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The gaya method presentation


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This presentation describes The Gaya Method, created by the author, which encourages the emergence of creativity during the process of fertility, pregnancy and childbirth. It includes case studies of women who have utilized the method tools during their pregnancy and birth process. This research connects The Gaya Method with theoretical practical therapeutic approaches, and particularly as part of the fertility, pregnancy and childbirth field.

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The gaya method presentation

  1. 1. INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE The Arch of Arts in Health 2013 The Faculty of Medicine Technion, IsraelTHE GAYA METHOD - HEALING THROUGH CREATIVITY Emotional Support in the Processes of Fertility, Pregnancy and Childbirth Sarit Zeltzer M.A
  2. 2. THE GAYA METHODHealing Through Creativity Emotional Support in the Processes of Fertility, Pregnancy and Childbirth
  3. 3. The Gaya Methodencourages emotionalsupport through creativityas an essential toolin the journey towardchildbirth and parenthood.
  4. 4. Pregnancy is a process of changeEarly last century, research provedthat a state of mental stress andanxiety affects the progression oflabor (Read, 1987).Researches prove that in the processof pregnancy, due to physiologicaland psychological changes, occurs anemotional imbalance. Its known thatEmotional state has a significantinfluence on pregnancy and labordevelopment (Raphael- Lev, 1993;Northrop, 2000; Balaskas, 2004).According to prenatal psychology,Fetus development is influenced bythe mothers emotional and mentalcondition (Odent, 2006; Katzenelson,2007; Lupien, et al, 2009).
  5. 5. “The process of transformation from beinga woman to being a mother develops amind fundamentally different than it wasbefore, and enters into an unfamiliarexperience to those who are not mothers”(Stern, 2000, p. 12 ).Starting in the early stages of developmentin the womb, stress can have seriousnegative effects on the health of apregnant woman and her baby (Lupien, etal, 2009; Verny, 1984; Schwartz, 1984)Studies done with pregnant women in highrisk situations such as pre-eclampsia, highblood pressure and in breech presentation,found a direct relationship between thestate of high anxiety and physiologicalstate of the women (Northrop, 2000).
  6. 6. Pregnancy is an internalcreative process, yet creativityand the ability to be creativeas a balancing, encouragingand supportive quality isusually a neglected issueduring the physical processof pregnancy and birth.
  7. 7. The Gaya Method tools are rooted in therapeuticapproaches that encourage creativity in order to heal.
  8. 8. Creation is a process that enablesmaintaining a sense of control (knill, 2000).Creation is a communication channel inwhich internal impulses and instinctiveparts can be manifested and expressed out(Winnicott, 1962).
  9. 9. Through imagination and recreation, whenthinking becomes more imagery, symbolscontinue to appear, meaning to implementprocesses, often without many words, butin a concrete way (Jung, 1993).Creativity is what causes a person, morethan anything else, to feel that life is worthliving (Winnicott, 2010).
  10. 10. Pregnancy and birth as anopportunity for a changeA Woman’s ability to intuitively connect withemotions increases, as well as her motivationto learn, because there is a clear and focusedgoal towards birth. Pregnancy and birth are animportant time, a better opportunity, then at anyother time over a womans life, to make achange (Raphael- Lev, 2005; Northrop, 2000).
  11. 11. Emotional support throughcreativity during pregnancy Jung referred to the human ability to express an internal amorphous, experience outside in the real world, in a creative way, as a significant part of the process of transformation and healing (Chodorow, 1997). Images or symbols that express current situation and emotion can be observed by the pregnant woman from a different perspective then the one she was accustomed to before.
  12. 12. Birth is a spontaneous and instinctive bodily process. Anyattempt to control during birth according to prior thinkingonly interfere with the body function (Gross, 2005).A creative process that encourages spontaneous, authenticexpression of a bodily or emotionally necessity or desire, isimportant during pregnancy since this practice enables thewoman to have a sense of body control when the mind isrelaxed, and to create a new balance .
  13. 13. Research findings show thepositive impact of the use of artin therapy. A transference ofrealistic situations, such as fear,to the language of image, andartistic expression of the image,allows further processingexperience and relaxation(Shalev, 1987).The Gaya Method tools help toconnect between inneramorphous creative processes,and external concrete creationprocesses, between thought andemotion, dream and reality.
  14. 14. Encouragement of flexibility and the ability toimprovise during the pregnancy period inpreparation for labor will prepare the mother tothe encounter with the imaginary baby thatbecomes real after birth, as Stern (2000) refersto that possible conflict ; However, whenspecific expectation for something unpredictableto happen can cause frustration, intent for anevolving change as an essential part of the newidentity, can help to create a positive attitude andeven curiosity toward change.
  15. 15. "Women are more accessible to deeper processesand to what occurs in our inner unconscious world,accessibility and the possibility of self-consciousness it embodies, a re-evaluation ofidentity and growth, on the dangers of increasedlevel of anxiety; also because unresolved conflictsfrom childhood may rise to the surface„(Katzenelson, 2007, p. 22).The Gaya Method tools help develop the ability tomove from an external space of thought andknowledge to the internal space of emotions andsensations.
  16. 16. Northrop (2000) claims that "when we allow ourselves toget full emotional release, the body, mind and spirit freeand clear" (Northrop 2000, p. 61). creative tools enable aspontaneous expression of inner experience, apossibility to release and conceptualize a vague internalstate, by making it visible.Metric (2005) claims that labor is an intensive Conditionof acute imbalance, but that does not mean that traumawill occur. A woman who prepares herself for birth, withself-study and improvement of creative capacity of theresponse to the unknown in the birth, will find her pathmore easily.The Gaya Methods creative tools enable the processingof conditions and sensations within a ‘creation space‘.It helps to create a new balance within the imbalancedsituation.
