Ohio State offers help for the unique emotional issues women face across their life span.

Women’s Behavioral Health (WBH) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is a multi-disciplinary academic center of excellence providing care to women experiencing stress or stress-related illness during life events that are unique to women. We provide women state-of-the-art care for mood and anxiety disorders, sexual health, substance use disorders, and stress with a special emphasis on pregnancy, the postpartum period, gynecologic and breast cancers, menopause, and the menstrual cycle.

Our Mission

The three-fold mission of WBH at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is to provide state-of-the-art behavioral health care for women, to conduct clinical research that will improve the safety and effectiveness of care for future generations of women, and to serve as a training center for residents, medical students, and other graduate students interested in the unique behavioral health needs of women.

The focus of clinical care at WBH is on planning and providing care for women as they progress through life events unique to women. We specialize in providing care to women experiencing stress, stress-related illness, or sexual dysfunction in association with pregnancy, the postpartum period, gynecologic or breast cancer, the menopausal transition, and the menstrual cycle.

We are one of few university centers conducting translational research relevant to these health concerns. Combining clinical care with clinical and basic science research provides WBH patients with access to the latest information about the safest and most effective treatments available during these periods of greatest vulnerability.

Patient Care

Patient Care

Patient Care

We provide care for women as they experience difficulties with unique life events, including pregnancy, the postpartum period, the menstrual cycle, and menopause.  We also provide support for coping with issues such as infertility and women’s cancers.

We offer comprehensive behavioral health care for mood and anxiety disorders, sexual health, substance use disorders, and stress.  This can include psychotherapy and/or medication management.

Our signature clinical services are:

Women’s Integrated Sexual Health (WISH)

This service was developed to address women’s unmet sexual health needs and support a healthy sexual life for women of all ages. We offer expertise to help women cope with sexual changes that follow gynecologic and breast cancer treatments, menopause, pregnancy and childbearing, as well as sexual difficulties that are long-standing.  We provide evidence-based treatment for sexual difficulties, as well as the stress that can accompany them.


What does this service involve?
Unlike other treatments for sexual concerns or difficulties, our services are designed specifically with women’s emotional health needs in mind. We offer individual consultation and education sessions, as well as individual and group psychotherapy. Our team has particular expertise in meeting the sexual and emotional health needs of female cancer patients and survivors. As with all of your medical care, treatment sessions and information are strictly confidential.


What is the cost?
This service is covered by most insurance companies. All appointments will be pre-authorized by our intake staff. Patients should contact their insurance provider for specific information about their policy.


Scheduling an appointment
If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call Harding Behavioral Health at (614) 293-9600 to speak to the intake team. When making your appointment, please request Dr. Kristen Carpenter and specify that this is a WISH referral so that you can be scheduled appropriately.

Maternal-Fetal Psychiatry

We specialize in the identification and treatment of mental illness during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Women's Behavioral Health at the Wexner Medical Center is one of few university centers providing clinical care AND conducting research in these areas. Our comprehensive treatment planning, often including a combination of medication and psychotherapy, is tailored to the individual, always striving for the best outcomes for mother and baby.


We offer:

  • Pre-Conception Evaluation and Counseling: We assist women who have a history of psychiatric illness considering pregnancy through education and comprehensive treatment planning.
  • Pregnancy Evaluation and Treatment Planning: We help women who are already pregnant to make well-informed and timely decisions about behavioral health care, balancing the needs of both mom and baby.
  • Postpartum Prevention: Women with a history of postpartum depression or other psychiatric illness are at increased risk to have significant emotional distress following delivery. Knowledge about medications and psychotherapy interventions in breastfeeding provide these women with the best opportunity to have the postpartum experience they desire.
  • Postpartum Illness: We provide safe and effective treatment of mental health issues after delivery, often a combination of medication and psychotherapy.
  • Infertility: Helping women to cope with the stress and uncertainty of infertility and assisted reproductive treatment and provide support and resources for the difficult decisions families often face.
  • Pregnancy and Infant Loss: We pride ourselves in our ability to help women with psychiatric illness deliver healthy, happy babies. Unfortunately, miscarriages and other pregnancy losses sometimes occur. New and expectant mothers who lose a child may experience not only the grief due to the loss but a sense of isolation from others who don’t seem to understand. Supportive care during this sensitive time is especially important.


What is the cost?
Our services are covered by most insurance companies. All appointments will be pre-authorized by our intake staff. If necessary, you should contact your insurance provider for specific information about coverage under your policy.


Scheduling an appointment
If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call Harding Behavioral Health at (614) 293-9600 to speak to the intake team. When making your appointment, please specify that you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, have recently delivered or have recently experienced a pregnancy loss. Let the intake staff know that you wish to be seen by the Women's Behavioral Health providers.

Well-Being Across the Reproductive Lifecycle

In addition to pregnancy related concerns, WBH offers expertise in emotional, reproductive and sexual health needs throughout the lifetime. Common concerns include:

  • Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
  • Mental health aspects of menopause
  • Interactions between psychiatric medications and birth control
  • Psychiatric medication impact on sexual functioning


What is the cost?
This service is covered by most insurance companies. All appointments will be pre-authorized by our intake staff. Patients should contact their insurance provider for specific information about their policy.


