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Dr. Alex Gard, LMFT, PMH-c
"Helping Teens & Women Strengthen Their Relationships, Reconnect with Themselves & Claim their Joy."
Hi, I’m Dr. Alex! As a Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Perinatal Mental Health Counselor, I have a decade of experience addressing a variety of client needs.
I am an experienced therapist that utilizes a unique and specialized framework for addressing my client’s goals. I have a diverse clinical background, from working as a crisis line counselor, doing in-home therapy in the foster care system, and working as a teen therapist in an agency setting. Regardless of my experience, my goal with clients has always been the same: to facilitate hope and to help inspire change.
While change is important, therapy isn’t always about fixing a problem. Therapy can also be equally as powerful to prevent problems down the road. Many of my clients aren’t necessarily aiming to change anything, but are looking to enhance or improve their lives and relationships in some capacity.
Regardless of what you are looking for from therapy, it can be a transformative and life changing experience. In my ten years of clinical work, I have found no greater measure of therapeutic success than the therapeutic relationship. Healing begins when you find meaningful connection with the right therapist.
As my client, you can expect a personalized experience from the very beginning. I truly take the time to form authentic relationships with my clients, and tailor therapy to meet each person’s specific needs. Therapy for me is heart-centered work, and I work to ensure that my clients feel safe and at peace when they come to my office. I provide individual (for teens and adults) and family therapy that is collaborative, strength-based and effective.
My Counseling Services in Plantation, Florida
Individual Therapy for Women
In my individual work with women, treatment goals often revolve around improving relationships, improving emotional regulation skills, setting and maintaining boundaries, alleviating anxiety/depression, and overall improving one’s emotional well-being.
My therapy with women is empowering as we tackle specific issues that women face throughout their lives, and identify current obstacles that are getting in the way of living a life that is fulfilling, purposeful and courageous.
Counseling for Teen Girls
Are you a parent who is concerned about your teen daughter? Do you feel that she is wrestling with an issue, and yet has difficulty talking to you about it? Do you want to make sure that she is okay and on the right track?
I hear you... It’s often hard for teens to express themselves freely to parents. If you think that she may benefit from having an outlet, then you’re probably right. My goal in my work with teens is to help them tackle whatever issue they are currently wrestling with, so that they can more confidently navigate all the ups and downs that accompany adolescence. Family therapy is often a great supplement to my work with teens.
Oftentimes on one’s path to wellness, it is beneficial to involve other members of the family. It is not uncommon in my practice to facilitate mother-daughter sessions, couples sessions, or sessions involving the whole family unit.
Family therapy can be extremely beneficial in resolving conflict, and addressing systemic issues that may span generations. Family therapy can be utilized as a supplement to individual work, or can be the main focus of our work together.
Therapy for Moms
As a mom of two young girls, my work with moms is the heart and soul of my practice. Motherhood is tough, relentless, all consuming, and crazy beautiful all at the same time. It is the greatest paradox and the greatest gift.
Often, my work with moms involves mothering intentionally, and in a way that allows you to enjoy motherhood more fully. Usually, this involves becoming the kind of mom you truly want to be, and understanding what is stopping you from doing so.
There is so much pressure on moms. Thanks to social media, even more pressure than ever before. Addressing this is important, so that you’re able to create your own definition of what makes you a good mom, rather than comparing yourself to the “perfect” moms on Instagram.
Together, we look at how your own upbringing influences your mothering, how societal/cultural norms and expectations impact your mothering, why your child’s behavior impacts you so profoundly, and we focus on how healing ourselves heals the parent child relationship.
“The most profound thing we have to offer our children is our own healing.” -Anne Lamott
Therapy During Pregnancy
I love this aspect of therapy because there is a big emphasis on prevention. Working with pregnant women allows for preparation for the road ahead. We know based on research that incidences of postpartum mood disorders would significantly decrease if risk factors were addressed ahead of time. Counseling during pregnancy allows for this to happen.
We also know that signs of postpartum mood disorders can often begin during pregnancy, but are often dismissed as “normal pregnancy symptoms”. This is why coming to therapy can be important if you’re experiencing elevated anxiety/depression, or if you have a history of any mental health issues.
