefully acknowledge that land on which I live and practice is within the traditional territories W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum) peoples.
Message from Melissa
Hi, I’m Melissa
It’s my honour to walk alongside people as they go through big life transitions. Fertility, pregnancy, birth and parenthood changes us indefinitely and impacts every member of a family. We navigate new terrain at every stage—from pre-pregnancy to early parenthood—and that emotional journey is both intensely joyful and immensely overwhelming (not to mention lonely!). Venturing into this uncharted territory requires the support of a village. In fact, isolation and lack of support is a leading cause of perinatal mood disorders. Having the right support is essential. It certainly was for me!
Through my own experience of struggling with miscarriages, becoming a mother, and realizing how intense those early years can be, I can attest to the transformative power of seeking professional help. I draw on my own personal experiences to create a space that is warm, empathetic, validating and constructive.
I believe in the power of connection and relationships. It takes a lot of vulnerability to seek help and to be open to growth. You are the expert of your own experience. I will meet you wherever you’re at and consider your voice every step of the way. My goal is to help you feel empowered, informed, seen and heard. I’ll provide a safe space for you to explore your thoughts and feelings so that you may develop a deeper understanding about what’s really going on and learn to manage compassionately. It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to seek help and to be open to change and growth. My clients are my heroes. Depending on your needs, our work together might include learning practical tools to manage issues such as anxiety, depression, grief and loss, identity and relationships. I’m here to provide full support as you move through this healing journey.
I am grateful to live and work as an uninvited settler on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Message from Kate
Welcome! So glad you’re here!
My name is Kate. I started this counselling practice after my own challenges in motherhood made me realize that there isn’t enough support for new mums. Here’s what I know for sure: motherhood is quite likely the hardest transition you’ll ever go through. So if you’re suffering, you’re far from alone. You’re told that becoming a mom is supposed to be natural, easy, intuitive, and blissful. Oftentimes, that’s just not the case.
I also know that we all need support.
Our cultural push to be the mom-who-does-it-all is so unrealistic and causes a lot of pain. With that pressure, your own values can get lost. I’m here to help you connect to what matters most.
And lastly, I know that you don’t have to just accept the struggle. Yes, motherhood is challenging, but it’s also possible to completely transform how this experience feels. I know because I’ve done it.
Having experienced postpartum anxiety myself, I know how painful and disorienting those years can be. The hardest part for me was that I didn’t ask for help. I didn’t reach out. I didn’t allow myself to be supported. That’s why I do this work today, and I’m honoured to be by your side and help you find a little more ease, self-care, and compassion.
I am grateful to be living and working as a settler on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, including the territoires of the W̱SÁNEĆ (Pauquachin, Tsartlip, Tsawout, Tseycum), Lkwungen (Esquimalt, and Songhees), Malahat, Pacheedaht, Scia’new, T’Sou-ke and Traditional territory of North Saanich Bands, Hul’qumi’num.
Message from Gabriela
I’m happy you found us!
By searching for a counsellor, you’re already taking important steps in improving your mental health. This process happens little by little so let’s give you credit for already taking those first steps. I’d be honoured to support you through this journey.
Through my own experience, I’ve seen society place constant judgement on mothers—sometimes even before pregnancy! This is exhausting and isolating. I’ve also noticed that most of the “support” offered to moms comes in the form of unsolicited advice instead of proper mental health support. That never helps.
As someone who works in the field, I feel lucky to have had the right resources as I transitioned into motherhood. However, I still struggled with anxiety, intrusive thoughts, and overwhelm. I witness that high expectations, constant comparison, guilt, and mental health struggles are all too common in motherhood. I’d like to offer my support by taking the time to explore your unique experience, provide a space where you can express yourself freely, and together, focus on concrete strategies to address your concerns. Therapy isn’t one-size-fits all so expect a plan that feels custom designed to your needs.
Motherhood comes with a lot of struggles, but it also comes with many sweet moments that make it all worthwhile. In our work, I’ll focus on supporting you through the challenges, while also celebrating the positives.
Message from Jana
Hi there, I’m Jana. I’m so happy you’re here!
I know what it’s like to not feel at home in your own life during early motherhood. My passion for working with mothers began when I had my first child almost eight years ago. I myself struggled greatly in the early days of motherhood and found my new shift in identity much more difficult than I had anticipated. Although I was a trained mental health professional, I felt shocked at how hard things felt, and how little support there was out there for new moms. It’s totally understandable if you’re struggling right now.
