Our 2013 Congress, “Birth Psychology in Action: Transformation through the Creative & Healing Arts”, features many new international presenters who will bring us a global outlook on how the work of pre & perinatal psychology and health is being expanded and addressed in many ways within many cultures. We encourage you to join us for this wonderful event, November 14-17 at Asilomar in Pacific Grove, CA. Find out how the world is engaging with birth and healing birth related trauma!

AUSTRALIA: Elly Taylor with Diane Speier, PhD. (UNITED KINGDOM)

Fostering the Couple Connection in the Transition to Parenthood

The presenters join forces to present a dynamic workshop that explores the relationship challenges new parents face and ways to enrich the couple bond as they step over the threshold into parenthood. The impact of a new baby on the parental relationship is profound. Creative strategies that strengthen the bond for couples before the baby arrives are a powerful antidote to relationship stress and are also the basis for healing, growth and stability in the years ahead. This experiential workshop will blend demonstrated energy medicine techniques, visualization tools and role play activities that the presenters use in private counselling and in The Birth Empowerment Workshop® couple’s retreat. Elly Taylor is a perinatal relationship counselor, researcher and writer from Sydney. Her passion is facilitating family bonding: between mum and bub, dad and bub, and mum and dad. Elly also supports birth professionals by researching, writing and speaking on perinatal relationship issues. Elly created the Becoming Parents and Being a Mum programs for Interrelate, writes a monthy relationship column in Australia’s largest parenting magazine, Practical Parenting, writes the weekly “Dear Elly” column for the Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Life website, and is the author of the book Becoming Us, Loving, Learning and Growing Together. Before immigrating to the UK in 1998, Dr. Diane Speier was the founder and director of The Family Tree Center for Parents in New York for 15 years. A certified childbirth educator since 1978, Diane used her case notes as the data for her PhD research (The Childbirth Educator as Ethnographer, University of Manchester, 2002). As a perinatal psychologist, Diane created THE BIRTH EMPOWERMENT WORKSHOP® as a weekend intensive for pregnant couples seeking a mind/body/spirit approach to birth and parenting. The workshop evolved into a couple’s retreat that deepens their intimacy while empowering the family space.

NEW ZEALAND: Shelley LeMaire

Incoming Souls: Listening to the Soul of the Child Preparing for Conception and Birth

Shelley will share from her practice working with the soul of the child in preparation for conception and birth. She will introduce the concept of an ‘etheric womb’ that holds the higher dimensional frequencies of the soul arriving. Through listening to the soul of her child she is more easily able to feel the unique soul personality, and surrender to the divine orchestration of the conception and journey to birth. Shelley has a Masters in Neuropsychology and 15 years clinical experience. She is an international speaker and teacher, training doulas, midwives, and therapists.

HUNGARY: Zita Makoi, M.D., P.hD.

How love is born for a newborn baby

It is one of the most transforming experiences in life to love and be loved. The confluence of birth and love should not be taken for granted. Significant numbers of people carry the memories of an unhappy childhood lacking motherly and/or parental love. Objective: To discover and describe how mother's love arises Conclusion:The development of love for the newborn has clearly identifiable stages. Usually, the mother's newly awakened love, the newborn, and the relationship between them brings the transformation. Dr. Makoi spent 32 years practicing clinical pediatrics and neonatology. She has authored two books about mother-baby communication and infant crying. She also teaches pregnant mothers about mother-baby communication and yoga teachers about basic anatomy and physiology.

TURKEY: Nese Karabekir, M.A.Psych.

Childbirth classes and birth itself in Action

Childbirth needs to use more right brain during labor. Right brain covers all senses, feelings, insight, creativity, spontaneity, etc. rather than thinking, evaluating, and questioning. That’s why I use lots of games, role playing, and art in childbirth classes: so the body memories can work. The body remembers all details during the labor without thinking. The cortex stops, the body works. All bodily records can be remembered easily during labour and birth itself. Nese has been an individual /couple and group therapist, psychodrama therapist and trainer for 22 years. Co-founder of Istanbul Psychodrama Institute and Istanbul Birth Academy. BA in Psychology in Istanbul University, MA in Psychological Counseling Studies at Keele Unv/ England. She has been training psychodramatists since 1996. Recently she added her work as a birth psychologist and childbirth education. She is the part of a ‘Birth Without Regret’ team working with obstetricians and midwives.

