Specialized Therapy For Women.

There are many benefits to being a woman, but sometimes hormonal and lifespan transitions can lead us to experience difficult emotional issues. We are also more at risk for physical health conditions that can impact our quality of life.

Understanding Your Journey

Our life experiences are deeply personal and intricately woven with our identities. For women, these experiences can be uniquely challenging, affected by societal expectations and personal life roles that can sometimes be overwhelming. It’s not uncommon to emotionally exhausted, stressed, burdened, or alone in managing life’s complexities. These are times in a woman’s life when she might typically need extra support: That’s exactly why I offer specialized therapy for women — to provide a safe space where you can begin to unpack and understand these experiences within an empathetic environment.

Whether you’re dealing with the stresses of motherhood, career advancement, the complexities of relationships, or the deeply personal issues of identity and self-worth, I am here to provide support tailored specifically to the female experience. With expertise in areas such as:

The Connection Between Reproductive and Emotional Health

There are many times during a woman’s life when issues relating to reproduction and hormones can affect our emotional and physical health in a way that men are not affected and it can make life harder.

  • When we have difficulty trying to conceive, we often struggling with feelings of sadness, hopelessness, fear and anxiety.
  • When we experience a miscarriage, stillbirth, or other neonatal loss, it is often hard to heal from the loss or we may feel disconnected from our partner, family and friends
  • Rainbow baby is a term used when women become pregnant after experiencing a loss. Anxiety can be very high and can cloud the pregnancy experience with fear.
  • Sometimes pregnancy and the year following childbirth are not at all how we expected it to be.
  • Pregnancy and Postpartum Mood disorders (PMADS) are very common and affect between 15 – 20 % of mothers. Many women feel sad, anxious, and irritable. This was not how motherhood is meant to be! This is the number of women reporting experiencing these feeling, imagine how many more women are feeling this way and are not talking about it.
  • Traumatic labor is more common that you might expect. Birth is one of the most physically and mentally challenging things a woman experiences, and sometimes our childbirth experience doesn’t go the way we hoped or expected. Sometimes the labor experience is traumatic. We feel that either our life or the baby’s life was in danger. I was a pioneer in childbirth related trauma research and I can help you process your feelings and emotions and move forward from the experience.
  • Perimenopause and menopause can occur over a long period of time. Perhaps you are passed worrying about having more children but your hormones have started to cause night sweats, insomnia and your sex drive is zero. You are experiencing such wild swings in mood that your partner and children are walking on eggshells around you.
  • Physical health: More women expereince migraines, fibromyalgia and chronic pain and health conditions than men. I have training in health psychology and use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) to help women manage the effects of physical pain on emotional health.
  • Breast cancer: Counseling to support you when first diagnosed, undergoing treatment and addressing the impact to body image and fear of occurrence.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, I can help!

The Emotional Load We Carry As Moms

Mothers often carry a significant emotional load, especially when it comes to their family and children. This can include constantly worrying about their well-being, feeling responsible for their happiness and success, and making sacrifices for the sake of their family. It can also involve dealing with societal expectations and pressure to be the perfect mother, which can lead to feelings of guilt and inadequacy. These emotional burdens can be overwhelming and impact a mother’s stress levels, highlighting the importance of seeking support and self-care. So, it’s essential to acknowledge the emotional load mothers carry and prioritize our own well-being in addition to caring for others. This is where therapy can be a valuable tool in helping mothers navigate these challenges and find balance in their lives.

I provide counseling and support for women’s issues such as:

  • Premenstrual disorder
  • Pregnancy anxiety &/ or depression
  • Postpartum anxiety &/ or depression
  • Traumatic labor experience
  • Miscarriage/ infant loss
  • Infertility
  • Perimenopause
  • Menopause
  • Breast cancer

For over twenty years I have helped women look after themselves while they develop practical tools to feel back in control. We all need a little support sometimes. You don’t need to feel alone.

Here Are Some Concerns I Have Heard Women Say About Getting Help…

Although you are extremely busy and overwhelmed right now, it’s very important that you make time for yourself and your needs in order to be able to enjoy your life. Specialized therapy will offer you the support you need to get through this and will help you move on with your life. You don’t need to be stuck with these difficult feelings. Women are usually the cornerstone of their family. We all know the saying “When Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” and it’s true. If you take the time for yourself to improve your mood, your partner and your children often reap the benefits too.

“I should know how to do all this”, “Other women seem to be coping!” The truth is, it takes a lot of courage to reach out for help. ?Sometimes people just need a few sessions to discuss a specific concern and get back on track. Others need more time because they are dealing with multiple issues. ? In most cases counseling is reimbursed by your medical insurance through out of network benefits.

What Can I Do Right Now That Will Help?

During therapy we can target particular stressors that affect women at particular times of their life, such as those mentioned above, but there are also some common concerns that come up again and again are:

  1.  How can I feel less stressed, angry and overwhelmed?
  2.  How can I improve my relationships?
  3.  How can I stop worrying about everything: my children, partner, friends, work, my “to do” list….

