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APPPAH's Department of Education Presents
The Professional Development Series

Professional information from the experts
in prenatal and perinatal psychology.

Series Two: Meet Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Birth Pioneers

- Interaction with Pre and Perinatal Psychology Master Clinicians
- Access to clinical materials for your own use
- Learn in depth about what PPN can offer YOU
- Gain support from a greater PPN community

This Series offers papers, videos, recordings and interactive programs with proven clinicians.

Available in  Full Series, Individual Programs and Condensed Version


Michel Odent, MD
Topic: Do We Need Midwives? Plus addendum: Can Humanity Survive Modern Medicine?

Michel Odent studied medicine in Paris and was educated as a surgeon. He has been presented in Lancet as “one of the last real general surgeons”.  Dr. Odent was in charge of the surgical and maternity units of the Pithiviers Hospital (France) from 1962 to 1985, where he developed a special interest in environmental factors influencing the birth process. He introduced concepts like home-like birthing rooms and birthing pools in maternity hospitals, and singing sessions for pregnant women. After his hospital career he was involved in home birth. He founded the Primal Health Research Centre in London, and designed a database (primalhealthhresearch.org) in order to compile epidemiological studies. These studies explore correlations between what happens during the “Primal period” and health later on. 

Odent is the author of the first articles about the initiation of breastfeeding during the hour following birth, the first article about the use of birthing pools during labor, and the first article applying the “Gate Control Theory of Pain” to obstetrics. In a book published in 1986 (“Primal Health”), he provided evidence that homeostasis is established during the “primal period” (fetal life, birth and the months following birth): this is the phase of life when human basic adaptive systems are adjusting their “set point levels”. Odent is the author of 13 books published in 22 languages. In his books he constantly refers to the concept of reduced neocortical activity as a key to rediscover the basic needs of laboring women and to make possible a real “fetus ejection reflex”. His website is http://www.wombecology.com.

About this talk: Dr. Odent will be talking about his years of experience as a pioneer in the birth field.

Bonus Papers and Videos

  • Do We Need Midwives? Three chapters to be published.
  • When Humanity is Born by Cesarean at the Dawn of a Paradigm Shift
  • Man, the Womb and the Sea: The Roots of the Symbolism of Water
  • Childbirth in the Land of Utopia
  • Between circular and cul-de-sac epidemiology. Lancet 2000
  • Neonatal tetanus, The Lancet 2008
  • Michel Odent Exclusive Interview 2014, video, The Mother Magazine
  • Michel Odent on Gentle Birth, Elmer Postle, 3 videos, 2007

Interactive program and teleconference call with Michel Odent
Monday January 12, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time

Barbara Findeisen, MFCC, PhD
Topic: 40 years of learning to Heal Pre and Perinatal Traumas: How Far We Have Come

Barbara Findeisen is a psychotherapist with over 28 years of experience. She founded Pocket Sanctuary in the mid 1990’s. She also created STAR, a profoundly transformative 10-day retreat designed to accelerate self-healing and personal growth and was its Clinical Director for many years. Ms. Findeisen is trained in a variety of experiential therapies, and is regarded as one of the world's leading experts in the field of Pre-and Perinatal psychology, the study of the psychological impact of birth. Barbara is a past-President of APPPAH and a founding member of the International Association for Regression Research and Therapies. You can see more about her at http://www.pocketsanctuary.com

About this talk: This presentation will combine left and right brain approaches to exploring what is useful in prenatal and perinatal psychology therapies, specifically scientific data and what Jung calls “The Core Self.” Findeisen will share what is useful, what is not helpful and what can be harmful based on her decades of practice. What qualities are needed to be a resonating and attuned therapist? With the explosion of research on the brain, attachment theories, and bonding, birth psychology has become much more main stream. We have the medical challenge of rising c-sections, many issues of reproduction, and child abuse even before birth.   Her presentation will cover some of the history of the last 40 years, before there was effective birth control and take stock of where we are now and what we hope to do in the future.  The main body the presentation will be spent on practical ways of using research and techniques in working with individuals with early traumas. Examples will be shared about the exact role of the therapist, especially with regard to different attachment styles and their impact on clients and therapists. It is important to include the power of secure attachment and how it can be earned. The roots of optimism and pessimism are laid down in our beginnings.  Blessed are the babies who have loving attuned parents. 