Scheduling an appointment
If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please call Harding Behavioral Health at (614) 293-9600 to speak to the intake team. When making your appointment, let the intake staff know that you wish to be seen by the Women's Behavioral Health providers.

Support Groups

Chasing Rainbows
If you are dealing with the loss of a pregnancy or infant, we want you to know that you are not alone. Losing a child is painful, but you don’t have to go through it on your own. Everyone experiences grief in their own way, but it can be helpful to process these feelings and changes with the support of others who are going through similar challenges. Please join us for a support group of parents dealing with pregnancy or infant loss, facilitated by Dr. Gur, Dr. Worly (Ob/Gyn), and a Chaplain. For more information and to register, please contact rainbows@osumc.edu.

SHARE: Sexuality and Relationship Enhancement for Women with Cancer
Over the past 15 years, Dr. Carpenter has conducted a great deal of research with gynecologic and breast cancer patients and survivors. This research has taught us two important things. First, sexual issues are common and difficult for gynecologic and breast cancer patients. Second, until now, there have been very few resources  available to these patients coping with sexual difficulties and stress following their diagnosis and treatment. This clinical research project offers a psychological intervention designed to prevent or reduce the sexual difficulties and stress that can follow gynecologic and breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Please contact Nichole Storey at 614-685-8754 or nichole.storey@osumc.edu if you would like to learn more.

Research

Research

Women's Behavioral Health at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is a leading women’s behavioral health research center. Our studies explore the causes, results, and treatment of stress and stress-related illness arising during life events that are unique to women. Current areas of research emphasis include Maternal-Fetal Psychiatry and Women's Integrated Sexual Health.

The goal of our Maternal-Fetal Psychiatry research is to maintain and improve the health of new and expectant mothers while safeguarding the well-being of their babies. These studies examine the course and severity of stress-related illnesses during pregnancy and the postpartum period, pregnancy-related changes in the clearance of psychiatric medications, levels of infant medication exposure during pregnancy and breastfeeding, and the well-being of infants whose mothers experienced perinatal mental illness and/or received psychiatric medication during pregnancy.

In our Women's Integrated Sexual Health (WISH) research, our aim is to enable women who are experiencing sexual dysfunction to achieve healthy, satisfying sexual lives. Our studies examine female sexual dysfunction arising in various contexts including gynecologic and breast cancers, childbearing and the transition into menopause, identifying causes and risk factors and testing novel treatment approaches for sexual dysfunction.

Enroll in a clinical trial

In the News

In the News

Survivorship and Sexuality with Dr. Kristen Carpenter
January 14, 2016 - Interview with Tracy Townsend on 10TV

Postpartum Depression with Dr. Tamar Gur
October 20, 2015 - Good Day Columbus

Guide to Life: Dealing with Postpartum Depression
September 12, 2015 - The Columbus Dispatch

What All Successful Couples Have In Common
June 13, 2015 - Yahoo! Health

Why Women Are More Accepting of "Dad Bod" Than Men Are of "Mom Bod"
May 13, 2015 - Women's Health

How to Never Feel Burned Out Ever Again 
Feb. 23, 2015 - Huffington Post (The Third Metric blog)

Sexuality and Body Image among Women with Cancer
Feb. 18, 2015 - OSU Wexner Medical Center Psychosocial Grand Rounds

Relationship Troubles Can Affect Health, Ohio State Researchers Find
Jan. 25, 2015 - Columbus Dispatch

The Number One Health Risk for Successful Women
Nov. 20, 2014 - Yahoo Health

Wellness Wednesday: E-Cig News, Postpartum Prep, Parkinson’s
April 30, 2014 - WOSU All Sides with Ann Fisher

Wife’s Breast Cancer Battle Can Harm Male Health
April 17, 2012 - PsychCentral

Our Team

CarpenterKristen

Kristen Carpenter, PhD

Director of Women’s Behavioral Health; Clinical Health Psychologist

The primary research focus of Kristen M. Carpenter, PhD, is the identification of risk factors for sexual and psychological maladjustment in gynecologic and breast cancer patients during various stages of diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. After earning her PhD at Ohio State, she completed postdoctoral fellowship training at Ohio State and the University of California, Los Angeles.

GurTamar

Tamar Gur, MD, PhD

Maternal-Fetal Psychiatrist

Dr. Gur earned her MD and PhD from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Her clinical work at Ohio State focuses on perinatal and postnatal depression and anxiety, which dovetails with her research interest on the effect of maternal mental illness and its treatment on the developing organism. Her research seeks to understand how maternal mental illness contributes to psychiatric outcomes in offspring.


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HorsemanCasia

Casia Horseman, MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Horseman is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health.

