Integrative Baby Therapy Training
WITH MATTHEW APPLETON AND TEAM
The course material has a strong emphasis on practical skills related to clinical issues and to the theoretical knowledge practitioners need to help parents understand and support their babies. Participants are encouraged to find their own authentic voice with the work, by which they can integrate what they learn into their existing practices, whether it be as a midwife or therapist, doula or doctor. The theoretical material is kept as simple as possible, with the emphasis being on practical application with babies, infants and their families.
Integrative Baby Therapy draws from a number of sources including Pre and Perinatal Psychology, Body Psychotherapy and Craniosacral Therapy. It is also informed by recent research in areas such as self-regulation, neurobiology, epigenetics, biodynamic embryology, field theory, attachment theory, traumatology, consciousness research and cross-cultural studies. The course is supported by more than two decades of clinical and teaching experience.
The team for this training are Jenni Meyer (assistant tutor) and Kate Rosati (assistant).
Module One: Working with the Family Field
Finding the correct tempo and tone is essential to creating a safe space in which to do in to do in-depth work with babies and children. This module focuses on building trust within the relational field of the family and developing stable inner resources to listen to babies ‘tell their stories’. Participants are taught to:
- Support the needs of parents with accurate empathy
- Identify tolerance thresholds within the relational field of the family
- Negotiate permission with parents and babies
- Listen deeply and practice ‘restraining the rescuer’
- Understand the consequences of unresolved shock and trauma in relation to bonding and attachment (the thrive/strive continuum)
- Identify birth lie sides
- Differentiate between ‘needs crying’ and ‘memory crying’
Module Two: Birth Issues and Diagnostic Skills in Working with Babies
The stages of the birth process are usually defined in relation to the experience of the mother and the concerns of the obstetrician. This module looks at birth from the perspective of the baby and how this constellates into 4 distinct stages, each of which has its own physical and psychological consequences. Participants are taught to:
- Identify physical birth patterns and the body language by which babies seek to communicate their birth experience
- Support babies birth stories with accurate empathy
- Help parents to understand what their babies are expressing and to support the release of unresolved shock and trauma in the family field.
- Understand the relational dynamics between mother and baby during birth
- Identify the ‘Possibility Zone’ within which the resolution of birth trauma can take place.
- Develop ‘mirroring skills’ to enhance empathic rapport with babies
- Understand the consequences of unresolved birth issues in later life
- Palpate birth patterns
Module Three: Birth Interventions and their Consequences
Birth interventions are divided into mechanical interventions (such as forceps, vacuum extraction and caesarean section) and chemical interventions such as the use of anaesthesia and induction drugs. These interventions imprint the psyche of the baby and have long term consequences. Participants are taught to:
- Recognise the impact of obstetric interventions during the birth process
- Help parents to identify how these interventions may show up in their baby’s behaviour and guide them to support their baby’s to move beyond self-limiting imprinting
- Support babies with ‘facilitated movement’ techniques to complete birth processes that were interrupted by interventions
- Understand recapitulation styles which show up later in life, related to birth patterns and interventions
Module Four: Prenatal Issues and Diagnostic Skills in Working with Babies
The conventional medical understanding of consciousness as biochemical and bio-electric processes within the brain has limited the understanding of prenatal life. Yet research in the fields of foetal origins and pre and perinatal psychology reveal that prenatal life has huge impacts on our sense of self and our world. This module explores the subject of prenatal consciousness in the very first weeks of inter-uterine life. Participants are taught to:
- Identify formative prenatal themes as expressed through baby body language
- Be aware of cellular experience expressed at the level of the organism
- Recognise ‘Lost Twin Syndrome’ and support families to honour the lost twin.
- Support babies prenatal stories with accurate empathy
- Work with prenatal shock within the relational field of the family
- Understand the consequences of unresolved prenatal trauma in later life
Module Five: The Umbilical Relationship
The umbilical relationship between prenate and mother influences all subsequent relationships, including the maternal-baby relationship following birth. This module focuses on how prenates relate to their umbilical cords and the feeling-tones associated with maternal emotional states and external toxins, the role of the placenta and the cutting of the cord at birth. Participants are taught to:
- Introduced to the structure and function of the umbilical cord prenatally
- Understand the physiological changes that occur with the cutting of the cord at birth
- Be aware of prenatal umbilical dynamics at work in the relational field
- Palpate and resolve umbilical shock related to early cord cutting
- Recognise and work with ‘First Breath Syndrome’.