Bonus Papers and Videos
  • Good Womb, Bad Womb
  • From the Micro to the Macro and the Middle Way
  • Thoughts on Therapy and Spiritual Process
  • Change is in the Air
  • Thoughts on Doing Therapy
  • Archaeological Dig For Inner Gold
  • Pre and Perinatal Losses

Interactive program and teleconference call with Barbara Findeisen
Monday February 9, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time

Kelduyn Garland, PhD, DD
Topic: The Ties That Bond: The Foundational Origins of Bonding and Attachment

Kelduyn Garland is one of the 'GrandMothers' of APPPAH having joined the organization shortly after its inception in the early / mid 1980’s.  She has been very active in the organization throughout these years, presenting on her work and findings at most of the Congresses, as well as serving on the Editorial Board of the Journal (Journal of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health), since 1987.  She also created and developed the Continuing Education Program for APPPAH in 1997 and has returned to coordinate the program again. 

Prior to her retirement, Kelduyn worked nationally and internationally for almost five decades in pre and perinatal psychology, co-dependency / gender scripting, and loss and grief / death and dying / major life transitions.   Forty of these years were spent in private practice as a body-mind therapist, consultant and educator, specializing in bonding from the beginning, reproductive and BondingAttachment dynamics, trauma, and loss and grief issues, assisting people with her own body of work she calls Birthing In, Birthing Within Themselves, and Birthing Out. 

During her career Kelduyn also taught neonatal and pediatric medical staff nationally and internationally and has published numerous articles on newborn development in professional journals and newsletters. She is one of the initial co-authors of the top selling neonatal medical textbook:   Handbook of Neonatal Intensive Care.

About this talk: Research in the fields of neurobiology and brain development, physics, genetics, DNA / E-DNA  provide us with an indepth look at these components and factors,  explaining how they interact with one another and impact the in-uterine communication dynamics between prenate and mother on a physiological, energetic, and psychological level.  These dynamics create and underpin the bonding and attachment process, which is integral and critical to lifelong personality and temperament development essential for creating healthy relationships and caring connections.  In this 2 hour seminar we will be addressing the findings from this research and how they explain these interactions - physiologically, energetically and psychologically – and create the foundational origins underpinning the bonding and attachment relationship, and what happens when they go awry.

  • Neonate and the Environment:  Impact on Development.  Handbook Of Neonatal Intensive Care   (CV Mosby) Chapter 27;  3rd ed., May, 1993, and Chapter 24;  2nd ed., March, 1989.
  • Physiological Effects of Neonatal Management
  • Newborns are People, Too!
  • Grief:  The  Transitional  Process
  • Unresolved  Grief

Interactive program and teleconference call with Kelduyn Garland
Monday March 9, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time

Thomas Verny, MD, D-Psych, DHL, FRCPC, FAPA
Topic: The Pre and Perinatal Origins of Adult Diseases and Personality Disorders

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. His website is: http://www.trvernymd.com.

About this talk: This will be a scientific talk on the origins of disease and mental disorders and the pre and perinatal period.

  • The Birth of Violence
  • The Impact of Childhood Sexual Abuse on Pregnancy, Labor and Birth
  • Isolation, Rejection And Communion In The Womb
  • Convocation at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute 2009
  • Video: Italian Commercial: 30 Seconds of Baby Inutero and Fighting Family

Interactive program and teleconference call with Thomas Verny
Monday April 13, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time

William Emerson, PhD
Topic: The Omnipresent Vanishing or Lost Twin: How To Create Rhapsody and Avoid Anguish

William R. Emerson, Ph.D., is a workshop leader, writer, lecturer, and pioneer in the field of pre and perinatal psychology. He is President of APPPAH, the US educational corporation representing professionals and individuals interested in pre- and perinatal psychology. He is among the first in the world to develop prenatal and perinatal treatment methods for infants and children, is a renowned expert in treatment methods for adults, and is recognized world-wide for his contributions. He is the author of 5 self-published books 15 published chapters and journal articles in the field of pre and perinatal psychology. He is also the writer and producer of four video programs. He holds graduate degrees from Vanderbilt and San Jose State Universities, graduating with honors. He has held university appointments as Honorary Faculty, Director of Clinical Training, International Lecturer, and Assistant Professor of Psychology. As an acknowledgment of his contributions to psychology, he received an honorary fellowship from the US National Science Foundation. Dr. Emerson practiced psychotherapy for 25 years, specializing in regression therapy, and lectured domestically and internationally on these topics. Dr. Emerson is retired from the practice of psychotherapy and is currently conducting training seminars, personal workshops, and finishing a book on trauma caused by the maternity care system (publication date is Aug. 2011), as well as conducting training programs in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.  His website is http://emersonbirthrx.com.

