More than 30% of women describe their birthing experiences as traumatic. In addition to trauma occurring in the labor and delivery suite, traumatizing and similarly disruptive incidents can occur in the effort to become pregnant (infertility treatment, surrogacy, the adoption process), during the course of pregnancy itself (high-risk pregnancy, bedrest, adverse prenatal diagnosis, premature delivery, pregnancy/fetal complications, antepartum mood and anxiety or psychosis), or complications in the newborn period (NICU care for the newborn or medical complications in the mother including postpartum mood, anxiety disorders - PMADs - or psychosis). Because these events are common, commonly stigmatized, 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. 

This advanced practice workshop will introduce attendees to the wide range of disruptive events that can occur in the perinatal period, teach them to identify characteristics of those events that induce ruptures in the normative developmental path of family-building, and to recognize the common clinical presentations of patients suffering in the aftermath of disruptive and traumatizing perinatal events. 

Through this training, attendees will gain an understanding of the Three Core Tasks parents face during the perinatal period (Davis & Stein, 2003). This comprehensive framework guides clinicians around history-taking and case conceptualization, allowing them more nuance and specificity as they assess ruptures in the perinatal period. 

Using EMDR’s 3-prongs and 8-phases, the lens of Adaptive Information Processing, and the guiding framework of the Three Core Tasks, attendees will hone their clinical conceptualization skills, which will guide their decision making around the preparation and resourcing phases of EMDR and their choice of targets and protocols (for phases 3-7). 

 With the use of case examples and structured conceptualization materials incorporating the Three Core Tasks, participants will see how this case conceptualization and treatment-planning model integrates seamlessly with EMDR therapy’s 8-phase standard protocol. 

Increase your knowledge of how trauma affects the brain, and how EMDR can improve client outcomes. Update your skills and enhance your ability to identify hidden trauma in the clients you see and learn to better facilitate healing in new clients suffering perinatal trauma.  Learn advanced practice applications including the integration of AIP-based interventions across all prongs and phases of EMDR treatment. The use of specialized protocols and modifications are also addressed during this training. Case discussion, demonstration, and reflection around 'self as therapist' are woven throughout the course.


  1. To review the use of EMDR’s Three-Pronged, 8-stage standard protocol and the Adaptive-Information Processing model.

  2. To understand the Three Core Tasks framework for perinatal mental health.

  3. To understand how philosophies of care— developmentally supportive, relationship-centered care—serve as trauma recovery resources. 

  4. To recognize and describe the parameters of both normative perinatal mental health and the types of disruptive events that can occur during this period. 

  5. To conceptualize the impact of postpartum mood, anxiety, and postpartum psychosis through Integrated Lens, and to propose EMDR therapy treatment strategies.

  6. To identify at least three disruptive or traumatic features of perinatal loss and trauma. 

  7. To identify specific considerations important to history-taking and evaluation of clients subsequent to a perinatal event using an integration of the AIP and Three Core Tasks lenses.

  8.  To identify appropriate use of specialized protocols and modifications in treating perinatal crisis and trauma within the framework of EMDR therapy treatment planning.

  9. To extend the AIP and Three Core Tasks framework from assessment to case conceptualization. 

  10. To review features of perinatal hospice, pediatric palliative care, and the factors influencing decision-making in the perinatal period. 

  11.  To apply attachment theory to perinatal loss and trauma, using the AIP and Three Core Task lenses.

  12. To conceptualize the experience of grieving using the AIP and Three Core Task framework.

Course Curriculum

  • 1

    Welcome to The Advanced Practice of EMDR for Perinatal Mental Health: Self-Paced

    • Welcome to The Advanced Practice of EMDR for Perinatal Mental Health

    • Your Expressive Arts Project

    • Expressive Art Examples from Prior Trainings

    • Downloadable complete slide deck

    • Worksheets

  • 2

    Module I: Overview of EMDR Foundational Concepts

    • EMDR Module Introduction

    • Review of EMDR Core Concepts

  • 3

    Module II: The Three Core Tasks

    • Introduction to Three Core Tasks Module

    • Three Core Tasks Slides

    • An Unexpected Journey - from Davis & Stein, "Intensive Parenting: Surviving Your Journey Through the NICU" (Fulcrum, 2013)

    • Story in Perinatal Trauma

  • 4

    Module III: Philosophies of Care

    • Philosophies of Care Introduction

    • Philosophies of Care

    • NIDCAP

    • Developing a Philosophy of Care

  • 5

    Module IV: Perinatal Trauma - The Journey

    • Perinatal Trauma Introduction

    • Types of Perinatal Trauma - An Overview

    • Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders through the Trauma Lens

