Pregnancy and Birth from the Baby’s perspective
Two days – June 2019
‘What matters is for babies to be able to have their stories heard!’
This was the biggest take-away for me from the ‘Human Baby Human Being’ Conference in Bristol June 2019 which I saw through the camera lens. There were a great series of presentations about different facets of what it means to be present to babies and the experience of coming into the world. Over and again the touchstone was: how can we make space in our lives and in our inner worlds to receive the clear communications babies are making? Or will make if we are listening! It was a superb event, with a lovely sense of mutuality and joy – something so essential when working with experiences that can shape a life.
Director – Whole Being Films
1) Keynote: ‘From Womb to World – the Journey that Shapes our Life’
by Anna Verwaal
More than three decades of research in the field of pre and perinatal psychology and health shows that the most critical formative period, and the difference in ‘thriving or surviving’ between birthdays goes back even earlier than birth.
NB: Some still images have been excluded from this presentation for copyright reasons and availability is not guaranteed.
2) ‘The Collective Psychological Dimension of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology’
by Ludwig Janus
The research conducted by prenatal psychology into psychological and emotional experiences before and during birth has led to the discovery and recognition that human cultural artifacts and activities have to some extent always expressed prenatal and perinatal feelings.
3) ‘Prenatal and Birth Experience – Shadow and Potential’
by Cherionna Menzam-Sills
Shadow leaks into our lives, unconsciously affecting our perceptions, thoughts, behaviors, attitudes, relationships, bodies and personalities. Much of pre- and perinatal therapy orients to the traumas and challenges of our early experience. How can we access and embody our original embryological potential?
4) ‘Perspectives on Mental Health Care for Babies’
by Binu Singh
Research and clinical experience shows us the huge impact of stress during prenatal period, birth and early childhood on physical, psychological, social and spiritual well-being throughout life. Investment in prevention, early detection and intervention for mental health problems is very cost-effective during this period for the individual as well for the society.
NB: Images and a video have been excluded from this recording for copyright reasons
5) ‘When does Prenatal Experience Begin?’
by Jenni Meyer
What is consciousness? Is it local to an individual? At what stage does a person’s consciousness start to engage with experience? There have been many reports from people who have regressed as far back as preconception, of their felt senses & memories.
6) ‘Self-attachment and Inner Security’
by Thomas Harms
In this presentation Thomas Harms will show how body-oriented strengthening of the self-attachment – process of the caregivers can help to overcome vicious circles within pre-, peri- and postpartal crisis of parents with their un- and newborn children.
Sunday 9th June 2019
7) ‘Relational Feeding – the Journey from Womb to Breast’
by Kate Rosati
This talk will explore the experience of the baby in utero and how this experience may impact on the baby’s desire /ability to breastfeed in the early days.
8) ‘Good Baby Syndrome – A Legacy for Life’
by Matthew Appleton
The association of ‘quiet baby’ with ‘good baby’ reflects unconscious cultural attitudes that puts increased pressure on parents and seeks to diminish the expressiveness of babies. Babies are fully human from the beginning and seek empathic contact for their inner emotional life, including their distress.
NB: a video has been excluded from this recording for copyright reasons.
9) ‘Genetics, Epigenetics and the Trans-generational Transmission of Trauma’
by Thomas Verny
Epigenetics explains how experience writes on our bodies and minds through changes in the way genes express themselves in response to environmental factors. Genes don’t make us who we are. Gene expression does. We are architects of our own lives more than we realise.
10/11) ‘Demystifying the Practitioner Experience of Working with Babies’ (two presentations) by Kate White & Judy Terwilliger
In these presentations, baby bodyworkers Kate White and Judy Terwilliger will team up to share experiences of their private practices that explore situations when working with babies where practitioners may have a choice in approaches.
12) ‘Creating a Human Being’
by Klaus Käppeli
Children and parents having chosen the way of assisted reproductive technologies (ART) gain experiences, which are different from those of natural conception. The children are growing and carrying these experiences in their lives. Are we ready to listen to them and to support what they need?
13) Panel discussion with all the presenters moderated by John Wilks
(Duration: 13 hrs Approx)
Birth From the Baby’s Point of View
An Introduction to Integrative Baby Therapy
by Matthew Appleton
(duration 3hrs 15 Mins approx)
Our experiences in the womb, at birth and shortly after birth profoundly shape our sense of who we are and our perceptions of the world. This workshop is intended for psychotherapists, body-workers, midwives, doulas, parents and anyone who is interested in how our earliest experiences shape us. The day will include seminar style teaching, video footage of therapy with babies and some experiential exercises to access our own embodied experience. Topics include: How the conventional cultural understanding of babies and prenates is at odds with their nature and needs. The four stages of birth of birth from a baby’s perspective (as opposed to the three stages of birth from the obstetrical perspective) and how each of these stages may impact us. How each of the stages of birth may set up specific core beliefs and life statements.
