Volume 26, Issue 1
It is my privilege to share the editorial space in this special 25th Anniversary Edition of the journal with former editors. We will begin with a reflection on the history of the journal and a look to the future from the founding editor, Thomas Verny. Following Dr. Verny's editorial from the very first edition of the journal, we have selected editorials from each subsequent editor. These will give you a taste of their work and entice you to investigate the issues they are introducing in the editorials. Full text issues of the journal, by the way, are available to all members of APPPAH on the website at www.birthpsychology.com.
We have also selected articles from some of the former editors to share with you in this special edition of JOPPPAH. Each of these will be introduced on the opening page of their appearance in this issue. Both the editorials and articles have been selected from the many wonderful possibilities for their significant and unique contributions to the Journal. Now, to Dr. Verny - JMR
Looking Back, Looking Forward
On the last day of the First International Congress on Pre and Perinatal Psychology in July 1983 in Toronto about 60 participants met and agreed to form the Pre and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA). They elected an executive board consisting of myself as president, David Chamberlain, vice-president, Sandra Collier, vice-president and treasurer, Marcia Penner, secretary, and a young lawyer whose name I cannot recall now as legal counsel.
In the winter of 1984, 1 went to New York to meet the president and editor-in-chief of Human Sciences Press, a very prestigious publisher of a wide variety of scientific publications. They were familiar with my book The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, which helped gain me the appointment. I told them of our growing new organization, that we had 400 members - a slight exaggeration - and that I was willing to act as the editor of this journal and print only papers that met high scientific standards. Well, it took a bit of persuasion but, eventually, they agreed.
In the spring of 1985 I published from my office in Toronto a special pre-congress issue of the PPPANA Journal in which I announced the expected date of delivery of the official Journal in 1986. This precongress issue, by the way, became the template for our subsequent Newsletter. And so it came to pass that in the fall of 1986, the first issue of the shiny new Journal was published. And, in spite of some rough spots over the years it has continued to be published, enriching the world and living up to its goals as set down in the editorial of that first issue "The Journal is the first periodical dedicated to the in-depth exploration of the psychological dimension of human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child."
I think it is a tribute to the editors who continued to shepherd the Journal after I retired from it and all the contributors and all the readers that here we are 25 years later celebrating the Journal's silver anniversary. Congratulations APPPAH, Congratulations APPPAH Journal! May you live a long and happy life.
Thomas R. Verny MD, DPsych, FRCPC, DHL, FAPA
Here is that first editorial from Volume 1, Issue 1, Fall, 1986 JMR
The publishing of this Journal marks a great step forward for Pre and Perinatal Psychology. In its pages you will find a diversity of views and experiences which I feel certain will stimulate and enhance your particular area of interest in this vast and as of yet largely unexplored field of science.
Because we are exploring new horizons and because we are an interdisciplinary organization, our editorial policy will encourage submissions of any theoretical orientation that fall under the general parameters set out in this Journal. We are aiming at a dynamic mix of personal accounts, clinical investigations, theoretical discussions, and research studies. Obviously, we are looking for thoughtful, innovative, and relevant material. It is our hope that this information will prove to be of practical value to health professionals as well as lay people. We also aspire to making the Journal fun to read, so that you will look forward to receiving it every three months.
In order to accomplish these objectives we need your help. If this Journal is not to become just another sterile, boring, and pretentious academic tract, you must communicate with us. Send us your articles, research, opinions, book reviews, announcements, request for jobs, whatever. We want to make this a lively publication; we cannot do so if we don't get sufficient support and feedback (literally and figuratively) from our readership.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Thomas R. Verny, MD, Editor
Editors note: I would tike to echo Dr. Verny's words, still so true after 25 years "In order to accomplish these objectives we need your help.'' We want to continue the tradition ofpublishing a lively journal and our need for your input continues unabated
Dr. Verny served as editor-in-chief from that very first edition through Volume 4, Issue 2, Winter, 1986. He continues to support the publication as an advisor and occasional contributor from his home in Toronto, Canada.
Following Dr. Verny's tenure, the editorship was assumed by Charles Laughlin, an anthropologist and scholar who, at the time was professor of anthropology in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He is co-author of the book, Brain, Symbol and Experience (Boston: Shambhala New Science Library, 1990). Dr. Laughlin served as editor-in-chief of the journal from Spring 1987, 4(3) through Summer. 1994, 8(4). Dr. Laughlin is currently retired and living in Arizona. The following is an editorial by Dr. Laughlin published in Fall, 1993 8(1). JMR
Not all pregnancies are wanted, and not all babies are welcomed into the world. Unwanted pregnancies and abortion are facts of life in our culture and elsewhere in the world. In the United States alone, one in five women has undergone at least one abortion. Evidence is strong that a child who is born into a hostile environment will likely face problems in adapting psychologically to the world (Dagg, 1991). Moreover, women who undergo abortions may also face psychological trauma as a consequence. As the pace-setting research by Henry David (David, Dytrych, Matejcek, & Schuller, 1988) has shown, even denied abortion may result in psychological difficulties for mothers and children. As Dagg (1991) notes, there seem to be psychological sequelae no matter which course the mother takes in coping with an unwanted pregnancy.
