Somatic Maternal Healing Bringing the Body into Perinatal Mental Health

Helena Vissing, PsyD

Presented by:
Helena Vissing, PsyD

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This presentation will explain and concretize the principles of the Somatic Maternal Healing approach and demonstrate key clinical skills of nervous system tracking adapted to the unique needs of perinatal clients. Somatic Maternal Healing is a somatic and psychodynamic clinical model of trauma treatment in the perinatal period integrating somatic psychology, feminist psychoanalysis, and matricentric feminism. Built as a biopsychosocial framework, the model addresses psychological, biological, and sociological aspects of trauma in the transition to motherhood. Informed by developments in interpersonal biology, somatic psychology, relational psychoanalysis, and maternal studies, it assumes 1) the understanding of interpersonal neurobiology that the essence of psychotherapy lies in nonverbal, affective, coregulatory, bodily relational dynamics, 2) the understanding of relational feminist psychoanalysis that intersubjective capacity is an inherently conflictual developmental process originating in the “problem” of maternal subjectivity and the bodily foundation of the development of the self, and 3) the understanding of matricentric feminism that the patriarchal institution of motherhood produces dictates for normative mothering that are harmful because they undermine women’s personal potentials for mothering as an empowering expression of subjectivity.

Helena Vissing, PsyD is a licensed clinical psychologist, certified in Perinatal Mental Health (PMH-C), providing psychotherapy in private practice in Westwood, Los Angeles. She practices trauma-informed somatic psychotherapy as a Provisional Somatic Experiencing Practitioner. Dr. Vissing is Adjunct faculty at several graduate institutions, including Reiss-Davis Graduate School, Antioch University, and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology. She teaches Child and Adolescent Development, Treatment of Children and Adolescents, Psychodynamic Theories, and Maternal Mental Health. As training faculty for Maternal Mental Health NOW, Dr. Vissing also offers trainings and consultations for providers.

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