About the book

Meet Audrianna

Audrianna Joy Gurr is currently in her 14th year of private practice as a licensed, professional counselor, seeing individuals and groups, fully in telehealth since spring 2020. She has worked in community mental health since 2005 and has received official citations of thanks from Portland Police and the FBI for her work in human trafficking.

Since 2009 she has been a Certified Addictions Therapist and a Daring Way™ Facilitator (Brene Brown) since 2013. Since becoming a mother, she has done specialty focused work in the perinatal communities using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) skills among other methods. Now that she is officially in the perimenopause cusp—whew, pass that fan please—she is leaning into becoming the support she wishes she had as she experiences her menopause journey.

Audrianna was born in a small town Idaho and so far, has made her way through 39 countries escaping the identity of being a potato farmer’s daughter. Before becoming a mental health therapist in the early 00s, she worked in international education for several years stateside and overseas. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon with her teen sons, chef husband and pandemic pet twin cats. This is her first book.

Past Speaking and Events

  •  Symposium on Maternal Mental Health During and After Pregnancy, Panel Participant, Salem, Oregon
  • Multnomah County Early Childhood Learning Community, Training on Perinatal and Postpartum Mood Disorders: Assessment, Support and Treatment, Portland, Oregon.
  • Portland State University, Women’s Studies: Advocacy and Activism Seminar: Personal Experience in Advocacy in Women’s issues. 
  • Portland State University, Women’s Studies: Advocacy and Activism Seminar: Personal Experience in Advocacy in Women’s issues.
  • Pacific University, Panel Participant in discussion of Role of Sex Education in Schools as sponsored by Committee for Gender Equality 
49894364-9165-4761-BE36-67A32EA9EB14

Key Relationships/Endorsers

  • Brené Brown – Author, Researcher, Head of Daring Way Facilitators.
  • Dr. Jen Gunter – OB/GYN and Author of Menopause Manifesto
  • Dr. Wendy Davis – ED Postpartum Support International
  • Kathleen Kendell Tackett – Renown Health Psychologist and Author
  • Eve Rodsky – Author of Fair Play
  • David Kessler – Expert on Grief, author and founder of Grief.com
  • Gretchen Rubin – Author, The Happiness Project
  • Julie Gottman – World Renown Therapist and part of Gottman.com
  • Hope Edelman – Author of Motherless Daughters and Motherless Mothers.
  • Dr. Tara Allmen- Menopause Specialist based in NY.
  • Dr. Phillipa Ribbink – OB/GYN in Portland, Oregon 

    Angie Fitzgerald – ED Baby Blues Connection, Portland, Oregon. 

About the book

The Hook

Everybody thinks that menopause is the end of the line for women but, actually it  frequently is the beginning of a new era, especially if they feel empowered through their journey in mental health. 

Menopause is a hard, stigmatized, and misunderstood era of women’s lives. It also affects billions of people across the globe every year. This process can be made better by a deeper understanding of one’s own emotional experience and how menopause provides an opportunity for improvement and empowerment. 

 

Book Description

Every day in the United States 6,000 women start going through an experience called menopause. Some know it is happening, many don’t. Many countless others either don’t really know what menopause is or feel compelled to dismiss it or cringe due to their lack of knowledge of what it all really entails. Even the word menopause often strikes discomfort when it comes into any conversation. It’s one of those subjects – like death, taxes or terror – that can evoke a visceral, uncomfortable response.

The problem is there is a lot of stigma and ignorance around what menopause really is, what it looks like for the any individual and how to manage their own experiences. The symptoms are physical and mental and are many; including hot flashes, sleep issues, anxiety, depression, fatigue, incontinence issues, night sweats, irregular menstruation adjustments, dry skin and hair, painful intercourse, irritability, moodiness, brain fog, reduced sex drive and vaginal dryness. Ugh, right? That is a list of unwanted or feared experiences, am I right? 

Yet, we have learned that when we do not understand something, we often fear it. In order to survive and thrive through these symptoms and menopause, the solution is in women having a better understanding about what menopause really is. What that journey can look like for them and others

book-hook

As a licensed mental health therapist and woman in the middle of menopause, I found that I needed more support as my journey unfolded, especially with where my mental health was concerned. Many physical symptoms of menopause can be addressed with a series of conversations with trusted medical providers. However, some of the psychological symptoms are more subtle and internal. Some women just don’t feel good and have a hard time pinpointing what is going on inside themselves. They may encounter increased or even new experiences of anxiety, depression or self esteem and worthiness struggles as well as big dips in confidence, joy and hopefulness. These symptoms can be really scary, foreign, unwanted, unpredictable and overwhelming. Women can feel incredibly alone in their knowledge and experiences in this inevitable life change. 

This book seeks to be the warm blanket of comfort, knowledge and support some people need in their experience through menopause. During the course of writing this book I sent out a survey to gather input from people going through menopause, the things they wish they knew, what they wanted others to be aware and, even more powerfully, what they now know about their experiences. Over and over again many said, ‘You are not alone’. 

The book starts with identifying and unpacking common physical symptoms and frequently encountered emotional and psychological experiences a person can confront in going through their ongoing menopause journey.

The heart of the book explores and defines common emotional and psychological ordeals, what they are, how they can look on the inside and outside as well as how they show up in menopause. Women can personally identify and learn about what is going on inside of themselves and be introduced to a selection of skills and tools to help process those challenges.

This workbook will tackle and unpack those internal emotional symptoms and experiences women can have while entering peri-menopause all the way through their transition. As a qualified, licensed mental health therapist with nearly 20 years in the field, I will use my expertise to lay out some of the psychology around anxiety, depression, self esteem challenges, grief, worry, shame, guilt as well as joy, love, happiness and other psychological events that may be exacerbated,  encountered or sought in their menopause journey. I am also a woman who is having her own change experience which adds to the context of the discussions. I know a version of this. Additionally, I call upon many thought leaders in this arena to contribute to the discussion. 

The third part of this book seeks to encourage and support people’s menopause transitions through cultivating practices of self worth, self compassion, self care, self love and self advocacy. How to do this?  By means of written and process oriented tools and exercises to help clarify their journey. Not all people experience the same journey. Not by a long shot. This workbook is aid in their personal pilgrimage, a source of support – anytime or anywhere.