The Myth of Maternal Bliss: Understanding the Psychological Gestation of Motherhood

Presented by Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFT on 06-27-2014 at 9 a.m. Pacific

As therapists, we are often called upon to work with individuals, couples, and families facing major life transitions. The birth of a baby is one of the most psychologically profound moments in the life of a woman and her family. A woman’s capacity to embrace the unique passage into motherhood not only has an enormous impact on the development of a secure attachment to her infant, but on fetal development and her overall mental health. Using the framework of attachment theory, this web conference facilitates an understanding of the psychology of pregnancy and its critical impact on maternal mental health.

We will look at the psychological processes involved in becoming a mother through the lens of several different researchers, including D.W. Winnicott and Daniel Stern. The experience of motherhood in the postpartum period will also be addressed with a focus on the discrepancies between expectations and reality, grief and loss as an integral part of this life-changing transition, and the incorporation of a woman’s new role as a mother into her previously established sense of herself in the world.

Utilizing an attachment perspective, this web conference will explain the significance of a woman’s earliest attachment relationships on her present experience of becoming a mother, the impact of trauma on maternal connection, and the factors that leave some women vulnerable to a denial of their pregnancies. We will also discuss the consequences of perinatal illness on attachment and mothering.

This web conference is intermediate instructional level and designed to help clinicians:

  1. Identify the psychosocial stages that occur in utero in order to foster secure attachment between a mother and her infant;
  2. Discuss at least two therapeutic modalities that are used when working with pregnant and postpartum mothers;
  3. Recite four themes that preoccupy the mind of the pregnant and postpartum woman;
  4. List at least five risk factors that leave women vulnerable to perinatal depression and interfere with the developmental tasks of pregnancy.

If you have any questions or concerns about this web conference or would like more information, please contact us here.

How the Web Conference Works

Attendees who register for this event will log in to the web conference center by using a computer and calling in to the teleconference line. Attendees will be able to ask live audio questions via phone and/or submit text chat questions via computer. Live streaming video and/or document sharing will also be available to participants. Alternatively, attendees may dial in to the teleconference line only, though attendees dialing in by phone only will be unable to ask questions.

Before the scheduled event, all registered attendees will be sent a reminder email with specific instructions on how to log in to the web conference center, as well as links to optional handout materials if applicable.

This event will include lecture and question-and-answer periods. A recording of the web conference will be available to members in GoodTherapy.org's Continuing Education Archives within two weeks. After the live event, a written transcript of the event will be available in the Member's Area. Members of GoodTherapy.org can receive continuing education credits for attending this event by logging in to the GoodTherapy.org Member's Area.

403.5CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy.org members at no additional cost.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

Two CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy.org is also an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within counseling services.

GoodTherapy.org is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. ASWB Approval Period: March 30, 2016 through March 30, 2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval. Social workers participating in this course will receive two clinical continuing education clock hours.

GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content and is solely responsible for all aspects of the program.

GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.

Registration Information

This web conference is available at no cost to GoodTherapy.org members.

This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.

Meet the Presenter

Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFT

Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFT

Diana Lynn Barnes, PsyD, LMFT, is regarded internationally as an expert on women’s mental health, particularly with regards to perinatal illness. As former president of Postpartum Support International, Dr. Barnes currently serves on their President’s Advisory Council. She is a member of the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and a core faculty member at the training institute for the Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force. She is a co-founder of The Motherhood Consortium, which serves young mothers and their families through a network of professionals. Dr. Barnes also maintains a private practice specializing in the reproductive health of women.

Dr. Barnes is a contributing author and the editor for the new book Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Across the Lifespan (Springer, 2014) and co-author of The Journey to Parenthood - Myths, Reality and What Really Matters. She has also had her work published in a variety of academic journals, including The Journal of Systemic Therapies. In 2009, Dr. Barnes was awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Eli Lilly Foundation for the contributions she has made to treatment and assessment of perinatal mood disorders. For additional information on Dr. Barnes and her work, please visit http://postpartumhealth.com.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. APA approval applies to all events listed after May 2011.
  • Logo
    GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo
    This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • ace
    GoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2016 – 03/30/2019. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0395.