Essential Clinical Principles For Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Practitioners

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The burgeoning research in attachment theory, affective neuroscience, polyvagal theory, epigenetics, and trauma treatment has given new directions for the practice of prenatal and perinatal psychology. The authors offer essential fundamentals for the integration of these new principles into clinical practice with individuals and families from pre-conception through adulthood.


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The Potential Effects of Contemplative Practices on the Cultivation of Empathic Attunement in Mothers

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Related Content:: 
Publication Date: 
October 2012

Recent research across various disciplines, including attachment theory, neuroscience, developmental psychology, and pre and perinatal psychology, suggests the importance of redefining parenting effectiveness to include empathic attunement. In light of this research, the importance of prenatal education and training for mothers in body-centered contemplative practices, due to the resulting potential for the development of empathic attunement and the corresponding impact on the developing mind/brain of their children, is discussed.

Somatically Informed Parent-Prenate Psychotherapy

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Publication Date: 
October 2012

This paper discusses somatically informed parent-prenate counseling/ psychotherapy. It defines and presents the phenomenon called parent-prenate attachment. Further, it reviews the literature on parent-prenate attachment; and also reports on some of the factors that have been found to strengthen, or weaken, the qualities of bonding in this relationship. Finally, the article defines and introduces somatic psychotherapy; and proposes some of the potential ways in which somatic clinical interventions could enhance the practice of parent-prenate psychotherapy.

Maternal Fetal Attachment: Can Acceptance of Fetal Sentience Impact the Maternal-Fetal Attachment Relationship?

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Publication Date: 
October 2012

Research into maternal-fetal attachment is increasing yet has not yielded substantive scientific results due in part to the lack of a clear definition of the word “attachment.” Furthermore, a controversy currently exists in the literature with debate focused on the use of the word “attachment” as referenced by John Bowlby when discussing the maternal-fetal relationship.

A Secure Attachment Base

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Publication Date: 
October 2012

The Mother and Child Reunion Bonding Therapy: The Four Part Repair

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Publication Date: 
March 2012

Repairing the broken bond between a mother and her child is relatively easy when one knows how to do it. The four-stage protocol presented here involves (I) suspecting that there is a bonding problem, (II) searching for the cause, (III) metabolizing the painful feelings, and (IV) creating an alternative birth. The therapy is short, quick, and effective. Eight cases are presented as examples.


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Madrid, A. (2005/2006). Helping children with asthma by repairing maternal-infant bonding problems. American Journal of Clinical Hypnosis 48(3,2), 199-211.

Madrid, A., Skolek, S., & Shapiro, F. (2006). Repairing failures in bonding through EMDR. Clinical Case Series 5(4): 271-286.

Pennington, D. (1991). Events associated with maternal-infant bonding deficits and severity of pediatric asthma. Professional School of Psychology, Sacramento, CA.

Schwartz, M. (1988). Incidence of events associated with maternal-infant bonding disturbances in a pediatric asthma population. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Rosebridge Graduate School, Walnut Creek, CA

The Role of Shame in Infant Development

Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
January 2011

Shame is a powerful emotion born of implicit mind and with lasting implications. This brief essay explores the source of this experience, including its possible role as an instrument of survival, its relationship to the processes of bonding and attachment, and its developmental aspects.
Key Words: Shame, Attachment, Dysregulation, Mother


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Is Maternal Personality and Coping Style Related to Breech Presentation? Evaluating the Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Models of Risk Factors for Breech Presentation

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Publication Date: 
May 2011

We investigated maternal personality characteristics and coping style as potential risk factors for breech presentation in this case-control study. Mothers of cephalic presentation babies (n=72) and mothers of breech presentation babies (n=42) participated in a socio-demographic survey, the State Trait Personality Inventory (STPI), and an in-depth interview. In-depth interview results suggested mothers of breech presentation were more likely to be idealistic, analytical, overextended, and fearful; also less likely to be flexible.


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Kooistra, L., Kuppens, S. M. L, Hasaart, T H. M., Vader, H. L., Wijnen, H. A., Oei, S. G, & Pop, V.J. (2010). High thyrotrophin level at end term increase the risk of breech presentation. Clinical Endocrinology.

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Pop, V. J., Brouwers, E. P., Wijnen, H., Oei, G., Essed, G. G, & Vader, H. L. (2004). Low concentrations of maternal thyroxin during early gestation: a risk factor of breech presentation? British Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, 111(9), 925-930.

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Perinatal Clinical Psychology: Parent-Child Interaction in Primary Care

Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
December 2010
Perinatal clinical psychology deals with infant mental development, primary parent-child relationships, and problems related to nurturing and parenting activities of the woman and the couple during the prenatal and neonatal period. Its aims are promoting positive influences and preventing risk elements for the child’s development and for the parents raising the child, thus providing support to primary relationships. Perinatal clinical psychology studies intra-psychic, interpersonal, and trans-generational mental processes.

