In light of the remarkably successful medical technologies now available for dealing with reproductive difficulties, individuals, couples – and clinicians – often overlook the losses and negative psychological sequelae that frequently arise when the path toward parenthood is not straightforward or simple. The impact of reproductive traumas must be understood in the larger context of what parenthood means to people, and how it fits in to the lifelong developmental line of parental identity. This presentation will explore the psychological trauma and complicated grief endured by patients who experience adverse reproductive events, including, but not limited to, infertility, miscarriage, high-risk pregnancy, premature birth, neonatal death, and postpartum depression. A conceptual framework that incorporates concepts of lifespan development, developmental lines, and the narrative construction of parental identity, and the nature of grief, will be presented to explain the traumatizing nature of these events, including the multiple layers of loss and destabilizing narcissistic injuries. The unique nature of these traumas raises important treatment considerations; implications for working with individuals and couples who suffer them will be discussed.
- In light of the remarkably successful medical technologies now available for dealing with reproductive difficulties, individuals, couples – and clinicians – often overlook the losses and negative psychological sequelae that frequently arise when the path
- Identify multiple kinds of reproductive losses and traumas that clinicians are likely to encounter and understand how to address them even when they are not identified by patients as presenting problems.
- Describe the life-span developmental context in which these events occur, and thereby understand the wide-ranging effects of the multiple layers of loss and the profound narcissistic injuries that people experience with reproductive traumas.
- Apply the conceptual framework presented to tailor interventions and treatment plans for patients dealing with reproductive losses and traumas.
- Explain how the conceptual framework presented can be used to tailor interventions and treatment plans for patients of diverse cultures who are dealing with reproductive losses and traumas.
Martha Diamond, Ph.D. received her undergraduate degree from Stanford University and her doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. She is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Reproductive Psychology in San Diego, California. Dr. Diamond is coauthor of Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility (2005) and Reproductive Trauma: Psychotherapy with Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Clients (2011). In addition to her clinical practice, Dr. Diamond has lectured nationally and internationally on reproductive issues, including the psychological trauma of infertility, miscarriage, and premature or complicated births. She also conducts in-service training for medical professionals on the psychological impact of adverse reproductive events and the emotional needs of their reproductive patients.
David J. Diamond, Ph.D. received his undergraduate degree from Yale University and his doctorate in clinical psychology from the University of Michigan. A practicing psychologist and psychoanalyst in San Diego, he is currently an Associate Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. Dr. Diamond is co-founder and co-director of the Center for Reproductive Psychology, and coauthor of Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility (2005). Formerly the director of the Reproductive Trauma Study Group at CSPP, Dr. Diamond has written and presented nationally and internationally on reproductive issues, with a particular focus on the development of parental identity and the impact of reproductive trauma on the sense of self.