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Digital Recording

Reproductive Trauma: Essential Tools for Infertility, Pregnancy Loss, Birth Trauma, and Perinatal Mental Health Disorders

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Janet Jaffe, PhD
5 Hours 57 Minutes
Jun 26, 2023
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Digital Recording
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All clients have a reproductive story – whether they have children or not, whether they want children or not, regardless of their gender or sexuality.

And while for some that story goes as imagined, many clients go through the quiet devastation of any number of unanticipated traumas.

These stressors create unique mental health challenges that are different from what therapists were trained to treat. Infertility and pregnancy loss aren’t typical grief. Birth trauma isn’t typical trauma. Perinatal mood issues aren’t just depression and anxiety.

Unseen and unacknowledged, these traumas can shatter clients’ sense of self and shake the foundations of their intimate relationships.

Whether clients are presenting to your practice to work specifically on symptoms related to reproductive trauma – or whether reproductive trauma comes up as relevant in the context of other clinical work – you need to be prepared to help them navigate these complex struggles.

Join Janet Jaffe, PhD, co-founder and co-director of the Center for Reproductive Psychology and acclaimed clinician and author, for this dynamic 1-day seminar designed to help you:

  • Assess clients’ reproductive story and its impact on self and relationships
  • Utilize the latest approaches to treat reproductive trauma
  • Create opportunities for posttraumatic growth – whether clients eventually have children or not
  • Manage issues of therapist self-disclosure and countertransference

Register today and be ready to respond to the unique reproductive mental health challenges of your clients!


Planning Committee Disclosure - No relevant relationships

All members of the PESI, Inc. planning committee have provided disclosures of financial relationships with ineligible organizations and any relevant non-financial relationships prior to planning content for this activity. None of the committee members had relevant financial relationships with ineligible companies or other potentially biasing relationships to disclose to learners.  For speaker disclosures, please see the faculty biography.


This online program is worth 6.0 hours CPD.



Janet Jaffe, PhD's Profile

Janet Jaffe, PhD Related seminars and products

Janet Jaffe, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field of reproductive psychology for over 25 years. She is the co-founder and co-director of the Center for Reproductive Psychology in San Diego, CA where she works in private practice with individuals and couples seeking psychological support on their journey to parenthood. She has done extensive writing on infertility and pregnancy loss, including Unsung Lullabies: Understanding and Coping with Infertility and Reproductive Trauma: Psychotherapy with Infertility and Pregnancy Loss Clients, the second edition of which is scheduled to be published in 2024. Dr. Jaffe has also contributed several chapters to books as well as journal articles regarding fertility counseling and women’s health. A member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Mental Health Professional Group (ASRM, MHPG), she served as chair of the Connections Committee, overseeing educational forums for members. She has given talks on reproductive psychology for professional audiences, including several through ASRM and American Psychological Association (APA) at their annual congresses, has been interviewed by National Public Radio, and has addressed patient audiences across the country.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Janet Jaffe maintains a private practice and is the co-founder and director for Center of Reproductive Psychology. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Janet Jaffe is a member of the American Psychological Association, the California Psychological Association, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, and the Postpartum Health Alliance.


  1. Assess clients’ reproductive story as it relates to case conceptualization.
  2. Differentiate reproductive trauma from PTSD to inform treatment interventions.
  3. Demonstrate cognitive restructuring for challenging clients’ self-blame after reproductive trauma.
  4. Utilize problem solving techniques to assist clients with managing decisions related to their desire to become parents.
  5. Utilize narrative therapy techniques intended to foster posttraumatic growth after reproductive trauma.
  6. Determine indicators for self-disclosure of the clinician’s reproductive history.


The Reproductive Story as a Foundational Understanding: Your Client’s Unconscious Guideline for the Creation of Self and Family
  • Development and elaboration of the reproductive story
  • Screening clients you suspect might have reproductive trauma
  • Assessment techniques to discern clients’ core assumptions of pregnancy
  • Psychological parenthood
  • Intersectionality, culture, and reproductive story
Identify Impacts of Reproductive Trauma: Infertility, Loss, Birth Trauma, and Perinatal Disorders Change the Script
  • Ways the reproductive story can go awry
  • What makes reproductive trauma different from other types of trauma
  • Differentiate reproductive trauma from PTSD
  • Disenfranchised grief: not just loss of wouldbe baby
  • Individual and couple impacts – self and relationships, meaning and purpose
  • Case conceptualization for reproductive trauma
  • How to cope in a child-centered world
  • Case example: assessing reproductive story
  • Case example: grief, loss, and coping after miscarriage and infertility
Healing Through the Lens of the Reproductive Story: Cognitive, Psychodynamic, and Narrative Approaches
  • Support clients searching for reasons in the face of disrupted schema
  • Create rituals for mourning and locating consistent support
  • How to help clients considering fertility treatments
  • What to do when clients decide to stop trying to conceive
  • Top strategies for challenging self-blame, guilt, and shame
  • Essential cognitive interventions when ideas about parenthood are shattered
  • Build insight around the meaning of family and parenthood
  • Techniques to help clients rewrite their reproductive story
  • How to facilitate posttraumatic growth for clients with reproductive trauma
  • Case example: use of decision tree with client contemplating using a donor
  • Case example: reproductive story work where there is intergenerational trauma
Clinical Considerations
  • The clinician’s reproductive story – does it interfere or enhance?
  • Evaluate clinician biases that can impact treatment
  • Self-disclosure – when, why, how much?
  • Taking care of oneself while taking care of others
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Psychiatric Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

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