Understanding and Coping with

Reproductive Trauma

We all have stories to tell.

Stories about everyday events in our life, stories about our families, stories about our past and hopes for the future. Woven throughout all these narratives is our reproductive story — the dreams, thoughts, and wishes about becoming a parent.

When my own reproductive story did not unfold as I had hoped, I hit a brick wall. I was unprepared for the emotional and psychological fallout from the trauma. At the time — over 30 years ago – I searched for support, and while I was eventually able to get the help I needed, it made me realize how silenced and shamed people feel from the experience of infertility and pregnancy loss. I knew then that I wanted to turn my attention to helping others through these traumatic events.

Fortunately, in the end, I was able to have a child — a joy beyond my wildest dreams! Although my reproductive story did not go as originally planned, the trauma created avenues of growth and blossomed into a wonderful and unexpected career.

Janet Jaffe, Ph.D

Clinical Work

Dr. Jaffe is a clinical psychologist who has been working in the field of reproductive psychology for over 25 years.  She is a co-founder and has served as co-director of the Center for Reproductive Psychology in San Diego, CA. Her clinical work focuses on helping individuals and couples navigate the many emotional and psychological pitfalls that can happen on the journey to parenthood.


Aside from working with patients, I spend my time writing books, chapters for edited volumes, and journal articles for therapists in the field. I truly love being able to “spread the word,” gathering research in the ever-expanding world of reproductive medicine, and sharing best practices for treatment.

Writing books and articles for patients to read is another way for me to reach out. Sometimes it’s only in the comfort of one’s own home that one can openly grieve — having a book as a companion through this process is a great support.



Janet Jaffe online seminars

& Lecturing

I also teach other therapists in reproductive psychology, through lectures and continuing education seminars. Training mental health professionals as well as others working in the field of reproductive medicine (including physicians, nurses, genetic counselors, pastors, agency directors and medical staff), enables me to lend my perspective to their clinical work from multiple viewpoints. Presentations focus on a variety of theoretical constructs on how clients cope, grieve, and work through the crisis; highlights current research in the field; and illustrates working with clients through case examples.