About this Workbook

About this workbook:


There are a number of good workbooks available to people who seek help for their psychological or emotional problems. There are none for recognizing, and working with,

prenatal and birth events. This gap may be because there has been little recognition until more recently that human beings remember early painful experiences that affect them life

long. This workbook, Prenatal and Birth Memories: Working With Your Earliest Experiences to Help Your Life Today, was written to explain these kinds of early memories

that people have. It is recommended for those who have done some of their own personal work, and who notice that particular problems remain unresolved.

The prenatal and birth principles in this workbook primarily revolve around those developed by the early pioneers in the field of prenatal and birth psychology, Otto Rank, M.D.,

Stanislav Grof, M.D., Frank Lake, M.D., Thomas R. Verny, M.D., David B. Chamberlain, Ph.D., William Emerson, Ph.D., Wendy Anne McCarty, Ph.D., R.N., Ray Castellino, D.C.,

as well as dozens of clinicians who published cutting-edge articles about what their clients were telling them about their early memories. Additionally, this workbook also incorporates

some of what we know about client’s reactions to traumatic memories (i.e., anxiety) and treatment. This includes the critical need for safety for the individual who has suffered. It is

the position held in this workbook that both early and later traumas in a person’s life have a great deal in common, but with some important distinctions.

Finally, Prenatal and Birth Memories: Working With Your Earliest Experiences to Help Your Life Today offers the hope that within prenatal and birth memories are the answers to some of

the pressing questions about the origins of human behaviors.

Bobbi Jo Lyman, Ph.D.

January, 2007

About this book in BJ's words. She passed away in 2011.

I received my Ph.D. from the Fielding Graduate Institute at the age of 53. But my search for the origins of my own personal problems began when I was 13

years of age when I went from a slim, active child into an obese adolescent. At first my mother tried to limit my intake of calories but I would sneak food,

because I felt I just couldn’t live without having something in my stomach at all times. So, when her efforts failed she encouraged me to try other ways of

to “fix my problem.” First there was hypnosis, followed by fasting, and then a number of behavioral therapies. Yet none of these, nor countless other

traditional psychotherapies, worked to help me understand why I couldn’t go without food.

When I was a young adult on my own I continued my hopeless pattern by trying every kind of popular or “fad” diet or “guaranteed-to-work” exercise

program available. I was able to lose a few pounds but always put them back on again with an increasing feeling of failure, which eventually limited my

ability to try again. At one point I essentially gave up. The saving grace of my “try again-fail again” experiences was that it forced

me to search inward for answers. I became a voracious reader about any number of human problems and how psychology had attempted to treat them.

In the early 1970s I came across a book by Dr. Arthur Janov called The Primal Scream. I was captivated by the stories of patients who were trying to

release the painful feelings trapped inside of them. By that time I had been a musician on the road for the six years since graduating from high school and I

decided to go through the Primal Therapy program myself. The short story is that during this therapy I became absolutely clear how about how experience

from my birth had an enormous (and negative) influence on my life. It was not until many years later that I learned that the constant desire to keep my

stomach full began when I was in the womb when I knew that I if I didn’t get more nourishment I would die. That belief (“If I don’t eat, I’ll die”) drove my

life for decades. Yet there were still years ahead of my own personal work that would lead me to an even more complete understanding of what drove my

hunger. I describe some of these experiences throughout the workbook.

About BJ Lyman

By Marti Glenn, PhD, and Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD

Dr. Bobbi Jo Lyman passed away on May 4, 2011. For nearly two decades, she passionately devoted her life work to the field of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology (PPN) and the message that our earliest life experiences are of vital importance.

She willingly took on the most challenging jobs to help our young pre- and perinatal discipline mature and expand. She was the Editor of the APPPAH Journal, an APPPAH Board Member, Chair of the Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Program at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, and the Chair of the 2010 APPPAH International Congress.

Born Roberta Jo Pettit, she sometimes called herself "Bobbi Jo" and became affectionately known as "B. J." to family, friends, students, and colleagues. She was a student of life, a perpetual researcher and a supporter of all who crossed her path. Her career spanned over four decades and included musician, entertainer, psychologist, teacher, researcher, and writer.

B. J. was born September 28, 1946 in Rochester, New York. Her parents were George and Helen Pettit, who were both teachers and musicians, certainly a portent of things to come. When B. J. was a year old, they moved to Long Beach, California to be near her mother's family. B. J. attended the local schools and graduated from Wilson High School and, with two other girls, formed a band called the Pretty Kittens.

For five months in 1967, the band entertained the troops in Vietnam - singing, playing banjo and guitar. It was a time of high excitement, danger, hardship, and some close calls. Later B. J. formed another band and returned to Vietnam under the auspices of the Department of Defense. There are undoubtedly thousands of troops who served in Nam who remember her. In the years following her return, she travelled across the country singing as "Lady O" of Rock and Roll. She was compared with Janis Joplin and Minnie Riperton. And, in the book, A Piece of My Heart: The Stories of Twenty-Six American Women who served in Vietnam (Presidio Press, 1997), this compilation of the experience of the war in Southeast Asia devoted one chapter to B. J.'s two tours (1967-1971) as musician/entertainer to the troops.

In 1983, there entered a new and vital character in B. J.'s life. Kit Lyman came from Bremerton, Washington to visit his brother in Long Beach. They happened to be at the Marriott Hotel having a drink and the featured entertainment was - you guessed it - B. J. Pettit. Kit's brother says, "It was love at first sight." B. J. and Kit were married in the following year. Kit worked at the Bremerton Naval Shipyard and B. J. went back to school.

B. J. was an adventurer at heart and found herself back on the road in a new way. In 1984, she and Kit got Gold Wing Road motorcycles and traveled extensively. They were active members in the Gold Wing Association of Washington. B. J. became the Chapter B Director and their National Public Relations Director. One of her tasks was producing the annual talent show. She wrote and performed an original theme song for the group. In her spare time during rides, she would engrave her beautiful designs on the bikes of the members of the Gold Wings: A multitalented woman. She earned five degrees over the next decade:

* Associate of Arts degree from Olympia Community College

* Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Washington

* Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pacific Lutheran University (1991)

* Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from The Fielding Graduate University (1997)

* Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with Behavioral Health Specialization from Fielding (2000)

Her doctoral research was entitled "The Effects of Maternal Stressors on Behavioral Conditions Found in Human Newborns."

B. J. had a private practice from 1991 to 2003. She worked with children, adolescents, couples, families, and geriatric adults with presenting problems from mood and personality disorders to major mental illnesses and liaised with other professionals, physicians, lawyers, and school officials. …

A few words from Kate

I did not know BJ Lyman well, but we talked many times because I so wanted to go to the Santa Barbara Graduate School. I called her often, and we would talk. She was very supportive of my ideas and desires. She was pivotal to the growth of our field. I include her workbook here so her memory will live on. She wrote many meaning articles and wanted to undertake research studies. Long before current researchers, she studied and wrote about the impact of maternal stress on the unborn baby. We honor her here and the pioneer she was.

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