    • Impact

    • 'Birth Trauma' Video

    • 'Born Too Soon' Documentary

  • 6

    Required Readings for Perinatal Trauma -- The Journey

    • Parents’ views on care of their very premature babies in neonatal intensive care units- a qualitative study

    • Love, Pain, and Neonatal Intensive Care

    • Invisible wounds obstetric violence in the United States

    • Beyond postpartum depression

    • The effects of PTSD treatment during pregnancy: systematic review and case study

    • “The loss was traumatic...some health care providers added to that”: Women’s experiences of miscarriage

    • Coping and Adjustment - From Davis & Stein, "Intensive Parenting: Surviving Your Journey Through the NICU" (Fulcrum, 2013)

    • Acclimating to the NICU - From Davis & Stein, "Intensive Parenting: Surviving Your Journey Through the NICU" (Fulcrum, 2013)

    • Discharge and Homecoming - From Davis & Stein, "Intensive Parenting: Surviving Your Journey Through the NICU" (Fulcrum, 2013)

  • 7

    Supplemental Readings - Perinatal Trauma

    • Postpartum depression screening in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit- program development, implementation, and lessons learned

    • “Nothing’s actually happened to me.”- the experiences of fathers who found childbirth traumatic

    • The experiences of mothers with preterm infants

    • Is childbirth-induced PTSD associated with low maternal attachment?

    • Depression, anxiety, & mental health service experiences of women w/ a twin-twin transfusion syndrome pregnancy

    • A simple model for prediction postpartum PTSD in high-risk pregnancies

    • The Impact of Postpartum Posttraumatic Stress and Depression Symptoms on Couples' Relationship Satisfaction

    • Association Between Severe Maternal Morbidity and Psychiatric Illness Within 1 Year of Hospital Discharge After Delivery

    • To lose an unborn child: Post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressivedisorder following pregnancy loss among Israeli women

    • Perinatal Maternal Mental Health, Fetal Programming and Child Development

    • Infertility and Perinatal Loss: When the Bough Breaks

    • A systematic review of the relationship between severe maternal morbidity and post-traumatic stress disorder

    • Stigma in the context of pregnancy termination after diagnosis of fetal anomaly: associations with grief, trauma, and depression

    • Intergenerational transfer of perinatal trauma-related consequences

    • Childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder

    • Childbirth-related post-traumatic stress disorder in couples: a qualitative study

    • Posttraumatic stress and experiences of parents with a newborn in the neonatal intensive care unit

  • 8

    Module V: Constructing an Integrated Lens

    • Constructing an Integrated Lens Introduction

    • The Integrated Lens in Evaluation and History-Taking

    • EMDR for Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders

    • The Integrated Lens for Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning Part I

    • The Integrated Lens for Case Conceptualization and Treatment Planning Part II

    • Video Introduction to Demo

    • EMDR Demo: Phase I, Part 1

    • EMDR Demo: Phase 1 Part 2

    • EMDR Demo: Phase 2

    • EMDR Demo: Phase 3 and start of Phase 4

    • EMDR Demo: Phases 4-7

    • Discussion of Demo (captioned video)

  • 9

    Readings for Constructing an Integrated Lens

    • EMDR for the treatment of post traumatic stress following childbirth

    • The OptiMUM-study EMDR therapy in pregnant women with posttraumatic

    • The effects of PTSD treatment during pregnancy systematic review and case study

    • Conceptualization of Parenting Stress in the Context of EMDR Therapy

    • Prenatal and Perinatal EMDR Therapy Early Family

  • 10

    Module VI: Palliative Care

    • Making Peace With Agonizing Decisions

    • Perinatal Hospice and Palliative Care Introduction

    • Perinatal Palliative Care Program at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

    • Holding Space: Neonatal Palliative Care

    • Colorado Collective for Medical Decisions

  • 11

    Module VII: Attachment

    • Attachment Module Intro

    • Attachment

  • 12

    Readings on Attachment

    • Discharge and Homecoming

    • Repairing Failures in Bonding Through EMDR

    • Grief and its impact on prenatal attachment in the subsequent pregnancy

    • Polyvagal preemie

    • Is childbirth-induced PTSD associated with low maternal attachment?

