Healing From Birth Trauma: A 3-Week Art Therapy Series

With elizabeth gillette, LCSW and ali haeffner, lpca


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 a feeling, not an outcome. When the birth doesn’t go as planned, we can experience feelings of helplessness, terror, and intense fear for our own life or the life of our 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?


Over four weeks, we will set a new course for healing birth trauma in a safe, supportive, and validating space. Using art, we will process the emotions and experience of your birth, using line, shape and color to depict the things that words cannot. Art therapy is about the process, just like birth. We will 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 see what comes up for you in your art without any preconceived notions of what it “should” look like.

Each week, we’ll start with a short meditation to ground our intention for the session. Elizabeth will support your healing work by explaining what birth trauma is, how it affects us, and how you can move forward. Ali will guide you in a 45 minute art therapy directive, or art task, each week. Next, we’ll come together to share about your experience making art. We will close with a short ritual and clean-up.

About the facilitators:

Ali Haeffner, LPCA is a holistically-minded art therapist who gives time and space for people to attune to their physical and emotional selves. As a student of mindfulness, she shares this experience with her clients and feels grateful to be a witness to each of their paths to healing. Ali came to the field of art therapy to be of service, and also to heal herself. She is a strong advocate for self-care and being gentle with yourself, a lesson she’s learning even more as a new mom. Ali opened a private practice in 2016 with the intention of stepping out of her comfort zone and finding more freedom for herself and her clients. She believes art therapy is a path for gentle questioning and to contemplate the mysteries of ourselves through artistic means.

Elizabeth Gillette, LCSW is a family-oriented social worker who supports growing families as they transition to parenthood and navigate the inevitable significant adjustments in their relationships. She specializes in treating perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and birth trauma. Elizabeth utilizes an attachment framework in addressing challenges, recognizing that our early relationships shape our current ones. Elizabeth is also a former birth and postpartum doula and brings her experience as a witness in birth to the exploration of difficult birth experiences. She believes in the body's incredible ability to heal with guided support, nurturing, and a quiet space.

What: Healing From Birth Trauma 3-Week Series

When: Tuesdays, June 13th, 20th, and 27th, 5:30-7:30pm

Where: 44 Merrimon Avenue in downtown Asheville. Free parking in the lot behind the building.

Cost: $200 for the 3-week series, including all materials and snacks

To register, please complete the form below.

Name *