Happy Nest

Psychotherapy for parents and couples

Build a life you love

In the last 50 years, parenthood has dramatically changed. Research on development, attachment, habit building, skill development, and neuroscience all impact parenting and the responsibility of raising confident, healthy, balanced, resilient children.

 

Parents today spend more time caring for their children [1], maintain higher expectations in their marriages/partnerships [2], and report fewer social supports. These changes bring new opportunities and new stressors. Modern parents struggle with so much knowledge and resources, some contradictory, creating an information overload. It's hard to know what to do.

Or maybe you're feeling the strain in your relationship. Everything in your marriage has focused on your children. You've lost sight of each other and yourself. Or you've gotten stuck in unhealthy patterns that leave you both feeling disconnected and isolated. 

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Let me help.

My name is Shanna Donhauser and I am an infant and early childhood mental health specialist. Welcome to my practice. I work with families struggling just like you. Parents and young children struggling with:

 

  • Divorce/separation

  • Adjusting to transitions (starting school, moving, childcare changes, new siblings, grief, etc.)

  • Sensory integration

  • Behavioral issues at home, school, or both

  • Disturbing or troubling play

  • Encopresis/enuresis and toilet training

  • Managing stress and anxiety

  • Couples therapy

  • Marital conflicts and stress

  • Communication issues and reactivity

I work with individual adults, parents who seek out support for themselves and in service of their children. Some parents want to focus on breaking generational cycles of disconnection or abuse. Others need support in the transition to parenthood and changes in identity. Sometimes parents come to me to get answers about their children's behavior. We can make sense of it together and help you develop more tools for intervening with your children. Life changes often prompt people to therapy to cope with stress and adapt better to changing circumstances.

I also work with couples, especially couples who struggle in their relationship after having children. Many issues that existed prior to parenthood re-emerge in intense ways. Couples therapy can help partners learn to negotiate better, feel more connected, and ultimately become a team again.

My clinical training is deeply grounded in attachment theory or the evolutionary theory that explains why humans develop deep, meaningful relationships with each other, beginning in infancy. Humans are born incredibly vulnerable. To survive, humans develop social strategies to ensure protection, health, and prosperity. These social strategies include "attachment" or an exclusive, intense relationship with a primary caregiver(s). We form attachments to the people we depend on, our parents or those who raised us, and then, later in our lives, to our chosen partners. 

As part of my assessment process, I will spend time with you and your family to understand how your attachment strategies function in your relationship. When we understand why we behave in certain ways, we can begin to influence how to change, with the goal of increasing overall integration and connection.

My goal is to help you and your family thrive, especially in difficult circumstances.

Reach out today to find out more about counseling and how it can help you and your family.