Applications of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: An Overview

The basic tenet of Pre and Perinatal (PPN) Psychology is that the baby is having an experience from conception onward and that this experience will have an influence on her for the rest of her life. While PPN therapy is becoming increasingly well known and accepted, the notion that it applies only to prenates, infants and mothers is still all too common. Even more so, the idea of working with babies in the womb is too foreign to grasp for many people. When I talk to peers or potential clients about what I do, their first question usually is: "So you work with pregnant moms?" And I reply: "Yes, I do work with pregnant moms - and with everybody else too". Most PPN therapists are very familiar with this kind of exchange, but those of us who have been practicing in the field understand that PPN therapy is really about the following: Supporting our clients to integrate early somatic imprints, and that anybody - no matter which phase of their lifespan they are in, from conception to the dying process - can benefit from this integration.

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Being a Good Mother to Our Self

I came across the Good Mother Messages below while assisting Myrna Martin's Pre and Perinatal Trauma Training in Vancouver.

Since then, I have seen them quoted in several other places as well. What I love about these messages is that they are a beautiful tool for finally giving to ourselves what we did not receive when we were young: Unconditional acceptance, love, and appreciation. Safety. Care.

When we are young we need a trustworthy attachment figure in order to experience safety. The Good Mother Messages are the hallmarks of the quality of attachment figure we need in our early life. As we grow older we may need other qualities and messages, but these very simple sentences go straight to the heart of our young self (from conception to about two years old).

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