In 2006, our son Joshua was born still at 19 weeks. We were in love with Joshua from the time we learned we were pregnant and were devastated when we learned he had passed. We desired to have other children but were uncertain about our ability to have a live birth due to cervical insufficiency. Consequently, we continued to grieve and process our loss, even while considering the future. Much to our surprise, we were blessed to become pregnant again in 2007, and are grateful to have two rainbow babies, who are now 13 and 12 years old.
Our journey to becoming parents was challenging. Being pregnant after a stillbirth was difficult and anxiety-provoking for both of us. In additional to the worry of being pregnant after a loss, I spent most of my pregnancy with our older son on bed rest, including 14 weeks in the hospital. I struggled with perinatal depression and anxiety during pregnancy, and now realize that some of my symptoms were likely triggered by our previous loss.
While we were going through our pregnancies, we had no concept of birth trauma, and therefore could not name our experience after losing Joshua. We did not know how many woman and birthing parents deal with anxiety and mood symptoms or other pregnancy complications. We were also unfamiliar with doula services, although these services would have greatly benefited us. Essentially, we did not know what we did not know. Now that we have the awareness and understanding about perinatal mental health complications, we have made a commitment to do our part to support parents with these common pregnancy concerns.
“For we live by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 NIV
Works of Faith Wellness and Consultation, LLC, is a family-focused behavioral health practice that offers individual therapy, consultation, and professional workshops centered on perinatal mental health. Our goal is to promote health equity for all parents, especially those for whom health care inequities exist. We use trauma-informed models of care models and therapeutic practices that take into account the individual or family’s cultural context. Our therapists are trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT), and Prolonged Exposure (PE), all of which are evidence-based treatments for management of trauma-related symptoms and mood and anxiety disorders.
Collaborating with birthing parents and their support networks to promote optimal mental health, wellness, and healthy family functioning is a fundamental goal of our organization. Although our services focus primarily on perinatal mental health, we will offer supportive resources for family members. In addition to therapy for individuals, we offer educational and consultation services to organizations and corporations invested in health equity for maternal health.
A secondary focus of our organization is to offer consultative and educational services to faith-based organizations with the goal of collaborating on mental health and wellness initiatives. We believe the combination of therapeutic and wellness services, in conjunction with individuals’ spiritual beliefs and practices, allow for optimal family and community wellness.
Now that you know more about our Practice, we hope you will feel at home at Works of Faith Wellness and Consultation. We look forward to collaborating with you on your path to wellness.
Dorienna M. Alfred, Ph.D., PMH-C, Owner/Director of Clinical Services: Dr. Dorienna Alfred is a licensed psychologist in the state of Ohio and certified perinatal mental health provider. She has been trained in CBT and is also EMDR-trained. She is a wife and mother. Her interest in perinatal mental health grew out of her own experience with anxiety and depression during high-risk pregnancies and pregnancy loss. She is a member of the Postpartum Support International and a volunteer with Perinatal Outreach and Engagement for Moms of Columbus, OH. She is the author of a memoir entitled, Pregnant with Promise: A Spiritual Journey of Pregnancy, Bed Rest and Childbirth, and has other published works in the areas of racial identity development and Black liberation psychology. Dr. Alfred has also conducted research in women’s health and taught graduate and undergraduate courses on multicultural counseling and training.
Greg Alfred, Ph.D., Director of Outreach: Dr. Greg Alfred is a licensed psychologist in the state of Ohio. He is trained in CBT, CPT and PE. His interest in perinatal mental health for fathers is the result of his own experience supporting a partner who had high-risk pregnancies, pregnancy loss and perinatal anxiety and depression. Dr. Alfred currently serves in an administrative role in the practice.
Dr. Ajasha M. Long is a licensed psychologist in the State of Ohio. She received her PhD in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in Health Psychology from Ball State University. She has dedicated her professional and academic career to making a difference in the lives of underserved populations. She has experience working as a mental health provider in women’s health clinics, correctional settings, infectious disease departments, and chronic pain centers. Dr. Long believes that the role of a psychologist goes beyond clinical services, and she considers it a privilege to walk alongside her clients in their most vulnerable moments. In her spare time, Dr. Long enjoys preparing new recipes, reading, and listening to podcasts. She considers herself a kindness-sprinkler and hope-dealer. Her life’s motto is as follows: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” (Maya Angelou).