GERMANY: Gerhard Schroth, M.D.


One of seven women giving birth will be confronted with postpartum depression, a real One of seven women giving birth will be confronted with postpartum depression, a real taboo subject. Shame, guilt-feelings, and devaluation in the face of the miracle of birth are a burden. Psychiatric medication can alleviate but seldom prevent months of suffering. Often medication conflicts with breastfeeding. Considering the effects of Prenatal Bonding (BA) we are wondering that postpartum depression had never been reported after facilitation in a sample of meanwhile more than 2000 pregnancies. Even though Prenatal Bonding (BA) is not intended as a psychotherapy it is obviously a save prevention. Even high risk mothers with previous or continuing postpartum depression during their next pregnancy experience healing and never have been seen falling back after facilitation by Prenatal Bonding (BA). Medical specialist in psychiatry and psychosomatics, psychoanalyst, group analyst, systemic therapist, pre- and perinatal psychologist. Advisor and expert for psychiatry, psychosomatics and psychotherapy for the State Medical Board, Germany.

DENMARK: Helena Vissing

Healing Through Poetry: A Creative Approach to Processing The Motherhood Transition in Psychotherapy

In psychotherapy, writing poetry can be used to process and further one's understanding of countertransference reactions. I have written countertransference poems in my work as a therapist. I have experienced that motherhood themes are particularly rich in this creative energy. I propose an interactive model that encourages therapists to use creativity in the form of poetry writing in the therapeutic process with women, pregnant or trying to conceive, who are struggling with their maternal transition. Inspired by Marcy Axness' book Parenting for Peace, the aim is to contribute to mindful reproduction through emotional preparation for parenthood before conception. Helena Vissing is a Danish psychologist and doctoral student in clinical psychology specializing in the psychology of motherhood with a focus on the dynamics of mother-daughter-relationships and how women's transition to motherhood is deeply affected by their own experience being mothered. She works with psychoanalysis, depth psychology, pre- and perinatal psychology, and somatic theory.

RUSSIA: Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova

Limbic Imprint Re-Coding

Limbic Imprint Re-Coding is a form of art. My unofficial name for it is ‘Magical Theater’. It is an experiential, free flowing format, inspiring a slightly altered state of being. It depends on a group of 14 processes and 14 exercises invoking a powerful healing effect, utilizing concepts of epigenetics and neuroplasticity. The goal is to divert the focus from previous traumatic experiences, creating new neurological memory of blissful formative period. Some processes are designed to uninstall the harmful early ‘programming’. Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova is the creator of ‘Birth As We Know It’ (2006, 74 min.). She facilitates, on average, 20-25 ‘Birth Into Being’ courses in 10 countries per year, and has over 150 apprentices in 22 countries. She maintains her leadership of her ever expanding international organization, dedicated to conscious evolution of humankind, utilizing the training and healing modality she calls ‘Limbic Imprint Re-Coding’ (LIR). Elena was one of the pioneers of the Conscious Birth Movement in Russia since 1982.


Womb Twin Survivors – the Untold Story, Told at Last

My research into the biology and psychology of womb twin survivors has revealed that there are characteristic signs in the life of the womb twin survivor, whether they know about their twin or not. I propose to share some stories sent to me by womb twin survivors and explain how personal story writing/recording can be integrated into almost any style of therapy. I would then encourage the people present to tell their pre-birth story, both in spoken words (to a partner) and/or in writing, in prose or poetry. Attendees who are womb twin survivors can bring any previous written work. If they are not womb twin survivors themselves, they can bring case studies of any clients who are (or may be.) I would explain how a therapist can identify an undiagnosed womb twin survivor among their clients. Counsellor, womb twin survivor, writer, teacher and self-publisher. Started a private research project of womb twin survivors. Founder of Womb Twin, a non-profit organisation helping womb twin survivors. Author and publisher of Womb Twin Survivors - the lost twin in the Dream of the Womb, and A Healing Path for Womb Twin Survivors, and editor of two other books. Experienced workshop facilitator with womb twin survivors and therapists.