When I work with pregnant women we discuss expectations about birth/delivery, expectations about postpartum, expectations around mothering, your own mothering, etc. These conversations allow for women to safeguard their emotional health as they prepare to face the biggest life transition there is; having a baby!
Often my work with pregnant women involves the partner, as having explicit conversations with partners about the life changes that are ahead, and discussing things openly and honestly can prevent conflict down the road, and can assure a smoother transition to parenthood.
They say that when a baby is born, a mother is also born. However, there is little to no warning of what happens when we step into this role. For many women, they find themselves lost, scared, alone, and missing their old life. Oftentimes new moms feel guilty, because “they should be” feeling happy and elated with their new baby. There is so much emphasis on the new baby, that the mother is sometimes forgotten. This can be a painful and isolating place for a lot of new moms.
I myself was there, after the birth of my first daughter. I grappled with crippling anxiety that left me feeling angry and unlike myself. I wish someone had warned me about the grief I would experience about my old life, I wish I knew how to ask for the help I desperately needed, and I wish I knew that everything I was experiencing was normal. With time, and the right help, I found myself again.
They say 1 in 5 women develop a postpartum mood disorder, in my opinion, the rates are probably much higher in reality. If you are reading this, and you are struggling, there is hope. With the right treatment, you will get better, and things will begin to turn around.
As a certified perinatal mental health counselor, I have specialized training and experience that has allowed me to successfully counsel countless women who hit rock bottom postpartum. If you are there, do not give up hope, with the right help, you will get well.
I offer in office, as well as in home visitation for my postpartum clients. Give us a call today at 954.391.5305 to speak with our care coordinator and set up your complimentary consultation today!
I have intentionally built a female-centered practice because I understand that as women we have a unique set of challenges that require unique support. I tailor my therapy to meet women’s specific and unique needs.
My passion for empowering women was instilled in me at a very young age, as I was raised by two very fierce, brazen women, my mother and maternal grandmother, who instilled in me the values of being a courageous and independent woman. Their avid belief in me carried me through periods in my life where I doubted myself and struggled with low self-worth. I was only able to pull myself out of that funk when I truly learned to believe in myself.
Women are powerful and when we believe in ourselves, we can change the trajectory of our lives. That is why I’m drawn to working with women. My passion and purpose is to help women thrive and lead lives they are truly proud of.
I help women who are dreaming of a better life, actually live it.
I am a huge dog lover! I have a French Bulldog named Poppy who is the light of my life! She is such a sweet, loving girl and sometimes she makes her appearance in therapy sessions. (Please feel free to request a session with her!)
When I’m not working, I really enjoy spending time with family & friends. I am a big foodie and love to cook, and try the best restaurants around town.
Another big part of my life is working out and I am an avid fitness lover. I enjoy exercise because it keeps me healthy, but it is also a great outlet for stress.
Why work with me?
As my client, you can expect a personalized experience from the very beginning. I truly take the time to form meaningful relationships with my clients, and tailor therapy to meet their specific needs. Therapy for me is heart-centered work, and I intentionally create a safe therapeutic environment so that my clients feel comfortable and at peace. I provide therapy that is collaborative, strength-based and effective; which allows women to truly reach their goals.
Issues relevant to this practice include:
-Relational issues such as divorce, separation or the ending of a relationship
-Relational issues within an existing relationship
-Major life transitions such as career changes, children launching from the home, etc.
-Postpartum issues (anxiety, depression, navigating the transition into parenthood)
Are you ready to step into your potential
and truly thrive?
Then schedule an appointment today! Why not make today, the first day of the rest of your life? You deserve it! Call me at 954-391-5305 to schedule your complimentary consultation. For more information visit my website.
I offer counseling for teens, women, and families in Fort Lauderdale and Plantation, Florida. I also offer convenient online therapy sessions via our secure telehtalth platform for those who reside in the state of Florida.
Looking to get to know me a bit better? Click here to watch an episode of “The Best Life Series”, my bi-weekly vlog series where I sit down with inspired professionals that share their wisdom to help you thrive!
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