What people are saying about PPD to Joy programs
I am so grateful for the love and appreciation expressed in these testimonials. When you take the time to tell me how my work effects you, you do not only make my day, you help others take the first step to helping themselves. Thank you.
- About one-on-one coaching with Yael
- About the Ithaca Mama’s Comfort Camp class: Tired Mama Yoga & More
- About the Ithaca UnGuilt Trip Class
- About the Free PPD To Joy Support group in Ithaca
- About the Free PPD SpeakEasy support phone chat
- About the Free monthly PPD to Joy Love Letters for Mom
About one-on-one coaching with Yael:
Yael’s Permission-Based healing work is really important whether you have kids or not. Yael is kind, curious, committed and wonderfully creative. I know she really and truly cares about safe spaces and internal process. Plus she does UnGuilt Trips. Yay!”
~ Havi Brooks, author of the The Fluent Self
In my darkest hour, Yael helped me find the beauty in the breakdown. With her guidance I was able to forgive myself for my challenges and focus on learning the skills that helped me become the capable mother, the loving partner, and the vibrant person I want to be.
When I started working with Yael I was miserable. I was on leave from work and drowning in depression, and I couldn’t see how I was going to ever be a “good” mom. I hoped she could help me with my interactions with my son – and she did – but I got so much more than that out of my sessions with her. I was stuck in thinking “I shouldn’t be like this” and trying desperately to get out of the being depressed/hating myself cycle. Yael taught me to acknowledge and understand those feelings. She let me see it was okay to give myself permission to be where I was, which helped more than I could have thought possible. Once I got to that point, I was able to use the skills she gave me to get out of that place, including some parenting techniques that even helped resolve the teeth-brushing wars. I still call on Yael when I need help chasing away a hovering cloud, and I will be forever grateful for her gentle, loving support.”
~Robin Farr (@FarewellStrangr) Calgary, Canada.
When we started working with Yael, our focus was learning the Parent Talk communications skills, aiming to reduce frustrations for our two year old girl. We were very impressed with the results. Then we experienced a traumatic late-term pregnancy loss, and the focus of our work shifted to Permission-Based Healing and self-kindness. Yael helped us find comfort in a time of grief, and showed my wife and I ways to be kind and supportive of each other during one of the hardest times of our lives.
~Mika’s dad, Brooklyn, NY.
After only a few weeks of coaching with Yael, the difference in myself is easy to notice. I’m a perfectionist and an A student, and the first year of motherhood knocked me on my butt. Finding Yael’s philosophy of Permission-Based Healing was a turning point. I kept coming back to this blog over and over again, and it never failed to provide me with comfort. I found strength in implementing Yael’s ideas in my life, and coaching took it to the next level. With her amazing combination of compassionate listening and expert teaching, Yael both helps me to accept myself where I am right now and gives me the skills in self-kindness and interpersonal communication that allow me to move forward towards the me I want to be. Our sessions are truly the highlight of my week.
~ Story (@story3girl on twitter) Pittsburgh, PA.
Coaching with Yael is such a sweet experience. She is so gentle yet very effective. I felt very comfortable on the phone with her, I was able to discuss things I’m sometimes intimidated to talk about face to face with my therapist. I love that coaching is not about talking about the past, that we focus on solving specific and current problems. Yael’s suggestions for improving the mad mornings rush in my home are effective and comforting. I no longer feel like a drill-sergeant barking orders at my older daughter, and the best part is that this more loving attitude diffuses power struggles and actually gets us out the door faster.
~Jenny, (@jenrenpody on twitter), Port Washington, WI
To learn more about one-on-one coaching with me and read more testimonials from coaching clients click here.
About The Ithaca Mama’s Comfort Camp Class:
Tired Mama Yoga & more
Yael, I just have to tell you how dramatic the effects were for me of the gentle movement and accompanying kind words you used in Camp yesterday. After Camp, I smiled and bounced into work despite a difficult coworker situation, and when I went home, replenished, I REALLY SAW my daughter for how amazing she is. She looked me in the eyes and said joyfully: It’s so great to see you today, Mommy! Wow, she could tell right away I was recharged and reconnected. Shiva Nata was a big bonus; I had never tried it before but I am crazy about it now!
Thanks Yael for the class today! It was my first time doing yoga, and I was able to follow you and the others happily. You have the gift of teaching and expressing those sweet ideas, I admire that. I had fun and really enjoyed Shiva Nata.
Mama’s Comfort Camp is so much fun! But it’s a lot more than fun: the combination of restorative movement, introspection, silliness, and intentional rest is so potent. I walked away with several practical ways to help myself when the going gets tough (these tools came in handy the next day when I took my 3yo to a dentist appointment). And I loved meeting fabulous brave women who are willing to voice their true feelings about not being perfect; in our culture, that’s such a powerful thing to share.Thank you, Yael, for creating this experience.
