Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Tributes to David Chamberlain

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

Tributes to David Chamberlain

Article excerpt

The following tributes speak eloquently to the deep respect that David Chamberlain inspired in all who knew him. The first four are from a very select community, the former and current presidents of APPPAH. Dr. Chamberlain was an honored part of this community, as president of APPPAH from 1991 to 1999

Thomas Verny, MD, DPsych., DHL, FRCPC, FAPA (President from 1983-1991)

In the spring of 1981, I read a report in a Toronto paper about a psychologist in San Diego whose research demonstrated that children's memories of their own births were real and not, as psychoanalysts held, fantasies. Since I was just about to embark on a coast-to-coast book promotion tour of The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, this study was welcome news, buttressing as it did the central premise of my work. I immediately wrote to Dr. David Chamberlain, the author of this study. We started to correspond. When David learned that I would be in LA as a guest on the Merv Griffin show, he proposed to attend a taping of the show and to meet me there. This we did. And that marked the beginning of a 33-year friendship and collaboration.

Following our meeting, David suggested we present a joint workshop at the 1982 American Psychological Association Annual Meeting. Our proposal for our presentation was quickly rejected. When I heard the news, I rather impetuously said," If they don't want us in their club, let's form our own." David thought that that was a good idea. If I were willing to organize the conference, he would send me a list of his contacts and support me in any way he could. A year later, in the summer of 1983, the 1st International Congress on Pre-and Perinatal Psychology was held in Toronto. On the last day of the Congress we founded the Pre-and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA) with David as 1st Vice President, Sandra Collier as 2nd Vice President and Secretary, and Marsha Penner as Treasurer.

Two years later, David chaired the 2nd International Congress of PPPANA in San Diego following which he became a tireless and enthusiastic champion of prenatal psychology, writing and lecturing widely on the subject. His contributions to our association are enormous; President from 1991 to 1999, Acting Editor of the PPPANA, later renamed APPPAH, Editor of Newsletter from 1995 to 1999, producing and editing annually 100 books list in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health from 1993 to 1999, Book Review Coordinator from 1997 to 1999. In November 1996, David founded and continued until his passing away to edit birthpsychology.com - APPPAH's gateway to the World Wide Web.

David was a first class professional, accurate, precise, and analytic. He considered carefully what he wrote and what he said. His books and publications reached a wide readership. In person he was always cheerful with an impish sense of humor. I don't think he had an enemy in the world. He inspired people and people loved him.

David and I did not spend much time together but we did not need to. Although cut from very different cloths, we understood each other and we were friends. We were brothers in arms. We took on the establishment in psychology and psychiatry; we upset a few apple carts and we made some headway. The struggle is not over; the road ahead is still full of obstacles. But because of David's contributions, some of the path has been cleared. He has left this world a better place than when he entered it and that is really the most any one of us can hope to achieve in our lifetime. Thank you, David.

Barbara Findeisen, MFT (President from 1999-2005)

I met David Chamberlain at the first APPPAH Congress in Toronto. Then the name was PPPANA. It was an exciting time for all of us to be a part of the birth of the association. For some, like David, who had stumbled on to birth A memories, we were thrilled to find others we could talk to who didn't think we were a little bit crazy. It was such a wonderful experience to share and learn from others. …

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