Eden and Kira had the opportunity to meet Allie McQuaid through her social media platform focusing on perinatal mental health. Her account offers a warm and inviting space for the mental health community! Pearl Wellness Practice is thankful for the chance to cross paths with Allie and have her expertise in this area to best serve clients.
Please share your name, credentials, current role, and name of practice.
Is your practice in person, virtual, or both?
I'm in person at Eldersburg, Maryland and offer tele-health options as well!
What states do you hold licensure?
I'm able to see those who reside in the state of Maryland.
Do you practice from a specific modality or theoretical approach?
Client-centered, trauma-informed, incorporating acceptance and commitment therapy components, DBT, and solution focused approaches.
Do you consider yourself HAES Aligned? If so, what does that mean to you when working with clients?
Yes, HAES is very important to me in my work with perinatal clients especially. My hope is to support clients down a path of body respect and acceptance for their bodies.
Do you prefer beaches or mountains?
Beaches! I have to go to a beach at least once per year. The sand, the waves, the beach air is all so restorative for me!
What is your favorite ice cream flavor?
Mint chocolate chip! (and I love sharing a cone with my daughter's favorite- cookies and cream with rainbow sprinkles).
What is your favorite form of self care?
I enjoy moving my body in some way- whether it's walking the dog, going for a run, yoga, dance. I love all forms of body movement and feel so energized afterwards.
What drew your interest in this field of work?
I have always been interested in helping others (since I was in elementary school). I started my career wanting to be a sport psychologist, wanting to help athletes manage performance anxiety. This later evolved into a new focus with working with families of anxious kids. After experiencing a stressful pregnancy and postpartum period in 2020, I started learning more about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and wanted to further my knowledge and specialization in working with perinatal clients.
What is your “WHY”
Why I continue to love my work as a therapist is the connection, building trust, the rewarding feeling of seeing someone grow, strengthening a part of themselves that they thought was gone. That is so incredibly amazing and I love that I get to be an important and impactful person in someone's life.
Who is an ideal client for you?
My ideal client is someone navigating a life change or transition/adjustment (such as a new mom navigating motherhood, someone struggling with feelings of anxiety or overwhelm (including perfectionism), and someone navigating their identity and who they are (their values, their goals).
Can you walk us through what a client should expect in getting started with you?
Most clients prefer to meet virtually for the first session (it's a lot of questions during the intake and that can be easier if it's done via zoom). We will talk about what you have been struggling with and what brought you to seek out therapy. It will be the start of building rapport and developing a trusting and nonjudgmental relationship. We will also start talking about your goals and the first steps towards making them happen.
What do you think the most common misconception(s) are in your area of specialty?
The most common misconception of therapists who work with the perinatal population is that in order for a client to go to therapy they must be having severe symptoms of a mental illness. That is not true at all! In my opinion, anyone who wants to go to therapy- should! It can benefit everyone.
What is a piece of advice you would give for the perinatal population?
One piece of advice I would give to the perinatal population is to work on practicing self-compassion. Self compassion doesn't mean "having a pity party," this can mean understanding that you are not alone, and that your feelings are OK. Simply allowing and accepting that part of yourself can be major in navigating perinatal challenges.
How can people connect with you?
Do you have any resources you recommend to people wanting to learn more and/or manage their symptoms related to perinatal health?
Too many to list- send me a message and we can chat more! :)
We're thankful that Allie was able to conduct this interview with us at Pearl Wellness Practice! Our hope is that this will serve as a resource for those in need of perinatal health and wellness. If you're in need of enhancing your health through eating disorder, gut health, PCOS, or general therapy and nutrition, please feel free to connect with us.