Understanding trauma in the perinatal period: EMDR for families in distress


More than 30% of women describe their labor and delivery experience as traumatizing. This figure does not include trauma that occurs in the effort to become pregnant, during the course of pregnancy itself, or complications in the newborn period. Because these events are common and rarely life-threatening, women often minimize their impact, and family members and physicians may not recognize their repercussions, making them potentially challenging to clinically detect. Parents face many developmental, family-building tasks during the perinatal period. Traumatizing events not only raise the risk for post-traumatic stress disorder but can also interrupt these developmental tasks, introducing barriers and gaps into this already complex process of family-building.

Abstract Topic & Aims
This session introduces attendees to the wide range of traumatizing events that can occur in the reproductive period, teaches them to identify characteristics of those events, and to recognize common clinical presentations. Attendees will learn to conceptualize decision making around phases 1-2 of EMDR and choice of protocol for phases 3-7. Using case examples, participants will see how the 8-phase standard EMDR protocol can effectively be utilized to help traumatized families.






Marta Tesler Stein

Original Work Citation

Stein, M. T. (2021, June). Understanding trauma in the perinatal period: EMDR for families in distress. Presentation at the 20th EMDR Europe Association Conference, Virtual



“Understanding trauma in the perinatal period: EMDR for families in distress,” Francine Shapiro Library, accessed September 28, 2021, https://emdria.omeka.net/items/show/26967.

Output Formats