About this talk:  William Emerson will present on twin loss.

  • Twin Loss: Intimacy in Retrospect (Several Chapters)
  • Twins Psychology Today 1997
  • Somatotropic Therapy (with new addition)

Interactive program and teleconference call with William Emerson
Monday May 11, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time


Michael Trout, MA
Topic: Searching For Aunt Rosie: Accounting For Non-Clinical, Benevolent Influences On The Lives Of Babies And Young Children

Michael Trout graduated from Alma College (B.A., cum laude, honors in Philosophy) and Central Michigan University (M.A., Psychology), and did his specialized training in infant psychiatry at the Child Development Project, University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry, under Prof. Selma Fraiberg. In the mental health field since 1968 and in private practice since 1979, Mr. Trout has, since 1986 directed The Infant-Parent Institute, which engages in research, clinical practice and clinical training related to problems of attachment.He was the founding president of the International Association for Infant Mental Health; was on the charter Editorial Board of the Infant Mental Health Journal; served as regional vice-president for the United States for the World Association for Infant Mental Health; served on the board of directors (and as editor of the newsletter) for APPPAH — the Association for Pre- & Perinatal Psychology and Health, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of Attachment Parenting International. In 1984 he won the Selma Fraiberg Award for “ . . . significant contributions to the needs of infants and their families.” He has won numerous awards, published many book chapters, articles, training videos, and has co-authored several books. For 46 years--41 of them in the infant mental health specialty--the most important part of Mr. Trout’s happened in the hours he spent with individuals and families.  He retired from clinical practice on May 30, 2014, allowing him to turn more of his attention to teaching, writing, and looking into what happened to some of the babies and families he served, many years ago. His website is http://www.infant-parent.com.

About this talk:
When Selma Fraiberg first drew our attention, in 1975, to the hidden stories and repressed affects that assault the good intentions of parents, and invade the nurseries of their babies, she set our clinical imaginations tingling: “In every nursery there are ghosts.  They are the visitors from the unremembered past of the parents; the uninvited guests at the christening” (Fraiberg,  Adelson, and Shapiro, 1975, p. 387).     

On the 30th anniversary of the publication of Fraiberg’s original article–credited by some as the official commencement of the infant mental health movement–one of her students offered an extension, an elaboration, and a new focus.  Alicia Lieberman writes:

    ...angels in the nursery–[which we define as] care-receiving experiences characterized by intense shared affect between parent and child in which the child feels nearly perfectly understood, accepted, and loved–provide the child with a core sense of security and self-worth that can be drawn upon when the child becomes a parent.... We argue that uncovering angels as growth-promoting forces in the lives of traumatized parents is as vital to the work of psychotherapy as is the interpretation and exorcizing of ghosts (Lieberman, Padron, Van Horn, and Harris, 2005, p. 504).

Today’s conversation will explore the clinical and personal experiences of the author and of the participants about the often-ignored appearance of Aunt Rosie, and other “angels in the nursery”.  After mapping out some basic clinical notions, the author will facilitate an exploration of the group’s understanding of, resistance to, suspicions about, and notice of the phenomenon.  Participants should come prepared to discuss their clinical and personal observations.


Interactive program and teleconference call with Michael Trout
Monday February 16, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time

Michelle Emanuel, OTR/L, CIMI, CST, NBCR, RYT 200
Topic: Safe Sleep from a Baby’s Perspective: Understanding the Connection to Autonomic Nervous System Regulation

Michelle Emanuel has over 15 years of neonatal experience, including 8.5 years in the NICU and 8 years of outpatient and private practice with an exclusive emphasis on the precrawling baby.  She developed this training program to help equip birth professionals and infant bodyworkers with high quality education and knowledge/experience as it relates to what babies need.  Ms. Emanuel is currently a student in the APPPAH PPNE program and is one of the most exciting young professional field at this time.  Don’t miss this presentation if you love to work with moms and babies.  For more information see:  http://www.wholebodyllc.com, and http://www.lovetummytime.com

About this talk:  In a baby's experience, sleep is about feeling safe and connected.  This talk will discuss autonomic nervous system regulation and its role in creating a sense of safety, especially how sleep is a social engagement activity between parent and baby.  The polyvagal theory will be used as a framework for understanding how to create safety and resiliency in the baby’s nervous system.    Simple strategies to help parents and babies will be presented.


Interactive program and teleconference call with Michelle Emanuel
Monday April 20, 2015
4 pm PST, 7 pm, EST, 11 pm GMT, Midnight London time