For the full Mama’s Comfort Camp class description click here.
About the UnGuilt Trip Class:
Yael, thank you so much for the UnGuilt Trip Class and the coping skills you shared with us. I loved the class, and I felt that no matter who was sharing, your responses had just the right words to chase my demons away. I love the guilt harvesting technique, and for a while, I was using the handout to work through incidents, but by now, it has become a part of my inner vocabulary, I don’t need to write anything down anymore, I can just follow in my head and my heart, and disarm the painful thoughts even while I’m driving or making dinner.
I was especially grateful to having these skills when I was grieving the loss of my mother. She died after a long illness, and I miss her so much every day; yet there was also an element of relief in her passing. At first I interpreted that relief to mean that I didn’t love her enough, which was sure to lead me down a path of self-judgement and self-loathing. Conscious UnGuilting made all the difference in the world: whenever I began to judge myself harshly, I would notice, stop, and disarm the guilt. I was able to be kind to myself, didn’t spend precious energy fighting my feelings, and was able to grieve meaningfully instead of grudgingly. What’s more, I managed to be fully present at my job, with the rest of my family, and my little girl.
Yael, I signed up for the class hoping to get a better handle on the guilt I felt about second-guessing myself so much. The UnGuilt Trip helped me develop a new level of trust in my mothering, which is such a relief.
Also, I developed a new relationship with taking care of my body. I began taking yoga classes, and now I go three times a week, every week! The old me would have not allowed herself this luxury, she would have considered so much “me time” selfish. But the improvements in my well being are so profound, that my entire family benefits from this happier, fitter me.
An added bonus I did not expect is that by learning how to give myself permission to ask for help when I need it and to interact with my feelings instead of fight them, I am now much kinder to the part of me who is afraid of flying. Since she no loner feels judged by me, she is not nearly as terrified as she used to be. I often have to fly for work, so this alone would have made the class worth it. Thank you so much.
For the full UnGuilt Trip class description click here.
About the Free PPD To Joy Support group in Ithaca:
Yael’s support group is great. She is understanding, compassionate and nonjudgmental. She’s been there, too. I love her attitude, her ability to point out what should be obvious (but we have too much going on to notice), and to infuse humor into topics that can be uncomfortable or painful. I appreciate Yael’s approach, especially the way she normalizes our motherhood struggles. It’s refreshing to be able to say to someone “I’m having a bad day” and for them to understand, to know when you’re just venting, and when you’re looking for suggestions. Yael’s PPD to Joy support group offers a caring community to women at times of need.
~Tina (6yo boy and 4yo girl), Ithaca, NY.
I wasn’t exactly depressed, so I wasn’t sure I should come to the Postpartum Depression support group. But I was so sad and feeling guilty about how little patience I had for my three-year old in the wake of having a second child. I’m so glad I came! Yael’s suggestions helped me untangle my feelings and refine my expectations in a tender and yet frank way. She went above and beyond to helping me realize the whole weight wasn’t on my shoulders and I felt like I truly was able to breathe for the first time in weeks. If you feel guilty or sad, please don’t be embarrassed to ask for help. Get support before it gets bad. Often, that’s when it does the most good.
~Marissa, (3yo boy and a newborn girl), Ithaca, New York
Yael, thank you for providing this opportunity for connecting with other mothers who are having a hard time, this is so important. I find that I can be more compassionate with the other women than I am with myself. But experiencing my compassion for others helps me give compassion to myself. I was concerned about bringing my baby with me, sometimes she fusses and I was worried that it would disturb the group. You made both of us feel so at ease, it hasn’t been a problem. I wish I had access to such support after I had my first child. I am grateful to have it now.
~Meg (2 girls), Ithaca, New York
Location and more information on the support group page.
About the Free PPD SpeakEasy support phone chat:
I discovered the PPD SpeakEasy through #ppdchat on twitter. At the time I was once again being sucked into my PPMDs hell, and I needed to hear a voice that offered more support than I could find on Twitter and Facebook. At first, it was hard to believe that calling a secure voice chat would help me with what I needed in that moment! I had to overcome my fears, fears of talking with someone I barely know, fears of being judged, fear of sounding stupid and childish, fear of being misunderstood. Often I feel that I don’t deserve to reach out and accept help and support. With much support I was able to take that scary leap of faith and dial the call access numbers!
I couldn’t believe how “true” the person answering the phone really is! Yael is very laid back. She never pushes me to say anything I don’t want to share, I am free to speak and say whatever I need to, never judged or looked down upon. The relaxation techniques that Yael offers at different points in the conversation help me stop and breathe. As nervous and scared as I was before I called, I was able to be relaxed!
