In this edition of the journal we devote much of the space to accounts of the embryological time period and some of the ethical arguments that face us in the 21st century surrounding it.
The first offering is an interview with Dr. William Hurlbut, who presented a well-received address at the last APPPAH Congress in San Francisco, CA (2003). Dr. Hurlbut is a consulting professor in the Program in Human Biology at Stanford University and was appointed to the President's Council on Bioethics. He also works with the Center for security and International Cooperation on a project formulating policy on Chemical and Biological Warfare and with NASA on projects in Astrobiology. In this interview he discusses the ethical issues that surround Assisted Reproductive Technology and embryonic stem cell research while at the same time eloquently relay his passion for the earliest stage of human development.
Readers who might need a review of the embryological phases during pregnancy should read Dr. Paula Thomson's article that appears next in this edition. Dr. Thomson not only describes the amazing transformations going on in the developing fetus from a prenatal and perinatal psychology perspective but further focuses on how trauma can impact the developing neurobiology at almost every step of the way. And while those interested in the prenatal and perinatal period will attest to the fact that the first relationship of mother to fetus is enormously important, here we can begin to picture a bit more clearly where and when the origins of behaviors might actually begin. Readers interested in sharing their views toward the issues in these first two offerings are invited to send their responses to the JOPPPAH Editorial Staff for review.
Yaara Benitzhak, M.A, under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Verny, next gives us a research paper, which was written as part of her doctoral studies at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. The essay is on a view of terrorism that rarely receives attention. As in Dr. Thomson's article, the theme of trauma is discussed as it relates to the stress of terrorism on women who are pregnant. A concern for women of the Middle East for decades, this health issue reaches to many parts of the globe today. Attention also is given to the neurodevelopmental processes of stress regulation (the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex system - HPA axis) and the sympathetic nervous system.
The Sharing Space brings a tender piece by William R. Stimson entitled, "War Wounds." An interesting title that describes a preconscious state he finds himself in where he recalled being "held back" by his mother as the doctor was not yet ready to deliver him at the hospital. As a writer later in his life, he describes thoughts that go through his mind, such as, "What's stopping me?" when trying to write creatively, and he makes the link between this first perinatal experience and later life patterns.
Finally, I give my appreciation to our reviewers of Books and Videos in this edition. Here are the books reviewed near the end of the journal: Jeane M. Rhodes, PhD, for her review of: Parenting from the Inside Out: How a Deeper Self-Understanding Can Help You Raise Children Who Thrive by Daniel J. Siegel, MD, and Mary Hartzell, MEd (2003); Martin Srajek, PhD for Fatherbirth: A Close Encounter of the Fourth Kind by John B. Franklin, PhD, and Cher Martin Franklin, PhD (2001); and lastly, Ellen Miller, BA who warmly summarizes, A Holistic Guide To Embracing Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Motherhood: Wisdom and Advice by a Doula by Karen Salt. (2003).
Bobbi Jo Lyman, Ph.D.
Santa Barbara Graduate Institute
JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.