Women's issues are human issues and regardless of gender, we are all more alike than different! However, there are specific issues related to the life span for women that can be quite impactful. Whether it be mixed messages about body image from growing up in a society that still values beauty and dress size over female contributions. Or whether it be long term exposure to a culture where women still struggle to support one another in our triumphs and challenges, a woman's experience of these things can be very different than a male's.
Through the life span, women experience several changes to the body's hormonal balance that directly impact thought and mood. This century has seen the largest growth in couple's seeking help with fertility issues and fertility treatments; some women struggle for years on hormonal medication to promote ovulation and improve their chances of conceiving. The side-effects of the medications can be excruciating, not to mention the emotional roller coaster for a woman struggling with the grief of not being able to conceive a child naturally. Miscarriages, painful menstrual cycles, the birth of a child and menopause are a few examples of transitions and challenges that many women face. Women tend to be the caregivers or nurturers in our society, so the mixed messages that women receive as we have returned to the work force in droves about our role in the home and with our children can make your head spin!
Therapy can be helpful for women who may struggle with balancing it all with awareness and gentle acceptance. Often, women have sacrificed much to "have it all," and sometimes in the process of doing so, they have lost a sense of their identity. A primary focus of therapy for women who struggle with emotional wellness is to teach acceptance, compassion, and assertiveness as tools. If women can learn to dip into that well-spring of wisdom passed down from generations of female ancestors, they can learn to love themselves and heal their minds and bodies.