Dr. Boyd believes that each person experiences various thoughts, feelings and beliefs about what they may be going through. We each have a different “reproductive story” and when the story changes due to complications or unexpected thoughts and feelings, we experience a type of trauma or loss. RT’s can cause emotional, physical, and financial hardships. Many individuals feel alone, hopeless, overwhelmed, angry or fearful when these issues arise. Moreover, many families and individuals experience emotional and psychological and marital distress when dealing with these traumas. Her practices aims to educate professionals in the community about reproductive trauma, as well as treat the individuals and families struggling with some type of RT.
When facing reproductive challenges like infertility, miscarriage, high-risk pregnancy/delivery, pregnancy loss, SIDS, postpartum depression/anxiety, and menopause, many women and families experience profound distress. They describe feelings of being alone, anxious, angry, and sad. They are often very confused by medical jargon and do not know what to believe. They get upset about their bodies, and/or minds “not working right”. Sometimes there are also feelings of guilt around making certain medical decisions. For these reasons, women and families very often need help and support on a physical, emotional and relational level.
Trauma is further defined by the following:
*an event or feeling that goes beyond the range of usual human experience
*it is overwhelming physically or emotionally, or both
*a threat to your physical integrity or that of a loved one *may be the result of a single devastating event or a series of events that gradually build up and overwhelm you.
As a way of coping with the trauma, you may re-experience the events in flashbacks, nitemares, intrusive and obsessive thoughts, hypersensitivity to certain people, places and events, irritability, feelings of being out of control, numbness, withdrawal, depression and anxiety.
Therapy and reproductive counseling can help people understand and learn to accept their feelings and experiences. Therapists often become advocates, especially with spouses and family members. Therapy can also guide and direct people to accurate up-to-date resources and information. Often the literature and media can be very frightening and confusing. The therapy office is a place where these thoughts and feelings can be openly shared. A therapist can help with difficult decision-making, reduction of stress, exploration of options, and learning adaptive coping skills.
Reproductive Trauma is a term that has been introduced by my colleagues Dr's. David and Martha Diamond and Dr. Janet Jaffe at the Center for Reproductive Psychology In San Diego, California (www.reproductivepsych.com)
The following has been adapted from their innovative and inspiring work in the area of reproductive trauma. I would like to recognize and thank them for involving, teaching, guiding and supporting me and many others with the most rewarding work in the area of Reproductive Trauma.