Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Violence & Pregnancy: A Whole-Self Psychology Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Violence & Pregnancy: A Whole-Self Psychology Perspective

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: This paper focuses on violence as pathology occurring primarily during pregnancy and explains the resulting impact on one's life. It addresses this specific theme, and does not include the violence found in some medical birth procedures, or violence generated by gender. This paper is based upon a presentation by the authors in March 2001, at the OMAEP [World Organization of Prenatal Education] & ANEP [Association of National Prenatal Education] Congress in Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela. entitled "Violence & Pregnancy." This congress brought together leading experts from South and North America, and Europe.

KEY WORDS: violence, consciousness, attachment and bonding, mother/child attunement.

INTRODUCTION

Whole-Self Psychology Philosophy and Education postulates that: All experiences enter the realm of violence the instant respect is breached. This includes any and all forms of disrespect that may occur during the prenatal/inter-uterine dialogue experience. It is important to understand how these issues and dynamics contribute to violence as pathology and the significant impact it has on one's life. case histories illustrating typical trauma will be given as examples. We will also address how the Whole-Self Psychology Therapy is used to help heal these disasters and traumas.

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE ON WOMB LIFE & THE ORIGINS OF CONSCIOUSNESS

The idea of the once blissful womb proposed by Sandor Ferenzi (1913) in Budapest, Hungary has long ago been disproved. After Ferenzi, analyst Gustav Hans Graber, MD (1924), Founder of the International Study Society in Prenatal Psychology, pushed back the consciousness curtain by advocating that children experience prebirth and well as post birth memories. Sigmund Freud (1918) developed the theoretical superstructure that inspired Otto Rank, but then reversed himself. It was Rank, MD (1924), who was the first to actually advocate and develop the psychiatric theoretical framework connecting trauma with birth. Nandor Fodor (1949) topped off Rank's trauma theory by describing the consecutive stages of development theorized by Rank. Over a quarter of a century ago, Dutch analyst, M. Lietaert Peerbolte (1975) integrated a reposing consciousness before conception theory and the accepted analytical approach. His search questioned the etiology of consciousness and what we know. In the early 1970s, the authors of this paper pioneered Prebirth Memory Therapy (Turner, 1988; Turner & Turner, 1993) to gently recover and release traumas, including those that were violent, experienced by mother during her pregnancy. Peter G. Fedor-Freybergh (1993) exhorts us to remember that the prenatal stage of life in the mother's consciousness and womb is our first ecological position as human beings. This is our first human encounter where we, as children, found ourselves involved in a creative dialogue with our mothers and their biological, psychological and social environment. The nature and quality (peaceful, loving, nurturing, hostile, violent) of that dyadic relationship and dialogue will have a profound effect on the health and well being outcome for that unborn child after birth.

UNDERSTANDING VIOLENCE

Whole-Self Psychology, Philosophy, and Education postulates that: All experiences enter the realm of violence the instant respect is breached. This includes any and all forms of disrespect that may occur during the prenatal/inter-uterine dialogue experience. What if that pregnant dialogue is filled with verbal or physical abuse? Understanding how such abuse contributes to violence as pathology, and its resulting impact on one's life, is critical if effective change and healing are to occur.

In order to discuss violence and pregnancy, it is helpful to establish a mutual understanding to the meaning of the word, violence. According to Webster's Dictionary (1986, Ottenheimer Publishers) the word violence is derived from the Latin violentus, which means force. …

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