NB: A replacement video has been included for copyright reasons.
Matthew Appleton co-founded Conscious Embodiment Trainings in 2006, with his partner Jenni Meyer, to promote awareness of pre and perinatal psychology, sacred ecology and embodied process therapies. Prior to this he was also co-founder of the Institute of Craniosacral Studies and was a co-director and senior teacher with the Institute for 12 years.
Narcissistic Problems within early Parent-Infant Psychotherapy
by Thomas Harms
Duration 5hrs 30 Mins approx.
Working with perfectionist parents is a real challenge. Narcissistic parents will show a very weak state of contact with their babies, they have high expectations how their children , and their professional helpers have to be. Perfectionist parents have a hard time with body-oriented approaches and getting in contact with the flow of their body sensations
In this workshop, the body-psychotherapist Thomas Harms will show how to work with narcissistic parents and to improve their capacities to attune with the needs, emotions and behaviour of their infants. Also he will discuss the therapeutic traps we walk in when we are confronted with parental idealisation and grandiosity within Parent-Baby-Therapy.
Thomas Harms lives and works in Bremen, Germany and has been working in the field of body psychotherapy for over 25 years with adults, couples and infants. He founded, with his wife Karin Meyer-Harms, an outpatient clinic,the Centre for Primary Prevention and Body Psychotherapy (ZePP) and in 1993 the Crybaby Clinic in Berlin.
Workshop: Baby Dynamics: A Full Spectrum Approach to Working with Babies by Kate White
(duration 2hrs 30 mins)
In this workshop, baby practitioner Kate White will lead practitioners through a variety of skills to help support the mother-baby dyad and families with babies. She has a unique approach that combines trauma resolution with Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Prenatal and Perinatal Somatic Healing. For this post conference session, Kate will combine three levels of education into one day so that participant can experience a variety of skills: Somatic Skills for the Practitioner; Working with Compression; and Working with the Midface. This workshop would be best for practitioners with craniosacral therapy skills. Working with babies is not a required prerequisite.
NB: A video has been excluded from this recording for copyright reasons. Some experiential exercises have not been included.
Learning objectives: In this one day workshop, participants will be able to:
· Apply the prenatal and perinatal somatic approach to working with babies and families
· Demonstrate a working knowledge of the impact of compression on babies, and be able to explain that to a parent.
· Identify different structures of the face and some craniosacral approaches to helping babies breastfeed who are experiencing tongue tie symptoms.
Workshop: Introduction to Pre and Perinatal Psychology
by Thomas Verny
During the past few years through the combined efforts of embryologists, physiologists, obstetricians, pediatricians, nurses, psychiatrists, psychologists and many other health professionals a new science of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology has emerged.
Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology is the pioneering field of science that explores how our earliest experiences – from conception to infancy- can leave lifelong marks on our self-image, perceptions, behavior and relationship patterns, even our health. This science is concerned with exploring the psychology of conception, pregnancy, labor, delivery and the postpartum period as well as with the unborn and newborn child’s intellectual and emotional development. Advances in Pre- and Perinatal Psychology are changing our established view of unborn and newborn children.
Scientific evidence collected over the last several decades has shown that infants have capabilities far beyond what they were given credit for in the past. Based purely on the extent of their physical development, it was mistakenly assumed that unborn and even newborn children’s brains did not yet have the capacity to be aware of their surroundings, to lay down memory or to feel pain. However, as a result of research in PPP (Pre- and Perinatal Psychology) infants are no longer seen as functioning on a purely vegetative level but rather as complex beings that are sensitive and sensible and capable of observing, learning, feeling and remembering at least from the age of 6 months post conception and perhaps earlier.
Thomas R. Verny
MD, DPSYCH., DHL, FRCPC, FAPA,
Thomas R. Verny is a psychiatrist, writer and academic. He has previously taught at Harvard University, University of Toronto, York University, Toronto, St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, Minnesota and the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute.
In 1974 Verny wrote his first book, Inside Groups, for McGraw Hill. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (with John Kelly). In 1983 Verny founded the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA, renamed APPPAH in 1995), and served as its president for eight years.
Verny ‘s book, TOMORROW’S BABY: The Art and Science of Parenting from Conception through Infancy, written with Pamela Weintraub, was published 2002. In addition to eight books, Verny is the author or co-author of 47 scientific papers and articles.
Dr. Verny retired from active practice in in 2014. He lives with his wife in Stratford, ON, Canada.
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