The Pre- and Perinatal Paradigm

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An understanding of early experience is also part of the biodynamic paradigm. It is understood that sentience (awareness, the ability to know) is present from the first moments of life at conception and that the embryo, the fetus, and the birthing infant has the ability to respond to the relational and environmental conditions preset. The contingencies and conditions met from the first moments of life thus have the potential to generate form and protective responses, all of which must be centered by the potency of the Breath of Life in some way.

This process generates tensile patterns in both the fluid and tissue fields and becomes coupled with the organization of the ego system and its defensive processes. Commonly, life statements are also generated which can infuse the developing self-system and later strongly affect that person’s relational life. These might be about the nature of intimacy and relationship, of life itself, of getting needs met, about self-worth etc.

As a client settles into his or her session work, these early patterns and their organizing fulcrums may emerge as part of session work. The practitioner learns to hold all of this within compassionate awareness and inquiry. Appropriate cranial and verbal trauma skills, which help the practitioner appropriately respond to arising processes, are also taught as an integral part of session work.

Sometimes, when holding an adult system, it can feel as though you are holding a much smaller being, perhaps the inner fetus or birthing infant who is still calling out for attention and healing. Awareness of this territory helps the practitioner emphasize and appropriately respond to the arising process within a biodynamic context.