Provider Profile: Dr. Shoshana Bennett

Dr. Shoshana Bennett is a licensed psychologist who founded Postpartum Assistance for Mothers in 1987 after her second undiagnosed postpartum illness. Dr. Shoshana is a past president of Postpartum Support International and a past president of California’s state organization Postpartum Health Alliance. She is a noted guest lecturer, and her work has been the subject of numerous newspaper articles and T.V. shows around the country.  Dr. Shoshana provides complete individualized wellness assessments.  She is a believer in “natural whenever possible,” but open to whatever works as long as it’s safe.  Her recommendations of natural and standard treatments depend upon each woman’s needs and wants. www.ClearSky-Inc.com  www.drshosh.com

 

1. How long have you been in practice and how did you become interested in perinatal mood?  I’ve been working in the field for over 20 years, starting to pioneer back in the ‘80’s.  I survived two undiagnosed life-threatening postpartum depressions which lasted for years.  Since then, it’s been my mission and passion to educate medical and mental health practitioners and the public about these disorders so that unnecessary suffering can be prevented.  Do you provide telephone support? I work by phone with women internationally.
 
2. Please describe your various clinical approaches to women’s perinatal mood issues. 

Short-term therapy is the most effective, and my goal is to help women finish with therapy and get back to enjoying their lives as soon as possible.  My clients report feeling even better after therapy than they ever did before the crisis.  I’m eclectic in my approach, so I flow in and out of various therapies depending on what she needs at any given time.  There is no cookie-cutter approach to helping a woman recover.  Although each woman will receive a basic plan of action for recovery, whether she also uses a standard medical treatment or an alternative/complementary treatment depends on many individual factors.
 
3. What types of issues do you see most often?  I see everything from anxiety in pregnancy regarding an abnormality with the baby to post-traumatic stress disorder from the childbirth.  Usually I’m helping women with sleep issues which accompany anxiety, depression in pregnancy and postpartum, and helping women with realistic expectations.  Empowering mothers to take care of themselves physically, emotionally, psychologically and spiritually is much of what I’m known for.
 
4. Please say a little about your assessment and testing procedures.  I rarely use formal tests.  At this point in my career, my experience plus knowing the right questions to ask and following my intuition gives me all the information I need in order to help each woman recover fully.

5. Which treatments do you tend to favor for mild reactions? And severe reactions?  What is a typical course of treatment for each type of mood issue?  I am a believer in using natural treatments (nutrition, sleep, acupuncture, specific exercises, special glasses to increase melatonin, and so on) whenever possible, and many of my clients favor these approaches as well.  It’s now clear that deficiencies in various nutrients play a role in many cases of postpartum mood disorders.  The positive changes I’ve witnessed in my clients eating various foods and using specific supplements have often been dramatic.  If the severity of her symptoms or her preference warrants at least temporary use of psychiatric medication, I’ll make sure she’s working with an MD who can help her.  Basically, any combination that suits each individual woman in order to help her reach 100% wellness is the right way to go.
 
6. What have been some of your most remarkable cases?  I have helped over 17,000 women recover from postpartum mood disorders through individual consultations, support groups and wellness seminars.  I have assisted women in regaining custody of their babies when the infants have been unnecessarily and tragically taken away due to ignorance.  There have been cases throughout the years where women have been ready to kill themselves and within one session they are able to giggle.  They can tell I’ve “been there” and they trust me to lead them to wellness.

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