Villanova Counseling Professor Explores Compassionate Psychotherapy Approach to Pregnancy Loss in New Book

Book cover of, "Psychotherapy for Pregnancy Loss"

Villanova, Pa — In a society where discussions about pregnancy loss are often hushed or purely medical, one scholar is working to change the narrative. In her new book, Psychotherapy for Pregnancy Loss: Applying relationship science to clinical practice, licensed psychologist and Villanova University Associate Professor of Counseling Rayna D. Markin, PhD, offers a compassionate and evidence-based approach to counseling individuals and couples affected by these deeply emotional events.

Pregnancy loss is unfortunately common, yet there is limited guidance for clinicians to navigate these experiences with clients to help them process and grow from the suffering of loss. Whether they are faced with multiple miscarriages or a heart-wrenching decision about terminating a much-wanted pregnancy, these grieving individuals are left carrying feelings of inadequacy or shame. “This book addresses the deeper level psychosocial consequences of pregnancy loss, including the processing of trauma and loss and the restoration of healthy self-esteem,” says Dr. Markin.

Drawing from leading-edge research on the therapist-client relationship among those experiencing various forms of reproductive trauma, Dr. Markin provides a framework for applying relationship science to clinical practice. Psychotherapy for Pregnancy Loss fills a crucial void in literature for practitioners, health care providers and infertility counselors, who strive to work on a deeper level therapeutically with clients. Through in-depth clinical examples and practical relational guidance, the book illustrates how elements such as alliance, empathy and attachment style can be leveraged to help achieve positive outcomes in the wake of pregnancy loss.

Dr. Markin is associate editor of the American Psychological Association (APA) journal Psychotherapy. She has over 40 published articles, books and book chapters on the psychotherapy relationship and psychotherapy for pregnancy loss, including a co-authored book, Attachment in Group Psychotherapy (2013). Dr. Markin has held several leadership positions in Division 29 of the APA and served on the Third Interdivisional APA Task Force on evidence-based relationships and responsiveness. In addition to her clinical practice work, she enjoys collaborating with students on original research studies at Villanova University and teaching courses such as The Counseling Relationship and Group Dynamics.

About Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Since its founding in 1842, Villanova University’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has been the heart of the Villanova learning experience, offering foundational courses for undergraduate students in every college of the University. Serving more than 4,500 undergraduate and graduate students, the College is committed to fortifying them with intellectual rigor, multidisciplinary knowledge, moral courage and a global perspective. The College has more than 40 academic departments and programs across the humanities, social sciences, and natural and physical sciences.