Live Whole-Hearted

Looking for ways to stay balanced and at your best? Abigail Burd, LCSW, San Diego Psychotherapist blogs here to help new parents, educators and helping professionals help themselves and others.

April 2024

April 2023

January 2022

#BlackMomsMatter – Last Chance for the Online Courses

In case you missed it... Janisha Street and I recorded a video course for my online, on-demand school back in 2019. #BlackMomsMatter remains a relevant introduction into the disproportionate impact of perinatal mental illness in the Black and African-American community. More importantly, we cover practical ways to make things better. [...]

November 2020

October 2020

Giveaway and First Reviews: The Postpartum Depression Workbook

Hello friends. The Postpartum Depression Workbook starts shipping on Tuesday! The process of writing a book becomes very solitary, with many late nights and early mornings working alone. Having spent the pandemic pouring my years of experience into a book, I can't tell you how exciting it is to imagine [...]

September 2020

Announcing “The Postpartum Depression Workbook” – Presales Open Today

It has now been six months since Californians closed schools, stayed home and went remote. No surprise, but I haven't posted a blog update in all that time. Granted, I've had early elementary school learning, canceled summer camps, my own losses/grief, and applying for and starting a new full-time job [...]

February 2020

Relationships After Baby [E-course]

My second online course launched yesterday (Valentine's Day), this time focused on "Relationships After Baby." The course costs less than one session of couples therapy! ($149 as a one time fee, and lifetime access to the self-paced psychoeducational material.) Similar in format to my first course "Prevent Postpartum Depression," the [...]

September 2019

June 2019

May 2019

February 2019

January 2019

The Fourth Trimester and the Birth of a Mother

My friends at Ergobaby have asked me back tomorrow, Thursday, at noon PST, to talk about the fourth trimester. You can catch our conversation live on Instagram, either @burdtherapy or @ergobaby. We will cover the fourth trimester, what it means to moms, mental health, and self-care. In the meantime, you [...]

October 2018

July 2018

[Video] Postpartum Anxiety and How to Help

In case you missed it, you can catch my conversation about Postpartum Anxiety with Christina Soletti of Ergobaby here. We broadcasted live from their downtown LA headquarters on the Ergobaby Facebook page last week. Christina opened up about her personal experiences with anxiety after her baby was born. She never [...]

March 2018

Giveaway: 180 Reversible Stroller from Ergobaby

Here's something for all the new and expecting parents: a chance to win a brand new 180 Reversible Stroller from Ergobaby. As the name suggests, the 180 switches easily between baby facing the world and baby facing you. Sometimes your kid is inquisitive and wants to see everything, and sometimes they are overstimulated [...]

February 2018

All Teens Should Be Screened for Depression [TV News Clip]

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced this week that all adolescents, ages twelve and up, should universally be screened for depression. Yesterday, KSWB in San Diego had me on the morning news again to break down the recommendations on teen depression. Live tv goes fast, so I had one big [...]

January 2018

December 2017

How a Motivational Interviewing Approach to Therapy Can Help You

Hi all! In this dispatch from the Evolution of Psychotherapy, I spent the morning hearing from the founder of Motivational Interviewing, one of my go-to approaches since 2002. I wrote this post to introduce potential clients to a great way to get unstuck and move forward. Blog readers might recognize MI [...]

Sue Johnson, EFT and Dance: Why Couples Therapy is a Tango

Hi all! Another dispatch from the Evolution of Psychotherapy. This time, Sue Johnson shares how attachment science can shape corrective emotional experiences in couples therapy. When she is not training 3,000 people each year in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Sue Johnson is dancing. Specifically, she dances the Argentine tango ten [...]

November 2017

How to Use Pixar’s Coco to Teach about Death [Cinematherapy Guide]

“The word death is not pronounced in New York, in Paris, in London, because it burns the lips. The Mexican, in contrast, is familiar with death… jokes about it, caresses it, sleeps with it, celebrates it. It is one of his favorite toys and his most steadfast love." -Octavio Paz [...]

September 2017

June 2017

Mothering the Mother [Video] with Maternal Mental Health Expert Abigail Burd

Today I am excited to share for free the in-depth video "Mothering the Mother" I recorded as part of the More than Milestones video summit. You can watch it on YouTube or below. Many thanks to Wendi of Move Play Grow for asking me to be a part of the [...]

