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Sunday, January 31, 2010

New Support Group for Mothers at TCH

Posted by: "Sherry Duson"

Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:49 am (PST)

I am happy to announce that a new, free support group has begun at Texas Children's Hospital, facilitated by Sherry Duson, MA.
"Mother to Mother: A support group for pregnancy and postpartum depression" will be held every Friday from 10am - 12pm at
Texas Children's Hospital
Leopold L. Meyer Building
1919 S. Braeswood Blvd. (at Greenbriar)
Second floor, room MO2227
(Note: this is not the TCH main campus in the medical center, but a nearby, easy to find adjunct building. It is on the rail line, and a short walk from the rail stop on Greenbriar)
Parking is free in the Meyer Building parking garage when you tell the guard you are there for the support group.
Discussions include:
Pregnancy and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders
Caring for yourself while caring for your baby
Understanding how a new baby can bring changes in yourself and your family
Managing stress, and more
*Babies, spouses, partners, family members and other support people are welcome to attend.
For more information contact Sherry Duson at 832.824.2401 or
Please share this news with all who might be interested, or those who work with perinatal women.  This is the first step of what will hopefully become a comprehensive maternal mental health program at Texas Children's Hospital Maternity Center. We appreciate you helping us get the word out.
Thank you!
Sherry J. Duson, M.A.
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Professional Counselor

News from My Best Birth

My Best Birth Newsletter

January 31, 2010
Dear  Jodi,
Happy New Year! We have a lot of great plans in store for 2010 including more celebrity webisodes, a new DVD, a classroom version of The Business of Being Born, and the paperback publication of Your Best Birth. Our community on continues to grow and we thank you, our members, for educating each other and supporting women’s childbirth options.  
Ricki & Abby and the My Best Birth Team

A New Series of Celebrity Birth Webisodes Begins In February on Mybestbirth

Following up our popular webisode series featuring Cindy Crawford, Melissa Joan Hart, and Alyson Hannigan, we are excited to bring you exclusive excerpts from the birth stories of professional boxer Laila Ali and actress Kellie Martin.  Laila had planned for a natural birth at home. “My thing is, I always want to be in control,” Laila said. “I didn’t want anyone doing anything to me or my child that wasn’t necessary, for reasons that have to do with wanting to get out of the hospital early, wanting to go home, wanting you to have a fast labor, or wanting to make that’s why I was like, ‘I want to do this naturally and I want to do it at home."  Actress Kellie Martin says that “Giving birth naturally was a very big goal for me.  I don’t know why I initially wanted it. I think it was partly because my mom and my mother-in-law both gave birth naturally. I was like, ‘If my mom could do it, I can totally do it.’ I did everything I possibly could to stick to that goal.”  Stay tuned to to view these webisodes.

Ricki’s Recent Trip to Costa Rica

Owen, age 8, Milo, age 12, and Ricki in Costa Rica

Happy New Year!

Last month I was able to travel to Costa Rica, a place I had always dreamed of visiting.  It is an amazingly beautiful country.  Milo, Owen, and I traveled all over the southern and central parts of Costa Rica.  This picture was taken at Rafiki African Lodge in the jungle.  One of the coolest
places ever! 

Costa Ricans know how to live.  They haven't had a military since 1949. Instead of spending money on armed forces, they put that money into educating their people What a concept!

I also learned that they permit women to give birth in water in the hospitals. 

I think I might retire there someday. 



Abby’s Baby is Almost Here!

Filmmaker Abby Epstein was unexpectedly featured in her own documentary while shooting “The Business of Being Born” with Ricki Lake.   This time she’s hoping for fewer surprises as she plans for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) birth with baby #2 any day now. Click here to read Abby’s most recent blog entry as we follow her journey to VBAC.
Ricki to Attend CIMS Forum and Receive an Award!
Ricki plans to attend the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services Forum, where she will be keynote speaker, and she will be accepting the Sharron S. Humenick Award.  The event will be held at the Radisson Hotel and Suites - Austin.  Visit the CIMS website for additional details.
How You Can Help Mothers and Babies in Haiti
Even before the devastating earthquake on January 12th, Haiti had the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western hemisphere, with 607 women per 100,000 dying of complications related to childbearing. In the aftermath of the earthquake, Circle of Health International has pledged to do everything in its power to address women's unique and critical health needs, in order to limit the earthquake's damage to women's health. (  Financial donations are needed badly, as are donations of midwifery/medical supplies.  Please visit Circle of Health International for more information.
Gisele Chooses Home Birth

As more and more people become aware of their choices in birth, we are seeing more wonderful stories of natural birth in the media.  Hot off the press (although we’ve know for a while!) is that supermodel Gisele Bundchen and husband Tom Brady delivered son Benjamin in their Boston home last December.  We hope that Gisele’s birth story will open the minds of her fellow Brazilians where C-section rates in private hospitals are typically over 95%!  Click here to read more!
A Very Warm Welcome to All Our New and Returning Sponsors!
2010 has started off with a bang and we have 3 new and very special sponsors to thank.  We'd like to welcome Floradix, bringing you a liquid, plant-based source of iron; Mayron's Goods, the creator of "natural, clean and beautiful products for children"; and Hynobabies, hypnosis and birth empowerment for childbirth.  We would also like to thank and recognize our current and returning sponsors G Diapers, Moby Wrap, SproutBaby,Mothers Naturally, Basq, Maternitique and Naturally For Her.  We are so grateful for your support, as well as for the knowledge you share and wonderful products you make available to our great community.  Thank you from everyone at My Best Birth!  If you are interested in sponsoring a Webisode, or advertising on our site, please contact
Maternitique is Hosting a Giveaway!
Maternitique is hosting an amazing giveaway, worth over $135 (including free shipping).  One lucky winner will receive the I Love My Mama gift set, Thank You cards, Angel Milk Nutritional Shake for pregnant and nursing moms, Monthly Comfort Tea and Eye Brightening Cream.  Sign up and spread the word!  You can also follow Maternitique on Twitter and fan them on Facebook for two additional entries! It's simple to sign up. Click here for more information and how to enter.
Invite Your Friends to Join My Best Birth
It's easy to invite your friends to join My Best Birth.  Just locate the Invite tab on the upper left hand corner of your page, and click to import your contacts from Yahoo, MSN, Gmail and AOL.  It's a great way to support our amazing community, and to help us grow!
Link Your My Best Birth Page to Your Twitter
You can now seamlessly integrate your Twitter account with your My Best Birth Page.  Just locate the Twitter icon on your page and click to share blog posts, discussions and more!  It's that simple, and a fun way to help grow our community.
Actress Kimberly Williams Paisley Wears Her Baby in Our Moby Wrap

Click here to see the new Spring colors!

  Your Best Birth
your best birth book
YOUR BEST BIRTH is an empowering childbirth guide packed with crucial advice from medical professionals, delivered in a down-to-earth, engaging, and honest voice. Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein reevaluate the pregnancy process, renew expectant mothers’ confidence, and place the control back where it belongs: with parents-to-be.
Order your copy now!

the business of being born dvd

The Business of Being Born on DVD
"It should be seen by EVERY pregnant woman in America..." -NY Daily News
Click here to watch the trailer

Saturday, January 30, 2010

IMBCO International Day

Posted by: "Rae Davies"


International MotherBaby Childbirth Organizaiton
International Day at CIMS Forum

Join us and discover how the International MotherBaby Childbirth Initiative
has gone global!
Date: February 25, 2010
Time: 8:30 am-5:00 pm
Evening: 6 pm-6 pm

The International MotherBaby Childbirth Organization is delighted to
announce our International Day as a pre-conference event to be held the day
before the CIMS Forum. This day long event is an opportunity to learn and
share what is happening around the world with the International MotherBaby
Childbirth Initiative. Meeting Agenda:
Registration fee: $45
For more information contact:

Location Details:
The Radisson Hotel & Suites Austin - Town Lake111 Cesar Chavez at
CongressAustin, TX 78701Reservations: 1-800-395-7046 Book Online at Reference 'International CIMS' to receive
the group rate of $139/night plus applicable taxes. This rate is available
until Jan. 25, 2010, or until the room block is sold out.

