NASW’s 2017 Social Work Month

National Association of Social Workers  pic
National Association of Social Workers

A psychotherapist with a PhD in social work, Robin Ohringer has run a private practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for more than two decades. Dr. Robin Ohringer is a member of various professional organizations including the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

Representing more than 130,000 professionals, NASW encourages and facilitates the development of its members, and strives to establish and maintain a high standard of professionalism. In addition to its many programs, NASW supports Social Work Month, the March 2017 theme of which is Stand Up.

This theme was chosen in recognition of the efforts of social workers, who every day support and assist individuals with illnesses and mental health conditions, not only through service to their patients, but also through interaction with the patients’ families and advocacy for positive policy change.

The 2017 program will work to improve the portrayal of social workers and further acknowledge the valuable services they provide. The month will also focus on correcting media portrayals of social work by continuing to draw attention to unfair representations, inaccurate descriptions of their work, and the incorrect identification of individuals who are not licensed social work professionals.

The 2017 Stand Up campaign will highlight the vital significance of social workers and their role in bettering the lives of those among homeless and mentally ill populations.


Psychological Pain and Infertility

Female Infertility pic
Female Infertility


As a privately practicing psychotherapist, Dr. Robin Ohringer offers help with such mental health issues as anxiety, depression, and relationship stress. Dr. Robin Ohringer has welcomed many patients who struggle with these issues as a result of infertility and the treatment thereof.

Approximately 5 percent of couples living in developed countries experience infertility at some point during their relationships, and the vast majority of these challenges have physical origins. The psychological implications, however, are profound. Studies have shown that these experiences are as upsetting as a life-threatening physical illness, while 50 percent of women interviewed in one particular study call infertility treatment the most upsetting event in their lives thus far.

For many, infertility can manifest much like grief as those experiencing it progress through shock, depression, and anger. The underlying pain may also translate itself into relationship problems, which may be exacerbated by the high costs of fertility treatments. Negative outcomes of treatment can increase depression, though even positive outcomes can cause anxiety about the woman’s ability to carry a baby to term.

Fortunately, support groups and psychotherapy have proven successful at mitigating many of these symptoms. Cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal therapy have emerged as particularly successful techniques, as have supplemental relaxation and mindfulness techniques. A qualified psychotherapist can help individuals and couples to find a treatment program that is most appropriate.

Female Infertility Has Many Causes


Female Infertility pic
Female Infertility

A practicing psychotherapist in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Dr. Robin Ohringer taught for 12 years as an adjunct associate professor at Simmons College School of Social Work. Dr. Robin Ohringer works with women experiencing infertility issues.

Infertility affects one couple in six and is diagnosed when a couple has been actively trying to have a baby for more than one year. If the female is over 35 years of age, it is called infertility after six months of trying. Within the United States, about 10 percent of women between the ages of 18 and 44 have infertility issues.

Female infertility can be caused by various factors, including problems with ovulation, the cervix, the fallopian tubes, or the uterus. The major factors that affect ovulation can be age, weight, a tumor or cyst, alcohol or drug use, a hormone or thyroid gland imbalance, excessive exercise, and eating disorders. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), the leading cause of infertility in women, creates hormonal changes that prevent successful pregnancies.

Women over 35 have more fertility issues because the body reduces the production of eggs as it gets older. Not only are the eggs smaller in size, but they also are released less frequently, and are not as healthy. About one-third of couples where the female is over 35 have trouble conceiving.

Miscarriage Takes a Heavy Emotional Toll

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Dr. Robin Ohringer of Cambridge, Massachusetts, is a practicing psychotherapist who works with children, adolescents, individuals, and couples. In full-time private practice for 22 years, Dr. Robin Ohringer counsels those who have infertility and pregnancy issues.

Miscarriage is defined as a pregnancy that spontaneously stops on its own within the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. It is estimated that 10 percent to 25 percent of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. Chemical pregnancies, when the pregnancy is lost right after impregnation, account for 50 percent to 75 percent of miscarriages.