There is an unfortunate tendency to think about traditional peoples as "noble savages" who never abort, abuse, or kill their babies, and who are always welcoming, loving, and nurturing toward newborns and infants. It is true that there is a cross-cultural trend in favor of warm, loving, and nurturing parenting (Rohner, 1975, 1980: Rohner & Rohner, 1981). But as I have discussed elsewhere (Laughlin, 1992), not all children are born wanted or nurtured. In fact, birth control, abortion, infanticide, and child abuse have existed on this planet for hundreds and perhaps even thousands of years. These negative phenomena were not created by, nor are they limited to, modern technological society. There is, for example, reluctance on the part of many traditional peoples to acknowledge a newborn as a human being or group member until the child has demonstrated that it can survive (Oakley, 1982).
As hard as it is for most of us to comprehend, a common method of population control in a number of areas on the planet is or has been infanticide-the wilful killing of babies (Dickeman, 1975). Indeed, some European societies have practiced infanticide at various points in their histories (Piers, 1978). We will never know exactly how many societies have practiced infanticide in the past, but there are a number of fairly good surveys and studies of the cross-cultural literature (Williamson, 1978; Dickeman, 1975).
In any event, unwanted pregnancies and abortions produce psychological karma, as they would say in the East. This special issue of PPPJ takes a look at the consequences of unwanted pregnancies and abortions from a clinical point of view. Anne Speckhard and Vincent Rue describe post-abortion syndrome (PAS), a type of post-traumatic stress disorder, and explore the consequences for the woman of repressing grief. Robert Erikson also looks at abortion as a stressor, and relates cases to a model of post-traumatic stress disorder based upon conflict between basic drives. Philip Ney, Tak Fung, and Adele Rose Wickett present the results of four studies relating induced abortion and child abuse.
David, H.P., Dytryc h, Z., Matejcek, Z., & Schuller, V. (eds) (1988). Born unwanted: Developmental effects of denied abortion. New York: Springer.
Dagg, RKB. (1991). The Psychological sequelae of therapeutic abortion-Denied and completed. American Journal of Psychiatry, 148(5), 578-585.
Dickeman, M. (1975). Demographic consequences of infanticide in man. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 6, 107-137.
Laughlin, CD. (1992) Pre- and perinatal anthropology II: The Puerperium in crosscultural perspective. Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Journal 7(1), 23-60.
Oakley, A. (1982) Obstetric practice: cross-cultural comparisons. In R Stratton (Ed.) Psychobiology of the Human Newborn. New York: Wiley.
Piers, M. (1978). Infanticide. New York: Norton.
Rohner, RR (1975). They love me, they love me not: A worldwide study of the effects of parental acceptance and rejection. New Haven, CT: Human Relations Area Files Press.
Rohner, R.P. (1980). Worldwide tests of parental acceptance-rejection theory. Behavioral Science Research 15, 1-21.
Rohner, R.P & Rohner, E.G. (1981). Parental acceptance-rejection and parental control: Cross-cultural codes. Ethnology 20(3), 245-260.
Williamson, L. (1978). Infanticide: An anthropological analysis. In M. Kohl (ed.) Infanticide and the value of life. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, p. 61-75.
Charles D. Laughlin, PhD
Editor's note: In the Fall of 1994, the helm of the journal was passed to Ruth Johnson Carter, PhD with Volume 9, Issue 1. She continued to serve in this capacity for 7 years, through the Winter, 2001 edition 16(2). Dr. Carter today continues as a full professor in International Studies at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA. This fall she introduced a new course called "Crossroads on the Middle East." She is also completing a book titled, From Death Row to Life. Dr. Carter's lively intellect shines through in the following editorial from the Summer, 2001 edition of the journal, 15(4). JMR
In October of 1632 Galileo was tried for heresy because, based on telescopic investigation, he had insisted upon the accuracy of planetary motion. An old man and fearful of torture he recanted of what his own powers of observation had revealed to be true. Legend says that as he was taken from the courtroom to spend the rest of his life under house arrest, he was heard to mutter under his breath about the planets, "...but they do move."
