Full Course Description
Pregnancy and Infant Loss: Effective Strategies to Support Grief and Treat Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression in Bereaved Parents
There is a vast silence around pregnancy and infant loss in our society. And it extends to clinical training programs.
Most therapists are not even aware of the field of reproductive psychology, never mind trained in it. Yet, all clients have a reproductive story of some kind, and that story often includes loss.
How would you take care of a client who is trying to decide if she has a right to her grief after a miscarriage?
How would you modify trauma treatment for a client who has PTSD after delivering a stillborn baby and wants to become pregnant again?
How would you advise a couple whose relationship is crumbling as their infant is sent to palliative care in the NICU?
There are numerous ways that pregnancy can result in tragedy, and while it may be tempting to see these as rare events that you are unlikely to encounter in your practice, it is much more likely that your clients already have or will experience a pregnancy or infant loss – though they may not be talking about it.
During this dynamic 1-day training with reproductive psychology expert Dr. Julie Bindeman, you will learn how to create a safe, therapeutic space for grieving parents. You’ll get the skills you need to:
- Help clients integrate the experience of loss into their reproductive stories
- Tailor your existing treatment strategies - like CBT and ACT - to pregnancy and infant loss situations
- Intervene with the family system and stop relationship conflict from taking over
- Effectively manage countertransference reactions related to your own reproductive experience
What is not talked about is harder to bear. Now you can fill a training gap and be ready to help your clients experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. Register today!
- Evaluate three differences in client responses to pregnancy and infant loss and their clinical implications.
- Formulate two ways that loss interrupts the developmental tasks of pregnancy.
- Devise two strategies for responding to relationship conflict after loss.
- Distinguish grief from postpartum depression.
- Utilize two cognitive therapy strategies to decrease clients’ self-blame related to pregnancy and infant loss.
- Demonstrate one therapeutically effective use of countertransference.
Gradations of Grief: Types of Early Bereavement
- Intake assessment strategies for obtaining reproductive information
- Nuances of loss in early pregnancy - miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, abortion, medical termination, stillbirth
- Developmental tasks of pregnancy and how loss interrupts them
- Coping with NICU admission and neonatal death
- Medical factors facing bereaved parents
- Infertility grief
- Disenfranchised grief - the loss of possibility and what could have been
Tools to Help Grieving Parents and their Communities
- Individual, couple, and family phases of grief - and when to be concerned
- Living children and loss
- Clinical management of higher rates of relationship conflict and divorce after loss
- Distinguish grief versus postpartum depression
- Language around loss - key things to say and not to say
- How culture supports or does not support grief and loss
- Best practices for managing grief milestones and establishing mourning rituals
- Grief management during subsequent attempts to conceive
Therapy after Pregnancy and Infant Loss
- Exploring clients’ reproductive journey and narrative
- Crisis interventions to help shift clients out of shock
- Stabilization phase - resourcing tools to manage the expected flood of emotions
- Tailor existing evidence-based interventions to this clinical situation
- Cognitive strategies for assisting parents with neutralizing shame and self-blame
- Behavioral techniques to manage loss-related triggers
- Mindfulness and values-based interventions to assist parents with creating meaning
- Trauma processing techniques for resolving PTSD-related symptoms
- Clinical strategies to support bereaved parents during subsequent pregnancies and the postpartum period after loss
- How and when to end therapy when pregnancy or infant loss was the presenting problem
- Therapeutic use and management of countertransference
- Self-care and burnout protection for therapists’ whose own symptoms or grief is activated
- Moral injury around limited resource availability
- Establishing cultural competency - inclusive practices for all individuals and family systems
- When and how to refer to couples therapy and support groups
- Research limitations and potential risks
- Social Workers
- Marriage & Family Therapists
- Addiction Counselors
- Other mental health professionals
- Occupational Therapists