Rayna Markin Ph.D.

Licensed Psychologist

About Rayna

I specialize in pregnancy loss and infertility, helping parents grieve the loss of one or more pregnancies, cope with the stressors of infertility treatments, and to adjust to pregnancies following loss. I have extensive training in pregnancy loss and infertility, including the completion of a ten-month post-graduate course in Fertility Counseling.

My approach to counseling and psychotherapy is to provide the kind of relational experience that you need in order to be your best self. For many clients, presenting problems or symptoms diminish as they more fully experience and process emotions and engage in interpersonal relationships. I specialize in pregnancy loss (miscarriage) and infertility, helping parents grieve the loss of one or more pregnancies, cope with the stressors of infertility treatments, and to adjust to pregnancies following loss.

For women trying to conceive, fertility issues and miscarriages can leave one feeling depressed, anxious, and stressed, yet isolated, and in need of someone to talk to. Couples often have different ways of grieving which leads to conflict in the relationship at the very time each person needs the other for support. I help couples process the trauma of loss and reconnect with increased intimacy. Working with clients experiencing infertility and pregnancy loss requires specialized knowledge in the emotional, social, relational, and medical aspects of infertility. I have specialized training in working with women and couples through the infertility process.

Perinatal Depression and Anxiety

I work with women during pregnancy and the postpartum period struggling with symptoms of depression and/or anxiety. Importantly, by some estimates, up to 80% of Postpartum Depression cases start during pregnancy and yet most pregnant women struggling with these symptoms do not receive help, which could prevent or ameliorate post-partum problems. While many people often assume that pregnancy and new motherhood are idyllic periods in a woman’s life, for many women with the birth of a baby comes many losses that can lead to symptoms of depression; such as, the loss of identity, loss of freedom, and loss of relationships. New mothers often feel isolated, unsure of their abilities or competence as a mother, bored, or overwhelmed. Some expecting mothers feel conflicted over what kind of mother they will be or ambivalent about the impending changes in their life. Often when a woman becomes a mother, issues from her own childhood experiences being mothered arise and impact the way she feels about herself and/or her relationship to her newborn. Counseling and psychotherapy can help to support the mother through this important life transition, helping her to feel confident in her new maternal identity and to forge a healthy attachment relationship with her baby. In particular, I specialize in working with pregnant and new mothers experiencing depression and/or anxiety with a history of perinatal loss. Dr. Markin has completed post-graduate training in perinatal depression and anxiety from the premier Postpartum Stress Center.

General Counseling and Psychotherapy

For many clients, presenting problems or symptoms diminish as they more fully experience and process emotions and engage in interpersonal relationships. My theoretical orientation is influenced by psychodynamic, attachment, emotion-focused, and interpersonal psychotherapies. Although my theoretical orientation is a blend of these varying approaches, I am largely guided by attachment theory. According to this theory, the way we bond with early caregivers influences our interpersonal relationships later on in life and how we learn to regulate emotions. Because of early experiences, some adults may have difficulty with intimacy in relationships and with experiencing intense emotions, while others may have difficulty being autonomous and feel overwhelmed by their emotions. Similarly, attachment experiences can influence our parenting style, how we bond and establish closeness with our children on one hand, and how we set boundaries and support their individuality and autonomy on the other. However, I believe (and research suggests) that more than any technical skill or theoretical orientation, what is crucial to clients’ meeting their therapeutic goals is the establishment of a good therapeutic relationship.

New book by Dr. Markin on therapy for pregnancy loss:

therapy for pregnancy loss, rayna markin

Order your copy here!

From Oxford University Press (publisher) description of the book:

Pregnancy loss–the death of a conceptus, fetus, or neonate before the 21st day of life–affects a substantial number of women and their partners, and can lead to severe and long-lasting psychological consequences. Perinatal grief, however, is often invalidated, avoided, or dismissed in Western society. Therapy can offer bereaved parents an empathic and affect-regulating relationship in which to mourn.

In Psychotherapy for Pregnancy Loss: Applying Relationship Science to Clinical Practice, Rayna D. Markin applies cutting-edge research on the therapist-client relationship to individual and couples therapy for pregnancy loss and related forms of reproductive trauma, in such a way that is easy for clinicians to utilize in various settings. Through in-depth clinical illustrations and practical relational guidance, Markin demonstrates how the therapy relationship can help clients affected by pregnancy loss to mourn their losses, process and grow from trauma and loss, and restore healthy self-esteem. Guided largely by attachment theory and research on evidence-based relationships and responsiveness, this book is a guide on what exactly clinicians should do and how they should be in the therapy relationship to help clients not only grieve and process the traumatic experience of pregnancy loss but also achieve greater attachment security.

Psychotherapy for Pregnancy Loss will serve as a valuable go-to guide on how clinicians can establish and utilize the kind of therapeutic relationship that is needed to help clients process and grow from the trauma of pregnancy loss.

Dr. Markin book on attachment and group therapy:

“This is the first well-informed and scientifically rigorous extension of attachment theory to group psychotherapy. It is a wonderfully constructed and imaginative text that is sure to become a clinically invaluable tool for all those who work with groups and an excellent introduction to students learning the art of psychological treatment.”

Peter Fonagy, PhD, FBA, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, and Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, University College London, England

“Marmarosh, Markin, and Spiegel offer an elegant, integrated approach supported by current research to demonstrate that, indeed, attachment theory is a worthwhile conceptualization that will help group therapists work with particularly difficult group members—those with insecure attachment patterns…Given the broad perspective, this book will interest group psychotherapists and organizational consultants as well as therapists who want a deeper understanding of how to think about and apply attachment-based interventions.”

From book review by PsycCRITIQUES

Order your copy here!

Schedule a Meeting with Rayna
Therapy Specialties:
  • Maternal Mental Health
  • Pregnancy Loss and Infertility
  • Attachment and relationship concerns
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
  • Grief and Loss
  • Identity development
  • Pregnancies Following Loss
  • Reproductive Trauma
  • Attachment and relationship concerns
  • Completion of Post-Graduate Training in Fertility Counseling, with Sharon Covington, MSW & Linda Applegarth, EdD
  • Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland
  • M.A. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland
  • B.A., from Brandeis University
Professional Affiliations:
  • Member, American Psychological Association
  • Member, APA Division 29, Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy
  • Education & Training Chair, APA Division 29, Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy
  • Member, Society for Psychotherapy Research

Dr. Markin is a leading researcher on the therapeutic relationship, group therapy, and on the psychological experience of pregnancy and perinatal loss. She was awarded a grant from the Weils Foundation to study the impact of early maternal trauma on prenatal attachment and the Charles Gelso Award from Division 29 of the American Psychological Association to study psychodynamic psychotherapy for perinatal grief during pregnancies following a perinatal loss. She maintains an active program of research that she integrates into her clinical work. In July 2017, she received the prestigious Early Career Achievement Award from Division 29, Society for the Advancement of Psychotherapy, of the American Psychological Association

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