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Emotional wellness for women, by women

Main Line Health Newtown Square October 21, 2015 Inside Main Line Health

Since its inception in 2013, the Women’s Emotional Wellness Center (WEWC) of Main Line Health has helped women in our community by providing outpatient behavioral health services, including counseling and psychiatric care.

For those seeking additional support than weekly psychotherapy, the WEWC offers the Women’s Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) for women ages 18 and older. The IOP consists of group therapy four days a week and is unique to area programs in that it is exclusively for women.

“I am tremendously proud of the service we offer to the community--a safe place for women to delve into group work with experienced female therapists, and a mindfulness-based intensive curriculum developed and executed for women, by women,” explains Liz Bland, MSW, LCSW, Director of the WEWC.

Participants in the program are in treatment with other women from diverse backgrounds, ages, ethnicities, and experiences. Together, with guidance from the group leader, this diversity fosters learning, sharing, and growing.

Like its less-intensive programs, the WEWC’s IOP offers support for everyday issues like depression and anxiety, emotional eating, self-esteem building, and effective communication techniques. However, it also offers support for more sensitive issues like societal pressures on women, trauma, grief and loss, and suicide and self-harm.

"Being a woman is hard work. We juggle so many stressors, from taking care of others, to societal pressure, to the physical and emotional transformations we undergo throughout our lives," says Bland.

Yet, she adds, the strength women possess as they navigate it all is undeniable. The WEWC encourages women to use the same strength they put into caring for others into caring for themselves. Women need to ask for help and advocate for their own physical and emotional needs.

Since the IOP opened to women in September 2015, Bland has noticed a positive response from patients.

"The feedback we've received from patients has been remarkable," Bland notes. "As one woman commented, 'This program saved my life.' I consider myself honored to get to witness the strength women possess each day."

Women who are interested in enrolling in the IOP can talk to their health care providers or call 1.888.CARE.898 (1.888.227.3898). All prospective patients will be required to undergo an assessment with a member of the WEWC staff to determine if the IOP is the best treatment setting for them.

The IOP is covered by most commercial insurance plans, and any specific questions about reimbursement or billing can be answered by a member of the WEWC staff.

For more articles like these, and to connect with other local parents, join the Women's Emotional Wellness Center Facebook group.