Birth Trauma Training: Core Competencies for Therapists

Perinatal Training Centre has developed an integrated Birth Trauma training focusing on the development of core competencies required in effective therapeutic birth trauma intervention.

As with all training developed by the Perinatal Training Centre, we embrace and integrate the dual frames of the perinatal clinician, holding both developmental and relational frames through which to assess, formulate and treatment plan. These frames hold the portal through which both the trauma and its healing can be understood within the perinatal phase.

Our two-fold program

  1. Immersive workshop meetings – live and online

6 x 2-hr weekly meetings 

Live workshop meetings are hosted by Dr Bronwyn Leigh and facilitated by numerous clinician-trainers, where the emphasis is on therapeutic frames, formulation and intervention at an advanced level.

Content includes:

  • Identify key features and types of birth trauma;
  • Identify key risk factors for birth trauma;
  • Outline common elements of birth trauma treatment;
  • Locate birth trauma within a developmental frame, highlighting normative psychological transitions through pregnancy and postpartum and how these processes may be arrested by birth trauma;
  • Assess and formulate presenting issues from a relational perspective, integrating attachment theory principles;
  • Consider the quality of the couple relationship as a symptom-maintaining or symptom-reducing variable;
  • Hold the baby in mind and consider the parent-infant relationship in the context of birth trauma;
  • Examine effective ways to support parents through pregnancy and delivery after birth trauma;
  • Consider parallel processes in this difficult therapeutic work.
  • Applying the Nested Model for Integrated Perinatal Intervention

The weekly frequency of live meetings allows for a regular digestion of content and process, while providing opportunity for the application of material in your therapy work between meetings.

Live training and participation is key to learning. Reflecting together on this difficult and stirring material allows for strengthening of the ‘reflective muscles’ necessary for the therapeutic work in perinatal bereavement. Pre-recorded, or on-demand training, while useful for access to information, cannot replicate this necessary experiential learning required for therapists.

  1. Video lectures – view between weekly meetings

Time commitment TBC

Pre-recorded lectures compliment the live meetings and orient participants to concepts that are then explored and expanded as a group in the workshops.

 

 

image credit: Robert Alarcon on unsplash

  • Identify key features and types of birth trauma;
  • Identify key risk factors for birth trauma;
  • Outline common elements of birth trauma treatment;
  • Locate birth trauma within a developmental frame, highlighting normative psychological transitions through pregnancy and postpartum and how these processes may be arrested by birth trauma;
  • Assess and formulate presenting issues from a relational perspective, integrating attachment theory principles;
  • Consider the quality of the couple relationship as a symptom-maintaining or symptom-reducing variable;
  • Hold the baby in mind and consider the parent-infant relationship in the context of birth trauma;
  • Examine effective ways to support parents through pregnancy and delivery after birth trauma;
  • Consider parallel processes in this difficult therapeutic work.

This workshop is designed for multidisciplinary health professionals either currently working with, or who have a desire to work with, birth trauma presentations.  The training program is primarily targeted at those working in an ongoing therapeutic capacity with the perinatal population. First responders, eg., delivery suite nurses, sonographers, OBs, may benefit from the training too, but this is not our primary target audience.

It is advisable not to engage in this training while pregnant or in the early postpartum.

Prerequisites

Stable internet connection with camera and sound is required.  The Zoom platform is used for the online meetings.

Please ensure you will be in a quiet, private space during the live meetings.

As this is a post-graduate level training, experience in mental health work is assumed.  Assumed knowledge: experience in general assessment, diagnosis, formulation and treatment planning of mental health conditions. Please contact us if you have queries about this.

This training program focuses on both knowledge acquisition and clinical skills development.

Live online Option

Initially, the training will be offered as a live online training.

Participants are expected to engage in supplemental learning between live Sessions.  Activities include viewing video tutorials (4 hrs), reading and reflective exercises. Participants should allow up to 1-hr of supplementary learning each week between Sessions.

It is expected participants will attend all Sessions live.

*Please note that this is a live training event and attendance and participation are expected.*

Please be sure to check all the dates and times for the training and be sure you can attend.

On-demand Option

From June 2025, the training will be available as an on-demand training. If you are unable to attend the live training option, please wait until the training is available on-demand.

  • The hrs of Professional Development are yet the be determined — please stay tuned while we refine our program
  • Detailed power point slides in pdf form provided for each session, which becomes a post-training professional resource
  • Helpful handouts and articles 
  • Recommendations for books, websites and further training opportunities
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • Perinatal Training Centre Certificate of Completion electronic logo as part of our identity program
  • Option to continue your professional development upon course completion via access to individual or group supervision or consultancy with a Perinatal Training Centre supervisor

Registration Fee: TBC

Cancellation Policy
Cancellations: Full amount less $100 admin fee will be provided for cancellations received in writing up to two weeks prior to event. No refund after this time but registration is transferrable to another person to attend the same workshop.

Perinatal Training Centre is a trusted training provider in the field of perinatal and infant mental health (PIMH). We have held contracts for the provision of PIMH training with the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Victoria, the Northern Territory Government and the Government of South Australia. Independently, we have offered training nationally in PIMH since 2012.

Leading a once-off Australasian Birth Trauma Conference in 2019 confirmed for Bronwyn the necessity for integrated and collaborative care in the prevention and healing of birth trauma.

Birth Trauma Training is curated by Dr Bronwyn Leigh and facilitated by numerous clinician-trainers experienced in birth trauma research and therapy.  

Dr Bronwyn Leigh is a Clinical Psychologist, experienced trainer and Director of the Perinatal Training Centre and the Centre for Perinatal Psychology. Bronwyn is deeply interested in the psychological aspects of becoming a parent, the emotional development of infants, and parent-infant relationships, all of which can be impacted by a traumatic birth experience for either parent as well as baby. Her interest in birth trauma is long-standing, emerging from the countless clinical cases presenting under the guise of postnatal depression. Leading a once-off Australasian Birth Trauma Conference in 2019 confirmed the necessity for integrated and collaborative care in the prevention and healing of birth trauma.

Carla Anderson is a Clinical Psychologist working in her private practice Perinatal, Child and Family Psychology for the past thirteen years, with a special interest working with families within the perinatal period, particularly perinatal loss. Carla’s passion began prior to this with the Bonnie Babes Foundation as a volunteer telephone grief counsellor for families who had experienced a miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death. She then held an honorary position as a national trainer in perinatal loss counselling. Carla then went on to volunteer as a telephone grief counsellor for Angel Babies. Carla has also been involved in a number of national projects and training programs within the perinatal field, and recently published a journal article on Pregnancy-related fears.

Price: TBC Duration: TBC Format: Initially, Live, online via Zoom + pre-recorded video lectures; On-demand recording of live training + pre-recorded video lectures

2025 Dates

This training package will be available as a live, online option starting February or March 2025 and run 5-6 consecutive weeks with a meeting once weekly for approx 1.5-2-hrs.

Dates are TBC.

To keep up-to-date with our events, including this training, be sure to subscribe to our free monthly e-newsletter at the bottom of this page.

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