The most common cause for miscarriages in the first trimester are chromosomal abnormalities. A damaged egg or sperm cell can cause the chromosomal abnormalities, as well as genetic defects. Chromosomal abnormalities account for about half of the miscarriages within the first trimester.

Recurrent miscarriage, or recurrent pregnancy loss, can be emotionally difficult. Parents that are affected by the loss of a pregnancy can feel grief, depression, anger, confusion, and emptiness. Seeking a therapist can help people come to terms with the loss of a pregnancy or a miscarriage.

Psychotherapeutic Treatment for Fertility Issues

Fertility Issues pic
Fertility Issues

Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Robin Ohringer has worked for over four decades building an accomplished career as a psychotherapist. Operating out of her own private clinic, Robin Ohringer sees a client base composed almost entirely of adult women who are seeking help for issues such as infertility.

Fertility issues are a common occurrence across the globe, affecting between 10 and 15 percent of adult couples. For these individuals, the reality of infertility is often an emotional one. Those who cannot fulfill their desires to expand their families typically experience feelings of isolation, guilt, and depression. As a result, the relationship between spouses can become strained.

In the face of these issues, treatment options such as psychotherapy can prove instrumental to helping couples cope with the situation. One method is couples therapy, which will help the partners discuss the challenges and work through them so they may move forward. This type of treatment is especially crucial in cases where only one partner is experiencing fertility problems and anger has emerged in the relationship. Couples therapy can also reopen lines of communication between partners, thereby allowing them to make better decisions for their future together.

Another effective means of psychotherapeutic treatment for infertility is behavioral or support group sessions. Research has shown that women who participate for 10 weeks in such programs experience a dramatic reduction in anger and depression levels. Whether a couple chooses individual or group treatment, these avenues are crucial to helping them move past the negative emotions that come with the inability to have a child.

How to Preserve Mental Health While Balancing Work and Family Life

Robin Ohringer pic
Robin Ohringer

A psychotherapist with diverse therapeutic experience, Robin Ohringer has served patients of all ages who need help with various issues including depression, aging, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Working primarily with a client base of adult women, Robin Ohringer focuses much of her work in areas such as helping balance careers with family life.

For many parents, the thought of maintaining a proper balance between their work and their lives at home seems difficult, if not impossible. Amidst the chaos, it is easy to become caught up in feelings of stress and anxiety. However, there are a number of ways in which you can preserve your mental health on your journey toward leading a more balanced life.

As a working parent, one of the most important emotions that you must be able to overcome is guilt. While it may be hard, you should not linger on thoughts of leaving your child at home so you can pursue your career. Instead, you should turn your professional role into a positive by focusing on the benefits to your family of working. By placing a priority on such matters as helping to save for future college tuition, you can make yourself more effective both at home and in the office while also experiencing less guilt.

In addition, you should set aside time each week just for yourself. You will not be able to make the best of your career and home life if you do not allow yourself to step away and relax at times. Whatever your chosen method may be, it’s best to engage in activities that help you overcome stress and let go of tension.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing pic
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing

Dr. Robin Ohringer has maintained a private psychotherapy practice in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for more than twenty-five years. Dr. Robin Ohringer draws on advanced training in a variety of treatment modalities, including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR).

Originally developed to address the lasting effects of trauma, eye movement desensitization and reprocessing allows clients to think about and re-frame distressing memories. It centers on the model of adaptive information processing, or AIP, which holds that healthy functioning stems from successful experiences that prepare the brain to face new challenges. When a traumatic event occurs, its severity can interrupt this process and lead to psychological suffering.

EMDR allows the client to address the memories of this traumatic event by focusing on an external bilateral stimulus. This most often takes the form of horizontal eye tracking facilitated by the therapist, though some clients may respond better to similarly structured auditory stimuli or touching of the hands. While attending to this stimulus, the client can recall and aspects of the traumatic memory.

Many clients who have undergone EMDR have noted that this process gives rise to new insights about the memory. Negative self-directed thoughts and other maladaptive mental processes related to the memory give way to more adaptive thinking, and the client begins to heal. Some practitioners have likened this process to the removal of a foreign body from the skin, the lifting of which allows the body to heal itself.