Julie Hyman, MD

Psychiatrist

Dr. Hyman completed her undergraduate degree at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, before obtaining her medical degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She completed her psychiatry residency at Stanford Hospital and Clinics, where she was awarded the Gulevich Award for humanistic values and excellence in patient care. Dr. Hyman's clinical area of interest is women's behavioral health, with a focus on the reproductive life cycle. She has experience treating premenstrual dysphoric disorder, perinatal psychiatric illness, and perimenopausal behavioral health concerns.

Erica Reimer, MSW, LISW-S

Social Worker

Erica Reimer is a social worker and psychiatric counselor. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology at Ohio University and her Master of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University. Erica worked at the OSU Wexner Medical Center providing clinical services for over 15 years prior to joining the Women’s Behavioral Health team. Her clinical area of interest is women’s behavioral health, including the reproductive life cycle and coping with chronic illness.

Alexandra Zaleta, PhD

Postdoctoral Researcher

Dr. Zaleta is a postdoctoral researcher and a clinical psychologist. She received her undergraduate degree from Vassar College and a masters degree in Human Development and Psychology from Harvard University. She additionally received masters and doctoral degrees in Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis. She completed her clinical internship at Boston Consortium/VA Boston Healthcare System, and her postdoctoral training in Psychosocial Oncology at The Ohio State University. Dr. Zaleta’s clinical and research interests involve the intersection of health psychology and geropsychology. Her research projects have focused on cancer and dementia, with an emphasis on psychological consequences of illness, fear of illness recurrence, health communication, and survivorship.

Nichole Storey, MS

Senior Clinical Research Coordinator

Nichole received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from The Ohio State University and a Master of Science in Health Sciences for Clinical Research Administration from George Washington University. She maintains certification through the Society of Clinical Research Associates (SoCRA) as a Clinical Research Professional. Prior to joining the Women's Behavioral Health team, she spent six years in the Department of Radiology as a Clinical Research Coordinator.

Jeffrey Barnett, BA

Clinical Research Assistant

Jeff completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from The Ohio State University in 2013. Since then, he has been working as a Clinical Research Assistant at the OSU Wexner Medical Center. Jeff’s research background includes work on mood disorders, computer-based therapy, health-related quality of life, and the therapeutic alliance. He joined the Women’s Behavioral Health team in 2015 and is coordinating our study on coping with chemotherapy.

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

The Women's Behavioral Health program is currently recruiting for the following positions:

Post-Doctoral Fellowship in Women’s Behavioral Health

The Women’s Behavioral Health Program (PI: Carpenter) at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is seeking applications for a post-doctoral fellow. Position is primarily research (75%). The ideal candidate has a clinical or research interest in psychological and behavioral treatments for women with cancer or other medical conditions. Additional research projects are available with existing datasets.  Research tasks include data analysis and manuscript and grant preparation, as well as clinical support for ongoing and upcoming research projects. Candidates with superior clinical, conceptual, organizational, and analytical skills are sought; those with track records of research productivity and demonstration of quantitative acumen will receive priority. Qualifications for this position include a doctoral degree in Psychology from an APA- or CPA-accredited clinical program (with an accredited clinical internship and dissertation successfully defended prior to start date, no exceptions).  Experience/training in psycho-oncology and sexual health are desirable, as is expertise in delivering cognitive-behavioral therapy.  Candidates with significant training in non-cancer medical populations will certainly be considered. Clinical supervision to facilitate psychology licensure will be provided, with particular emphasis on enhancing skills in: 1) delivery of an evidence-based, manualized treatment for sexual sequelae of cancer diagnosis and treatment; 2) provision of sexual health interventions and psychotherapy to cancer and other medically ill patients; and 3) delivery of psychotherapeutic interventions for mood and anxiety disorders in the peri-partum.


Candidates should submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, scholarly writing sample, and three letters of recommendation to Dr. Kristen M. Carpenter via email at Kristen.Carpenter@osumc.edu. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled, though applications received prior to January 31, 2016 will be given priority. Salary is commensurate with qualifications and experience; benefits will be provided. Start date is flexible.

Volunteer and Undergraduate Research Assistants

We may have opportunities for those interested in gaining practical research experience in a clinical setting, with the possibility of earning course credit. These opportunities will provide excellent experience for those considering graduate studies or a career in research. Students will have the opportunity to conduct hands-on interviews with participants, and will be responsible for other duties as needed including recruitment, data entry, and maintenance of the lab space. Our studies focus on women with psychological disorders, sexual concerns, and other health problems; ideal candidates will have an interest in working with such patients.


Qualified applicants will have completed some coursework in psychology, public health, social sciences, or an allied discipline. Prior research experience is helpful, but not required. Interested candidates should contact Nichole Storey (nichole.storey@osumc.edu) with a cover letter, resume, and schedule of classes for the term for which you are applying. We will contact you regarding your application if there is a position available that fits your background and availability.

As central Ohio’s only academic medical center, The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center values learning, development and innovation. Working here is more than just a job – it’s a career in which you can help change the face of medicine. Ohio State is always looking for experienced professionals to join our team.

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