THE DC SPRING PROJECT: Treating Underlying Attachment Trauma in Postpartum Depression

THE DC SPRING Project Support for Pregnancy – Raising Infants – Navigating Growth

The DC SPRING Project is a new outreach initiative sponsored by the Contemporary Freudian Society. The Project helps expectant and postpartum mothers and their families who are experiencing mood-related problems. Learn more about the Project at

Treating Underlying Attachment Trauma in Postpartum Depression: Sunday, June 4, 2017, 12:30 to 3:00 pm, BCC Regional Services Center – West Room, 4805 Edgemoor Lane, Bethesda, Maryland

There is urgency to the treatment of postpartum depression (PPD) —to minimize attachment risk and to restore mom and baby to maximum functioning at a critical developmental time.  Yet while some new mothers seeking our help recover with traditional psychotherapy, other patients become stuck and confound us with their apparent treatment resistance.  Therapists can be reluctant to refer patients for adjunct help, lest they convey that the patient is too much for them to bear.

In this in-depth case presentation, three clinicians present their concurrent work with a woman suffering from PPD as well as posttraumatic symptoms related to her childbirth experience.  A psychodynamic therapist and specialist in reproductive mental health referred her client to a mother/infant group therapist and also to a trauma therapist.  The three clinicians will each detail their approach to this clinical work.  They will also discuss how the combined treatment helped the mother not only recover, but develop the capacity to cope with a second traumatic pregnancy without further PPD.

This presentation will also focus on how PPD can be conceptualized and worked with as a form of complex developmental trauma and dysregulation.  Trauma-informed clinical strategies, such as somatic work, can stabilize and reinforce the strengths of the mother.  These can help her access the mature capacities so essential to care for her young child.

Jennifer Grosman, Ph.D., is the Co-Director of the Center for Maternal Wellness in Washington, DC.  She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the George Washington University and gained certification in Infant Observation from the Washington School of Psychiatry.  She is a founding member of the Washington Area Reproductive Mental Health Consortium.  Her areas of interest include perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, mother/baby attachment, infertility, miscarriage, late term pregnancy loss, adjustment to motherhood, and motherhood identity.

Cynthia Margolies, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist in Washington, DC.   She integrates her psychoanalytic training with a range of trauma treatment methods including Somatic Experiencing, EMDR, Ego State Therapy, Imagery, and Mindfulness.  She teaches, presents and leads consultation groups on trauma and neuroscience through the Center for Healing and Imagery, the Washington School of Psychiatry and the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis.

Peggy Tilghman, LICSW, is a licensed clinical social worker with post-graduate clinical training that includes completion of the Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy Program and the Infant Observation Program, both at the Washington School of Psychiatry. She is now a guest faculty member for both training programs. Ms. Tilghman has a private practice in Washington, DC where she sees adults, adolescents and children as well as expectant and new mothers, individually and in groups, and includes the babies in her work whenever appropriate. Ms. Tilghman also spent ten years as a psychotherapist at the Adele Lebowitz Center for Children and Families.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to explain the contribution of early developmental trauma to the development of seemingly intractable Postpartum Depression.
Participants will be able to describe three methods of self-regulation that can be taught to emotionally fragile patients with Postpartum Depression.
Participants will be able to describe how the contributions of multiple therapists and maternal health professionals working in different ways and modalities can help overcome a therapeutic impasse in the work with a mother suffering from Postpartum Depression.
Program Fees:

Regular Fee: $75 (includes CE credits; note CME credit is not available)

CFS Member: $60 (includes CE credits)

SPRING Project Therapist: No charge for program attendance; $45 for CE credits. Must register by mail.

PRE-REGISTRATION IS HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Program registration will be limited to 50 registrants.





City, State, Zip:



Program Fee:

Please mail this form with your payment made to “CFS”

CFS-DC Spring Project 6/4/17

11 Bunker Hill Drive

Manalapan, NJ 07726

If you have any questions regarding the program, please contact Dr. Elizabeth Fritsch at

Continuing Education Credits:

Psychologists: The Contemporary Freudian Society is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Contemporary Freudian Society maintains responsibility for this program and its content. CE credits are granted to participants with documented attendance of the entire program and completed evaluation form. It is the responsibility of the participants seeking CE credits to comply with these requirements. Upon completion of this program and evaluation form, participants will be granted 2.5 CE credits.

Social Workers: The Social Work Boards of the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia will grant continuing education credits to social workers attending a program offered by an APA authorized sponsor, provided they comply with the requirements stated above for Psychologists.

Professional Counselors: The Boards of Professional Counselors in the District of Columbia and Virginia will accept continuing education credits for Counselors attending a program offered by an APA-authorized sponsor, provided they comply with the requirements stated above for psychologists. The Board of Professional Counselors in Maryland will accept CE credits granted by a program that is recognized by the Maryland Board of Examiners for Psychologists and Social Workers.

Psychiatrists: Please note, this program is not eligible for continuing medical education credits.

Who Should Attend:

The instructional level for this activity is clinically advanced; the program is designed for mental health professionals with an interest in learning more about breakdown in couples as well as those working with perinatal mood disorders.

Important Disclosure Information:

None of the planners and presenters of this program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.

Building location: The BCC Regional Services Center’s street access is on 4805 Edgemoor Lane and the entrance is marked with flags.   The meeting rooms are on the Second Floor.

Parking: There is a parking garage for the building, called The Metropolitan, Montgomery County Garage #49.   Parking is free on the weekends.

Directions to the parking garage: The entrance to the parking garage is marked with a Bethesda Center parking sign. Coming south on Old Georgetown Road (from the Beltway) turn right on Woodmont Avenue and the parking entrance is almost immediately on your left (second driveway). If you are coming south on Wisconsin Avenue, turn right on Woodmont, cross Old Georgetown Road and the parking garage entrance is the second driveway on your left. Coming north on Wisconsin, take Old Georgetown Road, north, turn left at the second traffic light (Woodmont Avenue) and the garage entrance will be on your left (it’s the second driveway.) It is easy to access the Center meeting rooms after entering the building from the street level on Edgemoor Lane and taking the elevator to the second floor.

Directions from the metro station:

The building is conveniently located across the street from the Bethesda Metro Station. From the Bethesda Metro Station, take the escalator from the bus bay to the Plaza level, turn left, walk past the clock tower and across to the Metropolitan plaza using the pedestrian bridge.

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