Practitioners We Love: Get to Know Ping Qi, Clinical Psychologist and Co-Founder of Holding Ground
At Soma Clinic, we often refer to practitioners outside of our clinic, because support for the mother-to-be or the mother takes a village!
In each of these Features, we want to share the work of practitioners who we think will benefit our patients. In this article, we feature Ping Qi from Holding Ground.
Ping Qi is a Clinical Psychologist at Holding Ground.
A mother of two, Ping Qi’s passion is to help parents navigate the challenges of raising their families confidently while maintaining their mental and emotional stability.
Combining her expertise and lived struggles of motherhood, Ping Qi can compassionately guide you to build healthier and happier families!
What you are today is a culmination of all everything that has happened in the past. What is your story and how did you become a clinical psychologist?
I was very obsessed in criminal psychology when I was a teenager so many books, all your crime shows. The more I read, the more fascinated I was with the complexities of human behavior.
At some point, I also had certain family members and friends that were struggling with mental health issues. Part of the reason why I became a clinical psychologist is because I was personally affected by what they experienced.
And so one thing led to another and here I am today!
What is one practice you would recommend to all new parents?
Personally, all new parents should go through a preparatory workshop on how to prepare for the baby. And this is NOT about the practical tasks like how to shower the baby, how to swaddle a baby, or even breastfeeding etc.
It is a conversation about the mental and physical load that is about to happen after the baby is here. It can be for menial household tasks such as
- Who is going to do the laundry, how often?
- Are we ordering meals, cooking, who is taking care of that?
- Who orders the diapers, and checks on the inventory for shampoo, moisturizers etc
- Who keeps up and schedules visits and check-ups with the GP/PD?
As a couple, talk about your boundaries:
– Are we allowing visitors?
– If so, what time and should they call or can they come during a certain time period?
– What are some things that we don’t want visitors to do? Can they hold the baby? What do they have to do if they want to hold the baby?.
– Is the new mum still expected to show up for family gatherings that happen during this time?
Consider all these scenarios and expectations prior to the birth so that when it happens, couples are on the same page and can handle this more effectively.
How do you guide new parents through their parenthood journey?
In a typical psychological session, the first session is usually for the client to share with us some of their concerns, and the issues that they might find challenging.
In the context of parenthood, some parents may struggle with the loss of their identify, finding it difficult to manage the newborn, or feeling overwhelmed with all the new information out there. Together with the parents, I would discuss with them on what their needs are, and come up with some suggestions on how we can approach it.
This is also the time where we set therapy goals. For some parents, it could be just about psychoeducation on the changes that they are experiencing, psychologically, biologically and emotionally.
For some parents, it’s about uncovering some of their values and beliefs, and how that can potentially cause them to feel overwhelmed or finding it hard to meet their own perceived expectations of themselves. This is particularly very common in new parents.
Throughout the sessions, a supportive space for emotional expression is key. When clients are allowed to express their thoughts, feelings and beliefs in an open and nonjudgmental space, that allows for deeper processing.
With some parents, we would explore practical skills such as coping strategies, communication skills and setting therapeutic “assignments” for themselves. Some examples would be scheduling an hour of self-care for themselves in the following week.
If necessary, partner or family members can be involved in the process, allowing all parties to communicate and come to an agreement on some of the issues that might be causing interpersonal disagreements or conflicts.
I also address postpartum mood disorders if needed, connect parents to community resources, and help them set long-term family goals. My aim is to empower them with the emotional support and knowledge to transition into parenthood successfully while maintaining their well-being.
What are 3 things you only learned about after you became a parent?
A. There is no perfect mother – there is only you.
Your journey as a parent is different from others – same as your child is different from others. Don’t compare, and be present and find joy and appreciation in the little growth in yourself and in your child.
B. Being kind to yourself and taking care of yourself is not being selfish.
Admitting that parenthood is challenging and knowing when to ask for help is the highest level of commitment you can give to your child – because being the best version of yourself only benefits your baby and provides a happy and healthy growing up environment for your child.
C. You can never be 100% prepared, but what you can do is take things in your stride as they come.
Get in Touch!
Here’s how to get in touch with Ping Qi online. At Soma Clinic, we support women through fertility, pregnancy and postpartum. We also connect with other people who can support your journey through to motherhood!