Working psychologically with perinatal loss and separation: clinical and professional considerations

29 September 202211am - 2pm
  • Perinatal
From £15
Two women talking, one of whom is holding a tablet computer.
DCP Faculty of Perinatal Psychology


This webinar brings together some fantastic speakers sharing their knowledge and experience of working with perinatal loss and separation. This will include the psychological impact of loss, considerations to inform psychological assessment and treatment, and reflective spaces to consider the role of psychology in the loss space and surrounding systems.

Those with lived experience will share their story. Time will be given to thinking about supporting women who have experienced loss through separation from their babies, including reflections on a new offer of support through the Lotus Maternal Therapeutic Outreach Team in Norfolk.


Learning OutcomesTo understand what is meant by perinatal loss and how this can affect women and families

  • To understand the physical, practical and psychological factors associated with perinatal loss to inform psychological assessment and treatment
  • To consider the experience and needs of those who experience loss through separation from their babies.
  • To consider how factors related to perinatal loss, separation and grief can be applied across different psychological models
  • To reflect on the professional issues that working with this patient group can bring up, considering issues for the profession and the well-being of ourselves as professionals.


Dr Sarah Healy, Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Director, The Perinatal Psychology Practice

Dr Sarah Healy has over 15 years of perinatal mental health experience, including extensive experience delivering evidence-based psychological therapies to women in the perinatal period. Clinically, she has experience working in roles across the care pathway, including as the Perinatal Lead in an IAPT service, and as a Clinical Psychologist in two specialist perinatal teams. She holds postgraduate qualifications in CBT, EMDR and Behavioural Couples Therapy and has also trained in CFT, and ACT.

She is currently the Clinical Director of The Perinatal Psychology Practice, an independent service providing psychological support to those in the perinatal period, and an Associate Clinical Tutor at UCL. Alongside Prof. Heather O'Mahen at the University of Exeter, she has recently published IAPT Perinatal Competency Framework, and is currently working on the revision of the IAPT Perinatal Positive Practice Guide. Dr Healy has extensive clinical experience in working with perinatal loss and is passionate about ensuring that perinatal loss is considered as a key component of training in perinatal mental health.

Dr Kyla Vaillancourt, Principal Clinical Psychologist, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust

Kyla trained as a Clinical Psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at University of London. Since qualification, she completed a further postgraduate qualification in Cognitive Behavioural Couples Therapy and has specialised in perinatal mental health. Kyla has worked in NHS specialist Perinatal Mental Health settings since 2016, delivering therapy and supervising other psychological therapists working with parents in the perinatal period. She is currently employed as a Principal Clinical Psychologist for a new Maternal Mental Health Service in South London, which will focus on the needs of those who experience anxiety, trauma or loss in the context of their maternity journey.

Prior to training as a Clinical Psychologist, Kyla worked in research settings focused on infant development and parent-infant relationships. She continues to have an interest in research and is currently undertaking a NIHR pre-doctoral clinical academic fellowship.

Dr Melanie White, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, Kingfisher Mother and Baby Unit / Perinatal Mental Health Team

Dr Melanie White is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist specialising in perinatal mental health.  She has worked as part of the new Kingfisher Mother and Baby Unit in Norfolk since its opening in 2019 and is currently the clinical lead for the Norfolk and Waveney Perinatal Community Mental Health Team.  She oversaw the pilot for the Lotus Service, a new maternity mental health service for women in Norfolk and Waveney which launched in July 2021.  She has a long standing interest in working with women with complex trauma and delivering mental health services which are compassionate and trauma informed.  

Dr Michelle Tolfrey, Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Director, Talking Heads

Michelle has over 19 years of experience in mental health services in the NHS, charitable sector and private practice. She completed her doctorate at Royal Holloway, University of London and has since worked in a range of settings including specialist therapy services, inpatient hospitals, prison and children’s social care.

Michelle has lived experienced of perinatal loss including an ectopic pregnancy and the stillbirth of her first daughter at 37 weeks. She navigated pregnancy after loss and was subsequently cared for by her local perinatal mental health team. Michelle is very involved with the online loss communities and works closely with a number of the large baby loss charities. Alongside a Specialist Bereavement Midwife, Michelle co-founded The Loss Collective, an online hub to help signpost people who have experienced perinatal loss to sources of information and support. They also provide training and support to staff who work with people impacted by loss.


  • BPS member - £30
  • BPS Concession/Student Member - £15
  • Member Network fee - £15
  • Non BPS member - £60

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