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Dr. Thomas Verny speaks about Pre and Perinatal Psychology


Module 1:  Foundational Information and Introduction to Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Education (PPNE)
This module will inform the student about the roots of pre and perinatal psychology, the development of the discipline in the world and in the United States in particular. It will also detail general trends that inform the PPNE discipline and describe the work of early pioneers. General trends in the understanding of pre and perinatal psychology and its impact are mentioned.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define pre and perinatal psychology and name why it is important to human development.
  • Identify pioneers in the field.
  • Name trends that influenced the emergence of the field.
  • Understand APPPAH's position on abortion.

Includes papers from Jeane Rhodes, David Chamberlain, Thomas Verny, Myrna Martin, Kate White, and Sandy Morningstar.


Produced by Elmer Postle of Owl Productions, maker of 'The Healing of Birth',also with Ray Castellino and available at owlproductions.net
Ray was interviewed by Rosanna Kaliobetsos'. See:  owl.postle.net/indexpage6.html

Module 2:  Ethical Considerations in Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Education
An ethical container for pre and perinatal psychology education is governed by several fields of practice, including medicine, childbirth, and education. This module will help participants identify these elements and weave them together with principles unique to the primal period.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify ethical issues facing the pre and perinatal psychology educator.
  • Name at least three specific ethics that can govern an educator’s actions.
  • Differentiate between education and treatment.
  • Name the seven unique principles that can support and ethical approach for PPNE
  • Name supportive resources for the PPNE.
  • Name the 10 steps that identify Mother Friendly practice.

Includes original APPPAH position papers on Ethics, papers by Ray Castellino, and codes of ethics from various fields of practice. 

From:  beginbeforbirth.org

Module 3:  Prenatal Development & Epigenetics

Babies are emotional, intelligent, responsive, and show preference in utero as well as after birth. In addition, prenates are influenced by their maternal environment in utero and postnatal. This module presents the data that supports the sentience of babies in utero, introduces epigenetics and the nature versus nurture debate, and offers easy to read and understand research studies supporting the importance of the environment in prenatal parenting in particular.
Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the 12 senses that babies develop inutero.
  • Identify patterns of awareness and sentience in babies.
  • Understand and be able to describe basic embryological development.
  • Name early influences on cellular development and why they are important lifelong.
  • Understand basic epigenetics and be able to explain why it is important in human development.
  • Cite at least one study that supports the importance of pre- and perinatal psychology.

Includes work from David Chamberlain, Michel Odent, Liam Nisson, Thomas Verny, Bruce Lipton, articles on epigenetics, interviews with David Chamberlain, and documentary from NOVA and the BBC


Dr. Dan Siegel drdansiegel.com                                                          John Chitty explains the autonomic nervous system and its applications with Dr. Diane Poole Heller

Module 4:  Neuroscience and Its Importance to Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology
This section will cover the trends in neuroscience, nervous system regulation, and the social nervous system that support evidence of the importance of pre and perinatal psychology.  The chapters, papers, and videos in this module will provide the PPNE with language and data to meet the expectations of discerning audiences, especially those that require scientific information as proof of the paradigm.
Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the parts of the brain that develop in utero and the first year of life.
  • Be able to specifically name what neurons are and other important neuroanatomy.
  • Explain what optimal development is for nervous system regulation.
  • Define interpersonal neurobiology and why it is important to the field.
  • Know the meaning of the terms: neurons, implicit memory, nervous system imprinting, neuroplasticity, mirror neurons, the baby’s nervous system, self and co-regulation, social engagement, polyvagal theory, neuroception, interoception.
  • Be able to identify major influences, practitioner and authors in the integration of neuroscience, psychology, trauma and bodywork.
  • Be able to refer listeners to resources for further training and development



This youtube was produced by Kindred Community,                                             Interview with Stan Grof on the COEX system.
which serves as a gathering place for families to explore                                      From Thinking Aloud TV
and share their experiences of writing a new story of
childhood, motherhood, fatherhood, and the ever changing
and evolving adventure of being fully human. kindredcommunity.com

Module 5:  Prenatal and Perinatal Psychological Theories
This module examines experiences that create early imprints in the prenate, baby and birth, as well as the first year of life. The reading material includes models of how to work with stress and trauma from a PPN perspective. It also introduces the study of consciousness and embodiment.
Learning Objectives:

  • Describe the experience of the prenate.
  • Deepen knowledge of the Autonomic Nervous System and the impact of shock and trauma.
  • Differentiate shock and trauma.
  • Understand the roots of violence and empathy.
  • List the theories and principle creators of these theories with regard to stress and trauma patterns and how to work with them therapeutically so that audiences will understand how healing works. 
  • Define COEX systems and why they are important in pre and perinatal psychology.
  • Know the role consciousness studies play in pre and perinatal psychology and resources for further exploration.
  • Be able to describe positive and difficult prenatal imprints.