So I put together a booklet with some strategies I am always saying to my clients to help them begin to improve their mood. I hope that you will find it helpful too.

Dr. Sarah Allen

I specialize in empowering women to live the life they want. If you would like to work with me, please phone me at 847 791-7722 or on the form below.

If you would like to read more about me and my areas of specialty,  please visit Dr. Sarah Allen Bio. Dr. Allen’s professional license only allows her to work with clients who live in IL & FL & the UK and unfortunately does not allow her to give personalized advice via email to people who are not her clients. 

Dr. Allen sees clients in person in her Northbrook, IL office or remotely via video or phone.

    What Can I Read That Helps Me While I Am Waiting For My First Appointment With Sarah?

    I have written five other booklets that you might find interesting: Simple Steps To Overcome Depression, Simple Steps To Overcome Emotional Eating, Guide To Pregnancy & Postpartum Issues, Simple Steps To Overcome Anxiety, and How To Stop Arguing With Your Child.

    See each specific webpage to download one or many.

    As featured in

    Empowered to Combat Anxiety.

    Dr. Allen has helped me through several difficult times. She has taught me tools to use to combat anxiety which is something I have dealt with my whole life. She has empowered me and given me strength that I didn’t know I had. I am so thankful!

    Beth R.

    Warm & Knowledgeable.

    I highly recommend Dr. Allen! She is warm and so easy to talk to. She has lots of knowledge about women’s health.

    Kathryn Gardner, LCSW

    Excellent Therapist!

    Dr. Allen is a colleague of mine and she is an excellent therapist. She is warm, caring, and exceptional at her work. I refer clients to Dr. Allen and I highly recommend her if you are looking for a top notch therapist.

    Jodi Petchenik, LCSW

    A Mother’s Journey to Family Harmony

    When I started seeing you for therapy I felt so overwhelmed and trapped in daily battles with my three children. Thank you so much for all your help. It has really helped me gain a better perspective. I am now a role model for my children and help them worry less about things by teaching them the tools you taught me.

    Margaret R.

    I Learned To Cope Beyond the Scale

    When I first came to see Dr. Allen, I was sick of struggling with my weight. With her help, I realized that a lot of my eating habits were a way of dealing with the bad relationship I was in. With her support, I made some big changes in my life, increased my self-confidence and found better ways to deal with my stressful job. Now I don’t need to eat my way to feeling better, I have much better ways to cope with life’s difficulties.

    Ann C.

    Overcoming Emotional Eating

    I have always been on a diet and my mood went up and down as my weight did. My internist thought I might be depressed and referred me to Sarah. I was willing to give anything a try but really thought I just needed more self discipline to stick to my diet. By talking things through with her I quickly realized that not being able to stick to a diet wasn’t really about food, although I certainly craved sweets. I learned to notice how different emotions and situations triggered my overeating and Sarah showed me other ways that don’t involve food to deal with how I felt. I have a much better relationship with food now and don’t view it as the enemy. Sarah showed genuine concern and was very encouraging. I would recommend her services to anyone struggling with eating issues.


    A Parent’s Journey with ADHD

    I first came to see Dr. Allen I was completely exhausted by battling with my son who has ADHD and angry outbursts. I have learned how to stay calm and that helps him stay calm too and we have a much better relationship. We still have our difficult days but I am in a better position to deal with them and at the end the day I am left feeling that I am done my best, not guilty that I have failed him. The techniques she taught me for helping him deal with his ADHD have been very useful for all of us.

    Cathy S.

    Sarah Transformed Our Family’s Sleep and Sanity

    My baby didn’t sleep. She wouldn’t sleep more than a couple of hours at night and no more than 30 minutes during the day. I was completely overwhelmed and my husband and I were at each other’s throats. I was supposed to be going back to work but was barely functioning. Sarah helped us to learn how to get our baby sleeping and then she supported me in my transition back to work. She also helped my husband and I navigate how to share childcare and running the house fairly. She is a very knowledgeable therapist and has really helped us.

    Pam. L.

    From Overwhelmed to Empowered

    When I started seeing Dr. Allen for therapy I felt so overwhelmed and trapped in daily battles with my three children. Thank you so much for all your help. It has really helped me gain a better perspective. I now feel like I am a role model for my children and help them worry less about things by teaching them the tools you taught me.

    Margaret R.

    Thankful for Dr. Allen’s Help & Support.

    Thank you for all of your support. I am finally feeling so much better. I never thought I would get to such a good place in my life. Your voice and words of encouragement were extremely helpful.

    Sharon T.

    Gratitude and Growth

    Thank you so much for all the support and counsel you have given me. You have made such a positive impact on my life and I very much appreciate it. I had some very dark days when I first came in to see you but I can now enjoy my life with my husband and two kids and I am emotionally present when I am with them.

    Katy W.

    Highly Recommended.

    I had heard great things about Dr. Allen from a friend so I decided to try her. I have had therapy in the past as I have experienced anxiety and depression for many years but this is the most productive therapy I have ever had. I have really learned a lot and felt very supported. I feel my mood has improved greatly and my depression has significantly decreased. I would definitely recommend her if you are looking for a therapist.