Register for this event at  

Guerilla Midwife Film Documentary
International Day speakers include international representatives, and the
IMBCO Board of Directors
The CIMS Forum February 26 & 27 is featuring Ricki Lake, Judy Norsigian,
Rima Jolivet, Penny Simkin, and more. Our evening event features the film
documentary from Indonesia Guerilla Midwife, and an international bazaar.

Bad Moms Don't Like Non-Consensual Nether-Probing - The Bad Moms Club


Sometimes, you're just fooling around on Twitter while the toddler naps and suddenly, some piece of news just slaps you in the face like a wet surgical glove. This, for example: apparently, if you're a woman and you've had surgery, you might have had a team of medical students poking around your nethers and you don't even know it.

According to a Globe & Mail article today, it's standard practice at Canadian teaching hospitals to allow medical students to practice pelvic exams on women who have undergone surgery, while they are still unconscious, without their consent.

That's right. While you were knocked out, having those fibroids removed, someone who was not your doctor was poking around down there and nobody told you.

From the article: "Medical students routinely practice doing internal pelvic examinations while surgery patients are unconscious, and without getting specific consent, at least in Canada.

Guidelines in the United States and Britain say specific consent is required but, by contrast, Canadian guidelines state that pelvic examination by trainees is “implicit.”"

Implicit? What part of me undergoing surgery 'implies' that I'm okay with having a little unscheduled nether-probage? Is it the fact that I'm unconscious? Doesn't that sound a little bit like the defense of a rapist with a roofie stash?

Is that an exaggeration? I don't know. My parts are my parts. They're not open for business to anyone just because a) it's educational, and b) I'm unconscious. On those terms, the aforementioned rapist just needs to insist that he was giving himself an anatomy lesson.

The irony is, most women surveyed said that they would consent to the exams - if they were asked. According to the article, "sixty-two per cent of respondents said they would consent to medical students doing pelvic exams, and an additional 5 per cent said “yes” but only if a female student was doing the exam."

But they're not asked, and that's wrong. Really wrong. What do we do about this?

Bad Moms Don't Like Non-Consensual Nether-Probing - The Bad Moms Club

Dear Nether-Probers: We, The Undersigned, Say STOP IT. - The Bad Moms Club


The letter below is an open letter concerning the practice of non-consensual pelvic exams, about which you can learn more at yesterday's angry rant. Please leave a comment in support, as a virtual signature, and we'll circulate this everywhere and make a big stinky fuss until these policies get changed.

Dear Canadian Medical Association, Doctors of Canada, Ob-Gyns of Canada, Medical Students of Canada, Federal Minister of Health And Anybody Else Who Has Anything To Do With The Policy Or Practice Of Non-Consensual Pelvic Exams Performed On Women During Surgery:

A recent article in the Globe and Mail reports that that it is common and accepted practice in Canadian teaching hospitals for medical students to practice pelvic exams on anesthetized women undergoing surgery. No consent is sought from these women, and no consent is given.

This is deplorable. This is unacceptable. Non-consensual interference with another person's body in anything other than life-saving or life- or health-preserving circumstances is wrong. And for many women, interference with the sexual and reproductive parts of the body is interference of a particularly problematic kind. Many of us would experience this as violation. This is violation. If you do not have our permission to use our bodies for your own purposes, you must not so use them.

We demand that this practice be stopped immediately. We demand that the Canadian Medical Association and the boards of all Canadian teaching hospitals and medical schools change their policies and regulations regarding this practice, such that no pelvic examinations for the purposes of medical training are ever performed without the woman's express consent. We demand that the relevant Canadian laws be amended, if necessary, to reflect this, that they reflect every woman's - every person's - right to authority over their own body.

We never said yes to this. We are now saying loudly, NO.

And no means no.


Women of Canada, their loved ones, friends and supporters.

Read more about the issue at Canada Moms Blog, where a few writers are giving their personal accounts of how this affects them. Also check out this post at BlogHer, which summarizes some of the discussion so far. And, of course, my rant from yesterday. If you've written about this, please leave a link in the comments. And if you tweet about this, please hashtag it #noconsent, so that we can follow it and get more online discussion going.


Dear Nether-Probers: We, The Undersigned, Say STOP IT. - The Bad Moms Club

Time to end pelvic exams done without consent - The Globe and Mail


Andre Picard

Andre Picard

Published on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 9:56AM EST Last updated on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 10:00AM EST

Imagine that you are undergoing a fairly routine surgery – say, removal of uterine fibroids or hysterectomy. During or right after the procedure, while you are still under anesthesia, a group of medical students parades into the operating room and they perform gynecological exams (unrelated to the surgery) without your knowledge.

Do you consider this okay, or an outrageous violation of your rights?

Regardless of your feelings, you should be aware that this is standard procedure in many Canadian teaching hospitals.

Medical students routinely practice doing internal pelvic examinations while surgery patients are unconscious, and without getting specific consent, at least in Canada.

Guidelines in the United States and Britain say specific consent is required but, by contrast, Canadian guidelines state that pelvic examination by trainees is “implicit.”

The practice – one of those dirty little secrets of medicine – has been exposed in a thoughtful, professional manner by a young doctor.

The story goes back to 2007 when Sara Wainberg was a medical student at McMaster University. Her younger brother Daniel, also studying to be a doctor, phoned for advice: As part of his rotation in obstetrics and gynecology, he had been asked to perform a pelvic exam on a woman who was under anesthetic. He refused, saying doing so without consent would be unethical.

“It got me thinking,” Sara Wainberg said. “I had done this numerous times in my training and it had never occurred to me that it might be unethical.”

She polled her fellow students and found 72 per cent had also done exams on unconscious patients, without consent, confirming that it is routine…

Time to end pelvic exams done without consent - The Globe and Mail

Losing sleep, losing brain?


ScienceDaily (Jan. 29, 2010) — Chronic and severely stressful situations, like those connected to depression and posttraumatic stress disorder, have been associated with smaller volumes in "stress sensitive" brain regions, such as the cingulate region of the cerebral cortex and the hippocampus, a brain region involved in memory formation. A new study, published by Elsevier in Biological Psychiatry, suggests that chronic insomnia may be another condition associated with reduced cortical volume.

Losing sleep, losing brain?

Brigadier General Loree K. Sutton, M.D.: PBS' 'This Emotional Life': Healing The Invisible Wounds Of War


The invisible wounds of war are not new to our Warriors, Veterans and their loved ones. For many, "coming home" is not the end of war--far from it. Leaving the battlefield far behind, the war often continues--in hearts and minds, relationships and communities following deployment.

War is hell ... as can be peace. As James Hillman aptly put it, "peace for veterans is not an absence of war, but its living ghost in the bedroom, at the lunch counter, on the highway ... The return from the killing fields is more than a debriefing; it is a slow ascent from hell."

As always, we must remember history's lessons of war and its human toll. War changes everyone - as Robert Emmet Meagher states: "There is no such thing as inflicting casualties without enduring them. Every wound inflicted upon another is a wound within."

Sophocles, a General during the time of the ancient Greeks, wrote the story of Ajax, a Warrior of renowned strength and courage, tested by combat, who became depressed and died by suicide near the end of The Trojan War.

