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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Depression dilemma in pregnancy: Ditch meds?

Depression dilemma in pregnancy: Ditch meds?

Research on taking antidepressants during pregnancy has been mixed, with some studies showing a small risk and others showing no harm to the baby. Untreated depression is also a risk during pregnancy. So which is worse, having depression during pregnancy, or taking medication for it?

Jodi Kluchar

The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Heath Annual Congress

 The Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Heath Annual Congress

Echoes from the Womb:

Applications for Lifelong Well-Being

16th International Congress

November 17 - 20, 2011

San Francisco, California



Register Now!


This year's congress will be held in beautiful San Francisco at the Kabuki Hotel in Japan Town.

Be inspired by individuals who are making a difference in our field of prenatal and perinatal psychology. We will have new and exciting speakers including:

Annie Murphy Paul, author of the popular book on fetal life ORIGINS: How The Nine Months Before Birth Shape The Rest of Your Life

Bruce Lipton, internationally acclaimed author and speaker who connects the biology and the psychology of the brain, the cells and the psychology of human development. Bruce will also offer a one-day workshop on Thursday.


Join us in San Francisco at the zen-like serenity offered at the Kabuki surrounded with a vibrant international community of restaurants, shops, cherry trees and tea shops. A perfect space to come together in networking, meeting and listening and sharing.


Barbara Findeisen

Jodi Kluchar

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Eastside Birth Trauma Support Group

*Eastside Birth Trauma Support Group*

We aim to help support mothers and their partners and families process,
integrate and heal from traumatic childbirth experiences. Trauma is in the
eye of the beholder, and any birth experience perceived as traumatic is
welcome here.

We respect the sensitivity and privacy of participants and expect all
participants to do the same.

While this group is facilitated by a leader that may be a mental health
specialist the group is a peer-oriented support model, no formal counseling
by professionals is offered at this group. However, referrals to
professional providers for additional support, if needed, will be made

There is a suggested donation to cover group costs, though this group is
free and open to all income levels.

WHEN: The 2nd and 4th Thursdays of each month from 12-2pm

WHERE: The office of Heidi Koss, MA, LMHCA, 7981 168th Ave NE, Suite
202, Redmond, WA 98052

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Call Heidi at 425-802-6607 or email

Heidi B. Koss, MA, LMHCA
Psychotherapist, Private Practice, Redmond, WA
Executive Director, Postpartum Support International of WA
425-802-6607 Direct Line

Jodi Kluchar

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Self-hypnosis eases the labour

Self-hypnosis eases the labour - Birth - IOL | Breaking News | South Africa News | World News | Sport | Business | Entertainment |


After a traumatic Caesarean section birth three years ago Magan Hall of Rosebank in Cape Town could not imagine herself going through another childbirth.

Her disappointment at not giving birth naturally to her daughter Holly, now three, left her feeling powerless and to a certain extent like a “failure”.

“I was so looking forward to having a natural birth and I went through 16 hours of labour thinking that eventually the baby would come down. When the midwife told me that I was going for an emergency C-section as the baby wasn’t coming down, I felt so aggrieved. I was so disappointed with how things turned out that I constantly blamed myself for everything. The experience left me with this fear of giving birth,” she said.

But after much contemplation, Hall decided to try for a second baby. This time, however, she wasn’t going to let her first birthing experience get the better of her.

She started doing research on birthing options, having decided that a C-section would not be an option.

After a visit to her midwife she was advised to try hypnobirthing. It was the first time that she heard of this birthing method, but decided to give it a go.

“I remember attending my first class and thinking how will this help me give birth naturally? Because of my bad experience with my first birth I had become very sceptical of everything,” she said.

Little did she know she was in it for the long haul. She attended the full antenatal course and used the techniques in

November last year when she successfully gave birth naturally to her son Huw within two hours of going into labour.

While Hall feels the second birth was probably just nature taking its course, or plain luck,she feels she was helped by the techniques she learnt through hypnobirthing.

Hypnobirthing is described as a childbirth method that uses self-hypnosis to help expectant mothers manage the tension caused by fear and anxiety during labour, through visualisation and relaxation.

