The Birth You Didn't Expect: Healing through Connection, Compassion, and Creativity

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“Owning our story and loving ourselves through the process is the bravest thing we’ll ever do” - Brene Brown

Whether you are a new or experienced parent, caregiver, family member, partner, or doula, birth leaves a lasting impact, regardless of how “fine” the baby is afterward. What many well-meaning people don’t understand is that birth trauma is about your perception, not an outcome. When your birth doesn’t go as planned, you can experience feelings of helplessness, terror, and intense fear for your own life or the life of your baby that leaves a lasting impression and doesn’t go away. And the more time that goes by, the more “fine” you and everyone else might expect you to feel. But how are you supposed to feel at peace with a birth that was not what you expected? A birth you didn’t want? Or a birth with no room for how you feel?

In this workshop, you will set a new course for healing your birth experience in a safe, supportive, and validating space. You will have the opportunity to both share your story and learn how to hold space for others. Using art, you will begin the process of putting the pieces back together with support and empathy from the courageous members of the group. Art therapy is about the process, just like birth. You will be encouraged to focus on what it’s like to make art, including any feelings or body sensations that come up. Whether you’re an experienced artist or haven’t made art in 20 years, art therapy is for everyone, and you’ll be encouraged to adopt a sense of curiosity about what comes up in your art without any preconceived notions of what it “should” look like.

This workshop combines didactic information about birth trauma, space for sharing your story, and an art therapy directive designed to honor and heal from your experience. No matter how long ago you gave birth, or how it compares to other birth stories, if you find yourself thinking, replaying, and feeling haunted by your birth experience, you belong in this workshop.