During the American Civil War, the unseen injuries of combat trauma were known as "nostalgia" and "soldier's heart," a particularly poignant phrase which I personally favor.

In World War I, the toll of industrialized trench warfare was characterized as "shell shock," a term that, by World War II, was replaced with "thousand yard stare" and "battle fatigue."

Several years following Vietnam, these wounds were medically recognized as "post-traumatic stress disorder", or PTSD, marked by the recognition of acute, chronic and delayed onset to experiencing trauma on both the battle and home fronts.

Warriors returning from Iraq and Afghanistan frequently refer to experiencing "post-traumatic stress," or PTS. As one sergeant stated, "I got injured - I'm not sick." PTS is indeed a normal, frequent and common response to the trauma of war. Timely and effective intervention - peer2peer, family, and community - reduces the likelihood of progression to chronic illness. Treatment does work - the sooner the better…

Brigadier General Loree K. Sutton, M.D.: PBS' 'This Emotional Life': Healing The Invisible Wounds Of War

Recorder Community Newspapers > Archives > The Progress > News > Things to do in the Caldwells, Fairfield, Roseland and Essex Fells


Perinatal Bereavement Support Group for those who have experienced a loss during pregnancy or of a newborn offers support. The group meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. usually first Wednesdays at St. Barnabas Medical Center, 94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston. Free. To register, call (973) 322-5745 or (973)-322-5855.

Mood Disorders:
Depression and Bi-Polar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a national organization that meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays at Morristown Unitarian Fellowship, 21 Normandy Heights Road. For information, visit or call (973) 994-1143.

Depression & Bipolar Disorder Self-help Support Group for those diagnosed with major depression or bipolar disorder meets from 7:30 to 9 p.m. second and fourth Thursdays at St. Cassian Church, 187 Bellevue Ave., Upper Montclair. Family members are welcome.

Pre-Post Natal:
New Mom’s Circle, free weekly support group led by a licensed clinical psychologist, specializing in post-partum adjustment meets from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesdays at St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, 200 S. Orange Ave., Livingston. Advanced registration is requested. Call (973) 322-5360.

Breastfeeding Support Group workshop helps participants achieve the confidence and skills needed for a satisfying nursing experience. This group meets from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays, following New Mom’s Circle at the St. Barnabas Ambulatory Care Center, 200 South Orange Ave., Livingston. Newborns in car seats or strollers are welcome. Free. Advanced registration is requested. Call (973) 322-5360.

Maternity Orientation, a free seminar designed for expecting mothers planning to deliver at St. Barnabas, will meet on first Wednesdays of every month in the Islami Auditorium at St. Barnabas Medical Center, 94 Old Short Hills Road, Livingston. No Fee. Registration is not required.

Recorder Community Newspapers > Archives > The Progress > News > Things to do in the Caldwells, Fairfield, Roseland and Essex Fells

Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama Administration Issues Rules Requiring Parity in Treatment of Mental, Substance Use Disorders

Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury


HHS: 202-690-6145
DOL: 202-693-8666
Treasury: 202-622-2960

January 29, 2010

Obama Administration Issues Rules Requiring Parity in Treatment of Mental, Substance Use Disorders

Paul Wellstone, Pete Domenici Parity Act Prohibits Discrimination

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS), Labor, and the Treasury today jointly issued new rules providing parity for consumers enrolled in group health plans who need treatment for mental health or substance use disorders.

“The rules we are issuing today will, for the first time, help assure that those diagnosed with these debilitating and sometimes life-threatening disorders will not suffer needless or arbitrary limits on their care,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. “I applaud the long-standing and bipartisan effort that made these important new protections possible.”

“Today’s rules will bring needed relief to families faced with meeting the cost of obtaining mental health and substance abuse services,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The benefits will give these Americans access to greatly needed medical treatment, which will better allow them to participate fully in society. That’s not just sound policy, it’s the right thing to do.”

“Workers covered by group health plans who need mental health and substance abuse care deserve fair treatment,” said Deputy Treasury Secretary Neal Wolin. “These rules expand on existing protections to ensure that people don't face unnecessary barriers to the treatment they need.”

The new rules prohibit group health insurance plans—typically offered by employers—from restricting access to care by limiting benefits and requiring higher patient costs than those that apply to general medical or surgical benefits. The rules implement the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).

MHPAEA greatly expands on an earlier law, the Mental Health Parity Act of 1996, which required parity only in aggregate lifetime and annual dollar limits between the categories of benefits and did not extend to substance use disorder benefits.

The new law requires that any group health plan that includes mental health and substance use disorder benefits along with standard medical and surgical coverage must treat them equally in terms of out-of-pocket costs, benefit limits, and practices such as prior authorization and utilization review. These practices must be based on the same level of scientific evidence used by the insurer for medical and surgical benefits. For example, a plan may not apply separate deductibles for treatment related to mental health or substance use disorders and medical or surgical benefits—they must be calculated as one limit. MHPAEA applies to employers with 50 or more workers whose group health plan chooses to offer mental health or substance use disorder benefits. The new rules are effective for plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2010.

The Wellstone-Domenici Act is named for two dominant figures in the quest for equal treatment of benefits. The late Senator Paul Wellstone (D-MN), who was a vocal advocate for parity throughout his Senate career, sponsored the ultimately successful full parity act. He was joined by former Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) who first introduced legislation to require parity in 1992. Champions of the legislation also included the bipartisan team of Representative Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and former Representative Jim Ramstad (R-MN).

The issue of parity dates back over 40 years to President John F. Kennedy, and was also supported by President Clinton and the late Senator Edward Kennedy.

The interim final rules released today were developed based on the departments' review of more than 400 public comments on how the parity rule should be written. Comments on the interim final rules are still being solicited. Sections where further comments are being specifically sought include so-called “non quantitative” treatment limits such as those that pertain to the scope and duration of covered benefits, how covered drugs are determined (formularies), and the coverage of step-therapies. Comments are also being specifically requested on the regulation’s section on “scope of benefits” or continuum of care.

Comments on the interim final regulation are due 90 days after the publication date. Comments may be emailed to the Federal rulemaking portal at: Comments directed to HHS should include the file code CMS-4140-IFC. Comments to the Department of Labor should be identified by RIN 1210-AB30. Comments to the Treasury’s Internal Revenue Service should be identified by REG-120692-09. Comments may be sent to any of the three departments and will be shared with the other departments. Please do not submit duplicates.


SAMHSA Strongman Logo
Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration
1 Choke Cherry Road  |  Rockville, MD 20857  |  1-877-SAMHSA-7 (1-877-726-4727)  |

SAMHSA is a public health agency within the Department of Health and Human Services. The agency is responsible for improving the accountability, capacity, and effectiveness of the Nation's substance abuse prevention, addictions treatment, and mental health services delivery system.

Fight Flu with Facts! Visit Call 800-232-4636. Text FLU to 87000.

The January 2010 update from the National Center for PTSD

News relevant to the issues of trauma and PTSD

Please encourage your colleagues and others to subscribe to this monthly listserv!

Earthquake in Haiti:

On January 12th a massive earthquake struck in Haiti. The Red Cross estimates 3 million Haitians have been affected and recovery efforts will be longstanding. The National Center for PTSD provides the Psychological First Aid Manual and other disaster-related resources. See for a relevant list, including materials in Creole from the National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Ethnocultural Issues related to Trauma and PTSD:

Culture and ethnicity impact how a person responds to trauma and how PTSD is experienced. Ethnocultural issues also have implications for treatment. The National Center for PTSD has produced award winning videos to help educate Veterans, the public, and providers about these important issues.

