Meet A Mom: Anne Russey, MEd, LPC-S of Anne Russey Counseling
Happy Meet A Mom Monday, Mamas! Today we’re introducing you to Anne, who after reading a little bit about her on her website, she instantly became someone we wanted to curl up on a coffee shop coach with and get down to some work on our own souls!
Anne Russey owns her own counseling practice here in Katy, Anne Russey Counseling, specializing in anxiety and depression, specifically catering to parents, individuals with work stress, and those in the LGBTQ community.
It’s our belief here at KMN, that everyone needs a little help. Life isn’t always easy and sometimes you need an outside third-party perspective to set you up for success.
And what we love about Anne is, she knows not every person is one size fits all, and how she treats her patients won’t be the same either. She also works her sessions around YOUR schedule, offering home visits, walk & talk sessions, or you can come to her cozy little office in Katy. Anne’s a mama of two little girls and knows how demanding the role of mom can be, so she makes it easy to still do some work on YOU while being mom to your kids.
Anne’s motto is that it’s never too late to start living the life you’ve always wanted. And she’s made it her goal to help people get where they want to be.
After our interview with Anne, we have to say we like her even more and are so lucky she’s a part of this Katy community, as she’s a wonderful resource! See our full chat with her below to learn more abut her practice, find out her favorite things about our community, her take on the dreaded and inevitable mom guilt, and her best mom hacks for making life easier!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I grew up in Katy and attended Katy schools from elementary to high school. My family is excited to be moving to our new home in Katy from our current west Houston address this spring.
How many kiddos do you have, what are their names, and how old are they?
I have two daughters, Emma (4) and Avery (2).
Greatest gift about being a mother?
I think the greatest gift of being a mother is learning to offer myself a fraction of the grace and forgiveness my kids offer me on a daily basis. I can be super hard on myself when I feel like I’ve screwed up in parenting them in some way, but they’re so quick to move on from it, it helps me give myself a break too.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I am slightly terrified of cats. I just can’t figure them out so I try to avoid them whenever possible.
Favorite local things to do in Katy?
I’m a foodie so I’m always on the lookout for new restaurants and coffee shops to try. When the weather is nice I also love taking the kids to neighborhood parks- Exploration Park being a favorite.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Katy?
I love that almost everywhere in Katy is family friendly. Having lived in parts of town where changing tables in public bathrooms are rare finds, I appreciate that you almost never have to worry about things like that in Katy. Of course, the schools are fantastic too and a big reason we choose to live in Katy.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
It’s not fancy, but I love Bagel Cafe. I am obsessed with their cheddar bagels and I swear their Diet Coke is the best in town.
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun?
Pre-kids I would have said saving and splurging on a day at the Trellis Spa at the Houstonian (which is amazing if you ever get a chance to go!) but post kids, my go-to has become treating myself to the occasional at home facial with some fancy travel size skin care product I’ve bought at Sephora and glass of wine after the kids go to bed.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I’ve long given up on Pintrest perfect bento box lunches for my kids. They get a similar assortment of pre-packaged snacks like apple sauce and yogurt pouches, goldfish crackers, cheese sticks and maybe an occasional container of some type of fruit. They eat what I send and I can throw their lunches together in about 5 minutes while I prep their breakfasts.
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
After realizing I’m destined to drink my coffee cold 95% of the time whether or not it starts off that way, I decided to get intentional about it and started cold brewing my own iced coffee and playing with making flavored simple syrups at home. For what it’s worth, I love the Pioneer Woman recipe and method for cold brew.
When did you first know you wanted to go into counseling?
I always knew I wanted to do something to help others, and I also knew I didn’t have the patience for teaching children and didn’t like math or science enough to go into a medical profession, so I landed on psychology as a major. While working on my bachelor’s degree at Texas A&M, I volunteered for a peer counseling helpline and worked part time at the counseling and assessment clinic where graduate students complete their psychology training. Both of those experiences affirmed my commitment to counseling as a career path.
When did you choose the specialties you wanted to go into like Perinatal, LGBTQ, and Work Stress Counseling?
When more than 1 in 10 women develop a mental illness during or after pregnancy but a Google search for “Katy, TX postpartum depression therapist” turns up next to nothing, there’s a problem. There are some great options for support in other parts of town, but hardly anybody in Katy. Similarly, there aren’t a lot of options for people seeking LGBTQ+ affirming counseling in Katy. I have professional training and experience along with a desire to make a difference in our community serving people in both of these groups so I’ve chosen to make my specialties really clear. Inevitably concerns around work stress arise with most of the clients I work with like helping new moms adjust to stay at home or working mom life post baby and I have some clients who come in just for work related concerns like burnout and feeling stuck or stagnant in their careers.
Tell us about your practice, Anne Russey Counseling, what you specialize in and what makes you unique in the counseling industry?
