Mental Health

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The Group for Women was the first OB/GYN practice in Hampton Roads to offer on-site mental health care for its patients.  Dr. Barbara Kersey has been with the practice fulltime since 1986.  She provides individual, couple and family counseling for a variety of concerns.  These include:
Post-partum depression.  Did you know that post-partum depression is now commonly referred to as PMAD:  Post-partum mood and anxiety disorder?  Post-partum symptoms may present with a high level of anxiety or irritability in addition to depressive symptoms.  About a third of women experience post-partum mood shifts that warrant treatment with  medication, counseling, or a combination of the two.  At the 6-week post-partum visit, patients are given a questionnaire to fill out about mood fluctuations following childbirth.  If there are concerns, patients are referred to Dr. Kersey for evaluation.  Dr. Kersey works with our medical staff to provide treatment options for those who have significant mood alterations following pregnancy and childbirth.
Adjustment to parenting.  Rearing children is a tough job, even under ideal circumstances.  Dr. Kersey’s education and training in child development make her well suited to talk about child-rearing concerns and the pressures of parenting in today’s busy world.  Dr. Kersey sees our patients who are single parents, stay-at-home Moms or working parents.  As a recent bestseller by Jennifer Senior points out, parenting in today’s world is often a job of All Joy and No Fun.
Couples counseling.  Did you know that romantic love was meant to end?  Mature partnership requires work to maintain and the fruits of the labor are worth it!  A passionate, intimate partnership provides fertile soil for individual growth and is the foundation for healthy family life.  Without good role models for intimate partnership, struggle in relationships is common.  Couples counseling is appropriate for premarital couples, those who wish to improve communication, or those whose relationships are in crisis.
Grief counseling.  “Every grief needs 100 tellings.”  This folk wisdom holds true in that those who have experienced loss often benefit by talking about their experience in the presence of a safe, supportive other.  Whether coping with pregnancy loss, the loss of a loved one, or losses associated with the empty nest or other developmental milestone, counseling may provide a helpful venue to make the necessary adjustments of normal grieving.
Infertility.  Dr. Kersey knows this challenge first-hand; her oldest child is an IVF miracle.  Since the birth of her daughter in 1997, Dr. Kersey has served as a consultant to the Jones Institute for Reproductive Medicine, providing counseling for those who struggle with the attempt to have a child.  The stress of infertility takes an emotional toll on women and their partners; supportive counseling often provides some relief in that struggle.
Women’s Issues.  The Group for Women prides itself on treating many aspects of women’s health care.  Times of transition for women such as becoming a mother, returning to work, adjusting to an empty nest, menopause and caring for aging parents may be unsettling.  Counseling may provide useful perspectives and tools for coping.
Dr. Kersey works out of our Kempsville office and schedules her own appointments.  Most health insurance plans cover the cost of counseling.  You may reach Dr. Kersey by calling:  466-6388, x135.


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