It uses different breathing techniques to help the body reach a deep, relaxed state similar to “daydreaming”, thereby allowing the expectant mother to manage her labour pains. The techniques are also taught to birthing companions, who learn to help the mother reach deeper levels of relaxation.

Still a relatively new method in South Africa, hypnobirthing was developed in the US by Marie Morgan, a hypnotherapist who said she uses self-hypnosis on pregnant women to help their body’s muscles work the way they should during childbirth.

Today it is widely used in countries such as the US and UK, with available research suggesting that it can reduce the standard first labour from 12 hour to eight hours.

According to Kim Young, a hypnobirthing childbirth educator in Cape Town, the “horror stories” that pregnant women are told by friends, family, and other sources, including the media, about childbirth has resulted in many being scared of giving birth even though many are physically capable of giving birth comfortably.

Young, the only hypnobirthing instructor in the city and one of five in the country, said many women “failed to enjoy the experience of giving birth, (and) instead get so overwhelmed with fear”.

”The body’s response to fear is to release adrenaline. This causes the muscles to tighten, therefore diverting the oxygenated blood from the uterus, where it’s needed the most, to the major survival organs such as legs and arms to prepare them to run. This causes muscles that help with the birthing of a baby to work against each other and cause pain. The release of lactic acid due to the lack of oxygenated blood in the uterus increases the level of pain even further,” she said.

Young, who offers classes in both the northern and southern suburbs, said hypnotherapy techniques were taught while expectant mothers were fully conscious and aware in class, and then practised at home to help the mothers prepare for birth and to bond with their newborns.

Describing hypnobirthing as a philosophy of labour rather than a technique, she said although the method was not completely pain-free, it helped expectant mothers achieve easier, faster and more comfortable birth without unnecessary medical intervention such as painkillers.

“It’s about a mother and baby getting the best experience and this includes being relaxed and calm. When you are relaxed your body releases endorphins, which is the body’s natural relaxant. These endorphins, which are released at the onset of labour, help the birthing process as they act as a supplement to hormones that are specifically released to allow a woman to birth the baby easily,” said Young.

Hall believes that had she not used the hypnobirthing techniques during her second labour, she probably would have had a C-section.

“This time around I refused to be distracted by people telling me negative stories about birth. Somehow I was very involved with what was happening inside me and I wasn’t frightened of the birth. I had the attitude that I’d been there and done that, but I also accepted that it might not work. It gave me a sense of satisfaction about myself,” she said.

While the idea of hypnobirthing is largely supported by midwives, some doctors have also come out in support of it.

Dr Douglas Dumbrill, a gynaecologist at Vincent Pallotti Hospital is one of them.

Dumbrill, who works with several independent midwives, said he supported “any technique that makes labour manageable”.

“I haven’t seen many hypnobirthing clients personally as they mostly deal with the midwives I work with, but I know that many moms who engage in it are generally very happy about it. As a gynaecologist, I believe it should be a woman’s choice to choose birthing options that are suitable for them, and I think every woman in labour should have access to pain relief – be it hypnobirthing, acupuncture or water birthing.”

Dumbrill said with the shortage of staff and trained midwives in hospitals, any intervention that strived to make labour more manageable was welcome.

“Many of the mothers I deal with always feel they don’t get proper support in a hospital environment. So if using relaxing techniques makes their pain during labour more manageable, I don’t see a reason why we shouldn’t support that.

“Surely that goes a long way in easing the workload of midwives and other support staff.” - Cape Argus


PTSD Survivors Support Group to meet in Holly

PTSD Survivors Support Group to meet in Holly |


The purpose of the PTSD Survivors Support Group is to allow survivors or those concerned with PTSD, a place to get good information and support. We meet on the second Tuesday of each month to review literature and discuss topics related to PTSD.

April's topic : PTSD and Childbirth
A discussion and summary of the research regarding PTSD and childbirth will include the New Mothers Speak Out National Survey, highlighting women's postpartum experiences and traumatic birth.

