Pregnancy and disability: Therapist transitions and transformations.

Pregnancy is a provocative stimulus in the therapeutic situation. It spurs a wide range of reactions in both members of the therapist—patient dyad. To date, the literature on therapist pregnancy has predominantly focused on its impact on patient dynamics and psychotherapy process. This article explores how therapist pregnancies, pregnancy-related disability, and the birth of a child with genetic differences contributed to personal and professional transformations in the therapist. Through reflections on 4 case vignettes, this article illustrates features of the experience of being a pregnant therapist. Several aspects of therapist transformation in the context of pregnancy and pregnancy-related disability are considered: (a) deepened understanding of unconscious communication in the therapeutic relationship, (b) the development of resilience and acknowledgment of personal and professional limitations, (c) new capacities for clinical work with anger and envy, and (d) the coalescing of 2 distinct pregnancy and birth experiences to inform later work with reproductive trauma. Overall, the experiences detailed represent something more than countertransference; there is a real relationship, impacted by aspects of pregnancy and motherhood, that proves transformative for the therapist. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)