APPPAH PPNE Student Spotlight: Pamela Yenawine, CST-D
(Diplomat Certified CranioSacral Therapist)
As a late life career change, I began to study CranioSacral Therapy (CST) in late 2001. I had received CST for 7 years prior to this, and my own results convinced me of the power of this gentle therapy. I decided to take Pediatrics as I was often the one in the room who could help a baby settle. I came away from that class with more than I expected - having experienced my own body’s memory of my conception, gestation, birth and bonding and (lack of) attachment.
One of the teaching assistants in the class was a doula. I had never heard of a doula, and I could see that she really connected with the babies. I asked about the role of a doula. And, within days of my return home, a close friend told me that she was going to a doula training! I signed up right away! However, my private practice of CST really prevented me from attending many births.
Then I worked with a woman as she prepared to birth her first child. She and another woman were expressive therapists, and the three of us had been providing therapeutic services to women in recovery from drug addiction who were pregnant or who had small babies and children. One of the expressive therapists told me about APPPAH. I investigated and joined immediately in 2003. I devoured each Journal that came.
Slowly, in my private CST practice, I began to attract pregnant women and women with babies and children. I also worked part time for 1.5 years in a clinic that served children on the autistic spectrum. I was amazed at how much those children taught me! One of my early experiences was with a very young child whose step - grandmother was referred to me by a doctor whose twin girls had received benefits from working with me. The step - grandmother first met this boy (I’ll call him Robert) when he was 11 months old. Robert was in a crib, still in a fetal position. She took him to all kinds of doctors who said he would never walk, talk etc. He responded so well to our sessions - the doctors were amazed. Robert was another of my “teachers” -- showing me that what lies within is just waiting for the support and enough love in order to manifest. He received many other kinds of therapies, and the grandmother felt that CST was the key to helping him unlock his life. Today Robert is smiling, using a computer, goes to school. He’s so happy and proud of himself.
In the APPPAH newsletter, I read about the Congresses. I longed to attend one, yet it seemed next to impossible for many reasons. I also read about the PHD program at the Santa Barbara Institute. However, being a woman of a “certain age” - I just didn’t have the time nor the resources to make that commitment. I so enjoyed reading about the students and the program. My older son had relocated to San Francisco and when APPPAH decided to move the Congress to an in - town hotel, I made the leap to attend. I even volunteered to help out at the registration desk - both years! Truly, there were a few times, when attending sessions, that I became overwhelmed (I hadn’t yet met Ray Castellino and Mother Earth/Father Sky.)
After attending the two Congresses in San Francisco, I HAD to attend when the Congress returned to Asilomar. And just before that conference, APPPAH announced the PPNE Certification program. YES! There was no doubt in my mind. I paid for the entire course even though I really h ad no idea what it entailed or how it would play out in my life. A little like a second conception? Nearing the end of the first year of the program, my own journey into pre and perinatal learning has greater breadth and depth. Even integrating just a little of what I am learning into my CST practice - with my passion for working with moms and babies - the outcomes of sessions are much more apparent, not only to me but to the parents and many of the birth care providers. And my dialogue with the babies and their parents has grown and deepened consistently.
My goal is to complete the coursework by the end of 2014 and then seek further support from our excellent administrator, Kate White, and my wise mentor, Dennis Hertenstein, in how to begin to share this wonderful, significant and transformative wisdom not only to parents and their babies, but to my colleagues and others in our strong and growing birth community in Louisville, KY.
APPPAH’s PPNE Certification is the manifestation of a dream that I didn’t even know I had. I am so grateful for our wise and courageous founders and the amazing collection of experts who have enriched our ability to begin to apprehend this powerful process of a life becoming embodied. From deep within my life, I bow humbly and will strive to share the fruits and wisdom of all those who have gone before, to honor their courageous work and dedication to truth - telling.
Pamela Yenawine CST-D
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