Meeting Place: Villagers Restaurant, 1121 N. Saginaw, Holly
You must RSVP by email or by calling 810-614-8995.

$15 registration provides refreshment and printed material.

Michele Burcar and Deb Medor-Watson are co-organizers.


Childbirth support group

Childbirth support group | Gympie News | Local News in Gympie | Gympie Times


SAFETY, nurturing and bonding in a variety of childbirth situations is the ideal but sometimes it seems something goes amiss.

Betty Smith, a midwife with 40 years’ experience, says while many women welcome and adore their beautiful babies they struggle with unresolved feelings of frustration and anger as a by-product of this life-transforming event.

Ms Smith is initiating a Gympie-based support group focusing on “healing the trauma after pregnancy and birth”.

The midwife says for many women giving birth is the most memorable and empowering event of their lives. For others, who often suffer silently, the experience is nothing short of traumatic.

“For these women,” Ms Smith says, “the experience is certainly memorable but for very different reasons.”

Feelings of feeling physically and emotionally traumatised are not uncommon. And many feel they are the only one to have ever felt like this after having a baby.

What they hear is “you’ve got a lovely baby out of it what are you worrying about?”

Ms Smith says with help, women can work through many of their emotions and anxieties around their birthing experience.

“How women feel about their births is important,” she stressed. “Trauma and pain stemming from giving childbirth can persist for years or even decades if not addressed.

“It’s just now becoming validated. It can even be a post-traumatic stress disorder,” she said.

Women, their partners or support people who feel there are unresolved issues in relation to the birthing experience are invited to come along and join the support network.

Meetings are free and start on Tuesday, May 17, at 7.30pm at the Women’s Health Centre at 21 Alfred St and then the third Tuesday of each month.

For more information ring the health centre on 5483 6588.


Trauma survivors from ethnic minorities wanted for PTSD project

Health News - Trauma survivors from ethnic minorities wanted for PTSD project


Trauma survivors from non-Western cultures are being invited to take part in a unique research project at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The researchers are interested in any distressing life events, including physical assault, natural disaster, car accidents, bereavement, and relationship breakdown.

Led by Kate Gough, of the Norwich Medical School at UEA, the project is part of a wider effort to improve care for people recovering from traumatic events.

“We are investigating the theory that people from different cultures hold significantly different beliefs following a trauma,” she said. “Understanding this will help improve NHS care for people from all cultural backgrounds.”

Previous research suggests that the beliefs someone holds about a traumatic experience have a significant impact on their likelihood of developing the debilitating condition, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Understanding and modifying these beliefs can therefore be clinically benefiical.

Current treatment for trauma is based almost entirely on research conducted in Western countries, so it is unkown whether the same approaches can be applied to people from non-Western cultures. The UEA project is important because a significant number of trauma survivors globally are not from the West, and there are almost five million people in the UK who are from non-Western cultures.

Volunteers are asked to complete a confidential online questionnaire, available at For more information, please contact Kate Gough on 07526 437848 or email


The Institute for Rapid Resolution Therapy Partners with the University of Portland and Manatee Glens for PTSD Research Study

The Institute for Rapid Resolution Therapy Partners with the University of Portland and Manatee Glens for PTSD Research Study -

Bradenton, FL, March 19, 2011 --( The Institute for Rapid Resolution Therapy has partnered with the University of Portland and Manatee Glens to conduct a research study to scientifically demonstrate the effectiveness of Rapid Resolution Therapy™ (RRT) for the treatment of trauma patients, specifically those suffering from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study that begins on February 26 and continues through May 30 will be conducted through Manatee Glens, a non-profit behavioral health hospital and outpatient practice. Participants in the research study can be anyone who has experienced trauma, big or small such as domestic violence, rape, or incest; a car accident, fire, gang fight or military combat; and/or unresolved ongoing grief. These individuals may be experiencing anger, resentment, guilt, shame, nightmares, phobias, and/or panic attacks. Registration is required with Manatee Glens.

Manatee Glens screens all candidates prior to the study, where half will be placed with a RRT therapist and half will receive the traditional cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) from Manatee Glens. Participants will receive pro bono services for RRT treatment, provided by either the founder of RRT, Dr. Jon Connelly, or RRT Certified Master Practitioners.

