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Ordered by Date of Review

Book Review of The Greatness Chair
Reviewer: Barbara Hotelling
Date of Review: 09/2020

Book Review 

The Greatness Chair (2019) by Kathleen Friend. Words Matter Publishing. 80 pp. ISBN 13: 978-1-949809-36-7; ISBN 10: 1-949809-36-6.

Kathleen Friend is a Child Psychiatrist, mother, musician, heart rhythm meditation teacher and a lover of books. In all these areas she has probably seen the damage corrections and negativity can cause by well-meaning grown-ups. It is a wall we parents walk upon where one side is leniency (children need to make their own mistakes and recover from them) and the other authoritarian protection (...

Book Review of The First Fairy Tale Book i: The Adventure Begins
Reviewer: Barbara Hotelling
Date of Review: 06/2020

The First Fairy Tale Book I: The Adventure Begins (2018) by Susan Highsmith. Words Matter Publishing. 43 pp. ISBN 13: 978-1-947072-60-2; ISBN 10: 1-947072-60-9.

This story embodies the essence of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology. It is the embryology of conception told in a way that demonstrates the consciousness within each egg, each sperm, and the magnificent Being (called a zygote) that emerges from their union. A more scientific explanation of this magnificent process is included following the fairy tale. The tale is really enough. We know it by...

Book Review of The First Fairy Tale Book II: The Awakening Heart
Reviewer: Barbara Hotelling
Date of Review: 06/2020

The First Fairy Tale Book II: The Awakening Heart (2018) by Susan Highsmith. Words Matter Publishing. 49 pp. ISBN 13: 978-1-947072-76-3; ISBN 10: 1-947072-76-5.

Fairy tale 2 continues the journey, describing the first three weeks of gestation. As the journeys of egg and sperm were hazardous, so is the next phase of the journey traversed by the beautiful new Being evolving from the union of these two energies. Life is growing at such an accelerated pace! This essential part of development is to be especially treasured and celebrated.  (Highsmith,...

Prenatal Psychology 100 Years: A Journey in Decoding How Our Prenatal Experience Shapes Who We Become
Reviewer: Kelduyn R Garland
Date of Review: 03/2020

In celebration of the field of pre- and perinatal psychology and health (PPPH), editors Jon RG Turner, Troye GN Turner, and Olga Gouni have brought together an anthology of writings by people involved in the field internationally to explore the development and evolution of PPPH over the past almost-100 years. It includes a field of diverse professionals (medical/mental health/research) both prominent and well-known, as well as those less known, who have played a key role across the planet in the development and understanding of the multifaceted elements, components, and factors involved in...

The Secret Life of Babies
Reviewer: Michael Trout
Date of Review: 10/2012

Here's the deal: The public's reaction to The Secret Life Of Babies will depend on the needs and intentions of individual readers.

Dr. Kalef s book is a work of art. It is full of tales that ring true, that make sense, that are full of heart, and that smack of authenticity. It will support ideas about early experience - fledgling or well-formed - that already resonate in the reader.

What this marvelous piece of storytelling and testimony is not is a scientific treatise. It will not convince the doubting. And it could have used a good copy editor, who might have...

Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers
Reviewer: William R Emerson
Date of Review: 03/2012

In the beginning of Parenting for Peace, Dr. Axness informs us that mammals in the wild are not a violent species, and have never been prone to violence of any type. She ponders why human mammals have turned out to be so violent, stating, "Staggering evidence of human and planetary strife is scattered across the globe.... along with our late-model cars and flat-screen TVs, the U.S. has more violence and higher murder rates than any Western European country, and by far the highest incarceration rate in the world." Because of rampant violence and strife in the U.S., Dr. Axness is determined...

The Heart in the Womb
Reviewer: Joann M O'Leary
Date of Review: 12/2011

In today's society where the Cesarean rate is 30% and climbing, it is refreshing to read a book supporting the power of a woman to give birth, not only in a natural way, but a home birth outside the medical arena. Written by a practicing obstetrician, whose training she describes as emphasizing the pathology of childbirth, Dr. Amali Lokugamagae introduces the reader to the hazards of our "risk-averse" society that has medicalized childbirth, converting a normal process into abnormality, and often creating illness where none had previously existed. Dr. Lokugamagae's transformation of...

The Lived Experience of Violation: How Abused Children Become Unhealthy Adults
Reviewer: Ann Diamond Weinstein
Date of Review: 12/2011

Anna Luise Kirkengen, M. D, Ph.D, primary care physician and phenomenological researcher, makes a vital contribution to our understanding of the embodiment, over- time, of childhood experiences of violation. Dr. Kirkengen illuminates the relationship between the meaning of these experiences in survivors' lives and the unique manifestation of symptoms and behavior that are expressed through their lived bodies into adulthood. Dr. Kirkengen cites research that demonstrates the prevalence of reported violence experienced by individuals in childhood and by women throughout their...

Womb Twin Survivors: The lost twin in the dream of the womb.
Reviewer: Kelduyn R Garland
Date of Review: 12/2011

The phenomenon of twins and multiple prenates in gestation, and the impact of either the prenatal or postpartum loss of one or more of them has been an area discounted as significant regarding its impact on parents and surviving offspring by both the medical and mental health community up until about 25 years ago. Artificial Reproductive Techniques [ART], especially in-vitro fertilization [IVF], has spurred on the use of the sonogram, whereby medical professionals and parents could see, from the first trimester, what was occurring gestationally within the uterus of a pregnant woman....

