We are a group of psychotherapists in Ottawa who are experts in the treatment of mental health (anxiety, depression) disorders and also specialize in the support of women with menopausal related distress. Our therapeutic success is the result of combining psychotherapeutic interventions (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Acceptance and Commitment Therapy) with mindfulness training. If you are having difficulty with managing your symptoms or emotions, feeling anxious or depressed, or you are concerned about your memory and/or cognitive functioning; know that there is a way to enjoy life again! We encourage you to read the following general information about menopause related distress and to book an appointment.
Peri-menopause, Menopause, Post-menopause
This life transition can create havoc in any woman’s life. You may be experiencing changes in your menstrual cycle, your waist measurement or in your ability to tolerate temperature changes. Let us agree, if this would reflect the totality of your experience, you would not be reading this page. While for about 25% of women going through menopause do not experience severe problems, the rest experience a significant decline in the quality of their lives.
Symptoms of Menopause
The quality of life in menopause is negatively correlated (decreases) with the number and severity of menopause related symptoms. These symptoms may include hot flashes anywhere between 10 to 60 times per day which can sometimes accompanied by sweating or nausea, night sweats, sleep disturbance, tiredness or exhaustion, anxiety and/or depression, and decreased libido. For professionals, the most disturbing symptoms of menopause is declining cognitive abilities and memory problems. I am sure you know that this is a non-exhaustive list. For a link to see the full list of menopause related symptoms, please visit our resources page.
Treatment for Menopause
In general women may begin dealing with menopause symptoms by first researching information on the internet, making life style changes, talking to friends and perhaps seeking out the help of a Naturopathic Doctor. When symptoms cannot be managed through these methods, they may begin to consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). While either natural supplements or HRT can bring significant relief from symptoms, some women may turn to therapy because they continue having difficulties with decision making, cognitive functioning, managing anxiety or depression, or accepting the changes in their life. Mindfulness practice, Mindfulness-Based Stress Resilience (MBSR) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) can bring significant relief.
Role of Counselling in Menopause
Many women summarize their experience of entering menopause as “Waking up one day to find yourself as an alien in your own body.” Nothing make sense anymore; what used to bother you, you may no longer care about, and what you handled with ease now elicits anxiety and tears. Counselling can:
- Normalize your experience,
- Provide you with psycho-education,
- Offer a safe environment to talk freely about your fears and experiences,
- Facilitate informed decision-making,
- Improve confidence in your ability to carry out or modify decisions over time,
- Provide you with coping strategies for anxiety and depression, and most importantly,
- Help you accept and embrace this new part of your life
If you are interested in adding counselling to your menopause symptom management, please turn to us with confidence.