Film Review: Journey To Be Born

by Steven Raymond

Journey To Be Born: An Introduction To Pre & Perinatal Psychology is an easy film for me to review because I have seen it somewhere close to twenty-five times and shown it to more than 300 people.

With Barbara Findeisen as writer and narrator, and Sarah Fisk as first time Producer/director, Journey To Be Born stands out to me as the finest film I have seen on experiential therapy and birth consciousness. I feel that the significance of this film can be best understood by remembering the origins of our association, which was founded most essentially out of the need bring further understanding about the psyche of the unborn child. Though not all-inclusive, it can be fairly said that PPPANA is a very cross-disciplinary association of therapists and consciousness researchers on the one hand, and direct health care givers and educators on the other. And though we are all joined in a strong and common social purpose, I've come to realize that many of the direct care givers don't really understand what therapists mean when they talk about "birth consciousness", and are uncertain about these reported memories of birth. This isn't difficult to understand because if you haven't experienced your own birth memories, it can all sound just a little bit weird. Nonetheless, PPPANA was founded by therapists trying to make sense out of the apparent birth memories that were coming up in their practices. As Barbara once said to me, "Let's not forget that the third 'P' in 'PPPANA' stands for 'Psychology'."

My own involvement in PPPANA began this way. In my private therapy practice, I have worked with a few hundred adult clients with a variety of life issues. One asks if birth memories in psychotherapy are "real" or "not real." My experience has been that prenatal, birthing and bonding experiences that are revealed in therapy are based upon the reality of the client's past. A few details may be wrong, but the underlying emotional truth always seems accurate.

In Journey To Be Born, Barbara shows us many examples of clients in actual birth regression therapy interspersed with her fine narration and camera presence. Barbara interweaves her footage of birth regression therapy with discussions and film of various phases of the human reproductive cycle in a way that gives the viewer an easy perception of the relationship between birth trauma and the adult psyche. With one or two very minor exceptions the production values of this film are excellent, and has a PBS documentary style and quality. The only criticism I have of this film is that it has not received a national airing.

I can only give Journey To Be Born the strongest possible endorsement. Direct care givers should see this film as a way of really understanding what consciousness researchers mean when they talk about birth memories in therapy. Birth regression therapists of all kinds will enjoy this film, and you will also find it a useful adjunct in your efforts to communicate your work to the public. Available in VHS, $43.00 postpaid. STAR Foundation, 3960 W. Sausal Lane, Hcaldsburg, CA 95448

This article was from the Spring 1988 issue of Pre- and Peri-Natal Psychology Newsletter

Return to APPPAH Article List