Stephanie Rose: Response of Men After Miscarriage

Stephanie Rose talks with Dr. Heidi Horsley about how men handle a miscarriage, an often unspoken trauma. A doctoral student at Purdue University, Rose is studying how men respond following a miscarriage. Dr. Horsley has had two miscarriages, and recalls it seeming like her own experience—her husband’s lack of support due to society’s minimized importance of the experience for him. Rose says that’s common. “Unfortunately, when people talk to the man…they’re saying ‘how is your wife?’”

Men, of course, can experience a variety of emotions during this time but it’s brushed under the rug. The focus is usually on the woman. Rose’s research includes giving men an outlet, working with them and focusing on the man’s experience. They need grief counseling, social support and other like resources just like women.

“Ask him how he’s doing”

One of the simplest, easiest ways to show support to men is to simply ask how they in particular are doing. It’s okay to ask about the wife/partner, too, but a little focus on them is critical. How they find meaning from a miscarriage loss is a topic that’s rarely discussed. Rose hopes to change that by focusing on the male partner in a miscarriage partnership.

However, many people don’t know how to support the men in their lives who’ve suffered a miscarriage, and even more assume that it’s not as traumatizing for them. The loss of a child, whether born or not, can be devastating for both parents. It’s natural to want to comfort the mother, but in the process the male partner can feel left behind. They also may feel like they need to “be strong” for their female partner. Rose is challenging that perception and tendency in her doctoral studies.

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Heidi Horsley

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Dr. Heidi Horsley is an international grief expert, licensed psychologist, and social worker. She is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Open to Hope Foundation, one of the largest internet grief resources, with over 2 million yearly visitors. She hosts the award-winning Open to Hope cable television show and podcast. Dr. Heidi is an adjunct professor at Columbia University. She serves on the ​National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, the largest peer to peer support organization in the world. She also serves on the National Advisory Board for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS). TAPS has served over 50,000 military families who have suffered a loss. In addition, she serves on the National Advisory Board for the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation, and the Children's Brain Tumor Foundation. Dr. Heidi is on the VIP section of Marquis Who's Who in America, Madison Who's Who, and Who's Who of American Women. Dr. Heidi has co-authored eight books, including; Spouse Loss; Fresh Grief; Inspirational Stories for Handling the Holidays After Loss; Inspirational Stories of Healing After Loss; Real Men Do Cry; A Quarterbacks Inspiring Story of Tackling Depression & Surviving Suicide; Teen Grief Relief: Parenting with Understanding Support and Guidance; and Signs and Hope From Heaven. She has appeared on the ABC television show 20/20, has been interviewed by numerous media outlets, and has been a guest on hundreds of radio shows as well as quoted in dozens of media publications, including the Metro World News, Washington Post, Time Magazine, Newsday, Money Magazine, and New York Daily News. Dr. Heidi is also the author of numerous articles and academic book chapters. Dr. Heidi gives keynotes, presentations, and workshops throughout the country, and teaches continuing education workshops for health care professionals on support following trauma and tragedy. For 10 yrs., Dr. Heidi worked as a co-investigator for the FDNY-Columbia University Family Guidance Program; a study which looked at traumatic loss in families of firefighters killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Through this 9/11 study, Dr. Heidi provided ongoing intervention and follow-up to firefighter widows and their children, and facilitated groups for bereaved siblings. In addition, Dr. Heidi supervised the school social work staff at Harlem Democracy Charter Schools in NYC for four years. Dr. Heidi's early career included work in a variety of clinical settings, including; Manhattan Psychiatric Center, California Pacific Medical Center Psychiatry Dept., University of San Francisco Mental Health Clinic, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Psychiatry Dept., and Hope Haven Residential Treatment Center in New Orleans. Her doctoral dissertation was on the sudden death of a sibling. Her academic credentials include a doctorate in Psychology (PsyD) from the University of San Francisco; a Masters degree in social work (LMSW) from Columbia University, and a Masters degree in mental health counseling (MS) from Loyola University, in New Orleans. Dr. Heidi splits her time between NYC and Tucson AZ.

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