- Support babies umbilical dynamics with accurate empathy
- Understand the psychological and physical consequences of unresolved umbilical issues in later life
Module Six: Birth and Beyond
Returning to the theme of birth this module focuses on specific concerns and conditions arising out of unresolved prenatal and birth trauma. Emphasis is put not only on treatment, but on supporting and educating parents to understand what may be happening for their babies. Helping parents to identify their own struggles and to support them in this is also explored in this module. This module teaches participants to:
- Understand the importance of the extended ‘Field of the Womb’ period which extends to 9 months after birth
- Deepen listening skills and presence to support distressed parents and babies
- Identify breathing styles and their relation to stress (in both babies and parents)
- Recognise how earlier prenatal and birth issues may be interfering with breastfeeding and bonding
- Develop deeper resources for parents to tolerate memory crying
- Help parents to support their babies both in and outside of the treatment room
- Develop awareness of self-care for practitoners
Module Seven: The ‘Bioenergy of Wellness’
The ‘bioenergy of wellness’, as identified by cranial osteopath Rollin Becker, is a rhythmic force which “begins with the moment of conception and continues to the last moment of death.” This module explores the relationship between our capacity to express the bioenergy of wellness, autonomic states and the quality of holding in the relational field. The focus is on prophylactic work to support well-being, bonding and attachment. Participants are introduced to:
- The role of embryonic biodynamics in forming and sustaining the human system
- How autonomic states either disturb or support bonding and attachment
- Polyvagal theory and the role of the ‘social engagement system’
- The role of ‘armouring’ as a self-protective adaption to stress in babies
- Work sensitively with eye contact with babies
- Understand the relationship between emotions and health in later life.
Module Eight: Transitions
The transitional states of infancy, childhood and adolescent are important developmental steps. This module looks at some of the specific physiological and psychological challenges for children and adolescents and their relation to earlier prenatal and birth issues. Unresolved trauma reappears in behavioural and health problems and is often reinforced by a lack of awareness of the early origins of the difficulty. Common childhood conditions and concerns are also looked at. In this module participants are taught to:
- Work with older children and adolescents
- Identify important transitional periods in childhood and how these re-stimulate earlier traumas
- Help parents to recognise the specific prenatal and birth themes their child may be struggling with and develop strategies to support them
- Understand different attachment styles and how these may relate to pre and perinatal experience
- Understand how early interventions with Integrative Baby Therapy can help contribute to healthy behaviours and emotional and physical well-being throughout childhood, adolescence and adult life
Each module is three days long and runs from Friday to Sunday. The course is spread over two years. Each day will begin at 10.00 am and end at 6.00 pm, except for the final day of each module, which will end at 5.00 pm.
The training can be taken at two levels, so as to be most appropriate to the needs of students.
Level 1: Integrative Baby Therapy: Foundational Skills. Participants are required to attend all modules ( occasional missed days can be made up with tutorials). In conjunction with the training participants are required to attend at least 2 Prenatal and Birth Process Workshops (4 days in total) or the equivalent number of days in other experiential work with Conscious Embodiment Trainings (see ‘workshops and courses’ for further details). This is because it is deemed important for anyone supporting babies in resolving early trauma to have some experience of how their own pre- and perinatal experience shaped them. The experiential workshops can be taken before, during or up to a year after the training finishes. Homework requirements are limited to one short written assignment between each module (consisting of no more than one side of A4). Self-reflective processes and experiential exercises are also given to help develop the skills that are outlined at the end of each module. Graduates are awarded a certificate in Integrative Baby Therapy: Foundational Skills.
Level 2. Integrative Baby Therapy. Practitioner Level. Participants are required to complete ‘Level 1. Foundational Skills’, Alongside this there is the requirement to attend at least 2 further Prenatal and Birth Process Workshops or the equivalent 4 days in other experiential work with Conscious Embodiment Trainings and 6 supervision sessions (1 hour each) or supervision days. The supervision requirements can be fulfilled during or for up to a year after the training is finished. These can be done through Skype, by phone or in person. To graduate participants are also required to submit a ‘case-study’ of a Integrative Baby Therapy session. This can be be presented either in written or oral form. Graduates are certified as an ‘Integrative Baby Therapy Practitioner’.
Module 1: 18th-20th October 2019
Module 2: 17th- 19th January 2020
Module 3: 24th-26th July 2020
Module 4: 16th-18th October 2020
Module 5: 22nd-24th January 2021
Module 6: 9th-11th April 2021
Module 7: 16th -18th July 2021
Module 8: TBC
VENUE:The Wildgoose Space, 228 Mina Road, Bristol BS2 9YP.
COST:£350 per module - including initial deposit of £150 (course code: IBT)
TO APPLY:If you have any questions or would like to apply please contact
Conscious Embodiment Trainings
25 Nottingham Road
Bristol BS7 9DH
Tel: 0117 904 4356