Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Transpersonal Dimensions in Healing Trauma of the Unborn Child

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Transpersonal Dimensions in Healing Trauma of the Unborn Child

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT: This article explores the nature of the unborn child's transpersonal dimensions, including pre-existence, reincarnation, development of the body in utero, prenatal memory, and role at birth. Ancient to modern texts, research and casework are sources of perspectives mentioned. The paper addresses what may be happening in the pre/perinatal experience as well as what can happen in one type of therapy, (i.e., EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), to facilitate healing of pre/perinatal trauma. Concluding comments will reflect an adult client's transpersonal experiences and spiritual unfolding rendered during therapy for healing pre/perinatal trauma.


When considering the nature of the unborn child's life it is helpful to keep in mind the long proclaimed pre-existence of the soul and the prevalent belief of reincarnation in order to broaden one's understanding of the history of the soul about to make appearance on Earth. The idea of pre-existence of the soul is an old one; a concept that says the soul has existed before being in any incarnation. The idea of reincarnation says that the soul has lived in a human body before the present human life. Some traditions say that the soul has and can reincarnate into an animal body. The focus here is on the soul's life in human form.

The advantage of acknowledging these cultural and spiritual concepts is that the unborn may be more fully understood and appreciated by the community, family and parents with whom the child lives. This can allow for more mindful parenting regarding many aspects of the baby's in utero development, including the baby's role from preconception throughout prenatal life and birth. This article addresses the concept of pre-existence and reincarnation in addition to the soul's role in the selection of life circumstances and parents, development of the physical body, and birth. I speak to this through a summary of writings, a case presentation, and concluding comments about how one adult client's therapeutic work, which included transpersonal stories of pre/perinatal life, has impacted his recent adult spiritual experiences. These were transpersonal in nature.

The reader is invited to engage this concept with consideration of how certain reports of trauma might be pursued for healing and what the client and experts are telling us about the unborn child's life. This is simply one way to engage with wonder about what may be happening in the pre/perinatal experience as well as what can happen in therapy to help facilitate healing.


Pre-existence and Reincarnation of the Soul

The concept of pre-existence and reincarnation seems to be growing in acceptance throughout the planet. The number of books on these topics at our bookstores attests to the interest in both areas. Likewise, movies and television programs do the same. As late as summer, 1997, a then recent Gallup Poll stated that 72% of Americans believe in reincarnation (Rosen, 1997, back cover). This is compared to a similar poll taken in 1969, which found that only 20% of Americans believed in reincarnation. Acceptance of reincarnation in other Western countries is also increasing. In the East, four out of five people surveyed embrace reincarnation (Gallup, pp. 137-8; Rosen, 1997, p. 2).

This belief goes back to ancient texts and is contained in works of more modern literary leaders of our culture. Elizabeth Clare Prophet, spiritual leader and author of over 57 books, who has lectured internationally about world religions, has studied reincarnation in depth. She has noted that the Dead Sea Scrolls "do not mention reincarnation, although they do imply preexistence .... In addition, we have Josephus' testimony that the Essenes, who are believed to have lived at Qumran, believed in reincarnation" (E.G. Prophet with E.L. Prophet, 1997, p. 274).

In Buddhism we find the belief that each Dali Lama is a reincarnation of numerous predecessors. …

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