Noisey (Vice) “Asked a Smart Person” (Me) about Sad Music

I love talking to journalists and reporters about mental health. For one, it helps get the word out that YOU ARE NOT ALONE and likely, YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE FEELING THE WAY YOU DO. Most recently, Sammy Maine from Noisey, which is the music side of Vice media, [...]

May 2017

Living a Life Consistent with Your Values (What ARE My Values Again?)

I just finished recording an episode of the Messy Middle Podcast with Maring Higa. Update: the podcast is up now --> find it here. Our conversation got me thinking about values. She asked questions like how do you manage social comparison? How do you find self-worth? How do you find your [...]

13 Links to Help Talk about 13 Reasons Why and Prevent Suicide

The Netflix series "13 Reasons Why" has been in the media plenty. The show depicts a teen suicide. High school and middle school students especially have been engrossed with the show. The show also depicts sexual assault and bullying. Not surprisingly, many find the show triggering. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center, [...]

April 2017

Afraid You’re Doing the Parenting Thing All Wrong? Watch This.

My friend and colleague, Pediatric Physical Therapist Wendi McKenna, is offering More Than Milestones: Understand Your Baby, Nurture Development Confidently, and Raise a Thriving, Happy, Healthy Child … with a Village of Support, a complimentary online training and video summit that brings together more than 20 child development, maternal, and family health [...]

March 2017

What is a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work? (Or why is a BCD a BFD?)

First, an announcement: I am now a Board Certified Diplomate in Clinical Social Work! What is Board Certification in Clinical Social Work? From the American Board of Examiners in Clinical Social Work: "Board certification at a high level of practice is essential to every healthcare profession—uniquely, it establishes the standards by [...]

February 2017

Abby Burd, LCSW, San Diego Psychotherapist Talks with New Moms March 3rd

Catch Abby in a free speaking engagement on March 3rd. Abby is honored to speak to new moms in San Diego on Friday, March 3rd, at the Maiden to Mother group at Nature's Whisper. Abby is an LCSW and psychotherapist specializing in maternal mental health, which includes postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and adjustment [...]

December 2016

TV News Clip: The “Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act” Passes the House

Update 12/8/16, 9:00am: The bill passed the Senate and Obama is expected to sign within two weeks! KSWB Fox5 San Diego invited me back yesterday to talk about some exciting news in Postpartum Mental Health policy. Last week the US House of Representatives passed the "Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the [...]

November 2016

Post Election Stress

According to a Harris Poll conducted in October on behalf of the American Psychological Association, 52% of American adults reported that this Presidential election was a significant source of stress.  Following last Tuesday’s election results and expected significant political change, post-election stress has set in for many Americans, Republicans and [...]

June 2016

Paternal Postpartum Depression [Video Clip – News]

Yesterday Fox 5 San Diego brought me back for a third time to talk about Depression. This time they wanted to hear more about Paternal Postpartum Depression. They were surprised to know that dads and partners are at risk for PPD, too. Many thanks to co-anchor Shally Zomorodi for helping [...]

March 2016

January 2016

Abby on TV Today Explaining the New Depression Screen Recommendations

The United States Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF) updated their 2009 recommendations on screening adults for depression on 1-26-16. In a report published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, they detail how ALL adults should routinely be screened for depression, and made particular mention throughout of the importance [...]

November 2015

Abigail Burd, LCSW Receives 2015 San Diego Award for Best Psychotherapist

Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Abigail Burd, LCSW Receives 2015 San Diego Award San Diego Award Program Honors the Achievement SAN DIEGO November 6, 2015 -- Abigail Burd, LCSW has been selected for the 2015 San Diego Award in the Psychotherapist category by the San Diego Award Program. Each year, [...]

September 2015

Suicide Prevention Outreach for College Students Will Expand with Federal Award

So happy to see local media pick up the story of my department at San Diego City College being awarded a Federal grant for suicide prevention outreach from SAMHSA. I talked to Univision today. It will air at 6 pm today on channel 17 (in Spanish.) The Union-Tribune featured the story [...]

