Dr Sarah Berger
I’m Sarah and I am a #perihubexpert newbie and so excited to be here and support in any way I can. I love answering questions and believe that all questions are helpful, so please ask me anything about mental wellbeing and I will do my best to support you. I felt it would be helpful to share a little about who I am, my own experience of perimenopause so far and how I support women during this phase in life.
How I support women
I am a clinical psychologist who supports women going through the menopause, with psychological support. I am the co-owner alongside Dr Joanna Astill, of the Menopause and Psychology hub, providing free resources, online courses and 1:1 therapy. I am an associate of the CBT Menopause Clinic and trained in the EMBERS model for menopause (Stokes), which is a specific therapy designed for women to improve sleep, stress, anxiety, depression, brain fog, self-esteem, motivation and all the rage!! This model combines Acceptance Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Compassion Focused Therapy to provide a tailor-made intervention for each individual’s needs.
My perimenopause story
I spent a good year in denial and feeling pretty rubbish whilst intermittently crying or shouting at those closest to me. When I eventually did get prescribed HRT, I then spent a further six months worried about what the side effects would be and so did not take this. I now know that the hormonal aspect of anxiety is very real and different to anxiety at other times of life, as I felt paralysed at these times. Once HRT kicked in, some of my symptoms disappeared and the anxiety felt a lot more manageable, but I still felt anxious and sad at times and a bit lost. This personal experience has led me to realise that whilst there are different ways to address the hormone imbalance to reduce some symptoms, when we still don’t feel ourselves and believe that
this as “as good as it gets” this can feel unsettling. From my own experience and the results from the clients I support, psychological strategies can supercharge the HRT (or other methods) results further, providing direction, further reduction in anxiety, low mood and stress and feeling excited about the next phase in life.
I am now in the best place I have been in a long time and love supporting other women to feel the same way. After finding the right level of HRT for me and implementing the psychological strategies as part of my daily routine, I now feel I am looking forward to the second half of my life. Do I have days where I still have wobbles…God yes!! But do I feel I have more control over my life and that these times pass fairly quickly….YES!!! If you would like someone who has been there, got the t-shirt but come out the other side as a new improved version to support you, I would love to hear from you.