  • 13

    Module VIII: Grief

    • Grief Module Intro

    • Grief

  • 14

    Required Readings on Grief

    • Treatment of grief and mourning through EMDR: Conceptual considerations and clinical guidelines

    • A grief ignored- narratives of pregnancy loss from a male perspective

    • The Use of Eye Movement Desensitizationand Reprocessing (EMDR) in the Treatment ofTraumatic Stress and Complicated Mourning: Psychological and Behavioral Outcomes

    • EMDR With Grief Reflections on Ginny Sprang’s 200

  • 15

    Supplemental Reading - Grief

    • From grief, guilt pain and stigma to hope and pride–a systematic review and meta-analysis of mixed-method research of the psychosocial impact of stillbirth

    • Complicated grief after perinatal loss

    • Disenfranchised Grief Following a Traumatic Birth

    • A Parent's TEARS: Primary Results from the Traumatic Experiences and Resiliency Study

    • Parental bereavement Looking beyond grief

  • 16

    Captioned Video of Lectures

    • About These Video Files

    • Day 1 morning

    • Day 1 afternoon

    • Day 2 AM

    • Day 2 PM

    • Day 3 afternoon

  • 17

    Final Assignments

    • Final Assignments

    • Course Quiz

    • What Comes Next?

    • Course Evaluation and CE Certificate

Frequently Asked Questions

What prerequisites are there for this training?

Completion of at least Part I of Foundational EMDR Training is required for participation in this course. EMDR foundational training from PSI or other institutions is accepted as well.

How is a 'self-paced' workshop different from a live-streamed one?

A self-paced workshop does not occur live. Instead, the lectures, readings, and other material are found in your course portal. You move through the material at your own pace. 

How can I ask you questions? 

There are a couple of ways to ask questions and engage in discussion for this workshop. First, every module offers a discussion section. You may ask questions or post comments in any of the discussion sections and I will respond. Hopefully, others taking the course will also chime in for conversation where that makes sense. Second, please join the private Facebook group set up for this self-paced workshop. You can post questions or comments there as well.

How long will the training be available?

There are no plans to take down this workshop. You can take your time working through it and you can review it again later if you wish to do so. 

Is there a registration limit or deadline?

No registration limit or deadline.

Does this workshop count towards EMDRIA’s CE requirement for certification?

Yes, it does. It offers 18 CEs from EMDRIA. For more details about other CE approvals, see the CE section of this landing page.

Does this workshop count towards PSI’s CE requirement and/or advanced training requirement for the PMH-C?

PSI requires that trainings that count towards the Advanced Track of training for the PMH-C be held live. 

This course IS PSI-approved to meet the continuing education requirement to maintain the PMH-C.

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About the instructor

EMDRIA-Approved EMDR Consultant and EMDR Faculty Trainer for ICM

Mara Tesler Stein

Mara is a clinical psychologist in private practice specializing in perinatal mental health, trauma, and attachments throughout the lifespan.  Her approach to therapy is integrative and trauma-focused, drawing on elements of psychodynamic, cognitive, behavioral, developmental, and interpersonal models of treatment.She is an EMDRIA Certified EMDR Therapist and Approved Consultant, and EMDR Trainer on faculty with the Institute for Creative Mindfulness.Throughout her career, Mara has consistently sought out advanced training as a way to deepen and develop her expertise. She is a perinatal trauma specialist certified in Perinatal Mental Health. Since she first trained in EMDR therapy in 2003, Mara has realized that a trauma-focused lens is invaluable to her clinical work. Mara has designed her trainings to foster a sense of connection and safety so that clinicians can engage in ways that enhance their learning and allow them to more deeply connect to the material. Her ultimate aim is to facilitate an internally integrated and interconnected experience for those seeking EMDR Therapy Training.

This course meets the requirements for 18 Continuing Education credit hour by the CE approval bodies listed below:

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an approved provider of continuing education in EMDR Therapy by the EMDR International Association (EMDRIA). Course Approval: #10002-DL14.

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Institute for Creative Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

Institute for Creative Mindfulness, #1735, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Institute for Creative Mindfulness maintains responsibility for this course.  ACE provider approval period: 03/16/2021 – 03/16/2024.

The Institute for Creative Mindfulness is an approved provider of continuing education by the State of Ohio Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board (OCSWMFT) for counselors, social workers, and marriage/family therapists. Approval: #RCS091306

This is a hybrid, self-paced distance learning course, comprised of reading material and video content. This is an intermediate level course. Completion of all modules, a course evaluation, and post-test is required to receive CE Certificate. Course evaluations are administered after completing all course modules. The post-test is comprised of true/false and multiple choice questions and requires a passing mark of 75%, and is administered after completion of the course evaluation. Upon passing the post-test, participants will be able to download their CE certificates.

This course was first published in July, 2020.

Please contact us with any questions or concerns at: