This edition of the Journal features five articles based on presentations at the recent APPPAH Congress (February, 2007) in Los Angeles, California. These articles provide a taste of the richness and diversity of this Congress. This Congress opened the door for discussion of many issues that have been in the background for some time, i.e. the nature of consciousness, when does consciousness, or the soul, enter the body. It feels as if this is an indication of the maturity of our field, when we can explore differences among us respectfully and more openly, guiding us to a deepening understanding of what it means to be human in the very process of manifesting as a human being.
We open with a pair of articles, from Michel Odent and Marcy Axness, discussing Joy in Pregnancy from two distinct perspectives. Dr. Odent, discusses the nature of Joy from both the scientific and artistic perspectives and states very clearly how important this is to the developing human. Dr. Axness brings a more personal perspective, discussing the impact of the lack of Joy on both mother and baby. We would like to thank Dr. Thomas Verny for the suggestion that these two papers be published together, as they so beautifully frame the topic.
We welcome back Judith Simon Prager, Ph.D., with her delightfully titled article, "What baby komodo dragons, baby elephants, and baby people need." Dr. Prager focuses in this article on "the essential and biological nature of rapport and bonding in the socialization of mammals, from the earliest prenatal influences on, and the deleterious effects of their absence to all of society and the future."
We welcome Verenka and Olivier Marc of Paris, France, to our pages, bringing to us their research on children's drawings from around the world. The Marc's research has uncovered the possibility that young children represent in their drawings their memory of development from embryonic and fetal stages of life, and progressing to images of their world as a young child. The Marc's Congress presentation included examples of these drawings, which we do not have available here, but the descriptive language used by the Marcs in this article brings a clear vision of their findings.
We also welcome back Jon RG and Troya GN Turner with a piece dedicated to Laura Uplinger, Congress coordinator. The controversial topic of consciousness, and where it is prior to conception and birth, is discussed in some detail. You will find the What if approach in this article a potent simulation for discussion.
The Sharing Space this month gives voice to Erica Etelson, as she speaks eloquently to the integration of feminism and attachment parenting, opening yet another avenue for exploration and discussion.
And, speaking of discussion, we would like to actively encourage reader input on articles and topics covered in this edition, and all editions of this Journal. We will have a forum for publication of these letters in the Newsletter, now being edited by Marcy Axness, Ph.D. You can send your letters to firstname.lastname@example.org (please include "Letter to Editor" in subject line).
The Congress provided much additional fuel for discussion. As the field of Pre and Perinatal Psychology comes into its own, we continue to expand the boundaries and welcome many points of view, as we find our place in the world and open to new possibilities. While we continue to learn and evolve as a discipline, frank and open discussion will augment scientific studies to light the way.