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 multidisciplinary 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 with 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 is to provide innovative 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.

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 Intimacy and Sexual Health

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 Women's Intimacy and Sexual Health referral so that you can be scheduled appropriately.

Maternal-Fetal Behavioral Health

We specialize in identifying and treating 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:

  • Preconception 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.

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.

If you are interested in our research programs, please contact Nichole Storey at 614-685-8754 or Nichole.Storey@osumc.edu.

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In the News

In the News

Clinic Drives Solutions for Pregnant Women Addicted to Opioids
February 13, 2018 - OSUWMC Blog

Tips for Making Resolutions Work
December 20, 2017 - OSUWMC Blog

Shocker: "Female Viagra" Isn't Actually Like Viagra After All
December 8, 2017 – Popsugar

Joe Biden’s Response to Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s Cancer Diagnosis Will Probably Make You Cry
September 29, 2017 - SELF

Coping With Depression and Anxiety as a Breast Cancer Patient
June 20, 2017 - U.S. News & World Report

Sex and Intimacy After Breast Cancer
June 8, 2017 - U.S. News & World Report

How Can I Get Through the Holidays After a Death?
December 16, 2016 – OSUWMC Blog

How To Handle the Holiday Stresses
November 30, 2016 - WSYX-TV/6-WTTE-TV/28

How is Your Spouse’s Health Impacting Yours? 
November 29, 2016 - Women’s Health

Coco Rocha Loves Her Daughter So Much, She May Not Have A Second Baby
November 21, 2016 - SELF

Chrissy Teigen Went Through Some Dark Times As A New Mom
November 18, 2016 – SELF

4 Mental Health Issues That Are More Common In Women
September 2, 2016 – Prevention

Chrissy Teigen Went to Dinner without Her New Baby and the Internet Freaked Out
April 25, 2016 – SELF

Science of Sex with Dr. Kristen Carpenter
March 11, 2016 - 2016 Young Survivors Coalition Summit

Debate Over Addyi Flares Anew
March 1, 2016 - MedPage Today

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

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.

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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 a psychiatrist and an Assistant Professor (Clinical) in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. She splits her clinical and educational endeavors between two programs at OSUWMC- Addiction Medicine and Women's Behavioral Health. She is board certified in Addiction Medicine through the American Board of Preventive Medicine and is to board certified in Psychiatry. Her clinical focus in WBH has been the assessment and treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in the peripartum. She is the resident expert in the management of perinatal substance use disorders.

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.

Kate Conroy, BA

Clinical Research Assistant

Kate has been a part of the Women's Behavioral Health lab since joining as a student in the Autumn of 2015. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Women's Studies, and Sexuality Studies from The Ohio State University in May of 2018, she officially joined the lab's full-time staff as a Clinical Research Assistant. In her time as a member of the WBH lab, Kate has been a part of development, coordination, and analysis of many projects including Coping with Chemotherapy, Enhancing Sexuality After Cancer (SHARE-B), and the Adolescent and Young Adult Health and Sexuality Survey. Kate's personal research interest is sexual health and its interactions with psychosocial and physical health and looks forward to entering a graduate training program in the coming years to pursue this line of research as a clinical psychologist.

Schmauder

Tonya Schauder, LISW

Social Worker; Psychiatric Counselor

Tonya Schmauder is a social worker and psychiatric counselor. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work at Bluffton University and her Master of Social Work degree from The Ohio State University. Tonya worked at the OSU Wexner Medical Center providing clinical services to Post-Partum women for over 7 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 perinatal and postnatal depression and anxiety.

Job Opportunities

Job Opportunities

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

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 visit us at http://u.osu.edu/carpenter.292/Projects/  for more information about research opportunities. 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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