2012 Keynote Speakers
Friday, November 16, 2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Having been introduced to and interviewed David B. Chamberlain shortly after APPPAH’s inception, Michael began collecting interviews with remarkable women and men, explorers in the field of very early human development and potential; David Cheek, Tomas Verney, Barbara Findeisen, Michel Odent, Joseph Chilton Pearce, Suzanne Arms, Robby Davis Floyd, Jeannine Parvati Baker, William Emerson, Bruce Lipton, James Prescott and many others. Twenty years later their insights remain fresh, revolutionary, life and culture changing, and relatively unknown to the mainstream. What this demonstrates is the tremendous power commercially driven mainstream and popular culture has over our nation’s and global collective consciousness. Some ideas spread like McDonald’s hamburgers and Starbuck’s coffee. Others are resisted and defended against. Revisiting highlights from this precious archive - we will explore why.
Michael Mendizza is an author, educator, documentary filmmaker and founder of Touch the Future, a nonprofit learning design center. He is the author of two books: Magical Parent-Magical Child, the Art of Joyful Parenting, co-authored with Joseph Chilton Pearce, applies research on optimum states to parenting and to education and Flowering, a collection of dramatic floral images and quotes by Krishnamurti. In addition Michael and his wife nurture ZFolio Galleries, a growing collection of art galleries featuring international designer jewelry, Czech Art Glass, Michael’s photography. Inspiration for this work emerged from personal relationships with Pearce, physicist David Bohm, philosopher J. Krishnamurti, and over one hundred scientists, authors, and educators. If being in an optimum state is important to professional athletes, imagine what this could mean to parents, childcare providers, educators, coaches and the children they love.
Friday, November 16, 2012 - 9:15am - 10:15am
Extensive studies in laboratories world-wide show that the health we enjoy through life is determined not just by our genes, but equally by gene/environment interactions. This interaction is at the heart of the nature/nurture controversy. We pass more biological milestones before we are born and in the early months of life than at any other time of our life. Cells throughout the body are very plastic and vulnerable at these developmental stages. The organization of the fetal brain is a complex and intricate process: cells divide, differentiate, and move to locations where they interact with other cells. Poor maternal nutrition, both under-and-over-nutrition, environmental stress, drugs, and environmental toxins can alter the trajectory of development in key areas of the brain with long lasting consequences. This address will explore how intrauterine and neonatal environments can determine the level of our anxiety states, our cognitive behavior and other brain functions for a life-time.
Dr. Peter Nathanielsz books Life in the womb: the origin of health and disease and Life before birth have been translated into 12 languages. They were written to inform the general, non-specialist reader about fetal development and developmental programming. He was interviewed about his book by Katie Couric on the Today show and on Fresh Air, the Diane Rehm Show, and other national media outlets. He has talked to high school groups in the USA, Canada, Holland, England, Australia, and New Zealand and has been invited to address such groups as The National Association of Biology Teachers, Planned Parenthood, and the National Association of Midwives. Dr. Nathanielsz’ research group was instrumental in showing that the signals to start labor and delivery come from the fetal brain. This observation was featured in Science and in many publications such as Newsweek, The Economist, and the New York Times. In addition, this research group has shown that a poor intrauterine environment results in an increased predisposition to obesity and diabetes in the offspring and this is even transferred from daughters to granddaughters across the generations.
Friday, November 16, 2012 - 10:30am - 11:30am
Doulas are in a unique position to witness births across many different settings with a variety of care providers. They connect with families and provide a continuous presence and support throughout labor and birth. Élan was drawn to doula work and birth advocacy through her passion for feminism and reproductive justice. She saw this work as an opportunity to empower women and help them reclaim the birth process. Three years ago, her work in both areas was profoundly impacted when she took a neonatal resuscitation course taught from the perspective of the newborn, and for the first time suspected that the birth process was not just a rite of passage for the mother. Her doula work now embraces the importance of the baby’s experience of their own birth, and her advocacy work has shifted from a purely feminist view to a humanist one. This keynote will discuss the potential impact that an understanding of pre & perinatal psychology could have on doula practice and birth advocacy.