I am a Registered Clinical Counsellor here in B.C. and I have 10 years of experience working with clients struggling with a range of issues including depression, anxiety, addictions, relationships, grief and loss, trauma, sexual health, and suicide prevention. I have supervised a team of clinical counsellors since 2018 with the Boys and Girls Clubs of South Coast B.C. and have worked closely with Child and Youth Mental Health as well as the Ministry of Children and Family Development in Delta, B.C.
I am so honoured to be providing a safe space for mothers to express themselves and their struggles in a judgment-free place. This is your time to work one-on-one with a professional who has the proper tools to help you navigate your biggest pain points.In addition to working together to help clients cope with the challenges that motherhood brings, I provide mothers with the much needed support, compassion, and empathy they deserve. In our sessions, I regularly witness moms shift from feeling immense amounts of self-directed anger and guilt into self-accepting individuals equipped to calm their nervous systems.
Message from Heather
Hello, my name is Heather. I am so happy you found us! I want to let you know a little bit about my journey in parenting and therapy. I began providing individual and family therapy just over a decade ago. In the early part of this journey, I entered into parenthood myself. I thought I was impervious to the negative mental health impacts which can come with parenting. Little did I realize how much the nuanced messages (all those really unhelpful ones), began to infiltrate my wellness and ability to really experience the joyful moments. With support and hard work, I was able to carve out my own paths of joyful living.
Since this time, I have specialized in the treatment of trauma and attachment with the skills to assist with anxiety, depression, and relational challenges. I have nothing but empathy and understanding for the strength it takes to parent; whether this be planning for a child, the process of waiting for the child to arrive, or having children in your life. This can feel like such an emotional roller coaster, and all too often, the health and wellbeing of the caregiver gets lost. If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, depressed, or feeling triggered, please let us know, we are here to help. I am happy to work with you on strategies to manage your physical responses, emotions, and thoughts to
increase your ability to cope with challenges and participate more in moments of joy. I want to let you know that with support, it can feel easier! I am so happy you have welcomed us to be a part of this journey and I look forward to supporting you.
Message from Sali
Hi! My name is Sali and it’s my absolute honour to support you through this part of your journey. Let’s hold space for all the parts of your experience. This includes celebrating the joys and small wins and also bringing mindfulness and compassion to everyday challenges like out-of-control anxiety and postpartum depression that drags down your spirit.
I’m passionate about tending to the wellbeing of mom, baby, and mothers to be. My aim is to help women show up both for themselves and their families in the ways that align with their top values. One in every seven women struggle during this chapter of their life. I provide a warm and supportive space so that they don’t have to suffer in silence.
My approach is based in mindfulness, acceptance and self-compassion. The tools that I teach help you to stop being at war with yourself. Our self critical thoughts and negative self talk can really compromise our experience in motherhood. At the same time, moving forward with an open heart and self-supporting mindset can make motherhood the joy it’s supposed to be.
You are not alone, and with the right support, it’s not only possible, but probable to be the kind of mom who can believe in herself, meet her emotional needs (without the guilt!), and live according to her own personal set of priorities. I know because I’ve witnessed so many women make this change..
My wish is to help you feel more at home in your mind and your body at this time.With the right tools, you can find more ease on a day-to-day basis and even make this transition a fun one. The mindfulness acceptance and compassion tools learned and applied can continue to serve you well beyond the course of therapy and into the parenting journey. Let’s work together to get curious about your needs and build on your strengths and natural wisdom. Let’s find a way to make things better.
Message from Kaitlin
Welcome! So glad you’re here. My passion for perinatal support came after my own challenges becoming a mom for the second time and realizing that there aren’t enough supports for new moms or that the supports available were highly stigmatized in my area and within my social network.
Motherhood is both beautiful and chaotic; some days it is one or the other and other days it’s a blend of a beautiful disaster! If you are suffering, just know that you are far from being alone. Motherhood most often does not resemble what is portrayed on social media nor does it conform to unrealistic societal/familial expectations.
I would like to take time to explore your unique story with you and help you express yourself openly and without judgment as well as to explore your innate abilities to overcome some of the challenges you are facing.
I am a mom of two daughters, who has experienced a perinatal mood disorder myself. I have a glimpse at how difficult those days, months or years can be with intrusive thoughts and feelings of being generally “unwell”. One thing that I know for sure, that by not reaching out for help and attempting to mask my thoughts and feelings, I actually made things more difficult and prolonged than they had to be. I was uncomfortable allowing myself to be supported. And this is why I am so honored to be doing the work I am doing today and I am honored to be by your side to help, to provide compassion and a safe space to be unapologetically you.
I look forward to working with you!