Reframing Motherhood: The Photo That Doesn’t Get Posted

New moms don't put sad pictures up on social media. I was honored when Katie Contrera, a graduate student in the Science/Medical Writing program at Johns Hopkins University, reached out to me for a therapist's perspective on Postpartum Depression. Chatting on the phone with her, I loved hearing her passion for reducing [...]

August 2015

Big News: Expanding with New Marriage and Family Therapy Intern Briana Kilian!

I'm excited to announce that I have hired a new Marriage and Family Therapy Intern to work in my private practice! I've had the opportunity to work closely with Briana this summer and became impressed with her clinical skills, dedication and reliability. She is also a fun and lovely person [...]

July 2015

4 Ways to Help Kids Understand Emotions with “Inside Out” (Disney/Pixar)

My recent "Inside Out" Study Guide for helping teens and adults understand emotions has been getting positive feedback on Pinterest. Today I'm sharing some ideas for helping younger kids and tweens (grades K-8) use the Disney/Pixar movie to better understand their feelings. 1. An emotion pie chart To be honest, I can't [...]

An “Inside Out” (Disney/Pixar) Study Guide: Understanding Emotions

UPDATE: Activities, art therapy, and questions for helping children (K-8) understand emotions with "Inside Out" is now available (click here.) "Inside Out" by Disney/Pixar is in theaters now. As a therapist, I loved seeing emotions brought to life. I loved seeing concepts such as personality, memory and depression illustrated. I [...]

May 2015

Chula’s Mission: Helping Girls without Mothers

My daughter and I had a unique opportunity this past Mother's Day weekend. We received an invitation to attend a fundraiser called "Once Upon an Apron" for the non-profit Chula's Mission. The mission of Chula's Mission is mentoring and nurturing motherless girls. They provide free services to girls during the [...]

Important Parking Notice

Attention all clients: there has been an update to the parking policy at my building. Previously, clients of 5252 Balboa were able to park either around the building, or in the Rite-Aid lot. However, Rite-Aid has decided to start restricting their lot to Rite-Aid customers, as of this week. They [...]

April 2015

May Campaign: Depression and Anxiety are the #1 Complication of Pregnancy and Postpartum

Did you know that depression and anxiety are the number one complication of pregnancy and postpartum? One in seven women suffer from either postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety or both. Symptoms can start either during the pregnancy, after, or last through both. Despite how common mental health symptoms are, many women [...]

March 2015

How to Get Involved with the Postpartum Health Alliance

This coming Wednesday the Postpartum Health Alliance is hosting the Annual Meet and Greet at Gordon Biersch in Mission Valley. The happy hour is an opportunity to find out about how to get involved with PHA, chat with current members and meet the 2015 executive board. (Spoiler: Yes, I’m on the [...]

February 2015

January 2015

How to Make SMART Goals (and How They Differ From Resolutions)

Has anyone broken a New Year’s Resolution yet? I shared recently why I believe New Year’s Resolutions don’t work. I also promised to write about SMART goals. What are SMART goals? Like self-care GRAPES, SMART is an acronym. S = Specific How many people choose broad goals that aren’t specific [...]

Envision the Year You Want – and my free gifts for you

  My Gifts To You:  1. Free Yoga To start 2015 off right, I am offering a free yoga class to anyone who books a session with me. I have partnered with several yoga studios around San Diego and North County. Classes available include prenatal, mom and baby, and adult-only classes. Schedule a [...]

December 2014

Why I Want to Look at My Phone Less around My Baby

I have found my New Year's Resolution for 2015. I want to consciously avoid using my cell phone around my young children. Specifically, checking email, social media, and all those other things I do with my smart phone other than talk. My motivation is not fear of radiation. (Although I [...]

November 2014

October 2014

Older First Time Moms at Increased Risk of Depression

A recent study showed an increased risk of postpartum depression in women of advanced maternal age. Specifically, first time moms between the ages of 40-44 had statistically higher rates of depression than women ages 30-35. The MGH Center for Women's Mental Health reported on the article, which was published last month [...]

Culture and Language in Therapy with New and Expecting Parents

Recently I attended a lecture sponsored by the Postpartum Health Alliance on “Cultural Considerations when Working with Expecting and New Parents.” The lecturer happened to be an old friend of mine, Dr. Mariela Shibley, Psy.D. She shared with a group of maternal mental health practitioners, First Five home visitors, and [...]

