Hi, my name is Jaleesa Bell and I am a trained Therapist and a Post Abortion Stress Syndrome Coach. I have a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree and a B.A. in Psychology. I specialize in abortion healing and have worked with various church ministries, pregnancy clinics and mental health services over the past 10 years. I am passionate about empowering and helping women and men pursue self-knowledge, establish the steps for forgiveness and experience emotional healing after having an abortion.
My mission is to gently and humbly restore individuals or couples who are struggling after an abortion experience in a non-judgmental and confidential space, by providing guidance, emotional support and breaking the stigma of mental health effects after an abortion for individuals struggling after an abortion. In this way, I am passionate about breaking the stigma of the mental health effects after an abortion and provide resources and care for those struggling with Post Abortion Stress Syndrome and replacing their silence with a story.
What is Post Abortion Stress Syndrome? Many people don't realize that an abortion creates strong feelings of both psychological and physical distress. After an abortion, a woman's emotional responses are often dismissed. However, these are normal reactions to a significant life event. Abortion is surrounded with a lot of myths, including several around the mental health effects that might result. Research has suggested that having an abortion does not increase a women's risk for depression or anxiety. However, having an abortion can create trauma that leads to emotional distress and negative feelings.
Post Abortion Stress Syndrome (PASS) is the condition occurring in women after the abortion experience due to unresolved psychological and spiritual issues. PASS is actually a form of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a commonly recognized condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorder (DSM) that often follows traumatizing events such as witnessing an act of violence or experiencing a natural disaster. Patterns of a long-term emotional distress include depression, grief, anxiety, helplessness, sorrow, low self-esteem, hostility, substance abuse, guilt, sexuality problems, self-condemnation, distrust, frustration, nightmares, flashbacks, anger, fear of rejection and the inability to form close relationships.
"Working with Jaleesa through Waiting to Exhale has been an amazing experience thus far. She actually cares about your progress and makes sure you both are understanding step by step. Finding hope through a heavy struggle is such a blessing. I’m so grateful to have been able to work with her!" -Christina, 31
"Jaleesa is very empathetic and attentive during my sessions. She brings a lot of structure to sessions and was flexible when I needed to process life events. I felt supported when processing family dynamics and appreciated how engaged she was, unlike other professionals who take on a more silent and reserved approach." -Veronica, 24 "Overall, I do feel I’m on the right track though. I say it often how you helped me so much through the abortion experience and recognizing more of what wasn’t serving me and how I was compensating. As well the difference within me between the “trauma” and the “personal” me…never realized how unbalanced I was between those two parts of me. So, I thank you for all that and more." -Pamela, 43