Foundation Course

A detailed introduction to the physiologic and psychologic consequences of pre and perinatal trauma and shock, including various resolution, integration, releasing and repatterning techniques.

Class 1
Stage 1 of Birth:  Transverse Cranium

Devoted to the exploration of early birth trauma, this class is best understood after taking an Introduction Class. Following the pioneering work of Sills and Emerson, the class focuses on the confirmation of each student's bodily posture during the beginning of birth ("the lie side") as well as locating and discussing the significance of where on the body and cranium deep somatic impacts were molded (trauma "conjunct points" and "conjunct pathways").

Somatic biology of the perinate's body, especially the cranium, is explained in the context of the initiation of birth and the baby's environment relative to the mother's uterine contractions, her cervix, and her pelvic inlet. The fetal cranium is typically one inch larger in diameter than the pelvic inlet/outlet and considerable somatic and psychological impacts are visited upon the baby during the birth process.

Basic psychological consequences from Stage 1 will be taught, including those related to how the baby deals with stress and compression while the cervix is still closed, and next, what happens as it is being ejected from its environment. We will cover what it is like moving, under enormous pressure and pain, into the unknown, and discuss how these early experiences set up templates for how we deal with stress, pressure and pain later in our lives. How we move into and initiate projects can be an echo of this first big project. The brain is nearly at its peak rate of forming synaptic connections during this vulnerable time.

Medical interventions such as manual rupturing of membranes, maternal confinement, constant fetal monitoring, induction of birth through the use of drugs such as pitocin are often experienced during this stage. These interventions leave their mark on the developing psyche and neurology of the perinate, and will be discussed in overview form in this class.

As everyone's individual experience varies, each student will undertake various research "regressions" (an experience where feelings from the body are allowed to come forward, sometimes in the form of body "memories," in order to allow each student to begin to understand what their birth might have been like). Experiential exercises will help students realize what they went through as birthing babies, and will also not only help students have empathy for themselves, but help them understand how many basic behavior patterns have (sometimes semi-consciously and unconsciously) been programmed.

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