    Andrew S.

    Dr. Allen Helped Me to Feel More Empowered

    Dr. Allen has really helped me find my own voice. When I began therapy I would swing between being passive and doing whatever other people wanted me to do to being angry and frustrated. I have been on antidepressants for quite a few years but it wasn’t really working. Through therapy I have learned to listen to my own needs and to speak up. I used to worry that people wouldn’t like me if I didn’t agree with them but when Dr. Allen gave me the support I needed I challenged my fears. I spend a lot less time feeling angry and depressed now and I have really widened my social network. This is how I have always wanted to be but didn’t know how to get there. Dr. Allen has a very reassuring manner and makes you challenge yourself but by using small steps so you feel ready to do it. I have really come out of my shell and would recommend anyone who is feeling depressed to come and talk with her.

    Rebecca F.

    Worrier No More.

    I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a worrier and when my doctor suggested therapy instead of an antidepressant I didn’t think it could really help. I was totally wrong. I don’t spend so much time worrying about the “what ifs” now and concentrate on working on things that are in my control to change in the “here and now” rather than in the past or future. I spend much less time in my head worrying about everything and now have useful strategies to deal with many situations at home and at work. Life is much less stressful and I find myself teaching people I manage at work the strategies Dr. Allen taught me.

    Marcia B.

    Worry & Panic Attacks Transformed by Dr. Allen

    Last year I was so crippled by anxiety and panic attacks and I didn’t believe that anything or anyone would be able to help me. Since seeing you my life has changed forever and I am finally turning into the person that I always wanted to be…and the person I never thought I could be. You will be the person I call if I start to feel that way again.

    Wendy T.

    Trusted & Knowledgeable Therapist.

    When I need to refer any of my patients for talk therapy I immediately think of Dr. Allen as she is wonderful at helping people with severe and complex issues really get to the root of their problems. She is very caring and knowledgeable and I have found her extensive experience really helps people to change their lives for the better.

    Dr. Teresa Poprawski

    Dr. Allen is an expert in treating perinatal mood disorders.

    I refer as many patients as I can to Dr. Allen. She is an expert in treating perinatal mood disorders, and a well-trained and experienced therapist who is committed to working with her clients to develop a treatment plan designed for each individual. She exhibits genuine warmth, kindness and compassion for each of her clients. Dr. Allen has been a colleague of mine for more than 20 years, and I have great confidence when I refer patients to her.

    Leslie Lowell Stoutenburg

    I become empowered and a happier person.

    I began seeing Dr. Allen when my first child was around a year old. I had experienced a very traumatic birth, after a difficult pregnancy where I was on bed rest for a good portion of the time. The first year of my son’s life was spent worrying constantly. I also experienced flashbacks to the birth, which was an emergency C-section under general anesthesia. My son was in the NICU for several days following his birth, and I was not given very much information as to why. I remember thinking that he would die, or that something awful was going to happen.

    I experienced a great deal of anxiety that first year, and I thought that it was due to being a new mom. I wasn’t sleeping, I wasn’t eating as normal, and I remember being worried about leaving the house or taking my baby with me anywhere. I worried constantly about illness, germs, etc.

    The first day that I saw Dr. Allen, she gave me some questionnaires to fill out before we started talking. Then we sat down and talked about my experiences with my son’s birth and the early days of his life, and the year or so since then. I remember to this day the relief that I felt when she looked at me and said that I had PPD and PTSD, which was a result of the trauma I experienced during and immediately after the birth of my son. She explained how my brain had reacted to the stress of these events, and related it to why I was feeling the way that I felt. It made so much sense. Then, she described ways that I could get over the trauma, work through the feelings, and recover from PTSD and PPD. I felt so empowered, and so happy that the way I felt had a name, and that it was treatable. It also made me feel so validated in the ways that I had felt and reacted following my son’s birth. I wasn’t going crazy. My reaction was normal and natural. And with the help of Dr. Allen, and the type of therapy that she uses, I knew I could recover.

    It is over five years since that first visit with Dr. Allen, and I still use the tools that she taught me today to deal with stress. I credit her with helping me to become a more empowered, happier person.


    Overcoming PPD with Dr. Sarah’s Support

    When I had my first baby I had what I now know was postpartum depression but I didn’t get any help. It did go away after about 18mths but it was a miserable way to begin motherhood.  When I was pregnant with my second child I started to become depressed again and this time told my OB/GYN how I was feeling and she referred me to Sarah. By starting to deal with how I felt and change the way I was handling the stresses in my life, I was in a much better place when my baby was born. The second time round my PPD was much less severe and didn’t last as long. 

    Sarah was also really helpful in teaching me ways to make the transition of becoming a big sister easier for my oldest one too.   My husband came with me for some sessions and that really helped our relationship and we started working on parenting issues together.  Sarah’s counsel and support really helped our family transition to the good place we are all in today.

    Sarah C.

    If you are thinking about getting counseling and you’d like to talk to someone about the things that are troubling you, I am happy to help.