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.
Jennifer Grosman, Ph.D., is the Co-Director of the Center for Maternal Wellness in Washington, DC. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the George Washington University and gained certification in Infant Observation from the Washington School of Psychiatry. She is a founding member of the Washington Area Reproductive Mental Health Consortium. Her areas of interest include perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, mother/baby attachment, infertility, miscarriage, late term pregnancy loss, adjustment to motherhood, and motherhood identity.
Cynthia Margolies, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Washington, DC. She integrates her psychoanalytic training with a range of trauma treatment methods including Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Ego State Therapy, Imagery, and Mindfulness. She teaches, presents and leads consultation groups on trauma and neuroscience through the Center for Healing and Imagery, the Washington School of Psychiatry and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.
Peggy Tilghman, LICSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with post-graduate clinical training that includes completion of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program and the Infant Observation Program, both at the Washington School of Psychiatry. She is now a guest faculty member for both training programs. Ms. Tilghman has a private practice in Washington, DC where she sees adults, adolescents and children as well as expectant and new mothers, individually and in groups, and includes the babies in her work whenever appropriate. Ms. Tilghman also spent ten years as a psychotherapist at the Adele Lebowitz Center for Children and Families
- Participants will be able to explain the contribution of early developmental trauma to the development of seemingly intractable Postpartum Depression.
- Participants will be able to describe three methods of self-regulation that can be taught to emotionally fragile patients with Postpartum Depression.
- Participants will be able to describe how the contributions of multiple therapists and maternal health professionals working in different ways and modalities can help overcome a therapeutic impasse in the work with a mother suffering from Postpartum Depression
Who should attend
The instructional level for this activity is clinically advanced; the program is designed for mental health professionals with an interest in learning more about breakdown in couples as well as those working with perinatal mood disorders.
CFS Members $60
Non-CFS Members $75
Candidates and Students with Valid ID $25
For further information regarding this course, please contact Connie Stroboulis at ConnieS3@aol.com or 732-446-4867.