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This paper is an attempt at an historical survey of psychotherapies that have successfully accessed pre- and perinatal memories. A variety of ways in which psychotherapists work with material that is felt by the therapist or the client to be linked to pre- or perinatal life are discussed, and certain desirable criteria for the practice of humanistic and rational pre- and perinatal psychotherapy are suggested. It is proposed that the systematic study of material that emerges in the course of psychotherapy is facilitated by identifying it with a specific stage of pre- or perinatal development.


1. Laing, R.D. (1983). The voice of experience. Bungay, Suffolk, Eng: Pelican Books, pp 50-52.

2. Winnicott, D.W. (1958). Collected papers: Through paediatrics to psychoanalysis. New York, Basic Books, pp. 177-178.

3. Spielrein, Sabina, (1912). Destruction as a cause of coming into being, Jahrbuch f

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.

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