Circumstances are sometimes not very different for those who investigate the fascinating world of prenatal and perinatal psychology. On page 38 of the April 30, 2001 issue oí Newsweek magazine a brief article described the trial of the two therapists who were convicted of "reckless child abuse" in the tragic death of Candace Newmaker. This one heartbreaking, ill judged, and unnecessary event led the Governor of Colorado to sign a bill, called Candace's law, which bans rebirthing in that state. At the top of the same page, by contrast, evidence supporting the research provided by APPPAH founder Dr. Thomas Verny and his graduate student Henry Brandtjen in their article, "Short and Long Term Effects on Infants and Toddlers in Full Time Daycare Centers," was corroborated by a 10 year study released by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. In the course of the study, among other conclusions, "researchers found that 17 percent of children who spent more than 30 hours a week in nonmaternal care had behavior problems," of a significant nature. The Brandtj en-Verny article offers some pivotal explanations for the stress levels and behavior problems of small children left extensively in the hands of even the most well meaning caregivers.
The same issue of Newsweek contains a column by George Will describing the Stanford University study conducted by John J. Donohue III and Steven D. Levitt in which the professors maintain that: "Crime began to fall roughly 18 years after abortion legalization" Newsweek, p. 84). Will points out that the researches are not advocating abortion any more than Galileo was "advocating" planetary motion. Will's pertinent question is connected with the notions that if pregnancies are not wanted "does that make many children ...unwanted"? In phase with this question Dr. Bobbi Jo Lyman examines the differences in effect, depending on ethnicity, that abuse to the mother during pregnancy has on the behavior of newborns.
That a sense of nihilism is present in many of the young is frighteningly apparent. This is the generation, that frequent journal contributor, Dr. John Sonne calls "abortion survivors" with the concomitant negativity of behavior inherent in that phrase. In my class on American Popular Culture, Politics, and Film, two students made a documentary on the binge drinking, indiscriminate sex, and drug use that pervades even a small liberal arts university in middle Georgia. At a book store in Atlanta last week, I bought a soft drink at the little café from an attractive young man wearing a plastic framed picture of a baby hung from a cord around his neck. The metaphor was too obvious to pursue, but I did ask him if the baby were his. He said, "No, but I just wish it were me." "Why is that" I asked. He replied, "Because someone takes care of a baby. One of my best friends died yesterday of a heroin overdose. Do you know how hard it is to have lost 80 percent of your friends before you are 25? I kicked the habit three times. Now I'm done. It's just too much work. All your energy goes into trying to score."
Because of the oddities of the English language, written music is of course also a score. It is through music that perhaps some answers to prevention and healing of birth trauma may be effected. Gabriel F. Federico, MT and Giselle E. Whitwell, RMT share the positive outcome of pregnancy and neonatal life with the correct use of thoughtfully chosen music. In her commentary Chronic Grief-Spiritual Midwifery: New Diagnostic and Healing Paradigm, Elaine Childs Gowell, PhD proposes some changes that may also offer hope for positive human growth.
If, as Elaine Gowell suggests, there is indeed a possibility for the infinite perfectibility of humankind then, in Ralph Waldo Emerson's words, "Don't waste yourself in rejection, nor bark against the bad, but chant the beauty of the good."
Ruth Johnson Carter, PhD
Editor's Note: Following Dr. Carter's tenure, David Chamberlain, PhD filled in as guest editor for 3 editions. His editorial from the Spring, 2002 edition, 16(2), describes this transition - and entices you to check out the articles included in this issue. Dr. Chamberlain in now retired and living in Nevada City, CA, but continues as a consultant to JOPPPAH. JMR
In the Winter  issue, Ruth Johnson Carter, our luminous and insightful Editor-in-Chief for the last seven years, announced her retirement. As one of the Journal's Editorial Consultants, it has been my privilege to support her and the Journal during these significant years of development, and it is an honor now to serve as Guest Editor while we search for someone to fill the huge gap left by Ruth's departure.
Among the stimulating authors of articles and book reviews assembled for this issue are friends old and new. The remarkable lead article by Franz Renggli of Basel, Switzerland delves briefly but deeply into the life work of the Dutch scholar, Bruno Hugo Strieker. What Renggli provides is the first introduction in the English language of Strieker's surprising discovery of the prenatal and perinatal dimensions of ancient Egyptian mythology and culture. Out of the darkness of the burial chamber of Ramses VI, with its hieroglyphics, books, and pictorials, we are allowed to glimpse a culture that integrated embryology and cosmology, birth with death and soul.