Élan Vital McAllister is the President and Founder of Choices in Childbirth, a consumer advocacy organization which strives to improve maternity care by helping families make informed decisions about where, how and with whom to birth, ultimately ensuring that the birth of every child is treated with the reverence that it deserves. She oversees production of The Guide to a Healthy Birth, is a Co-founder of the Grassroots Advocates Committee of CIMS, and co-created The Birth Survey. Elan is the consumer representative for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). She is also a DONA-Trained Labor Doula, a classically trained dancer, and a Tony Award winning Broadway Producer
Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Love is our innate nature. It is our universal birthright to feel lovable, and loved, and to give and receive love -- with ease and confidence. Consistent and dependable love is essential for the development of self-worth and emotional intimacy. Ideally, this primal bond is begun in the womb, and is perfected by our parent's attention, care, and love. The latest neuroscience indicates that by the second year of life, this bond - or lack of one - is deeply wired into our neurological and psychological attachment system. Research shows that early attachment styles affect adult intimacy dynamics, and indicates that only 50% of the population experiences secure attachment. At every stage of life, from prenate to infant, child to teen, and adult to elder, we need and depend on another person to "co-regulate" us when we feel insecure. This is a lifelong requirement that we never outgrow.
Carista Luminare, Ph.D., was founder and director of The Center for Creative Parenting for two decades. She is the author of a comprehensive book, Parenting Begins Before Conception: A Guide to Preparing Body, Mind and Spirit - For You and Your Future Child, which shows future parents how they can lay the foundations for a healthy and happy life before a child is conceived and born. She presented the foundation of her research at the first APPPAH Conference in 1982. She is currently counseling and educating adults how their early childhood attachment styles affect their adult intimacy dynamics, featured in her forthcoming book, "Confused about Love? Start with the Basics". Her life's work is focused on empowering the True Self of the child or adult, at any age of life that one can be inspired and supported.
Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 9:15am - 10:15am
Increasingly, children are reared in families, which bear little or no resemblance to the so-called nuclear family of old. A rising number of children live now with gay parents of one sex or were conceived by IVF, or donor insemination, or adoption, or a combination of the preceding. We want to explore the intrapsychic impact on these children of the absent parent.
Thomas R. Verny is a psychiatrist, writer, academic, founder of the Pre-and Perinatal Psychology association of North America (PPPANA, renamed APPPAH in 1995). In 1974 Dr. Verny wrote, Inside Groups, for McGraw Hill. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (with John Kelly), Summit Books, 1981, followed this. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child has become an international bestseller published in 27 countries and has changed the pregnancy and childbirth experience for millions of mothers and fathers. In addition to seven books, Dr. Verny is the author or co-author of 46 scientific papers and articles. He currently practices psychiatry in Stratford, ON, Canada. In his spare time he writes short stories and poetry.
Keynote: Implications of the Prenatal and Perinatal Period for Psychology: Insights from Research of Non-Ordinary States of Consciousness
Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 10:30am - 11:30am
This slide-illustrated lecture will explore the observations from the research of non-ordinary states of consciousness indicating that the quality of prenatal life, the nature of biological birth, and the experiences of the newborn immediately after birth have profound influence on later psychological development, emotional and psychosomatic health, interpersonal relations, and behavior. We will discuss the implications of these findings for the theory and practice of psychiatry, psychology, and psychotherapy, and their relevance for obstetrics and pediatrics. Special attention will be paid to broader societal implications of the new data - the relationship of the trauma of birth to ritual and spiritual life of humanity and to human violence and greed, two forces that play a critical role in wars, revolutions, and genocide, as well as the current global crisis.
Stanislav Grof, M.D., is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years of experience in research of non-ordinary states of consciousness induced by psychedelic substances and various non-pharmacological methods. Currently, he is Professor of Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) in San Francisco and Wisdom University in Oakland, CA, conducts professional training programs in Holotropic Breathwork and transpersonal psychology, and gives lectures and seminars worldwide. He is one of the founders and chief theoreticians of transpersonal psychology and the founding president of the International Transpersonal Association (ITA). In October 2007, he received the prestigious Vision 97 Award from the Dagmar and Vaclav Havel Foundation in Prague and in 2010 the Thomas R,Verny Award for his contributions to pre- and perinatal psychology. Among his publications are over 150 papers in professional journals and the books Beyond the Brain; LSD: Gateway to the Numinous; LSD Psychotherapy; The Cosmic Game; Psychology of the Future; When the Impossible Happens; The Ultimate Journey; Spiritual Emergency; The Stormy Search for the Self; and Holotropic Breathwork (the last three with Christina Grof).
Saturday, November 17, 2012 - 11:45am - 1:00pm
Interactive Panel: Speakers from the morning will be answering questions