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Episode 9.2: Show Notes

In part one of our conversation with Ashley Thompson, we covered a lot of ground on the subject of her daughter, Addie, and heard our guest’s reflections on her continued journey with grief. Here, Ashley joins us again, and we switch the lens a little, focusing more on her professional life, how her work as a mental health professional has influenced her path, and the impact that losing a child had on her work too. This is such a powerful conversation, with someone who has insight into grief from multiple angles. We hear from Ashley about her connection to animals and how she brings them into her work, what she would like to change about maternity leave policies, and why our American culture of death denial needs a major shift. We also cover some more technical aspects around the different therapies that Ashley practices with her clients before spending the last part of the episode reiterating the long-term challenges that being pregnant bestows on mothers. Make to tune and catch it all, from an inspiring and insightful mother with so much wisdom to share!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • What led Ashley to work in mental health and her reliance on animals in her therapy.
  • The effect that losing her daughter, Addie, had on Ashley’s work and approach.
  • Unfair expectations of loss-mothers around maternity leave and returning to work.
  • The inspiration to provide ongoing support through Addie’s Angels.
  • Situating child loss in the broader landscape of grief and Ashley’s work.
  • The impact of America’s culture of death denial; why we need to break this habit.
  • Toxic positivity and why the unique experience of losing a child requires something different.
  • Why relational connection with a counsellor or therapist is so fundamental to healing.
  • Ashley on the science behind a few different types of therapies, including CBT and EMDR.
  • Talking about how administrative barriers are standing in the way of important progress against new born mortality rates.
  • Ashley talks about the due diligence and standards of care that she would like to see implemented.
  • A little about mom-rage and the toll that bad sleep and postpartum had on Ashley.
  • The long term effects of being pregnant; remnant DNA, hormones, and more.
  • Ashley gives us the details about Addie’s Angels and how you find and contact them.
  • The different experiences of loss that we share with our partners.


“Private practice was never the end goal. It kind of just fell into my lap from the universe.” — Ashley Thompson [0:04:35]

“My postpartum depression wasn’t a traditional depression. Mine was more irritability.” — Ashley Thompson [0:12:22]

“I truly feel, as a loss mom and a therapist, that losing a child, losing a pregnancy, is one of the greatest losses that an individual can experience in regards to a relational loss.” — Ashley Thompson [0:24:06]

“I had a loss of identity as a therapist, because I wasn’t able to go to work the way I wanted to. These were all big struggles for me.” — Ashley Thompson [0:57:05]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

Ashley Thompson on LinkedIn

Addie’s Angels

Birchwood Therapeutic Services