Jessica Markowitz is a clinical therapist at Continuum Behavioral Health, based out of Women and Infants Hospital, and specializes in treating pregnant and postpartum women. Markowitz is passionate about normalizing mental health and teaching patients to not be ashamed about what they’re experiencing. As a perinatal mental health specialist, she does all she can to support pregnant women and prepare them for parenting.
Always interested in how the mind works and how our experiences shape us, Markowitz pursued a Bachelor’s degree in psychology at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. Knowing she wanted to become a clinical therapist, she went on to receive a Masters in Social Work from Smith College in Massachusetts.
Markowitz first entered the behavioral health field as an intern at Bradley Hospital in East Providence. It was not until sometime later while looking for fulltime work that she happened upon her first job in perinatal mental health at a midwife clinic in Denver, Colorado. Although she had no prior experience working with pregnant women, she “just fell in love with it, and thought this is the work I’m meant to do,” said Markowitz.
She has worked with Continuum since February as an outpatient therapist located at Rhode Island Hospital. As the only Continuum employee working at the hospital, Markowitz says, “I have this whole support of this team here so I can do a lot of collaboration with the day hospital therapists and I can connect Continuum patients here with our psychiatrists for med management.”
Working everyday with patients suffering from postpartum depression, anxiety, and PTSD, Markowitz has a unique and highly personal approach to treatment. “I am always interested in learning about peoples’ childhoods and past experiences and the way that influences the way they make sense of the world.” She takes the time to hear each and every patient’s story, because she cares to listen.
1 in 7 women face postpartum depression during pregnancy or within the first year, and Markowitz wants her patients to know that it is okay to not be okay. “I love being able to work with people and remove the shame around postpartum depression and anxiety. You’re not born knowing how to parent, you are thrown into this transition, she said.
Markowitz also has plans for the future; she is in the beginning stages of starting a Continuum group therapy program at the hospital, for patients struggling with similar problems. She goes above and beyond to deliver the highest level of care and comfort to her patients; its’ safe to say they’re in good hands.