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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Pre and Perinatal Emotional Health

With Professor Vivette Glover, Dr Cherionna Menzam-Sills, Dr Giuliana Mieli and Franklyn Sills

Saturday 8 December 2018 - London

This conference brings together speakers from the fields of medicine, psychotherapy and research to consider what we know about the impact of the mother's internal working model of attachment on the emotional development of her baby during pregnancy. We will look at how her states of mind are conveyed to the foetus and are inextricably linked to the attachment style and emotional wellbeing of the new baby to-be-born and the importance of the mother allowing and expressing the full array of feelings she has during her pregnancy including her negative emotions. Beginning with an overview of the neurobiological systems that occur between the mother and her foetus during gestation, we will learn how certain physiological systems coming from the mother's body-mind, influence the baby's potential emotional-self and its endocrinal system.

On this foundation of the psycho-physiological processes our speakers will also consider the felt sense of the infant as it experiences its mother's states and how the resonance of our earliest experiences can become etched into the body/mind - potentially throughout life. How does the mother relate to her baby through her own subjective, unconscious perspective as she negotiates her identification with her unborn baby and the stirring of her own - perhaps unmet - infantile needs? With reference to the work of Bowlby, Lake, Fairbairn and Winnicott, the day will interweave psychodynamic theory with biology to develop a greater sense of how our personalities began to evolve in-utero through a symbiotic dance with the mother's body.

Finally, there will be an opportunity to apply the learnings to clinical work in a choice of three workshops designed for more intimate discussion.


Professor Vivette Glover
Vivette Glover is Visiting Professor of Perinatal Psychobiology at Imperial College London. Her first degree was in Biochemistry at Oxford University, and she did her PhD in neurochemistry at University College London. She then moved to Queen Charlotte's Maternity Hospital, London. In more recent years she has applied her expertise in biological psychiatry to the problems of mothers and babies. Her research has shown the effects of the emotional state of the mother during pregnancy, both on the developing fetus and longer term on the child... Read more...

Dr Cherionna Menzam-Sills
Cherionna Menzam-Sills PhD is a prenatal and birth therapist, movement therapist and Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist. Drawing on over 40 years experience, her background includes a Ph.D. in Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, as well as having practiced as a dance/movement psychotherapist, occupational therapist, and bodywork/massage therapist. Passionate about pre- and perinatal psychology and therapy, she studied intensively for ten years with prenatal and birth therapy pioneers, William Emerson and Ray Castellino, including assisting Ray in his clinic for babies, children and families for 4 years... Read more...

Dr Giuliana Mieli
Giuliana Mieli, PhD, DClinPsy and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, after working in the first Mental Health Community Services in the 1970s, has been a consultant for 28 years in maternity wards in the National Health Service in Italy. Aside from clinical practice, she has dedicated herself to the psycho-education of medical and paramedical staff in Local Health Centres, and to training and supervising freshly graduated clinical psychologists, psychotherapy trainees as well as teachers, social workers, body therapist and other health professionals... More >>

Franklyn Sills
Having originally studied medical sciences, Franklyn Sills has a long history of training and clinical practice in both psychotherapy and craniosacral therapy. Co-founder in 1987 of the Karuna Institute, he lectures on Buddhist psychology, object relations, shock, trauma, pre-natal and birth psychology... More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £115 (SOLD OUT)
Self-funded x 2: £200 (SOLD OUT)
Organisationally-funded: £200 (SOLD OUT)
Under 25's: £70 (SOLD OUT)

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6.25 hours will be provided at the event

8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:00 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
15:30 Tea
17:15 End