Stan Grof is a pioneering researcher who examined the effects of birth trauma and the roots of anxiety through his well-known LSD (and later breathwork) investigations. Describing the phenomenon that he labeled the BIRTH COEX-system (COEX: "COndensed EXperience" of constellations of early traumas), Grof also confirmed that reliving the birth experience can be a powerful healing process in treating psychopathology.
Whenever I am traveling the world and lecturing about prenatal and perinatal psychology, people often ask me, "How do you know opinion X or Y to be true?" or "How do you know if birth has long term impacts?" They accept the answers when research is openly shared and critiqued. The upcoming International APPPAH Congress at Asilomar Conference Grounds provides the best answers to the questions consumers ask, conveying the highest quality empirical and scientific studies in the field, the kind that would convince anyone to embrace our field and what is has to offer.
This centerpiece of APPPAH's International Congresses began as a surprise announcement at the Atlanta Congress in 1991, when Thomas Verny, the Toronto psychiatrist who was the visionary founder and first president of the Association, retired from the presidency after eight years of service. APPPAH's board revealed that it had secretly established the "Thomas R. Verny Prize"—to be given every two years in Dr. Verny's honor to someone making extraordinary contributions to prenatal and perinatal psychology.