Foundation Classes Switzerland
A detailed introduction to the physiologic and psychologic consequences of perinatal and prenatal trauma and shock, Including various resolution, integration, releasing and repatterning techniques.
In each of the six classes, basic facilitation techniques are taught with an emphasis on safety and empathy. In all classes confidentiality and other ground rules are agreed to in order to permit the privacy, vulnerability, and support necessary for this kind of work. After students have undertaken adequate research regressions, they will be encouraged to move into repatterning regressions and resourcing projects to help them be free from old behavior patterns and psychological limitations.
The last day of each class is devoted integration, debriefing, emphasizing resources, and preparing students to move forward with new self-awareness and increased consciousness.
Class 1: Stage 1 of Birth
Devoted to the exploration of early birth trauma, this class is best understood after taking an Introduction Class. Following the pioneering work of Sills and Emerson, the class focuses on the confirmation of each student’s bodily posture during the beginning of birth (“the lie side”) as well as locating and discussing the significance of where on the body and cranium deep somatic impacts were molded (trauma “conjunct points” and “conjunct pathways”). Somatic biology of the perinate’s body, especially the cranium, is explained in the context of the initiation of birth and the baby’s environment relative to the mother’s uterine contractions, her cervix, and her pelvic inlet. The fetal cranium is typically one inch larger in diameter than the pelvic inlet/outlet and considerable somatic and psychological impacts are visited upon the baby during the birth process.
Basic psychological consequences from Stage 1 will be taught, including those related to how the baby deals with stress and compression while the cervix is still closed, and next, what happens as it is being ejected from its environment. We will cover what it is like moving, under enormous pressure and pain, into the unknown, and discuss how these early experiences set up templates for how we deal with stress, pressure and pain later in our lives. How we move into and initiate projects can be an echo of this first big project. The brain is nearly at its peak rate of forming axons and dendrites between the neurons at this vulnerable time, so deep and myriad
psychologic and neurologic patterns are created.
Medical interventions such as manual rupturing of membranes, maternal confinement, constant fetal monitoring, induction of birth through the use of drugs such as pitocin are often experienced during this stage. These interventions leave their mark on the developing psyche and neurology of the perinate, and will be discussed in overview form in this class.
As everyone’s individual experience varies, each student will undertake various research
“regressions” (an experience where feelings from the body are allowed to come forward, sometimes in the form of body “memories,” in order to allow each student to begin to understand what their birth might have been like). Experiential exercises will help students realize what they went through as birthing babies, and will also not only help students have empathy for themselves, but help them understand how many basic behavior patterns have (sometimes semi-consciously and unconsciously) been programmed.
Class 2: Stage 2 of Birth
Each of the subsequent classes on birth follows much the same format as that established in the first class. In the Stage 2 class we begin with the description of the somatic biology of the baby’s cranium, and what must be undertaken for the birth to proceed. Stage one ends when the baby’s progress is halted by the ischial tuberosity bones (the sits bones) of the mother. Humans are the only mammals that have to rotate their heads to be born, and along with this necessity come considerable challenges on a physical level. Each of the four basic maternal pelvic types is described in this class. Depending upon the pelvic types of the mother and the depth of descent of the baby into the pelvis, various Stage 2 or rotation styles result: normal (anterior rotation), posterior rotation, zigzag process, corkscrew, and sometimes “turtling.” These early and original experiences create postural and movement patterns as well as psychological consequences.
Although Stage 2, as defined by Sills and Emerson, is usually the shortest of the birth stages, the psychological consequences are multiple. Some of the psychological consequences examined will include: how we make decisions, how we evaluate consequences and thereby make choices, relationships between fear (doubt) and commitment, balance issues, orientation issues, and how pain confusion and disorientation affects our connectedness to intuition and purpose.
Often mothers begin to experience more pain at this stage and sometimes ask for pain relief. Babies, who are most likely suffering even more than the mothers are often not considered during the dosage calculations and administration of epidurals, anesthesia, analgesia, and other medications. These interventions to the birth process tend to truncate or eliminate altogether prenatal bonding, and the mother’s ability to be present with or connected to her baby during the birth process. The psychological consequences of these interventions will be discussed in overview during this class.
As with all of the classes in the Foundation course, students will undertake research and repatterning regressions through experiential exercises and individual processes.
Class 3: Stage 3 of Birth
Stage 3 of birth is the final stage while the baby’s cranium and body are still inside the mother’s body. Physically, it is still a time of great pressure and the baby is often exhausted and sometimes even has a reduced oxygen supply. The somatic biology of the baby’s orientation is described, including: the conjunct points on the frontal bone of the cranium as it collides with the sacrum of the mother; the conjunct point at the occiputal/atlas area of the cranium as it is compressed by the pubic sympysis; and the sternum as it conjuncts and slides over the lumbo-sacral promontory.
