Recommendations for Interventions Addressing Traumatic Labor and Delivery and Posttraumatic Stress in a Mother-infant Therapy Group Model


Pamela Hamer

Date of Award


Document Type

Undergraduate Capstone Project

Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Graduate School of Professional Psychology

First Advisor

Peter Buirski

Second Advisor

Jennifer Cornish

Third Advisor

Kym Spring Thompson


Postpartum, Posttraumatic stress, Traumatic labor and delivery, Attachment


A growing body of research provides strong evidence for the incidence of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and partial PTSD (a subthreshold condition indicating the presence of fewer symptoms than required to meet criteria for the full disorder) among postpartum women. Researchers have found women’s perception of a lack of social support during and after the birth process (Harris & Ayers, 2012; Iles, Slade & Spiby, 2011), to be influenced by their attachment styles (Ayers, Pike, Parfitt & Ford, 2014), and to play a crucial role in the development and maintenance of posttraumatic stress symptomology. The significance of social support is consistent with Charuvastra and Cloitre’s (2008) social ecology conceptual framework for posttraumatic stress disorder, which is grounded in attachment theory and emphasizes the importance of social ties in the development, maintenance, and resolution of PTSD. Given that posttraumatic stress is often experienced by women being treated for postpartum depression (PPD), recommendations are made for these considerations to be integrated into the framework of an existing mental health program designed to treat PPD: The Mother-Infant Therapy Group model (Clark, 2008).

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. Permanently suppressed.


37 pages

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