The goal for the study is to provide evidence-based-research of the effectiveness of RRT as a treatment modality for trauma. "There is increased recognition in the mental health field of the importance of conducting research within clinical settings, such as outpatient settings, where mental health service actually takes place," says Melinda Paige, Ed.S, LMHC, NCC, a Certified Master Practitioner in RRT. "Since RRT has a 30-year history of anecdotal clinical evidence, the goal of this study to measure these reported decreases in posttraumatic symptoms and document this evidence in the trauma literature." Unlike other approaches to trauma treatment which require the client to experience painful emotions while reliving the trauma, RRT clears the effects of trauma gently and painlessly. RRT is an integrative and holistic approach that completely resolves the psychological and physiological effects of trauma.

Candidates interested in applying for participation in the research study may apply in person at the Manatee Glens Walk-In Center located at 371 6th Avenue West in Bradenton or Manatee Glens Access Center at 2020 26th Avenue East in Bradenton. For more information about this study, please contact Research Coordinator Dr. Sharon Richie-Melvan at 352-476-5599. Other members of the research team include Diane Vines, PhD (University of Portland) and Melinda Paige, Ed.S (Georgia State University); with critical guidance from Roger Weed, PhD, and Greg Brack PhD, both from the Georgia State University.

Rapid Resolution Therapy™ was developed by Dr. Jon Connelly. He is the author of Life Changing Conversations – The Power of Transformational Communication, which demonstrates that dramatic therapeutic breakthroughs can be facilitated in a single psychotherapy session. With over 30 years of experience working with individuals and training professionals, Dr. Connelly also is the founder of The Institute for Survivors of Sexual Violence, a non-profit (501C3) organization providing mental health professionals with state-of-the-art training in advanced clinical methods of eliminating the negative influence of trauma. You can learn more about him and RRT at or

Founded as a nonprofit in 1955, Manatee Glens is a state-of-the-art behavioral health institute located in Bradenton, Florida. Through their private hospital and outpatient practice, they provide personalized care to local patients as well as those from across the state and around the country. Manatee Glens helps families in crisis with mental health and addiction services and supports the community through prevention and recovery. For more information about Manatee Glens, please call 941-782-4150 or visit their website at



Contact Information
The Institute for Rapid Resolution Therapy
Sarah Burnett
For information on the study, please contact Dr. Sharon Richie-Melvan at 352-476-5599


Nature Connected Psychiatry Used as Stress Reduction and Prevention Medicine Reduces PTSD Symptoms

Nature Connected Psychiatry Used as Stress Reduction and Prevention Medicine Reduces PTSD Symptoms


San Juan Island (MMD Newswire) March 16, 2011 -- An article that focuses on psychiatry and connection has been published in "Missoulian," entitled "Family Health: Connecting With Nature Relieves Stress" The author is Psychiatrist Phillip Holman MD / CPG Medical Director of Psychiatric Services at Boozeman General Hospital.

Dr. Holman offers a few strategies that, in his professional and personal experiences, appear to be useful stress relieving tools. They have produced successful results for his patients, as well as himself.

Citing Dr. Larry Dossey, author of "Reinventing Medicine," Dr. Holman uses the stress management activities in natural areas that have been developed by Dr. Michael Cohen's Project NatureConnect at Akamai University. Cohen has demonstrated these activities to be an important application of ecopsychology, one that genuinely connects us with the often the ignored source of spirit and wellness found in nature.

Cohen says Dr. Holman's findings are important because excessive stress is the leading cause of most illness and disorders that we suffer. "In addition," Cohen notes, "Nature is an often overlooked but significant healer. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) victims recover by connecting in nature to "something larger than themselves."

A description of Dr. Holman's article accompanied by a link to it along with many examples that further Dr. Holman's findings has been placed on the Internet.

In his book, Educating Counseling and Healing with Nature, Cohen links to many studies that show how our excessively nature-separated lives, make our inner nature feel unfulfilled, stressed and lackluster. This loss causes us to crave natural sensations or depend upon artificial, excessive and often irresponsible substitutes for them.

