Birth Trauma Treatment

Birth Trauma Treatment

by Dr Emma Gray - 4th January, 2019
Birth Trauma Treatment

In this blog I am going to explain what treatment for Birth Trauma involves. This is a problem that affects 25-35% of women. Birth Trauma also affects men, so in this article I will refer to the sufferer as ‘the parent”.

There are two treatments that are thought to be effective for Birth Trauma, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming (EMDR).

1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)

After a traumatic event the way that we think about what has happened can stop us processing the experience and readjusting to the new reality. These thoughts include:

  • “Bad things happen to bad people, so there must be something wrong with me”
  • “I cannot cope with what has happened to me, therefore I must be defective in some way”
  • “This is proof that the world is not fair or safe”
  • “I cannot rely on others to keep me safe even those who are specially trained”

These thoughts keep our minds closely engaged with the trauma, as if it had just happened, or is still happening. This is when we are at risk of developing Birth Trauma.

CBT helps us to assess the accuracy and helpfulness of these thoughts and replace them with alternatives that encourage our minds to process what has happened and move forward.

After a trauma event we can sometimes try to avoid reminders of it. Although in the short term this can makes us feel better, over the longer term, this can also prevent us processing and adjusting to the trauma.

CBT teaches us a set of techniques to face the reminders that we are avoiding, in a way that feels manageable, allowing us to process the experience and build our confidence in our ability to cope.

The number of sessions of CBT you will need will depend upon the severity of your symptoms but the range is between 5-15 sessions carried out 1-1 with a therapist.

2. Eye Movement Desensitization Reprogramming (EMDR)

EMDR involves a therapist guiding you to make rhythmic movements with your eyes usually by moving an object back and forth in front of you while you recall the traumatic experience. These eye movements are thought to stimulate the information processing system in the brain which helps to facilitate readjustment and recovery.

The number of sessions that you will need will depend on the severity of your Birth Trauma but the range is between 5-15 sessions carried out 1-1 with a therapist.

For more information please contact us at The British CBT & Counselling Service.


Dr Emma Gray

Dr Emma Gray

I am often the first person with whom my patients share significant and intimate thoughts and memories; I never take that privileged position for granted nor the opportunity to help someone to feel better about themselves and discover a more fulfilling life. One of my colleague once described me as natural psychologist; I guess she was alluding to the fact that I feel at ease being a therapist, I can empathise with people’s distress and discomfort but don’t feel overwhelmed by it, I can understand their problem and know how to help, it has always just felt like what I should be doing.


Read more about my approach to counselling here...


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