Readings and supportive material are offered by Ray Castellino, William Emerson, Wendy Ann McCarty, Dan Siegel, Michael Trout, and Kate White.


Life Imitates Birth from 10 Moons Risingtenmoonsrising.org              Short youtube on the impact of early trauma and the

                                                                                                      roots of violence featuring Dr. Jim Prescott

Module  6:  Cultural Impacts of Prenatal Awareness
The prenate is influenced by his or her surroundings, primarily the mother and her thoughts, feelings, and relationships. Society and culture also have a profound impact on the developing prenate. This module will introduce research that supports prenatal awareness and how this phenomena can impact human perspectives, beliefs, and participation in society. It will further emphasize prenatal communication and sentience.
Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the impact of a mother's thoughts and feelings on the prenate.
  • Review research that supports the importance of prenatal bonding.
  • Show how prenatal and birth experiences impact later life and culture.
  • Present a way of relating to pregnancy and birth for optimal health of humans and their cultures.
  • Connect societal and cultural symbols to prenatal and birth experiences.
  • Cite how babies (prenates and newborns) are sensitive, able to learn, and dream.
  • Articulate theories for prenatal and birth memories, and prenatal intelligence, learning and sensitivities.

Supported by papers and interviews from David Chamberlain, John Ham, Janus Ludwig, Jean Leidloff, and James Prescott


TED Talk featuring Annie Murphy Paul,                                      Joseph Chilton Pearce talks about Bonding and

author of Origins                                                                      Intelligence of the Heart. www.ttfuture.org/

Module 7:  Bonding & Learning---Attachment
Western culture has traditionally viewed parenting as beginning after birth. This module supports the fact that parenting begins in the preconception period and throughout the pregnancy, birth, and beyond. It introduces an early parenting paradigm to honor the possibility of conscious conception and communication with the prenate. The materials present results from many research studies and case reviews. It introduces the profound importance of healthy bonding to the prenate, the birth experience, and the first year of life.
Learning Objectives:

  • Support the importance of early parenting with research and anecdotal evidence 
  • Show how prenatal parenting and bonding improves health indicators on many levels: intelligence scores, language skills, physical development, mental and emotional development, fine motor skills, and more.
  • Show how everything around a prenate in the culture and in the family contribute to learning styles that develop later in life.
  • Describe how bonding starts in utero and how it potentially effects all aspects of human development.
  • Cite research studies about prenatal bonding, especially how it impacts birth and development after birth.
  • Know how to facilitate prenatal bonding and learning through storytelling and guided examples.


Marsden Wagner on Childbirth in America           Michel Odent on gentle birth                                Ina May Gaskin on Reducing Fear of Birth in America

Module 8: Labor & Birth
Normal, physiologic birth requires certain conditions for optimal outcomes. This module examines birth from a pre and perinatal psychology perspective, starting with conditions of safety and privacy. It provides descriptions of birthing conditions and their outcomes in the US and other countries.
Learning Objectives:

  • Identify conditions for optimal birth experiences in birthing practices and inside the mother and prenate.
  • Understand birth models that facilitate easier birthing experiences and be able to cite real life examples.
  • Name the many hormones (especially oxytocin) and other internal chemicals involved in the birthing process and their importance to birth outcomes.
  • Understand the impact of birth interventions and the positive constellation of experiences to promote optimal birth outcomes.
  • Introduced to birth trauma and why incidences can be high.
  • Understand how different pre- and perinatal psychology theories work, especially recapitulation.
  • Name medical, institutional and social attitudes and practices towards pregnant mothers and their unborn and newborn babies.
  • Understand obstetrical interventions and physiologic birth in the context of the maternity system, and how to help people navigate for a better birth experience.