I really loved connecting with the other mommas on the call! Knowing I am NEVER alone in this journey is so helpful. The women that call share some of my thoughts and fears. It is so good to hear.
~Nicole (3 boys) @snipcrank1 on twitter, Louisville, Kentucky.
When my husband was out of town and I was flailing in a whirlwind of stress and loneliness, the lovely ladies on Yael’s call were there for me. Just hearing their voices empowered me. We poured out our stories and confessions and together grew stronger over the course of an hour. If you need to talk or just want to listen, I encourage you to participate. It’s worth it.
~Liz (2 yo boy) @d20blonde on twitter, Baltimore, MD
Before I discovered the PPD SpeakEasy support calls, I was in the deepest parts of my struggle with postpartum depression. Often I wished I could die, or that I could find my daughter a “real” mother. I had no concrete plans to harm myself (I wouldn’t do that to my daughter) I was simply in intense pain and couldn’t find any help or relief.
Connecting with mothers who know what I’m going through is SOOOOO CRUCIAL to my recovery because I didn’t know anyone else with PPD before. I get much comfort from the sharing, and the helpful ideas and tools for redirecting my painful thoughts are even more useful. I didn’t think I could overcome my ‘stinking thinking’. This is a huge struggle for me, I have made more progress with that than I thought I would. I take notes on every call, then I have comforting and nurturing tools to remind my fuzzy, sleep-deprived mind of healthier ways to think when I am having a bad time between the calls.
Yael is honest and has a great mix of humor to soften my bitter pain. Sometimes I feel like she is reading my mind, giving me answers for things I had been too ashamed to ask, or suggesting ways to handle what I’m too overwhelmed to imagine is possible to overcome. I think there is a part of every new mom who needs to be loved and held tenderly by another mom who really understands, and Yael does this for me. I live 2 hours away from Ithaca, and I really hope to be able to attend a PPD to Joy meeting in person some day. Yael, your work has been a lifeline for me. I can’t wait to finally meet you in person and just give you a hug.
~Julie (mama to a baby girl)Rochester, New York.
Tweeter Love for the PPD SpeakEasy Support phone chat:
@jamesandjax Jaime: I participated in my first PPD to Joy
#Speakeasy phone chat today. I feel better for having done so. @yaelsaar is such a comfort.jamesandjax @yaelsaar I loved you before today but now that I know your voice, I love & appreciate you more!!!jenrenpody Jennifer Gaskell: @yaelsaar Thanks Yael. As always, it was so wonderful to hear your sweet voice and words of wisdom. #ppdchatMotherUnadorned Cristi Comes: Just finished the #PPDSpeakEasy with @yaelsaar What a wonderful support for moms. Love you Yael! #postpartum #mentalhealth #mhsm
About the PPD to Joy Monthly Love Letters for Mom:
I have the typical two seconds on the computer right now, but I wanted to shoot you a line. I read your site last night with tears running down my face. It is amazing! It was just what I needed to read. Since I had my second child 10 weeks ago, I’ve been struggling with huge guilt about not meeting the needs of my older son. In fact, I try so hard, but my inner critic keeps telling me I will never be able to fully meet the needs of either of my boys. I had terrible postpartum anxiety with my first child, which I blamed totally on my traumatic birth (c/s). This time I had a beautiful homebirth vbac, but I’m still struggling–and now I feel guilty for that!! This mother guilt/anxiety stuff is so toxic and your PPD Love Letter helps a lot; particularly the concept of “very good enough mother” is so important. Now I tell myself the phrase “very good enough!” many, many times. Last night was a tough one, and having this idea to hold on to was very comforting.
What you’re doing is wonderful and so important. Thank you for your work.
~Laura Ulrich (2 boys) Ithaca, New York
I am a grandma who is care-giver to my three year old grandson while his mom and dad are at their jobs. Recently the postpartum feelings and depression I had experienced many years ago when my daughter was born came rushing back. I want you to know how amazing your PPD to Joy Love letters are. Much of what you are working to help new mom’s with was not available when I was a new mom. I want you to know how your mention of the guilt, fear of imperfection in parenting and the depression issues resonated with me all these years postpartum. I am sure it is partly because I am in the “mom” role during the active parts of a 3 yr. old’s day and behaviors
I experience with him have reawakened feelings that went undiagnosed and untreated all those years ago.
Thank you for being there for so many people who now have someone and someplace to turn to when they are sure they are the only one feeling so awful at a time when every one expects them to be so happy. I am benefiting from your hard work with your own depression and can now work on resolving my depression and guilt – finally! BTW I am 62
~Cindy, Grandmother, Ithaca, New York
You can sign up to get your very own monthly Love Letter for Mom right here