Prenatal and birth memories
Reviewer: Jeane Rhodes
Date of Review: 03/2011

The stated aim of this workbook is to transform prenatal and perinatal psychology into a science of practice that will reliably aid students and clinicians and support those desiring to explore their own early memories. The workbook succeeds admirably in laying the foundations to accomplish this aim. It presents, in clear, concise language answers as to why one would want to explore prenatal and birth memories, goes on to describe how to accomplish this, and provides detailed descriptions of exercises to use in the exploration.

As a result, this workbook is a reliable tool for...

Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy
Reviewer: Michael Dunning
Date of Review: 10/2010

Michael Shea's three volumes on Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy represent no less than a Proustian achievement in behalf of the therapeutic and pediatric community. The meaning and movement of the moment of conception, and of the early development of a human being are, for Shea, bound to a taste of consciousness that has soaked itself so deeply into the layers of Proust's petit-madeleine cake as to invite a realm of remembrance where the past remains barely embodied, or barely attached to this earthly dimension, and yet is perceivable and palpable in the living present as a sense of...

Birthing a Better Way
Reviewer: Randi McCallian
Date of Review: 10/2010

This book presents a supportive, no-nonsense approach to informed childbirth in any setting; a hospital, birth center, or at home. Cook and Christensen have compiled 12 "secrets" for natural childbirth encouraging women to understand the powerful and spiritual process of birth and to be truly informed when it comes to birthing in any setting. I am thrilled this book is hitting the birth market and I have high hopes that the bold captivating title, with the promise of learning 12 natural childbirth secrets, will contribute to the movement towards natural, holistic birth.


Don't Let Your Kids Be Normal
Reviewer: David B Chamberlain
Date of Review: 10/2010

Don't Let Your Kids Be Normal is a rare, very personal work that caps a career of fifty years of personal and professional commitment to the well-being of children and their families. The author felt compelled to write this book because, throughout that time, he could find nothing in the existing literature that adequately reflected his own personal experiences, thoughts, and conclusions. In it he shares the deepest beliefs and convictions that were inspired by his own Odyssey. He writes chapters that are conversations rather than lectures and offers options rather than prescriptions...

Healing Developmental Trauma
Reviewer: Emma Miller
Date of Review: 10/2010

Healing Developmental Trauma: A Systems Approach to Counseling Individuals, Couples and Families (2010) presents an expanded paradigm for understanding the pervasive influence of early shock, trauma and stress on humanity's evolution. It also presents a comprehensive clinical approach for healing the long lasting effects, which the authors assert, are the primary causes of human suffering.

The product of twenty-five years of research by Janae and Barry Weinhold, clinicians, former university professors, and prolific authors, this book advances the practice of counseling,...

The Emotional World of the Fetus
Reviewer: David B Chamberlain
Date of Review: 05/2010

An entertaining and inspirational handbook on The Emotional World of the Fetus by Gajanan Kelkar (2009) has been born at the unique Manashakti Research Center, in Lonavla, India where the author directs one of the most popular programs of prenatal education in the world today. The program which has been developing during the last 25 years weds a classical tradition of mind cultivation with modern principles of prenatal psychology and uses systematic measurements to verify the benefits and rewards which come to parents and babies alike.

Highly favored courses include a 3 -...

Brought to Earth by Birth
Reviewer: Catherine Fraser
Date of Review: 01/2010

Harriette Hartigan is a photographer and midwife who has passion for the subject of birth. In Brought to Earth by Birth, she depicts birth experiences visually through black and white photography and with words describing the mystery and unique relationships that emerge in the process. Her photo essay is depicted with compassion and graciousness. She captures the beauty, the intensity, and the connections to the birth journey with chapters reflecting on pregnancy, labor, birth, and the newborn. The pregnancy spiral embedded in the pages throughout the book could also double for the opening...

The Philosophical Baby: What Children's Mind Tell Us About Truth, Love, and the Meaning of Life
Reviewer: Peggy Phillips
Date of Review: 06/2009

What is it like to be inside the brain of a baby or toddler? How is their interaction with the world different from the consciousness of an adult? These are the questions that cognitive scientists like Alison Gopnik ponder and research to discover the answers.

The main premise of this book is that according to evolutionary psychology the main purpose for the period of time from birth to age five is an intense period of learning and change. Gopnik argues that our genes do not tell the whole picture of the human being we are to become. By studying babies and young children, she has...

Introduction to Prenatal Psychology
Reviewer: Bobbi Jo Lyman
Date of Review: 05/2009

I was first introduced to Dr. Maret when he presented his comprehensive and critical review of Frank Lake's work, which was the capstone effort of his doctoral studies. Since then I have followed his professional activities and subsequent presentations. But it was not until I asked him for a copy of his CV, to qualify him to serve as an external reviewer for a student's dissertation, that I saw this book listed on it. As I teach an introductory course in prenatal and perinatal psychology at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, I ordered a copy immediately.

Dr. Maret's book is an...

Book Reviews 23,3
Date of Review: 03/2009

ABSTRACT: This article offers a historical account of the changes in birth that the author reflects on after decades as a practicing obstetrician. In preliterate and pre-agricultural societies, women used to isolate themselves to give birth. It seems that at that phase of the history of humanity the only person who could be around was the mother of the parturient, an ant, or another experienced mother. Then, for thousands of years, childbirth has been more and more socialized and culturally controlled. During this long period the birth environment remained mostly feminine. It is only after...

Spirit Babies: How to Communicate with the Child You're Meant to Have
Date of Review: 05/2006

When I was handed this book by a birth trauma therapist whom I respect, I took it home and dipped into it. Hours later, having read the entire book in one sitting, I realized I might be the perfect one to review it. After all, I was raised in a totally left-brain household, educated mostly in my left brain, and taught that the test of whether something was real was whether you could grasp it with one of your five senses. For my two school-teacher parents, those five senses were the only senses that exist.

It has been a long journey for me to accept what lies beyond the grasp of my...