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Contemporary Freudian Society

DC Spring Project "Treating Underlying Attachment Trauma in Postpartum Depression

One Session Program (2.5 Contact Hours)

Presenters: Jenniger Grosman, PhD, Cynthia Margolies, PhD, and Peggy Tilghman, LICSW
Date: Sunday, June 4, 2017
Location: BCC Regional Services Center - West Room, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, MD
Time: 12:30-3:00pm

There is urgency to the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD) —to minimize attachment risk and to restore mom and baby to maximum functioning at a critical developmental time.  Yet while some new mothers seeking our help recover with traditional psychotherapy, other patients become stuck and confound us with their apparent treatment resistance.  Therapists can be reluctant to refer patients for adjunct help, lest they convey that the patient is too much for them to bear.

In this in-depth case presentation, three clinicians present their concurrent work with a woman suffering from PPD as well as posttraumatic symptoms related to her childbirth experience.  A psychodynamic therapist and specialist in reproductive mental health referred her client to a mother/infant group therapist and also to a trauma therapist.  The three clinicians will each detail their approach to this clinical work.  They will also discuss how the combined treatment helped the mother not only recover, but develop the capacity to cope with a second traumatic pregnancy without further PPD.

This presentation will also focus on how PPD can be conceptualized and worked with as a form of complex developmental trauma and dysregulation.  Trauma-informed clinical strategies, such as somatic work, can stabilize and reinforce the strengths of the mother.  These can help her access the mature capacities so essential to care for her young child.

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