In this article a tentative and provisional theory is advanced on the treatment of birth-giving trauma. ?Birth-giving-trauma? here refers to women (and men) psychologically, physically or emotionally traumatized during birth-giving. In the first part of this article I outline anthropologist Robbie Davis-Floyd?s argument that Western medicalized birthing can be constructed as a ?modern? rite of passage which can negatively imprint disempowering images into women?s minds, reinforce messages of inferiority, and traumatise the birth-giving mothers. In the second half of the article I will argue that the trauma catalysed by the ?bad? ritual of technocratic birth may need to be therapeutically treated or rather ?ritually combated? with an equally powerful and reparative ?good? ritual. I will explore psychiatrist Stanislav Grof?s and Christina Grof?s holotropic breathwork as a pre-eminent contemporary ritual in which ?good? transpersonal medicine is ritually made.
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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.