Transitions to Wholeness: Integrating Prenatal, Transpersonal and Somatic Psychology

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Author: Matthew Appleton

Publisher: Independently published

Published: 23/09/2020

ISBN: 9798681823469

Transitions to Wholeness: Integrating Prenatal, Transpersonal and Somatic Psychology, is the outcome of more than two decades of dedicated research work and clinical practice as a psychotherapist and craniosacral therapist working therapeutically with womb and birth experience. The powerful influence of these early experiences on later life is well documented in these pages. This is supported by the research of other practitioners in this field, indigenous teachings, modern trauma therapies and discoveries in a diverse spectrum of scientific disciplines. Transitions offers a uniquely comprehensive grounding of pre and perinatal psychology, in the wider context of somatic and transpersonal psychology. The living expressiveness of the body, as championed by Wilhelm Reich, and the inner world of archetype and image, as revealed by C.G. Jung, are themes that run like vital arteries throughout the body of this book. Theory and principles of practice are animated by stories from personal life and the therapy room. This is a book which challenges us to ask questions about our own nature and our place in Nature. Early in the book, Appleton acknowledges that the three modalities he is exploring – prenatal, somatic and transpersonal – are marginal in relation to mainstream psychology which he describes as “a psychology of the ego.” He states: “Many of the problems we face today are the results of a culture based on the supremacy of the ego over the deeper aspects of our own nature. This has resulted not only in our alienation from ourselves and each other, but also the natural world as a whole.” His depth of understanding of his subject then shines through as he continues: “However, far from rejecting the ego, the model that is developed throughout this book stresses the importance of a stable ego within the context of a much broader and deeper body-mind continuum. It is only through connecting with our own deep nature that we can truly connect with and know the natural world that we are born out of and born into. But we need a stable ego to be able to relate to these non-egoic states of consciousness. Otherwise we are in danger of becoming either inflated or lost.” This theme is explored in detail throughout the book.There is an excellent glossary, so that the reader can easily find his own way, when ‘technical’ language is necessary, and the bibliography is extensive. The book, also offers three comprehensive appendices. Appendix 1 shows ” The Stages of Birth from the Baby’s Perspective”, an aspect usually neglected by birth professionals and unknown to most therapists. Appendix 2 presents “Baby Body Language”, in photos, showing the expressive nuances and emotional tones which hint at the lived experience of the individual in relation to particular prenatal and birth territory. This provides an invaluable tool for all interested in the field of pre and perinatal psychology. Appendix 3 offers an overview of Psychological and Existential Themes associated with stages of prenatal life and birth, and which reside in the deep unconscious, until such time they are brought into conscious awareness.