The Center also provides the Wounded Spirits, Ailing Hearts Online Manual, created to help practitioners understand the unique needs present when dealing with a specific ethnocultural group, in this case, Native Americans.

It is important that providers take into account historical, cultural, and societal issues, as well as their personal beliefs and biases that may facilitate and/or hinder the therapeutic process. Providers can learn about ethnocultural implications for treatment and earn continuing education credits from PTSD 101. This online curriculum includes courses on:

· Cross Cultural Considerations

· Older Veterans

· African-American Veterans

· Hispanic Veterans

· Asian American & Pacific Islander Veterans

Research Study Feature:

Cognitive Processing Therapy and Telemental Health with Rural Pacific Island Combat Veterans with PTSD

Cognitive Processing Therapy (CPT) is an effective treatment for PTSD. CPT is being provided at most VA Medical Center’s across the U.S. This research study is underway at the Center’s Pacific Islands Division. The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of using video-teleconferencing to provide CPT group therapy to rural Veterans of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan who are suffering from PTSD. Use of this type of technology will help provide better access to needed care for Veterans who live distant from facilities.

New Research Quarterly RQ Vol. 20(4):

The Impact of Disasters and Political Violence on Mental Health in Latin America

RQ Vol. 20(4) (PDF), by Fran Norris, PhD


Search for archived issues of the PTSD Research Quarterly.

PTSD in the News:

Morphine shows promise against posttraumatic stress disorder

Studies find that troops who got the powerful painkiller when injured were about 50% less likely to develop PTSD than those who didn't. The findings offer hope for preventive treatment. Read more

About the National Center for PTSD: 20 years of progress:

Learn about the educational products the Center provides for Veterans, clinicians, and the general public from our special Anniversary Section as we celebrate this landmark.

Real Stories of Veterans Dealing with PTSD:

Share in Navy Veteran Paul Middleton’s experience dealing with PTSD in Facing Bad Memories at 'The Wall'...and Moving On. Watch a short video demonstrating exposure therapy for this Veteran while aboard the USS Laffey. Learn more about Prolonged Exposure Therapy.

Treatment in the Community for Military Personnel:

Non-profit urges mental health providers to 'Give an Hour' for the military. Read moreGive an Hour is an organization that recruits mental health care providers to donate an hour per week to returning troops and their extended families.

Upcoming Conferences:

Conference: Complexities and Challenges of PTSD and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

July 16-17 – Boston, MA

Health care providers treating Veterans and family members are encouraged to attend to enhance your diagnostic assessment skills for PTSD and TBI.

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Conference

March 6th – Baltimore, MD

The  Anxiety Disorders Association of America’s annual conference will be held this March.


We extend our gratitude to all persons and organizations who are supporting recovery efforts in Haiti. Our thoughts go out to the people of Haiti who are dealing with recovering from this disaster.


The Staff of the National Center for PTSD

The Cure for An Ailing Maternity Care System |

By Amie Newman, Managing Editor

Maternity care is big business in the United States. We’re talking $86 billion big.  With that kind of investment, you’d think women and their newborn babes in this country would be entering the postpartum recovery period universally healthy and happy after being well cared for throughout pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, the return on investment for maternity care is poor. The U.S. spends more on health care than most – a staggering amount per person in fact - yet lags far behind when it comes to maternal and newborn health and mortality indicators. The United States ranks 41st out of 171 countries when it comes to our maternal mortality rates. So it makes sense that stakeholders from health care advocates and providers to hospital and insurance company executives, but most importantly women themselves, would want to ensure a much better return-on-investment for maternity care in this country, right?

Unfortunately, what has constituted success in terms of a greater ROI among these various stakeholders has not always been uniform. Where women are growing weary of the increase in unnecessary medical interventions during childbirth that only increase costs and the chance of poorer health outcomes, doctors have taken to routinely encouraging and performing unnecessary c-sections at an exponential rate to keep malpractice claims lower but also because our health care system’s “global fee” method of payment for in-hospital birth promotes a one-size-fits-all type of care which does not lend itself well to vaginal birth but does increase a hospital’s profit; where insurance companies and Medicaid do not provide homebirth coverage across the country, which would bring overall maternity care costs down (for insurance companies, states, those insured and tax-payers across the board), Medicaid funds almost half of all hospital births.

It is precisely because of these issues and more that a team of over 100 national leaders in maternity care, led by maternity care advocacy organization Childbirth Connection, convened two and a half years ago to come up with a shared vision and an action plan for change.

“It was time to act and we called upon key leaders across the health care system to develop a long-term vision for the future of maternity care in the United States,” said Maureen Corry, Childbirth Connection’s Executive Director. The results of this multi-year meeting-of-the-minds, the Transforming Maternity Care Project, are two key reports released today, “2020 Vision For A High-Quality High-Value Maternity Care System” and “Blueprint For Action.”

As we move forward, towards reform of our overall health care system, the problems and solutions identified in these two reports are key to fixing our broken maternity care system and may help birth an entirely new system…

The Cure for An Ailing Maternity Care System |

Medical News: Internal Monitoring During Induced Labor of Little Help - in OB/Gyn, Pregnancy from MedPage Today


By Crystal Phend, Senior Staff Writer, MedPage Today
Published: January 28, 2010
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and
Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner

Action Points 

  • Note that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends internal tocodynamometry only in circumstances such as when induction response is limited or if the mother is obese.

Internally monitoring the progress of induced labor may not improve outcomes for mother or baby, Dutch researchers found.

Internal tocodynamometry did not reduce the rate of operative delivery compared with external monitoring (31.3% versus 29.6%, P=0.50) in a study led by Jannet J.H. Bakker, MSc, of the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam.

Nor did it significantly reduce risk of adverse neonatal outcomes, Bakker's group reported in the Jan. 28 New England Journal of Medicine.

Some obstetrical professional associations recommend routine internal monitoring to assess contractions accurately. Others, such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, suggest it only in special circumstances, such as when induction response is limited, or if the mother is obese.

Researchers had hoped that internal monitoring might improve doctors' ability to effectively dose labor-inducing oxytocin, leading to less distress for babies and fewer operative deliveries, the investigators noted…

Medical News: Internal Monitoring During Induced Labor of Little Help - in OB/Gyn, Pregnancy from MedPage Today

Pregnant and Shackled: Hard Labor for Arizona's Immigrants | Civil Liberties | AlterNet

 By Valeria Fernandez

Undocumented immigrants like Miriam Mendiola Martinez are forced to give birth while wearing "soft restraints."

January 28, 2010  |  

PHOENIX, Ariz.-- Miriam Mendiola-Martinez, an undocumented immigrant charged with using someone else’s identity to work, gave birth to a boy on Dec. 21 at Maricopa Medical Center. After her C-section, she was shackled for two days to her hospital bed. She was not allowed to nurse her baby. And when guards walked her out of the hospital in shackles, she had no idea what officials had done with her child.

Like Mendiola-Martinez, pregnant inmates in Maricopa County Jail are routinely denied bond because they are undocumented immigrants. That means they can’t get out of jail for their childbirth, even if they are awaiting trial for a minor offense.

In some cases, undocumented immigrants are shackled as they are transported to the jail-contracted hospital, and shackled during and after childbirth.

Hospital authorities don't control this practice and medical personnel involved in these cases declined to be interviewed.

All hospitalized inmates are treated in the same manner as Mendiola-Martinez, according to Lt. Brain Lee, a spokesperson for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. He said she had a “soft restraint” attached on one leg to her bed to prevent escape.

That soft restraint was a 12-foot-long chain.

“I could barely walk, I don’t think I could have escaped or even dared to run. I don’t think there was a need for them to do that,” said 34-year-old Mendiola-Martinez.