The middle of stage to the end of stage three is usually when intra-corporeal interventions are most likely to occur, including not only the administration of drugs but activities such as the application of forceps, vacuum extraction, manual and digital manipulations and suction. These processes are over-used when true medical necessity is evaluated, and certainly when the psychological consequences are considered. The processes are invasive to the baby’s birth process, interrupting to the baby’s internal rhythm, depleting the baby’s internal reserves and impacting the psyche. An introductory overview of these processes is included in this class.
Stage three has its own set of psychological consequences including endurance issues, templates for how (or whether) we are able to complete projects, and finally, issues about how we come into the world and how we thereafter present ourselves. All of these psychological consequences, and more, will be discussed.
As usual, the students will explore their own relationships to this birth stage with research and repatterning regressions.
Class 4: Stage 4 of Birth
As if the radical change in environment and biologic function is not impressive enough, we are usually met with all kinds of painful interventions in the moments immediately after we are born. This class describes how we move from a uterine-dwelling prenate to a neonate suddenly needing to breath, eat and defecate on our own in a louder, brighter, dryer, tactfully more stimulating world. During this stage, which ought to be primarily about tenderness, empathy and bonding, babies are often met with needle stabs, invasive suction tubes, jelly smeared into the eyes, rough handling and scrubbing, pre-mature cutting of the cord, weighing, measuring, probing physical evaluations, and, unfortunately, isolation form the parents.
As one can imagine, when the bonding stage is invaded by institutional brutality it can deeply affect the baby’s basic orientation toward contact, intimacy, trust, and self-esteem. Stage 4 impacts are usually mitigated and reduced by natural or home births, but still exist. Stage 4 impacts can last for days or weeks in intensive care units or plastic tubs in the case of premature babies or babies who have had physical damage (sometimes caused by the medical interventions themselves). All of these impacts have been shown to have psychological consequences that can last a lifetime, or until they are recognized and resolved.
In this class the physical impacts to the baby are described, and then the psychological consequences are delineated. Individual research regressions are undertaken to determine one’s own impacts and resultant behavior patterns, then repatterning regressions are done.
Class 5: Prenatal Stages Overview
Gamete Journeys to Implantation
In this, the first prenatal class, we begin at the beginning, describing the separate journeys of the egg and sperm. Conception, our own personal “big-bang” is covered, and then we follow the blastocyst down the fallopian tube, its “fall” or “flight” into the uterus, its “hatching” out of the zona pelucida, and finally its implantation journey. These stages are first described from the perspective of cellular biology and early embryology. This didactic aspect of the class creates a structure from which the students are supported to explore their own deep pathways toward birth.
Each of these stages manifest substantial and diverse psychological consequences. Long before a brain or nervous system are in place, archetypical and biologic processes impose formidable impacts upon the organism that will become a human being. These are the most vulnerable of times for human life. Medical texts explain that just the stage of implantation results in prenatal mortality in 33% to 60% of conceptions.
After completing the birth stages classes, students are ready to move deeper into the origins of their emotional, spiritual, and psychological formation, and the prenatal stages classes are filled with archetypal and soulful experiences, sometimes even “memories” of what felt like life and death struggles. These prenatal classes are intended only to overview the early stages which are so profound and formative. So much content arises in each stage that subsequent intermediate and advanced courses are designed to support students who are interested in deeper and more thorough self-examination.
Students will all do experiential research to these stages by participating in exercises designed to experientially somaticize what has been taught with slides and diagrams. After these group exercises are undertaken to each of the important stages, students are usually drawn to do individual research in specific stages that resonate with their own internal primal impulse at the time of the class.
Class 6: Prenatal Stages Overview
Post-Implantation, Discovery, 2nd and 3rd trimesters
Again, an overview course covering multiple prenatal stages, this class is the final class in the Foundation Course. It covers the cellular biology, some basic embryology, and touches on the psychological consequences of the several stages occurring between implantation and birth. Stages emphasized in this class include: post-implantation, pre-discovery, discovery, post discovery, 2nd trimester, and 3rd trimester.
As with Class 5, students participate in group and individual exercises in order to become educated and informed by the multitude of psychological impacts. The final day of this class is devoted to integration of the entire course, individual support, homework and suggestions for each student, resources, and finally a ceremony where each student will be recognized and receive a Certificate of Completion for the Foundation Course. Any student completing the Foundation Course will be entitled to audit, on a preferential basis, any of the Intermediate and Advanced courses, or should a graduate of the Foundation Course desire, the full complement of Upper Level Courses in a sequential order may be taken for further Certification.
Each class will be augmented with handouts, slides, and diagrams. At least two co-teachers or teachers in training will assist Karlton’s classes with a balance of gender. Sometimes Karlton’s classes will be alternatively taught by antoher lead teacher with two co-teachers and a balance of gender. Sometimes guest speakers or apprentices will participate in certain classes to further support the students. As a rule, all participation in exercises or sharing information or personal feelings or personal circumstances shall be optional. There are no forced exercises and the regressions are designed to be driven internally by each student’s body feeling and own psyche rather than externally induced. Each student is invited to ask for whatever is needed to ensure an environment of safety and empathy.