We had the good fortune of connecting with Olivia Bergeron, LCSW and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Olivia, how does your business help the community?
I am a psychotherapist and parent coach specializing in helping moms and dads.
Working with struggling parents to find joy, peace and confidence has ramifications that reverberate throughout families and communities. During these uncertain times, stress and anxiety can take hold. It’s easy to be ten steps ahead considering all that can go wrong–and to feel like it WILL go wrong. But we don’t have a crystal ball and worrying in advance about something that is unlikely to happen, does not help.
So instead, I teach parents to gain a more balanced perspective, to slow down and enjoy the present. I focus on bringing back practical, doable self care. Working closely with parents, together we address obstacles from the past and present interfering with feeling good.
When moms and dads feel good, the whole family benefits, the whole community benefits.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Working as both a psychotherapist and parent coach permits me to help clients, not only with their own obstacles, but also when they are flummoxed by their children. Having identified that dearth of support for parents, I tailor my services to meet that need. Being able to address the entirety of the parenting experience sets me apart. Moreover, as a parent to three myself, I understand the challenges inherent in raising kids today. I certainly do not have all the answers, but a healthy curiousity and a sense of optimism about the potential for change gives clients hope.
Many parents report that “no one told me it would be this hard.” Or that they know what NOT to do as parents, but do not have a sense of what TO do. I love working with moms and dads to make the changes, often small, that lead to great progress. Seeing a parent go from guilt-ridden that they have already “messed up” their child, to confident and optimistic about the future brings me great satisfaction.
It has taken me time to establish a network of professionals who trust me with their referrals and whom I trust with mine. This network has paid dividends in that I have cultivated a deep bench of great folks to whom I may refer my clients. I’ve learned the value in taking time to get to know practitioners outside of my usual circles, as clients often ask for help outside of the purview of psychotherapy and parent coaching. Parents often don’t have time to cull names collected from a google search, so it is very helpful to have trusted referrals to contact.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Unfortunately, indoor spaces–bars, restaurants, cafes– that I usually frequent are out of the question. So sticking with the great outdoors, I have some suggestions. I am a huge fan of the local beaches, which feel like a world away. I would suggest packing a picnic, jumping on a ferry and heading out to the Riis Beach in the Rockaways. Closer waterfront alternatives, also conveniently on the ferry line, are Governor’s Island and Brooklyn Bridge Park. Governor’s Island is car free and a bike rental is a must to explore the varied parks. Viewing Manhattan a stone’s throw away from a grassy expanse in the middle of the harbor is truly a wonderful experience. Brooklyn Bridge Park also offers a waterfront path with stellar views of lower Manhattan and of course, its bridges.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The Perinatal Connection (perinatalconnection.com) is a group I founded in 2014 for professionals who serve moms and dads. Since its inception and humble beginnings meeting at the back of a Manhattan bar, it has grown to over 1,000 members who range from doctors to doulas, from psychotherapists to physical therapists, and everyone in between, It is a group that provides a valuable network for professionals needing resources, for getting the word out about new services offered and for creating a space to generate referrals. We meet monthly and bring in guest speakers to educate members on topics of interest related to the birthing world.