When the Healer Needs Healing

Maryl Smith CPM, LDM


Maryl Smith CPM, LDM was a music education major who began her midwifery journey after her own home birth experience. She enrolled in the 3-year midwifery course, Apprentice Academics, and apprenticed with an Oregon Certified Midwife, working out of a Naturopathic clinic and attending home births. Concurrently, she assisted Nurse Midwives and Physicians at a free-standing Birth Center and caught her first baby in 1984. Maryl was certified by the Oregon Midwifery council in 1993, received her Oregon License in 1994 and her CPM status in 1997. She has taught classes for Birthingway College of Midwifery, Bastyr University, the Oregon Midwifery Council, Washington Association of Midwives, Midwifery Today, American Association of Naturopathic Midwives, Christian Midwives International and Gateway Northwest Maternal and Child Health Network of New Jersey. Maryl also holds a degree in theology with an emphasis in counseling, gaining much practical experience while leading women’s support groups for a non-profit counseling organization. When off-call, Maryl happily travels internationally, assisting her husband with his non-profit organization. She is also active as a tribal member in her local Cherokee community and loves picking up a flute and making music whenever possible.

Maryl Smith's Handouts
Maryls Powerpoint Slides

Description of Presentation:

1. Safety for attendees. Percentage of trauma survivors in caring professions.

2. Definition of Trauma a. Understanding single event trauma & accumulative trauma as it relates to developed personal coping mechanisms. b. Suspending judgment about another’s perceptions of trauma or experience

3. Recognizing the problems we face in the clinical setting and healing for ourselves and midwifery culture. How our trauma impacts our self-satisfaction, clients, co-workers, team cohesion, transports and relationships with preceptors/teachers a. Empathy or Efficiency? What is the balance that reduces stress? b. Exposing personal Areas of impact (control issues, self-soothing issues, trust issues, decision-making etc) c. How much do we disclose?


Behavioral Objectives for class:

1. Participants will be able to describe the paradigm shift that must occur and be strengthened in midwifery development to address the impact of stress on the profession, especially in light of the high percentage of trauma survivors in care-giving professions. They will be able to compare transactional vs transformative processes and describe how empathy paired with efficiency reduces burnout.

2. Participants will be able to critique how their own trauma experiences, formed personality style and coping mechanisms may impact, for better or for worse, how they relate to clients.

3. They will be able to identify and design ways to modify their style of care that function better in light of those dynamics. They will develop the beginnings of a personal plan for self-care and stress reduction.Self-care Plan will include
ways to Increase self-reflective capacities and self-compassion, ways to support appropriate boundaries and functioning client relationships, Ways to increase positive coping skills and support networks.