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About Dr. Irena, Psychologist

Dr. Irena

Psychologist and Therapist for Women & Couples, EFT Couples Therapist

In Person Therapy Sessions offered in Houston and the Woodlands, Texas

Video conference sessions are offered for those who live in New York State and Texas

My Mission: A Focus on the Well Being of Women and Their Relationships

For over 20 years, I’ve focused my therapy work on helping women and couples navigate their journeys towards becoming and being parents, and improving their relationships with their partners.

My goal is to help women and their spouses reduce stress, feel good about themselves and their lives.

Balancing 3 Identities: Mother, Working Woman, and Partner

In my 3 roles as a mother, therapist, and wife, I understand the bind of feeling overworked and at the same time feeling like you’re not doing enough.

I’ve raised 2 children while maintaining my private therapy practice. I’ve felt the pressures to do well in all of these roles, which of course, I’ve never achieved. Yet the pressure remains, as it does for most of my woman clients.

My Focus on Women’s Infertility, Perinatal, and Postnatal Psychological Wellness

The stress of juggling the various roles that women have are significantly exacerbated when they are faced with infertility, pregnancy loss or miscarriage, postpartum depression, or general depression.

I saw how alone my clients felt in their pain and decided to make issues of conception as well as pre and post birth issues a focus of my practice.

Bringing Couples Therapy into My Work

I discovered that combined with struggles around infertility, pregnancy, and parenting, my clients’ relationships with their partners also suffered due to the pressures inherent on the road to becoming and being parents.

This is why I decided to also offer couples therapy for those experiencing stress around infertility and pregnancy, or those experiencing other relationship problems.

Infertility, pregnancy loss, postpartum depression, and general depression can place an enormous amount of stress on both partners and undermine the relationship.

Women rebound from these struggles much quicker when their relationships are in good health.

Research shows that couples who stay connected with each other during stressful times, maintain their bond better and end up having stronger and more fulfilling relationships.

Research also indicates that young professional women with supportive relationships, are more confident and reach career goals faster. It took me a while to discover that myself.

How Emotion Focused Couples Therapy Helped to Improve My Relationship with My Husband

Years ago, my husband and I were going through some difficult times, and I wanted to better understand my marriage and improve it.

By chance, I discovered Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which is an evidenced-based model of couples therapy that is known to help couples improve their relationships.

I quickly fell in love with EFT because of its focus on the emotional attachment between couples. Attachment theory holds that a strong healthy bond between couples is critical for relationship success.

I had already been working from an attachment perspective with parents and children, so it felt like a natural progression to apply attachment theory to the bond in adult romantic relationships.

EFT helped me understand my relationship and myself in relation to it.  I came to understand that when I was angry, it was an attempt to reconnect with my husband.

I’m a  Specialist with the Highest Level of Training

As a therapist and Psy,D. (doctoral level) psychologist, I have the highest level of training possible.

I’m also one of a handful of psychologists in the country with specialized training in attachment relationships over the life span, as well as pregnancy-related issues, parenting, and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.

My Therapy Strengths and Style

It takes courage to seek counseling. I know it can be anxiety provoking to see a therapist for the first time, so I’ll make sure that you feel at ease. I am down to earth and easy to talk to.

I believe that therapy should focus on your strengths and enjoyment in life, as well as overcoming your problems. We’ll enjoy your times of success, and celebrate your achievements.

Over 30 years ago I immigrated to the USA from the former Yugoslavia. As a result, I am highly sensitive to cultural and religious differences. I’ll always make an effort to understand your cultural background and how it influences your expectations of yourself and your relationships.

Clinical Supervision and Ongoing Training

To provide the best quality of care to my clients, I participate in regular clinical supervision. I review sessions afterwards to make sure I am doing

Every year I seek further training in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) and on a variety of reproductive issues. This helps ensure that I provide therapy based on the most up to date theories and research.

Psychological Training, Professional License, and Affiliations

  • BA in psychology: Belgrade University, Serbia
  • Doctorate in Clinical Psychology: Yeshiva University, New York City
  • Licensed psychologist in the states of Texas and New York
  • American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM)
  • International Center of Excellence in Emotional Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
  • Houston Community for Emotionally Focused Therapy (HCEFT)
  • Houston Psychological Association (HPA)
  • Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Alliance (PLIDA)
  • Postpartum Support International (PSI)
  • Texas Psychological Association(TPA)

Psychology Internship and Postdoctoral Psychology Fellowship

  • Postgraduate Center for Mental Health, New York
  • Parent-Infant Therapy at Columbia University in New York City
  • Group Psychotherapy at St. Luke’s/Roosevelt Hospital in New York City

Additional Professional Roles

  • Past President of the Montgomery County Psychological Association Chapter of the Texas Psychological Association
  • Mentored psychology students in the Texas Medical Center and Houston area.
  • Keynote Speaker, H.A.N.D Helping Aid Neonatal Death, 2013, 2014
  • Psychology Supervisor/Dissertation Advisor
    • Taught graduate courses for mental health professionals and nurses.
    • Served as a dissertation advisor for Genetic Counseling Students

For a FREE 10-minute telephone consultation call me at (281)-267-1742.

If you live in Texas or New York City and are ready to book an in-person appointment or a video conference session, click on the BOOK NOW button below.

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