She says she was shackled during the two last months of her pregnancy too. Every time she had a pre-natal appointment, she waited in a small un-ventilated room with 20 other women. She had to sit in the floor. The chains were heavy and hurt her waist. Mendiola-Martinez often wept. She feared that her sadness could hurt the baby.

Unequal Justice

Mendiola’s story would have been different if she hadn’t been undocumented. She would have been released on bond before her baby was born because she had committed a non-violent crime, according to David Black, a criminal defense attorney who took her case pro-bono…

Pregnant and Shackled: Hard Labor for Arizona's Immigrants | Civil Liberties | AlterNet


I had EMDR therapy and it worked wonders for me!!

CENTERSTONE OFFERS NEW, INNOVATIVE TREATMENT FOR VETERANS WITH PTSD Organization is one of three national behavioral health providers trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; New therapeutic service is free to qualifying military vete

Organization is one of three national behavioral health providers trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing; New therapeutic service is free to qualifying military veterans

Centerstone, a not-for-profit organization providing a wide range of mental health and addiction services, announced it will offer a free, specialized treatment service for veterans who have Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The organization will provide the therapeutic treatment known as Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) free of charge to qualifying veterans.

"Our nation's military is facing increasing rates of PTSD, which can be associated with painful flashbacks, social isolation, difficulty sleeping and other psychological symptoms," said Dr. Karen Rhea, Chief Medical Officer of Centerstone. "It is important that our veterans have access to a range of therapeutic treatment options as they work to overcome the mental and physical aftereffects of war. EMDR therapy is among the psychotherapeutic treatments offered at Centerstone for our warriors returning home. It is our goal to be a resource for veterans and their families struggling with issues related to combat and other trauma."

EMDR is a form of psychotherapy developed to resolve symptoms resulting from disturbing and unresolved life experiences. It has been shown to be effective in treating combat veterans with PTSD. EMDR uses a structured approach and addresses the past, present and future aspects of dysfunctionally stored memories. During EMDR, the client focuses on a disturbing memory while simultaneously focusing on dual attention stimulus such as therapist-directed lateral eye movement, alternate hand-tapping or bilateral auditory tones.

EMDR works directly with memory networks and enhances information processing by forging associations between distressing memories and more adaptive information contained in other memory networks. The approach aims to transform a distressing memory so the client will recall the incident with a new perspective, resolution of the cognitive distortions and elimination of emotional distress (see also Posttraumatic Stress Disorder).

A group of Centerstone therapists throughout Middle Tennessee has received advanced specialty training in EMDR and will provide the service to veterans free of charge following screening and referral. The training was made possible by the EMDR Humanitarian Assistance Programs (HAP), a non-profit organization that trains mental health professionals serving traumatized communities worldwide, and the McCormick Foundation. Additional agencies providing specialized EMDR treatment include Palomar Family Counseling Service, in Escondido, Calif., and the Pastoral Institute in Columbus, Ga.

To learn more about Centerstone's EMDR treatment services or to schedule a screening, contact Centerstone at 888-291-4357.


Acupuncture Could Help Treat PTSD - KWCH - Kansas News and Weather -

By Rebecca Gannon (WICHITA, Kan.)

The National Institute of Mental Health recognizes two treatments for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: counseling, and medication.

A Wichita woman proposes a third solution: she says her acupuncture can help people with PTSD.

When you think of post- traumatic stress, you probably don't think of feet.

But it's one of the first places Dr. Lori Jones looks. This English-born acupuncturist says it may look odd - but she nestles needles into specific points on the body. She says that promotes healing.

"We're not only physical beings," she explained, "We have our minds and we have our emotions, and when you put the needle in, you can affect those."

Dr. Jones says she can treat mental and emotional issues -- from attention deficit to autism, to post-traumatic stress disorder.

"The incredible thing with using acupuncture is that we have - and certainly my experience is - 97% of any client who comes to me with PTSD gets better within a few weeks. That's a pretty phenomenal statement."

She says ally is one of those clients.

"I was actually shot 8 times, in my back and in my arms," the woman said, quite calmly. Her only physical sign of that robbery last summer is this sling on her arm. But she constantly worries about who is on the other side of her door.

"It's basically a huge nightmare, is what it is," she said. "And it's just something you have to work through, and that's what I'm doing right now."

But she says the needles go deeper than her skin. "It just works," she shrugged. "I can't tell you how, I just know."

In another room, Willow Leenders deals with another invisible pain. She still feels the leg she lost to cancer 37 years ago.

It used to ache daily, but after five years of monthly acupuncture, she says it's almost a memory.

"Many people take a drug daily for the rest of their lives," said Willow as she sat with two pins in her remaining leg. "This is one treatment once a month."

Both women thank Dr. Jones - and her precisely placed needles.

So far, no insurance in Kansas covers acupuncture, though Blue Cross Blue Shield says it may offer discounts on certain alternative medicines.

The Kansas Board of Healing Arts says it does oversee acupuncture, but does not license it.

More Online:

Acupuncture Could Help Treat PTSD - KWCH - Kansas News and Weather -

Childbirth Connection “2020 Vision” reports released!

GNM 100104 Childbirth Connection “2020 Vision” reports relea

Posted by: "Susan Hodges"
Thu Jan 28, 2010 5:36 am (PST)

Grassroots Network Message 100104
Childbirth Connection “2020 Vision” reports released!
Dear Friends,
This is just in from Childbirth Connection! I have not had time
to read the reports yet, but I expect they will prove to be
extremely valuable resources and powerful support for maternity
care reforms that include evidence-based care and midwives!!
Susan Hodges, “gatekeeper”
RELEASE: Landmark Maternity Care Reports Issued; Consumers,
Providers Hammer Out Recommendations
Please read below about two new reports developed over the past
two years through a multi-stakeholder collaborative process:
“2020 Vision for a High-Quality, High-Value Maternity Care
System” and “Blueprint for Action.” These reports
incorporate the thinking of over 100 maternity care leaders
representing every industry stakeholder – from hospitals and
health plans to consumers and providers. The recommendations in
these reports are expected to have major impact on health care
reform and on the future of birth in the US. They include
specific proposals to overhaul the payment system, improve the
liability system, and steps to reduce harm, improve quality and
women’s experiences of care.
January 28, 2010
Contact: Kat Song -