Cohen demonstrates that backyard or backcountry, doing sensory nature-reconnecting activities helps us let Earth balance us and teach us missing essentials that we need for eliminating destructive stress."

"Stress can more effectively be reduced by adding educating, counseling and healing with nature activities to stress treatment procedures depending upon the individual and the type of stressfulness or pressures an individual is encountering" says Dr. Cohen. Some of his students have added them to mindfulness, meditation and yoga, when practiced together or separately. This practice is thought to create better awareness of the connection between the unity of the mind and body. Nature connection activities strengthen the connection as they help an individual include the powers of the natural world, their other body, in it.

The addition of nature's healing ways helps us be conscious of our mind, feelings and spirit while they are beneficially interlaced with the self-correcting and restorative powers of nature's flow, in and around us.

The pioneering mission of Project NatureConnect is to enable our thoughts and feelings to tap into nature's renewing natural attraction "love" that flows in, around and through us. The online program's subsidized, UNESCO approved, training courses and degrees help us activate 53 natural senses that we inherit so we can make conscious contact with the life-nurturing attraction energy of the eons found in natural areas, backyard or backcountry.

The Internet addresses of the newly released web pages are

For further information visit


Dr. Michael Cohen 360-378-6313, email .

Barbara Huning MA LP at 507-452-0200, email .


Institute Founder and Director:

Recipient of the 1994 Distinguished World Citizen Award, Ecopsychologist Michael J. Cohen, Ph.D., is a Program Director of the Institute of Global Education, where he coordinates its Integrated Ecology Department and Project NatureConnect. He also serves on the Ecopsychology faculty of Portland State University and Akamai University. Dr. Cohen has founded sensory environmental education outdoor programs independently and for the National Audubon Society and Lesley University (AEI). He conceived the 1985 National Audubon Conference "Is the Earth a Living Organism," and is an award winning author of "Educating, Counseling and Healing With Nature," "The Web Of Life Imperative"and "Reconnecting With Nature." A video about his lifework may be viewed at

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Kent News :: Article :: Grieving mum Marisa Sanders warned others of fatal threat of birth trauma

Kent News :: Article :: Grieving mum Marisa Sanders warned others of fatal threat of birth trauma A grieving mother, whose newborn baby died following a string of hospital blunders, is calling on the NHS to learn from past mistakes. Marisa Sanders, 34, from Bromley, is suing the Princess Royal University Hospital in Farnborough Common, Orpington, after she was left in a triage room for more than three hours, despite obvious signs she was in labour. The shocking state of affairs resulted in the death of tiny Thomas Arben Deliu, who was born without a heartbeat on August 17, 2007. Ms Sanders shared her tragic story to help promote National Birth Trauma Awareness Week, which ends on Sunday, April 10. She said: "To this day, the overwhelming feeling of loss and grief at losing Thomas is indescribable. "Being left isolated from medical staff and ignored during labour should never happen to a woman." Ms Sanders had been booked in for a Caesarean section, but her waters had broken on arrival at the hospital and there were other distinct signs she was going into labour. Despite all the evidence, she was dumped in a triage room for more than three hours and even refused pain relief by a midwife. Ms Sanders said: "Only parents and their family members who have been through the utter devastation of losing a child can begin to understand the grief process. "That’s why spreading the word about the Birth Trauma Association and the contact it can offer with other families who’ve been through the same heartbreak is so important." At the time of the tragedy, the Princess Royal hospital was managed by Bromley Hospitals NHS Trust, which has since merged with two others to form South London Healthcare NHS Trust. The authority has admitted liability after a full investigation pointed to negligence on the part of the original trust. Medical expert Auriana Griffiths, of Irwin Mitchell solicitors, said: "Traumatic births are sadly far more common than people think, and both our own medical law teams and the Birth Trauma Association deal with many cases. "We are calling on the NHS and medical professionals to work together to learn lessons and share best practice so the number of birth traumas can be reduced." POSTED: 10/04/2011 18:00:00