Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


Mothers-Psychology, Pregnancy-Psychological aspects, Adult child abuse victims-Mental health, Substance abuse-Patients-Counseling of, Theoretical, Pregnancy, Trauma, Attachment, Corrective relational experience, Substance use, Empowerment, Risk


This theoretical thesis examined how the capacity of a healthy pregnancy and birth and positive attachment could be a corrective experience for mothers with histories of trauma and subsequent substance use. Socratic questioning was used to help trauma and attachment-informed clinicians approach mothers in this population as an asset to their infants rather than viewing them as a risk, hopefully challenging the socially prevalent belief that these mothers should be treated punitively rather than receive treatment. The phenomenon also focused on this population of mothers rather than their infants as primary victim, examining individual and systemic factors that contribute to substance use in pregnant mothers as a means by which they cope with their own history of trauma. In addition, the author conducted assessments of programs that currently exist for these mother and what are the barriers and successes to providing trauma and attachment informed care for these women.




108 pages. Thesis (M.S.W)--Smith College School for Social Work, 2015. Includes bibliographical references (pages 98-108)