Childbirth Connection Releases Landmark Reports For Revamping
U.S. Maternity Care System
That Point To Rapid Gains in Quality and Value
Consumers, Providers and Other Groups Hammer Out System-Wide
Recommendations and Action Steps
Washington DC - Childbirth Connection today released two
landmark reports that create a framework for revamping maternity
care in the US and advancing health care reform: “2020 Vision
for a High Quality, High Value Maternity Care System” and
“Blueprint for Action.” The reports were developed
through an extensive multi-year collaboration with more than 100
maternity care leaders representing industry stakeholders –
from hospitals and health plans to consumers and providers. These
reports and related papers have just been published in a special
supplement of Women’s Health Issues.
"Recognizing that rapid gains in the quality, value and outcomes
of maternity care are well within reach, Childbirth Connection
launched its Transforming Maternity Care project
<> several years
ago,” said Maureen Corry, executive director, Childbirth
Connection. Although a wealth of high-quality evidence and
experiences of high-performing segments of the maternity care
system were readily available to improve maternity care, these
resources were not impacting most women and newborns. “It was
time to act and we called upon key leaders across the health care
system to develop a long-term vision for the future of maternity
care in the United States. This vision served as a starting point
for a collaborative process to develop action steps for
broad-based maternity care system improvement,” said Corry.
Maternity care is the runaway leader in hospital charges and is
the number one reason for hospitalization in the country.
Maternal and newborn hospital charges alone exceeded $86 billion
in 2007, with employers and private insurers paying for 50% of
all births and Medicaid paying for 42%. While most childbearing
women and their babies are healthy and at low risk, the current
style of maternity care is technology-intensive. Costly
childbirth procedures that entail risk are overused and wasteful,
while proven ones that are generally safer and less expensive are
underutilized. Marked disparities in access, quality and outcomes
persist, with many maternal and newborn health indicators moving
in the wrong direction. The return on investment for our
significant expenditure in this important sector is poor.
"The good news is that every challenge is an opportunity for
improvement that can benefit millions of mothers and babies
annually. The ‘2020 Vision’ developed by a
multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder team, puts forth the
values, principles and attributes of an optimal maternity care
system and describes fundamental goals for a system meeting those
criteria,” said Rima Jolivet, Transforming Maternity Care
Project Director, Childbirth Connection. “With the ‘2020
Vision’ in hand, five stakeholder workgroups collaborated to
develop reports with recommendations and action steps for moving
toward the vision,” said Jolivet.
Stakeholder workgroup chairs presented their reports and
recommendations at an invitational policy symposium commemorating
Childbirth Connection’s 90th anniversary. Transforming
Maternity Care: A High Value Proposition was held at Georgetown
University, Washington DC, in April 2009. Invited discussants,
moderators and the audience provided comments to strengthen the
reports and recommendations. The Transforming Maternity Care
Steering Committee then synthesized the workgroup reports and
additional feedback into the direction-setting report,
“Blueprint for Action: Steps Toward a High-Quality,
High-Value Maternity Care System.” The Blueprint answers the
question “Who needs to do what, to, with and for whom to
improve the quality of maternity care over the next five
years?” Actionable strategies to improve maternity care
quality and value are centered on eleven critical focus areas for
- Performance measurement and leveraging of results
- Payment reform to align incentives with quality
- Disparities in access and outcomes of maternity care
- Improved functioning of the liability system
- Scope of covered maternity care services
- Coordination of care across time, settings and disciplines
- Clinical controversies
- Decision-making and consumer choice
- Scope, content and availability of health professions
- Workforce composition and distribution
- Development and use of health information technology
"A great achievement of the project is the remarkable level of
consensus that was reached by the workgroups through an in-depth,
collaborative process to arrive at negotiated agreements and
sound proposals for tackling complex issues,” said Ned
Calonge, Chief Medical Officer, Colorado Department of Public
Health and Environment who served as Chair of the workgroup for
Maternity Care Clinicians and Health Professions Educators.
The Blueprint for Action is the first step in a long-term
initiative to undertake collaborative national, regional, and
local endeavors to improve maternity care quality and value. At
the briefing, Corry announced the establishment of a
public-private Transforming Maternity Care Partnership to carry
out the next phase of the project and implement Blueprint steps
to accelerate health system change.
"We welcome all maternity care stakeholders to identify relevant
Blueprint steps and join this effort to attain rapid achievable
gains in maternity care quality and value on behalf of
childbearing women and newborns,” said Donna Lynne, President
of Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Colorado and Transforming
Maternity Care Steering Committee member.
The "2020 Vision" and "Blueprint for Action" reports are freely
available on the Women's Health Issues website at:\

To learn more about the Transforming Maternity Care project,
please visit:

For a fact sheet on maternity care in the United States, go to:
About Childbirth Connection
Founded in 1918, Childbirth Connection (
<> ) is a not-for-profit
organization working to improve the quality of maternity care
through research, education, advocacy and policy. As a voice for
the needs and interests of over 4.3 million women who give birth
annually, Childbirth Connection uses best research evidence and
the results of its periodic national Listening to Mothers surveys
to inform policy, practice, education and research.
# # #
Kat Song
Director of Public Affairs
www. < />
ChildbirthConnection .org
< />
Sign up for eNews (occasional news and alerts) at <>
Join the Maternity Quality Matters Campaign for women and babies!
Or at
Feel free to forward the Grassroots Network messages to others
who might be interested!
If you find news, resources, or other valuable information that
you think should be posted on the Grassroots Network, please send
it to info@cfmidwifery. org... with "For the grassroots network"
in the subject line. We will definitely consider using them!
Visit the Citizens for Midwifery website at www.cfmidwifery
<http://www.cfmidwifery/> . org .
Scroll to the bottom of the page and enter your e-mail address.
It's that simple!
Check out our website at www.cfmidwifery
<http://www.cfmidwifery/> . org
Check out our blog at cfmidwifery. blogspot. com
Find our Group and Cause pages on Facebook
Find us on My Space
JOIN Citizens for Midwifery!
Membership starts at only $10 to become a "Citizen" for Midwifery
Upgrade and receive the CfM News starting at $30 ($20 for
Easy to join on-line with a credit card go to http://cfmidwifery
<http://cfmidwifery/> . org/join
Are you interested in volunteering with some dynamic women in a
supportive environment?
Help CfM promote the Midwives Model of Care!
We have many ways to get more involved.
Get in touch with us!

Free Upcoming NIH conference: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New Insights (March 8-10)

Posted by: "Barbara A. Hotelling"
Thu Jan 28, 2010 4:11 pm (PST)

*Subject:* Free Upcoming NIH conference: Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New
Insights (March 8-10)
Dear Coalition for Improving Maternity Services,
While reading maternity blogs and forums, I discovered the Coalition for
Improving Maternity Services Web site. Because you share information and
resources about child birth, I thought your readers might be interested to
know about an upcoming NIH consensus development
*Vaginal Birth After Cesarean: New
March 8-10, 2010 I Bethesda, MD
*Register Online<>
Agenda <>
Background <>*
The purpose of the conference is to evaluate the available scientific
information on vaginal birth after cesarean and develop a statement that
advances understanding of the issue under consideration and will be useful
to health professionals and the public.
Discussion topics:
- What are the rates and patterns of utilization of trial of labor after
prior cesarean, vaginal birth after cesarean, and repeat cesarean delivery
in the United States?
- Among women who attempt a trial of labor after prior cesarean, what is
the vaginal delivery rate and the factors that influence it?
- What are the short- and long-term benefits and harms to the mother of
attempting trial of labor after prior cesarean versus elective repeat
cesarean delivery, and what factors influence benefits and harms?
- What are the short- and long-term benefits and harms to the baby of
maternal attempt at trial of labor after prior cesarean versus elective
repeat cesarean delivery, and what factors influence benefits and harms?
- What are the nonmedical factors that influence the patterns and
utilization of trial of labor after prior cesarean?
· What are the critical gaps in the evidence for decision-making,
and what are the priority investigations needed to address these gaps?
What happens at an NIH consensus conference?
- At the conference, invited experts will present information pertinent
to these questions, and a systematic literature review prepared under
contract with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) will be
- Conference attendees will have ample time to ask questions and provide
statements during open discussion periods.
- After weighing the scientific evidence, an unbiased, independent panel
will prepare and present a consensus statement addressing the key conference
Please visit our *e-toolkit <>
*which includes short drop-in newsletter articles, a Web button, a
prewritten email notification of the event, etc. If I may forward these
materials, or if you have any questions, please let me know.
I hope that you will share this conference with your readers.

