Thomas R. Verny is a psychiatrist, writer, and academic. He has previously taught at Harvard University, University of Toronto, York University, Toronto, St. Mary’s University, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. In 1974 Verny wrote his first book, Inside Groups, for McGraw Hill. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (with John Kelly), Summit Books, 1981 followed this. The Secret Life of the Unborn Child has become an international bestseller published in 27 countries. The Secret Life has changed the pregnancy and childbirth experience for millions of mothers and fathers.
In 1983 Verny founded the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA, renamed APPPAH—Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health – in 1995), and served as its president for eight years. In 1986 he launched the APPPAH Journal – the Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (JAPPAH) (Human Sciences Press, New York), which he edited from its inception until 1990.
His most recent book, The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies, was published by Pegasus, New York and Oxford in 2021 continues his exploration of very early memory and the mind. In this work, Verny sets out to redefine our concept of the mind and consciousness, compiling for the first time, research that points to the mind’s ties to every part of the body and the intelligence of cells. The mind, Verny holds, is fluid and adaptable, embodied but not unskilled.
In addition to eight books, Verny is the author or co-author of 47 scientific papers and articles. He has participated in more than 250 newspaper, radio, and TV interviews, including appearances with Donahue, Merv Griffin, Oprah, Sally Jessy Raphael, Barbara Walters, and Unsolved Mysteries. Vision TV, Toronto, Canada, produced a 15-minute special on Verny and his book, Gifts of Our Fathers, in 1996.
Verny’s books, professional publications, and the founding of the PPPANA and the Pre- and Perinatal Journal, have established him as one of the world’s leading authorities on the effect of the prenatal and early postnatal environment on personality development. He has lectured and given workshops on Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, South America, and Southeast Asia. In 2004 Mothering Magazine, in recognition of Verny’s contributions to the field of parenting and child-rearing, named him one of their “living treasures.” In 2005 the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute bestowed on Verny a Doctorate of Humane Letters (DHL).
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- The Angel’s Game: A Psychological Thriller
- Shadow Of The Wind
- Olive Kitteridge
- The Schopenhauer Cure: A Novel
- The Embodied Mind: Understanding the Mysteries of Cellular Memory, Consciousness, and Our Bodies
- The Secret Life of the Unborn Child: How You Can Prepare Your Baby for a Happy, Healthy Life
Resources I read/listened to in the preparation of this interview:
- Prenatal development: Recording and contextualizing the science of embryos, development, and reproduction
- Where did you grow up?
- What is your connection with Vienna?
- What do you mean by mental breakdown? What are some of the steps that someone can take if somebody is going through this?
- What does your personal support system look like? Who do you go to?
- Could you tell a story of a French man and a healthy 16 year old German girl from your new book?
- What benefits people can get out of your new book?
- Can you elaborate on pre-born memory?
- What are the practices to release negative memories from the unconscious?
- Do you think that the unconscious trauma is coming from the time when a human wasn’t even born when that human baby was in a woman’s womb?
- Dr. Thomas states that stress related emotions experienced by the pregnant women throughout pregnancy are physiologically transmitted to the child. The stress hormones that travel through the pregnant woman’s blood stream. I would love for us to explore more on this aspect of your work in the next few minutes, please. Can you elaborate more on this?
- What is the secret life of an unborn child and how can parents do a good job to bring a healthy child into this existence?
- If somebody starts saying continuously that I’m feeling depressed, I’m feeling depressed. Are you saying that our mind will start to believe that?
- What does your work mean for brain science and the upcoming future?
- What are your favorite book recommendations that you either have gifted the most, or have impacted you in a positive way?
- What is the impact you want to leave on this world?
- and much more!
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