You won’t find a “blank slate” with me. I bring myself and my personality into the room and work to develop meaningful and professional relationships with my clients. We work hard together to figure out what is keeping them stuck and develop a plan to get them feeling better as quickly as possible. My goal is to help my clients gain insight and awareness into what causes them to feel anxious, depressed, disconnected etc. and then to teach them tools and strategies for recognizing these triggers and responding in ways that are more in line with the lives they want to live.
If someone is adverse to seeking help from a counselor or scared to reach out and ask for help- what’s something you’d tell them?
I think everybody feels a little uneasy reaching out to a counselor the first time. It takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to admit you might need or want some help and hopefully whatever counselor you decide to reach out to will honor that experience and the risk you’re taking by contacting them. Remember finding the right counselor is important, so if possible do some homework, or ask a loved one for some help narrowing down some options. Ask trusted friends for recommendations or search around online to find a therapist whose approach, background and specialties seem to align with the things you’re wanting help with. If you find a counselor who offers a free initial consultation, take advantage of it and that will help you get a better sense of what it might feel like to work with them. I also encourage people to try to give themselves 2-3 sessions with a counselor and then reassess whether or not it feels like the right fit for both parties. Those first few sessions are a lot of history gathering and getting to know each other and can feel a little awkward just like the start of any new relationship. If you have a negative experience or just don’t “click” with the first (or second) therapist, keep trying. You’re worth giving yourself the space to process through and get help with whatever you’re struggling with right now and you don’t have to do it alone.
Why do you think it’s so important for new moms to seek the help and guidance of a counselor?
Adjusting to motherhood is hard. Period. While struggling to adjust is “normal” and not every new mom needs or wants counseling, it’s not normal to expect that a new mom should just have to deal with symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD or psychosis alone and try to wait out their symptoms. It’s so important for new moms to talk with their healthcare providers and supportive people in their life about any emotional or mental health concerns they have, even if it’s scary to talk about. Suicide is a leading cause of death for women in pregnancy and up to a year after childbirth and something we just don’t give people, especially moms, permission to talk about. If you’re a new mom struggling with anxiety, depression or scary thoughts of harming yourself or your baby and your symptoms are getting in the way of living the life you want to live, seeking help is the right thing to do for yourself and your family. Asking for help can open the door to you feeling like yourself again. If you know a mom who is struggling on their own, consider offering them encouragement to seek the help they need- assure them they’re not alone and they can get better with the right treatment and support.
Explain the different methods in which you see patients like in home or walk and talk therapy and why you decide to offer these to people?
As a mom myself, I know the logistics of going anywhere with infants and toddlers can feel impossible. I offer in home and walk and talk sessions within 10 miles of 77450, which give clients the option of having therapy in a setting that may be more conducive to having their children with them than coming into an office. I also offer online sessions through a secure video chat platform (think Facetime or Skype but HIPAA compliant). Online counseling has been a great option for clients who want to squeeze in a session during a child’s naptime or a lunch break at work.
How has the Katy community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I just launched my practice in November and have already been blown away by the reception from other professionals and influencers who serve local moms in various ways. It’s been so encouraging connecting with other Katy maternal health professionals through social media and in person and getting more familiar with the breadth of services and support available to moms in our community.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT?
Call it out. Name it. Talk about it with your safe people. Not sure who your safe people are? Test the waters with a fellow mom friend or acquaintance (or a trusted professional like a counselor). Going first can be scary, but if you put it out there you will eventually (if not immediately) be met with a “me too” or an “I feel your heartache, friend.” It won’t make the experience of the dreaded mom guilt go away, but it will help it feel less lonely. Also, it’s okay to NOT feel guilty all the time. When you notice the guilt creeping in, think about what’s triggering it. Think about what you might tell your future adult child if they were telling you they were feeling guilt for a similar reason and then think about what you would tell them in response. My hunch is you would offer them a healthy dose of compassion and empathy and maybe even permission to let themselves off the hook. Consider offering yourself and your fellow mamas some of the same.
When parenting gets hard, what’s something you tell yourself that gets you through?
My mantra with my newborns was “the sun always rises” (always true, and at least my babies were MUCH cuter and their cries MUCH more tolerable during the daylight hours than at the 3rd wake up at 3:30AM) and my latest mantra with toddlers has been “this stage won’t last forever” (which is also true and helps me- most of the time- tolerate being woken up by a 4 year old at 3AM asking for a hug…)
Name one thing you hope your kids look back and remember about their childhood and you as their mama?
I hope they remember me telling them I love them 50 times a day and that they remember my laughter more than my complaints.
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
There are one million “right” ways to do this whole parenting thing so don’t bother comparing yourself to other mothers. If you’re not abusing or neglecting your children, and whatever you’re doing is working for you and your family, you’re doing it right. Oh yeah, and remember to ask for (and accept) help when you need it.
For more information about Anne and her amazing practice, visit her website and follow along on social media!