September 2014

A Mother’s Unprocessed Childhood Experiences Can Decrease Her Ability to Respond Appropriately to Her Baby’s Cries

A study released last week¹ in Child Development provides new evidence that a mom's ability to respond appropriately to her baby's cries depends on her level of depression and her own childhood experiences. Image source  The healthiest way to respond to an upset baby (quickly, consistently and warmly) was associated with mothers [...]

August 2014

Social Change on a Policy Level is Needed to Ease Pressures on New Moms and Dads

The American Sociological Association recently released a paper: "Nature and Culture: Lay Accounts of Perinatal Mental Health Disorders." In it, Carrie Wendel-Hummell, a University of Kansas doctoral candidate in sociology, reports that it is not just hormones playing a role, but societal factors. She presented her study on perinatal mental [...]

Some GRAPES a Day Keep the Psychiatrist Away: A Self-Care Checklist

Everyone knows that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The vitamins and fiber are great for our physical health. But what about our mental health? Is there something simple to keep the psychiatrist away? Why not try some "grapes"? I am not referring literally to the fruit, although [...]

July 2014

Postpartum Anxiety is More Common Than Postpartum Depression, But Rarely Screened

Most people have heard of postpartum depression. With good reason. It affects 1 in 7 new mothers. But what about postpartum anxiety? Most studies document that this "other postpartum" mental health concern is even more common than PPD, with as many as 1 in 5 new moms struggling with postpartum anxiety. [...]

Postpartum Couples: Keeping a Strong Relationship After Baby

The postpartum stage is not just a vulnerable time for mothers, but for couples and their relationships. Baby changes EVERYTHING. The bad news is that relationship satisfaction tanks for over two-thirds of couples after a baby. * Worse, 50% of marriages end in divorce after 7 years. The good news [...]

June 2014

May 2014

Helping Parents Overcome the Trauma of the NICU Experience

Thanks to my association with the Postpartum Health Alliance, I recently attended a lecture by Dr. Krishelle Marc-Aurele, of UC San Diego/Rady Children's Neonatology Division, on "Coping with the NICU experience." Dr. Marc-Aurele is board certified in pediatrics, internal medicine, neonatalogy, and palliative medicine. She has been a Medical Director at [...]

March 2014

Natural Baby Pros

I am lucky to live and work in San Diego, California, where there is a vibrant community for pregnant women and families of babies and young children. Recently I have been networking with Natural Baby Pros. Natural Baby Pros produce an annual event called the Natural Baby Fair and have [...]

Postpartum Health Alliance Member Provider

I am proud to support the Postpartum Health Alliance. The PHA has supported women in San Diego since 1998 by focusing on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Also known as "Maternal Mental Health," Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), which include Postpartum Depression, affect 1 in 8 pregnant and new mothers. And [...]

7 Ways To Find Your Circle of Support When Pregnant and Postpartum

Pregnancy changes many things. One thing you may find is that your old circle of friends no longer understand what you are going through. Just when you need more support. So how can you find or create support when pregnant or a new parent? 7 ways to find your circle of support when [...]

February 2014

Free Yoga Class This Sunday for Parents Who Have Experienced Loss

Once a month, including this Sunday, Nature's Whisper School of Yoga, offers a community yoga class for parents, especially mothers, who have experienced the loss of a baby. This free class is available for mothers who have experienced the loss of a child; offering a place for mother’s to move, [...]

Traditional Family Roles Contribute to Maternal Isolation and Depression

I recently read Julie M. Smith's article on "The Anthropology of Providing and Nurturing." She challenges the notion of a "traditional family" consisting of a father who works and a mother who stays home to nurture the children. As an anthropologist, she examines the roles historically taken by each parent. [...]

Online Test for Depression During Pregnancy and Up to One Year Postpartum

Pregnancy and the postpartum stage are times of major changes: physically, emotionally, socially, professionally, hormonally.... you get the idea... just about everything is shook up. Anxiety and the blues are common. But when is it more than just baby blues??? When is it time to reach out to a mental [...]

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