Though the definition often changes, this is just a few of the areas of concern that fall under the very large umbrella of “Women’s Issues”:
PMS, Menopause and Mood Swings Effected By A Monthly Cycle or Lack Thereof
Though symptoms most commonly happen right before your period, some women experience nervousness, agitation, uncontrollable anger in a regular pattern at a different time in their cycle, or lack of a cycle as the case may be. Hormonal “weirdness” is a force to be reckoned with indeed.
At time, I get referrals from women whose physicians suggest counseling because of a recent or recurring diagnosis. Some issues I refer to a sex therapist. Symptoms of stress, pain or self-image can be handled effectively in my office.
Miscarriage and Stillbirth
This is hard to handle at any stage but especially late in the pregnancy. Support persons are critical at this time. If the husband or father of the child did not give you what you needed at the time or is not there for you now suffering is inevitable. Most women can not “just get over it and move on.”
I volunteered at a crisis pregnancy center while I was accumulating hours for state licensure. Many of the women sought counseling for difficult relationships (with parents or the birth father), addictions, post-partum depression, or just feeling inadequate or scared about the responsibility of having a child.
Some women suffer from symptoms of depression following an abortion. This can be complicated by depression, shame, sleep difficulties, ruminations, poor self-esteem, relationship issues and other complicating factors.
We get our healthy or unhealthy view of self from a combination of our parents and life experiences. Maybe you can throw a little genetic make up into the mix, as well. Self-esteem effects all areas of life that require risk, and that is a lot of life! Relationships, spiritual care, job performance and effectiveness as a human being all require a healthy view of self.
Stress, Being Overwhelmed
Some have said that men get stressed and women get overwhelmed. This seems to be true in my practice, but I don’t quibble over the distinctions. I just work with what is in front of me. Many people, particularly women, feel they need to be all things to all people (husband, children, parents) and simply feel they have no time for themselves.
Of course, both men and women suffer from perfectionism, but it tends to manifest itself a little different in women. Society tells women that we must look a certain way and act a certain way in order to be accepted. This overlaps with self-esteem and being overwhelmed.
Sure, men need this too, but we have the Daddy/Daughter relationship with God that is somewhat different than what men experience. Navigating our gift mix, balancing work/church and home and finding our place in the church can present some significant challenges that require prayer, discernment and great thought. Having someone outside the church to bounce things off of can be very helpful.
Yes, men and women both can have trust issues especially when it comes to being in a relationship where a partner has been unfaithful. My practice is to use techniques found in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. It is best if it can be worked through with the partner in an atmosphere where each party can safely express their feelings and gain an understanding of the perspective of the other. Affairs do not happen in isolation and I assure you that there is great hope for those who seek help. I can also assure you that these difficulties rarely just go away on their own.