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Imbasciati, A., & Cena, L. (2010). I bambini e i loro caregivers. Metodi e strumenti per l'osservazione clinica della relazione e per l'intervento (Children and their caregivers: Methods and tools for clinical observation, report, and taking action). Roma: Borla

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A History of the Theory of Prenatal Attachment

Price: $10.00
Publication Date: 
May 2009
John Bowlby?s theory of human attachment has become widely applied across disciplines and across the stages of human development. This discussion explores the evolution of an application of Bowlby?s theory to the experience of pregnancy, from both maternal and paternal perspectives.

Ainsworth, M. D., & Wittig, B. A. (1969). Attachment and exploratory behavior of oneyear-olds in a strange situation, in B. M. Ross (Ed.), Determinants of infant behavior (VoL 4, pp. 113-136). London: Methuen.

Ainsworth, M. D. S., Blehar, M. C., Waters, E., & WaU, S. (1978). Patterns of attachment: A psychological study of the Strange Situation. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum

Balint, M. (1959). Thrills and repression. London: Hogarth Press.

Bartholomew, K., & Horowitz, L. M. (1991). Attachment styles among young adults: A test of a four-category model. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 61 , 226-243.

Beck, C. T. (1999). Available instruments for research on prenatal attachment and adaptation to pregnancy. MCN, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 24(1), 25-32.

Benedek, T. (1959). Parenthood as a developmental phase: A contribution to the libido theory. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 7(JuI), 389-417.

Benedek, T. (1958). Psychological aspects of pregnancy and parent-child relationships, in S. Liebman (Ed.), Emotional Problems in Childhood (pp. 1-16). Oxford, England: Iippincott.

Bibring, G. L. (1959). Some considerations of the psychological processes in pregnancy. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 14, 113-121.

Bibring, G. L., Dwyer, T. R, Huntington, D. S., & Valenstein, A. F. (1961). A study of the psychological processes in pregnancy and of the earliest mother-child relationship. Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 16, 9-72.

Blumberg, N. L. (1980). Effects of neonatal risk, maternal attitude, and cognitive style on early postpartum adjustment. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89(2), 139-150.

Borelli, J. L., & David, D. H. (2004). Attachment theory and research as a guide to psychotherapy practice. Imagination, Cognition, and Personality, 23, 257-287.

Bowlby, J. (1958). The nature of the child's tie to his mother. International Journal of Psycho- Analysis, 39, 350-373.

Bowlby, J. (1969). Attachment and Loss Volume I: Attachment. New York: Basic Books, Inc.

Bowlby, J. (1973). Attachment and Loss Volume II: Separation: Anxiety and Anger. New York: Basic Books, Inc.

Boyce, P., Condón, J., Wilson, J. P., & Raphael, B. (2000). Traumatic childbirth and the role of debriefing. In B. Raphael and J. P. Wilson (Eds.), Psychological debriefing: Theory, practice and evidence (pp. 272-280). New York: Cambridge University Press.

Brandon, A. R., Trivedi, M. H., Hynan, L. S., Miltenberger, P. D., Labat, D. B., Rifkin, J. B., et al. (2008). Prenatal depression in women hospitalized for obstetric risk. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 69, 635-643.

Bretherton, I. (1992). The origins of attachment theory: John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Developmental Psychology, 28, 759-775.

Bretherton, I., & Waters, E. (1985). Attachment theory: Retrospect and prospect. In Growing Points of Attachment Theory and Research. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development (pp. 3-35).

BushneU, I. W, Sai, R, & Mullin, J. T. (1989). Neonatal recognition of the mother's face. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 7(1), 3-15.

Cannella, B. L. (2005). Maternal-fetal attachment: an integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 50(1), 60-8.

Carson, K., & Virden, S. (1984). Can prenatal teaching promote maternal attachment? Practicing nurses test Carter-Jessop's prenatal attachment intervention. Health Care for Women International, 5(5-6), 355-69.

Carter-Jessop, L. (1981). Promoting maternal attachment through prenatal intervention. MCN, American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing, 6, 107-112.

Condon, J. T. (1985). The parental-foetal relationship: A comparison of male and female expectant parents. Journal of Psychosomatic Obstetrics & Gynecology, 4(4), 271-284.

Condon, J. T. (1986). Management of established pathological grief reaction after stillbirth. American Journal of Psychiatry, 143(8), 987-992.

Condon, J. T. (1993). The assessment of antenatal emotional attachment: Development of a questionnaire instrument. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 66, 167-183.

Condon, J. T., & Corkindale, C. (1997). The correlates of antenatal attachment in pregnant women. British Journal of Medical Psychology, 70, 359-372.

Cranley, M. S. (1979). The impact of perceived stress and social support on maternal-fetal attachment in the third trimester. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI.

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Cranley, M. S. (1992). A critical review of prenatal attachment research. Scholarly Inquiry for Nursing Practice, 6(1), 23-26.

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Fuller, J. R. (1990b). Early patterns of maternal attachment. Health Care for Women International, 11(4), 433-446.

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