Roseline Hooks
On behalf of the
Office of Disease Prevention
Office of Medical Applications of Research
National Institutes of Health

The health of mothers, infants, and children is of critical importance, both
as a reflection of the current health status of a large segment of the U.S.
population and as a predictor of the health of the next generation. HP 2010

Why Are Moms With Postpartum Psychosis Hospitalized? - Dr. Dresner (VIDEO) | EmpowHER - Women's Health Online


Dr. Dresner:
Postpartum psychosis is a medical emergency. So when an obstetrician calls me or a pediatrician calls me and says, “I have this new mother in my office. She was totally normal during her pregnancy; she is acting really strange. Her husband hasn’t been able to go to work because she won’t sleep, she has all sorts of strange ideas about the baby, and the baby’s special powers, and how the baby is influencing her,” anything that sounds, again, psychotic, out of touch with reality, more than just, “I'm overwhelmed; I am crying; I can’t sleep.” Those individuals are of extreme concern. Those are individuals who should not be responsible for the care of their baby without supervision, and those are individuals whose condition is likely to spiral down into a full-blown psychotic episode where they may become dangerous to themselves or to others, clearly unable to care for themselves.

So those individuals need to be seen in a hospital emergency room, not in a doctor’s office, and typically new mothers with postpartum psychosis should be admitted to the hospital for at least a brief period of observation and stabilization where you can sort of tease out what is the underlying disorder. Is this somebody with a previous psychiatric history who has been off their medication and is now getting worse? Is this somebody who for the first time is having psychotic symptoms? But I think, we tend to err on the side of what we think is generous and empathic to a new mother who is experiencing this kind of psychiatric distress, not to hospitalize her, not to put her in a hospital with crazy people, not to separate her from her baby, but we’re not doing patients a favor. There are so many stories of under-diagnosed or sort of inadequate interventions for new mothers with postpartum psychosis where the outcome is tragic.

About Dr. Nehama Dresner, M.D.:
Dr. Nehama Dresner, M.D., is a licensed, Board-certified psychiatrist (in general psychiatry and psychosomatic medicine) with specialized training and nearly 20 years experience in Women's Mental Health and Medical Psychiatry. She is Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry and Obstetrics/Gynecology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and is actively involved in medical education. A fellow in the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine and the America Psychiatric Association, she speaks locally and nationally on issues related to psychological aspects of women's health and medical psychiatry. Dr. Dresner's clinical specialty is psychosomatic obstetrics, and gynecology, women's emotional development, and psychiatric treatment of the medically ill.

Why Are Moms With Postpartum Psychosis Hospitalized? - Dr. Dresner (VIDEO) | EmpowHER - Women's Health Online

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Risking Connection® in Faith Communities Curriculum

March 11, 12 and 13, 2010

8:30am - 5:00pm Thursday and Friday. 8:30 - 3:00pm Saturday
Loyola University Conference Center, Columbia, Maryland
8890 McGaw Road, Columbia, MD, 21045
Register here
Join us for an informative and intensive three-day training devoted to the essentials of the Risking Connection®in Faith Communities Curriculum. Risking Connection® uses a new way of thinking and relating to take the fear out of helping trauma survivors. RC makes it easier for you and the survivors in your life.
Risking Connection® teaches a relational framework and skills for working with survivors of traumatic experiences. The focus is on the relationship as the active ingredient in healing.
Elizabeth Power. M.Ed.
Open to Individual Registrants and Organizations
For group rates call 410-825-8888
Price includes Risking Connection Training Manual
Continental breakfast and lunch provided for all days.
Risking Connection® in Faith Communities
Learn about the nature of psychological trauma, how it affects people, and how faith leaders can help. Because this presentation is addressed to spiritual and lay religious leaders, particular attention is paid to the spiritual impact of trauma. We focus on the need for growth-promoting relationships; explore the connection between trauma and spiritual distress; recognize the value of spirituality in recovery; address the impact of trauma on the helper; and looks at how faith communities can promote healing.
18 Continuing Education Credits Available for $30.00
Who Benefits from Risking Connection?

  • Mental health clinicians,agencies, and systems
  • Child- and youth-serving agencies
  • Clergy and faith leaders
  • Educators
  • Military family support programs
  • Domestic violence and rape crisis staff
  • Medical providers
  • Substance abuse professionals
  • Criminal justice professionals
  • Trauma survivors
  • Family and friends
  • Elder care workers

Learning Objectives
When you complete this course, you’ll be able to:
  • Utilize the Risking Connection® framework when supporting trauma survivors in your workplace or community
  • Recognize the impact of traumatic events on people who survive them
  • Explain the relationships among trauma, mental illness, and addictions
  • Share the role and function of RICH™ relationships
  • Notice your own reactions and use your self-awareness to help yourself and others
  • Create a plan for self-care that addresses vicarious traumatization
Module 1. Understanding Trauma
  • Definition
  • Impact Events
  • Carryover
  • Characteristics
  • Attachment
  • Obstacles to Healing

Module 2. The Impact of Trauma
  • Development and Trauma
  • Effects on Body and Brain/ Memory and Perception/Judgment/Beliefs/Frame of  Reference/Feelings
  • Community-based Trauma

Module 3. RICH™ Relationships
  • What Are RICH Relationships?
  • Benefits of RICH Relationships
  • Behaviors of RICH Relationships
  • RICH Relationships and Healing

Module 4. Vicarious Trauma
  • What Is VT?
  • Why Is VT Important?
  • Is VT the same as Countertransference?
  • How Does VT Impact Us?
  • What Causes VT?
  • Self-Care
  • ABCs
  • VT and Communities

Elizabeth Power is an educator and program developer with expertise in competency-based adult learning and replication programs. She has developed programs for the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, the Children’s Institute, and for the National Center for PTSD. In addition, she provides training development , delivery and evaluation services in the corporate sector. She is a member of the International Positive Psychology Association, the American Society for Training and the International Women’s Writing Guild. She is the CEO of EPower & Associates, Sidran’s authorized Risking Connection Training provider.
For more information on the Risking Connection® program, visit
For information on other Sidran Institute training programs, visit

Loyola University Conference Center, 8890 McGaw Road, Columbia, MD, 21045.
For directions, visit or call 410-617-7600.

Overnight accommodations may be booked
at the Extended Day Deluxe Columbia,
8890 Stanford Blvd. To reserve a room, call
410-872-2994 $89.99 Loyola Rate

Giving Birth in the Streets: Haiti's Pregnant Women Need Help |

By Amie Newman, Managing Editor

UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) estimates that there are 37,000 pregnant women among the survivors of last week's earthquake in Haiti, a country which in the best of times has the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere.  In the aftermath of the earthquake and the resulting crises, women are giving birth in the streets, and an already dire situation has been made far worse.

In her post, Providing Gender-Responsive Aid in Haiti, Lucinda Marshall outlined the many organizations providing aid and services to women in order to meet women's specific health needs in Haiti (despite the rather puerile protestations of male writers and advocates Lucinda acknowledges in her post):

"According to the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (UN-INSTRAW) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA):

(W)omen of reproductive age face limitations in accessing pre-natal and post-natal care, as well as greater risk of vaginal infections, pregnancy complications including spontaneous abortion, unplanned pregnancy, and post-traumatic stress. An increase in violence against women was also recorded…

…(I)n natural disaster situations and in post-disaster recuperation, the cases of violence may increase. “Given the stress that this situation caused and the life in the refuges, men attacked women more frequently.

Circle of Health International  (COHI) is working to make sure women's health needs in Haiti do not "fall through the cracks" as the world responds to the tragedy.

COHI is an organization based in Massachusetts targeting women in crisis in such countries as Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Sudan and Haiti in order to help provide women's health care and work with local, grassroots groups on the ground to maximize capacity for the provision of such care. COHI has sent a group of midwives, other health providers and public health professionals to Haiti to assess the most pressing women's health concerns and then to ensure that the  women in Haiti receive the health care critical to their survival. 

According to COHI,

"...while securing food, water and shelter are essential to responding to crisis, women's health needs – often a matter of life and death – do not cease to exist in crisis and post-crisis situations.  In fact, the already dire condition of women's health in these communities is often further threatened in times of emergency."

