In the lead article, Peter Fedor-Freybergh shares his well-developed vision of the importance and promise of prenatal and perinatal psychology. His special status as leader and statesman in our field has been well earned by his great knowledge and his great heart. Peter practices in Stockholm and teaches in Prague, is Honorary President for Life of our sister organization, the International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, and is Founder and Editor-in-Chief of the ISPPM Journal. His rare intellect is suggested by the number of credentials he holds, two doctorates and specialties in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychotherapy, and in Psychoneuroendocrinology.
Bobbi Jo Lyman, as a recent Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, breaks new ground in her exploratory study of the beneficial effect of study and therapy experiences in prenatal and perinatal psychology on feelings of optimal health. Based on a survey of 69 members of APPPAH, her daring study is an example of what is now referred to as Positive Psychology focusing on positive behaviors and perceptions of life rather than on pathology. Virtually all surveyed reported their studies or therapeutic experiences in prenatal and perinatal psychology brought them to a new perception of optimal health.
The three remaining articles share a remarkable similarity in their view of what might be called the mental power of babies. Each study uses a different method to document the validity of a paradigm about the consciousness babies possess at the beginning of life. G. S. Kelkar describes a prenatal enrichment project that has been conducted with thousands of pregnant couples in India over the last thirty-five years. The course facilitates mutual dialogue between parents and their unborn children.
Meanwhile, we have a historic clinical paper from Wendy McCarty, one of the founders of the famous BEBA Clinic in Santa Barbara where therapists work with babies only a few weeks old to resolve birth traumas. Vignettes reveal these neonates have already developed dysfunctional core beliefs that they artfully portray in their expressions and behaviors-beliefs that are changed as a result of sensitive and empathie dialogue with therapists who speak to them in plain English.
Prenatal psychologist, Gino Soldera, of Mareno di Piave, Italy is founder and President of the National Association of Psychology and Prenatal Education (ANPEP Italy) and father of its new Journal of Psychology and Prenatal Education. In this issue he writes with authority on a rare topic: the "individual life project" or purpose of babies. Pointing to biographical data, Soldera urges all parents to tune themselves to receive the signals that their babies begin to send them around the time of conception and during pregnancy. He offers guidance on interpreting what prolific American psychologist James Hillman has called "The Soul's Code."
David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D.
Nevada City, California