Ludwig Janus of Heidelberg, Germany takes us on another journey of exploration into the hidden roots of cultural practices and thought forms in the universal elements of our primal experiences in the womb and at birth. Dr. Janus, President of the International Society of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine, presented this paper at the 10th Congress of APPPAH upon receiving the 2001 Thomas R. Verny Award for Outstanding Contributions to Pre- and Perinatal Psychology.
Illuminating the confusing, densely buried realms of the human brain, Allan Shore of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine charts the neurobiology of attachment and early personality organization-an intimidating territory only recently opened to exploration. Allan courageously explains the vast neurological complexities that underlie the simplest human experiences of loving attachment and early nurturing-and why they must not be taken for granted. He was a workshop presenter and panel speaker at the 2001 International Congress of APPPAH.
Inveterate trail blazer, and former Verny Award winner, Michel Odent, shares with us four essays in a field he helped to invent: primal health research. As Director of the Primal Health Research Centre in London, Dr. Odent created the quarterly Primal Health Research newsletter and the Primal Health Research Data Bank-precious instruments for exposing the invisible and overlooked connections between events in fetal life, perinatal experience, and early infancy and our health in later life. He has been writing quarterly essays on the subject for subscribers to his newsletter since 1993. 1 am happy to report that we have gained his permission to reprint, annually, four of these essays for extended circulation to the world-wide readers of this Journal. In this issue, we celebrate the beginning of this new collaboration.
David B. Chamberlain, PhD
Editor's Note: Our last journal edition (Summer, 2011, 25(4)) was a tribute to B. J. Lyman, who served as editor-in-chief from the Winter, 2002, 17(2) edition through the Winter, 2009, 24(2) edition of the journal. That issue featured 3 ofB.J.'s articles, here we share her final editorial. JMR
This issue of the journal presents three thought-provoking articles, each with unique and individual perspectives. A focus on the mother in each sensitizes us to what the effects of the external environment is for the mother, affecting the environment of the mother for the prenate. To know one, is to know the other.
The first article discusses the importance of the pregnancy period as much more than a biological one, namely, a major life transition. Thus, the authors, Drs. Côté-Arsenault, Brody, and Dombeck from the University of Rochester, School of Nursing, Rochester, New York, examine this pivotal event as an important rite of passage. Case studies are offered to illustrate the points presented. Submitted by authors from the University of New England, Armidale, Australia is an article entitled, Differentiating Subtypes of Postnatal Depression Based on a Cluster Analysis of Maternal Depressive Cognition. Drs. Church, Dunstan, Hine, and Marks performed a quantitative study examining 406 postnatal women that had either a cognitive vulnerability to depression and those for whom depression was related to motherhood. Finding maladaptive cognitions in both populations that impact their symptoms the researchers suggest improvements in treatments that are easily assimilated into current evidence-based clinical guidelines.
Readers will find that the third article is an important contribution to those who yearn for a more detailed historical context for our field. Otto Rank may have written the foundation text in 1929, but the importance of motherhood and the influence of the womb on the developing child have been existing since the beginning of human kind. In his carefully prepared paper, Fr. Walter R. Taylor traces ancient symbols around fertility and the sacredness of birth from prehistory to the early Christian era and uses an ample amount of illustrations. This is a must-read for anyone developing university lectures on the influence that the goddess has had on our field. It is with the current issue that I end my work as the Editor-in-Chief of the APPPAH Journal.
For more than eight years I have treasured this responsibility, mostly because of how each article in the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health helped to define our small, but vitally important, field. I was "birthed" (mentored) into the job by David Chamberlain with the fall 2002 issue, and eagerly took the reins for the winter issue. I would not have been as successful, nor felt the deep personal rewards, without the support of my Associate Editor for most of my tenure, Dr. Jeane Rhodes. I will remain devoted to the Association of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health by serving on the Board of Directors and no matter what I do I will always be a voice for the unborn. And one last time, let me express my great appreciation to the researchers and creative/scholarly writers who must work tirelessly to polish their manuscripts before submission.
Bobbi Jo Lyman, Ph.D. , Editor-in-Chief
Rest in Peace, B.J. - we miss you.
Editor's Note: In my initial editorial upon assuming the duties of editor-in-chief with the Spring, 2010 edition of the journal, I stated what a "privilege and pleasure" it was to take on these duties. The experience of reviewing past editions and becoming better acquainted with the former editors has served to deepen this into feeling humbled, grateful, and honored to continue the tradition. It is indeed a privilege to serve as editor for this special anniversary edition of the Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health. May it find a special place on your shelf as a marker for the 25 years completed and the challenges and rewards that the future will bring.