Full Course Description
Essentials of Reproductive Therapy: Infertility, Pregnancy Loss, Trauma, Donor Conception, and More
- Describe fertility counseling and its role in the mental health field.
- Assess a client's reproductive story within the context other clinical issues.
- Integrate fertility language, diagnosis and procedure terminology into practice.
- Demonstrate knowledge of general fertility treatment options available to individuals and couples.
- Utilize clinical/counseling skills to support clients experiencing fertility treatment.
- Describe the unique issues specific to special populations in fertility treatment.
- Determine the complexities of working with clients utilizing assisted reproductive technology such as donor gamete selection and disclosure.
- Describe the impact of reproductive loss and trauma on the individual and couple.
Module 0: Why Fertility Counseling Matters More Than Ever
Module 1: Getting to Know the World of Reproductive Medicine
- Why fertility counseling?
- How to take this course
Module 2: The Expanding Role of Mental Health Professionals in Fertility Treatment
- What does it take to make baby?
- What happens when making a baby isn’t working?
- The evolution and growth of reproductive medicine
- What therapists should know about infertility and medically assisted reproduction
Module 3: When Fertility Issues Arise During Therapy: What Psychotherapist Need to Know
- What is a fertility counselor?
- How do fertility counselors fit in with the reproductive medical team?
- What services do fertility counselors provide?
- When do fertility counselors become involved?
- What is involved in intake and assessment from the perspective of fertility counseling?
- What does the future hold for fertility counseling?
Module 4: A Therapeutic Map of Working with Clients Undergoing Fertility Treatment & Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
- Identify reproductive concerns and how they impact the course of psychotherapeutic treatment
- Understand countertransference issues that can arise from the therapist’s own reproductive history
- Ethical dilemmas and legal issues in fertility counseling
- Knowing when and how to refer
Module 5: The Legacy of Reproductive Loss & Trauma: Supporting Clients When Reproductive Efforts Fail
- Preparing clients for fertility treatment and ART
- Working with clients during fertility treatments and ART
- Working with clients who are pregnant after ART
- Working with clients post-birth/postpartum after ART
Module 6: Treatment Considerations for Special Populations
- Types of reproductive loss
- Understanding the experience of reproductive loss
- What to know as a clinician
Module 7: Working with Families Created with Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART)
- The growing area of fertility preservation
- Working with singles or un-partnered clients
- Working with the LGBTQ+ population
- Working with advanced age individuals and couples
- Working with egg and sperm donors
- Working with recipients of egg/sperm/embryo donation/gestational surrogacy
- Working with gestational surrogates
- Working with families who used have used donor conception or a gestational surrogate
- Disclosure and its impact on everyone involved in the family building process
Perinatal Loss: An Attachment-Informed Treatment Framework for Helping Clients Process and Heal from Pregnancy Loss
It’s not a topic that people will bring up at work, over coffee, or even at get togethers with close friends. Instead, 1 in 4 women suffer in silence, because it’s not something that they are supposed to talk about – it is a topic that stays firmly behind closed doors and if you dare breach that social boundary, you may hear well-intentioned, but hurtful statements such as:
“At least you were only a few weeks along.” “Everything happens for a reason.” “Why don’t you just adopt?” “Just think positive.” “You just need to relax and it’ll happen in time.”
There really should be a book titled What Not to Say when it comes to pregnancy and infant loss.
I know because I’ve been there. After my experiences of loss, I heard the invalidating statements and I experienced the paradoxical sense of isolation – paradoxical because the reality is so many of us have experienced this kind of loss. The reality then becomes that many individuals only feel comfortable discussing their experience of pregnancy loss within the confines of a confidential therapeutic space.
Yet, while we may serve as one of the few if not the only safe harbor for individuals to share and process their experience of loss, in our clinical training, pregnancy and infant loss was quickly brushed over – most often as an aside in larger, generalized discussion of grief. Clients seeking psychotherapy for pregnancy or infant loss may have kept it hidden, feel unsure where to turn for help and may already be hesitant about the validity of their pain and the usefulness of therapy in supporting them. You need to feel confident in your ability to help them navigate one of the toughest struggles they will ever face – their story of not only loss, but of love.
In this specialized, intensive training, I will walk you through the challenging realities of a pregnancy or infant loss - the accompanying emotional roller coaster, and specific steps to take to help your clients move forward. You’ll learn the best interventions for treating grief after a loss and uncover the mistakes you may be making – without even realizing it!
Whether you’re a specialist already or just getting started in this area, this training is for you! Watch me in this powerful training and learn proven strategies that will help your clients heal.
- Utilize clinical strategies to assess, conceptualize, and treat pregnancy loss.
- Employ evidence-based grief and trauma interventions to treat pregnancy loss and to support clients in future reproductive journey.
- Investigate clinical considerations and adaptations to treat pregnancy loss within couples and group psychotherapy.
- Build the development of greater insight in both clinicians and clients they are treating.
Perinatal Loss: Common Misconceptions
- Misattunement to the loss
- Far reaching implications of reproductive trauma
- Ongoing and chronic nature of the trauma
Assessment: Exploring Clients’ Reproductive Story
- How to listen for red flags: grief, guilt, shame, self-blame, and hopelessness
- Identifying unique and numerous losses experienced
- When things take a turn: anxiety, depression, OCD
- How to fully validate clients’ experience
- Sharing the Story
- Utilizing relevant assessment measures
Treatment Planning for Pregnancy and Infant Loss
- Chronic trauma related to pregnancy loss
- Adapting PTSD strategies for reproductive trauma
- Addressing grief by utilizing loss and restoration orientation framework
- Highlighting implicit emotions that may impact treatment progress including shame, self-blame, and hopelessness
- Balancing complicated grief while still trying to conceive
Treatment Interventions: Helping Clients Move Forward, Not On
- Utilizing attachment-focused approach
- Trauma-informed/PTSD adaptations
- Build resiliency with interventions based on empathy, forgiveness and compassion
- Maintaining relationships with partner and family
- Adapting clinical techniques for couples and group work
- Supporting clients in subsequent pregnancies
- Culturally informed case conceptualizations
- Relationship to body after a loss
- How to hold personal experience with pregnancy loss while helping clients
- Limitations and risks