Dr. Nils Bergman on Skin-to-Skin Contact.        Ray Castellino on Improving birth.                  How Birth Trauma Impacts Breastfeeding

Kangaroo Care, Ninobirth.org                                Produced by Elmer Postle of Owl Prod.          by Kathleen Kendall-Tackett

                                                                          Interviewer: Rosanna Kaliobetsos.                  Produced by Kindred Community

                                                                          owl.postle.net/indexpage6.html                     kindredcommunity.com

Module 9:  Self Attachment & Breastfeeding

Birth, bonding, breastfeeding, and attachment all affect babies and their relationships with their caregivers, as well as their caregivers with them. This module offers a wealth of information about birth and breastfeeding from a pre and perinatal psychology perspectives.  Students will lean about skin-to-skin practices, the breast crawl and the importance of self attachment. 
Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the importance of Skin-to-Skin, especially the health outcomes for mother and baby, its impact on breastfeeding and the mother-baby bond.
  • Identify the 9 stages that babies go through during the first hour after birth.
  • Understand the importance of the Breast Crawl and be able to educate others.
  • Educate listeners on breastfeeding from a pre and perinatal psychology perspective.
  • Define bonding and attachment and name their potential positive psychological and psychosocial outcomes, especially their influences on nervous system functioning in newborns.
  • Name major influences in the field and be able to refer listeners to resources for further study or support.
  • Define and educate about prenatal and birth shock and trauma, especially how they impact the body and the psyche.
  • Describe what health and healing from prenatal and birth trauma looks and feels like.
  • Name the characteristics of non-traumatized newborns.
  • Name shock affects of newborns.
  • Name the skills that practitioners use to renegotiate prenatal or birth difficulties.
  • Describe the various baby cries and the importance of emotional expression in babies.
  • Understand the aspects of betrayal connected to our treatment of babies and how to support a sense of trust, especially in an educational setting.
  • Name the seven steps in healing betrayal.
  • Name and describe the pre and perinatal imprinting process.
  • Discuss the role of memory during the pre and perinatal period.
  • Educate about birth from a baby's perspective.
  • Describe therapeutic approaches for families, moms, dads, and babies who have experienced prenatal and birth trauma, and have resources for referrals.


Robin Grille and Kate White, talking about the            Dan Siegel on becomming a parent.    

5 Rites of Passage from his book,

Parenting for a Peaceful World

Module 10:  Parenting Styles
Parenting begins before conception and grows during pregnancy, birth and the first year of life.  The authors of the books in this module speak eloquently to the impact of awareness, healing, intention, and more to parenting.
Learning Objectives:

  • Be able to define "conscious conception"
  • Identify consciousness in birth and bonding
  • Be able to name ways to support parents to explore consciousness in their parenting options
  • Affirm that babies' remember their experiences, but in an implicit way and what that means
  • Name the five rights of passage of children according to Robin Grille
  • Be able to name the ABC's of attachment
  • Be able to describe secure and insecure parenting attachment patterns
  • Describe why it is important to have a coherent story as a adult
  • Name what the adult attachment interview is and why it is important
  • Describe the adult attachment styles related to parenting patterns
  • Name and explain the neuroanatomy connected to parenting and communication
  • Describe Dan Siegel's brain anatomy and why it is important to interpersonal neuroanatomy
  • Be able to explain relationship "rupture" and "repair" and why it is important
  • How repatterning can happen to that adults can have "earned secure" attachment
  • Be able to talk about the importance of fathers.




Module 11:  Implications & Inspiration
The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health wants PPNE students to be aware of the implications that the technological and medical models of birth have had on the baby and newborn family. Other implications of difficulty in the early period are well documented in studies of stress during pregnancy and adverse early childhood experiences. Many professionals have discovered Pre and Perinatal Psychology and integrated it into their practices and jobs. This module features inspiring stories and interviews with PPN professionals, and lays the groundwork to be able to describe implications of early trauma.
Learning Objectives:

  • Identify a sense of belonging to a vital movement
  • Learn that certain archetypes - warrior, teacher, healer, visionary - help the PPN educator know their strengths and challenges.
  • Be able to describe the Adverse Childhood Experiences study and why it is important.
  • Be able to name the impact that stress and fear have on the body.
  • Describe the role of the HPA axis.
  • Under how our experiences become our biology.
  • Be able to differentiate stress from trauma.
  • Understand the implications of stress and trauma in the PPN field.
  • Understand the implications of adverse experiences during early childhood.
  • Explain the impact of maternal depression and disorganized attachment.
  • Deepen into the study of genetics, epigenetics, and attachment.
  • Identify therapies that help with recovery from early trauma.
  • Understand the implications of not seeing babies as aware, sensitive, and sentient.
  • Grasp the magic of childhood through the writings of Joseph Chilton Pearce
  • Connect early stress as a form of violence for the baby's nervous system
  • Connect ADD, ADHD, addiction, and interpersonal violence with cultural elements
  • Be able to identify three ways that mothers can bond with their babies inutero
  • Understand ways in which our culture undermines health and well being through various forms of identification and denial