For every 100,000 live births, 670 Haitian women die from pregnancy- related causes each year. Only 26 percent of women in Haiti are "privileged" with a skilled birth attendant during chidlbirth.

The reality of the current situation is that there are millions of survivors requiring an immense amount of medical care. And while the medical centers and hospitals that are left standing are overwhelmed, pregnant women call out for specific and immediate care as well. The International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) writes:

"The remaining [hospitals] can barely handle the thousands in need of medical care. The current situation is putting the lives of thousands of women and their infants at risk from complications related to pregnancy and child birth."

In fact, the humanitarian organization CARE goes so far as to say that pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and young children are at greastest risk post-crisis. In an article on, CARE notes,

"With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk of complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth."

"There are a lot of pregnant women in the streets, and mothers breastfeeding new babies," said Sophie Perez, country director for CARE in Haiti. "There are also women giving birth in the street, directly in the street. The situation is very critical. Women try to reach the nearest hospital, but as most of the hospitals are full, it's very difficult for them to receive the appropriate care. Mothers and their babies could die from complications without medical care."

You can donate to COHI or CARE to help save the lives of pregnant women and their babies. 

Giving Birth in the Streets: Haiti's Pregnant Women Need Help |

Maternity Services Conference » Health »


Capita's National
Maternity Services Conference
Improving Quality, Choice and Outcomes for All
Thursday 25th February 2010 - Central London

Aims & Objectives

This is a key time to reflect on progress in Maternity Services. To what extent did we meet the vision and commitments set out in the Operating Framework, Maternity Matters and the National Service Framework’s maternity standard by the end of 2009? What can we do to sustain and improve services in 2010 and beyond?
Capita’s National Maternity Services Conference provides the latest Government policy and examines national good practice for all Maternity Services leaders. This cross-sector forum brings together professionals from a range of services including Midwifery, Teenage Pregnancy, Mental Health, Children’s Centres, Quality, Commissioning and Public Health. It looks at strategy, planning and implementation of targeted and holistic services. Sessions explore how we can further drive up expectations and standards for women, how vulnerable groups can best be supported and health inequalities reduced.

Key issues addressed include:
Implementing holistic, wrap-around support services for mothers and families
Engaging with and providing for the most vulnerable groups
Safeguarding children and the CAF process
The Children’s Centre / Midwifery interface
Upskilling and safeguarding the workforce
Providing World Class care to all

Attend this timely conference to hear and discuss how you can develop and deliver more effective Maternity Services. Share your experiences and learn from peers across the country. Promote equality in care, and provide better quality, choice and outcomes for all women and families in your area.

Benefits of Attending

Hear Government policy, strategy and guidance for Maternity Services delivery in 2010 and beyond
Explore the experiences of Maternity Services leaders from across the country, share challenges and discuss solutions
Consider new ways to engage and support teenage parents
Benefit from a closer look at mental health provision and maternity pathways
Look at robust safeguarding procedures and how to make the CAF process effective nationwide
Identify obstacles and solutions to delivering Midwifery services in Children’s Centre settings
Examine the developing role and skills of the Midwife and Maternity Services workforce
Learn how you can better prepare and protect Maternity Services staff, improving their personal safety in all settings

Jenny McLeish
Strategic Coordinator
National Teenage Pregnancy Midwifery Network
Julie Juliff
Maternity and Children’s Services Commissioning Manager
Hertfordshire County Council
Gordon Jeyes
Deputy Chief Executive – Children and Young People
Cambridgeshire County Council
Denise Burke
Head of Youth and Childcare
London Development Agency
Kaela Francioli
Maden Community and Children’s Centre
Louise Silverton
Deputy General Secretary
Royal College of Midwives

For conference brochure please follow the link:

For more information please contact Joanna Edwards on 020 7202 0526 or email

Maternity Services Conference » Health »

Army’s New PTSD Treatments: Yoga, Reiki, ‘Bioenergy’ | Danger Room |

  • By Noah Shachtman
  • The military is scrambling for new ways to treat the brain injuries and post-traumatic stress of troops returning home from war. And every kind of therapy — no matter how far outside the accepted medical form — is being considered. The Army just unveiled a $4 million program to investigate everything from "spiritual ministry, transcendental meditation,
    [and] yoga" to "bioenergies such as Qi gong, Reiki, [and] distant healing" to mend the psyches of wounded troops.

    As many as 17 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans have some form of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, one congressional study estimates. Nearly 3,300 troops have suffered traumatic brain injury, or TBI, according to statistics assembled last summer. And the lifetime costs of treating these ailments could pile up to as much as $35 billion, a Columbia University report guesses.

    Small wonder, then, that the government is looking for alternate means to treat these injuries. The Defense Department "is dedicated to supporting evidence-based approaches to medical treatment and wants to support the use of alternative therapies if they are proven efficacious," notes a recently-issued request for proposals. 

    But many of these treatments haven’t been held up to much rigorous scientific scrutiny before. So the Army is looking to hand out $4 million in "seedling grants" to "conduc[t] rigorous clinical studies" into all sorts of "novel approaches." Projects "containing preliminary data" will be eligible for up to $1 million. But even "innovative but testable hypotheses without preliminary data" could get as much as $300,000. Proposals are due May 15.

    "Music, animal-facilitated therapy, art, dance/movement, massage therapy, EMDR [Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing] program evaluation, virtual reality, acupuncture, spiritual ministry, transcendental meditation,
    [and] yoga," might all be considered worth of the military’s largess. So would "biologically-based treatments, botanicals, and nutritional supplements for enhancing cognitive function and mood in patients with trauma spectrum disorders, including
    TBI and/or PTSD, depression, anxiety, and/or substance dependence/abuse." Even proposals for wild-sounding "therapies using bioenergies such as Qi gong, Reiki, distant healing and acupuncture" would be accepted…

    Army’s New PTSD Treatments: Yoga, Reiki, ‘Bioenergy’ | Danger Room |

    Ecstasy Pushed as PTSD Treatment | Danger Room |

  • By Noah Shachtman
  • If you’re a veteran, having trouble getting over your battlefield time, a South Carolina psychiatrist would like to get you really, really high.

    Michael Mithoefer, a former emergency room physician turned psychiatrist, is testing the party drug ecstasy as a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

    "I heard about it and I decided to give it a try,” a former Army
    Ranger tells "It’s an extremely positive thing. I feel so lucky that I got to take part in the project… It’s basically like years of therapy in two or three hours. You can’t understand it until you’ve experienced it."

    Mithoefer has been conducting the FDA-approved tests with ecstasy, known clinically as MDMA, since 2004. "People are able to connect more deeply on an emotional level with the fact they are safe now," he explained to the Guardian, in the trials’ early days.

    In addition to helping out Mithoefer, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies — "supporting psychedelic & medical marijuana research since 1986" — says it is also sponsoring a study in Israel into the use of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with treatment-resistant PTSD." The tests are under the direction of the "former Chief Psychiatrist of the
    Israeli Defense Forces." A similar trial is underway in Switzerland, according to the group.

    Here in the U.S., the military has grown increasingly interested in alternative therapies for PTSD. Walter Reed hospital is using yoga to combat trauma. Submariners and Camp Lejeune marines are using "Warrior Mind Training"
    to improve mental focus. And the Army is spending $4 million to study various alternative-therapies, including a research project that examines "how holding and petting an animal can treat PTSD."

    For now, though, neither veterans nor active-duty troops will be able to pet those puppies while on ecstasy. The Veterans Administration and the Defense Department have so far been resistant to Mithoefe’s pleas.

    Ecstasy Pushed as PTSD Treatment | Danger Room |