  17. 17. Fear of pain, of the unknown and oflosing control, are natural fears thatwomen experience during thepregnancy process. Recognition ofthe internal creative resources, letswomen be more flexibile, open tochange and Strengthens theemotionalleading ability of birth on the pathtoward parenthood.Milner (2006) refersto the cooperation requiredbetween the conscious mind andthe unconscious mind incooperation with an unknown depthto create a work of art.In pregnancy and birth context,there is a need for a connectionbetween the unknown interior andthe known exterior in order to beopen to changes during birth andnew parenthood.
  18. 18. Creativity integrates Condition detection andattention to what occurs in the relationship inpresent time and adjustment and construction ofperception accordingly (Bohart, 1999, p. 300).Creative experience of expressingand processing feelings and thoughts,helps to create beneficial coping abilitywith the unfamiliar and unknownduring pregnancy, birth and later on.
  19. 19. Creative abilities such as spontaneity, flexibility(physical and of thought), together with the dedicationand investment in the experience, are important duringpregnancy and birth process for the woman to beconcentrated with the inner experience and actaccordingly to promote her birth.
  20. 20. The Gaya Methods toolsCreative expression enables the release of emotions andthoughts, and the discovery of empowering sources from within.Observation at information that arises from the subconscious. Selfacceptanse and change formed while in the act of creation, tocreate a new aproach, a new balance in the present time.
  21. 21. Creative Awareness This concept describes a development process,which slowly leads to a recognition of theexistence of creative empowering sources fromwithin and the ability to be spontaneous, whiledeveloping mindfulness quality. Birth is a physical, emotional and instinctiveprocess and those are usually the factors thatwill affect the labor progress, when the motherand the fetus are in good health. I created a spiral development model whichconsists of five modes that refer to the body,emotion and instinct factors. This modelindicates a process of a creative awerness andmind formation. The model aims to enable apregnant woman to be aware of her mental andemotional condition and develop her own pathtoward her babys birth and her own emotionalbirth as a mother. The spiral development modelhas five conditions that support each other andoften arise apart: Release, Discovery,Acceptance, Change, Being.
  22. 22. Knowledge circlesThe circle is used as a symbol for follow-on processes, in aperiodic motion such as the life circle. The purpose of thecreation of the knowledge circles is intended to illustrate ina logical manner the connection between circular circuitsof thought and knowledge, emotion and feeling, in order toallow connection and integration between knowledge thatcomes from outside and knowledge that comes from theinside. Moreover, this presents the ability to move betweenthe circles, to the inner space for focusing and intendedlistening.
  23. 23. Voice centeringThe power of voice componentsenables healing, connectionbetween mind and body needs.The voice components containthe healing medication(Newham, 2002).The ability to intuitively explore theVoice helps to focus the mind,releases the body, andencourages an Attentivemovement.
  24. 24. MovementMovement and voicepreliminary,spontaneously arises,enable the womanand her partner tomeet primaryunprocessed parts,as mode of copingduring childbirth.
  25. 25. VisualizationVisualisation or guided imagery, is actually a"conversation" with the subconsciousness ,when the conscious mind "rests". It is animportant dialogue that allows to relate toevents or past Memories which weresubconsciously seen as obstacles of achievingpresent and futuristic goals. (Epstein, 2000:Fanning, 1995).The virtues of guided imagery are now quiteapparent in different treatment techniques, aswell as practicing childbirth preparation andsupport during labor.
  26. 26. Visualization and PaintingNava noticed the roots of the tree duringthe visualisation practice and her ownspace at the foot of the tree where shecan rest. The painting was made duringearly pregnancy, and it helped her torecognize her changing needs during thisperiod.Gila, in her first pregnancy, was painting a tree.she identified the fear held in the trunk center, her abdomen.She described it as if she was Holding anxiety (painted in red)in both hands. As a result of her discovery it became possibleto create a change in her emotional holding,to find a way to release and relax.
  27. 27. Breathing and focusingNoa (fictitious name) experienced a positive first birth, but after birth hadexperienced depression that caused lack of function and a need of medicationtreatment. About two years after the birth she planned to be pregnant again;she and her husband were concerned due to the traumatic experience ofdepression. She wanted to be emotionally ready for the next pregnancy andbirth.A begining of a session includes conversation followed by a breathing exercisethat leads the woman, according to her needs, to be centerd. Following is adescription of a meeting with Noa.The breathing exercise enabled her to locate insuficient air supply in botharms. She felt lack of power, could associate the lack of power she felt in herarms with the lack of power to take care of two children. drawing 2, 30X30,pencil color on paper. Noa identified emptiness, felt the fear of engaging with a new child. Theprocess was gradual and gently guided her to create with colors a feeling ofemptiness. She painted a hollow tree, connected with her own sensation ofemptiness . As Noa was looking at her drawing, she discovered that the treelooked like a person figure with arms. The branches, she said, are the kids,while roots resemble the family. She needs to take care of herself with thenext child. I asked her to express it on the same paper. Noa added two treeson both sides of the tree she painted before. She said the tree on the right isfor technical support; the tree on the left is for mental and emotional supportfrom her partner and her parents. She realized at that point what she wantedto have, emotionally, physically and mentally. At this stage, attention throughbreathing exercises, regardless of the organic body structure, but through asense of internal areas, enabled Noa to discover the feeling of emptiness andthe way to express it. Most important is the ability to express what sheneeded in order to transform and to create a new balance in her condition.
  28. 28. Birth Stories. . .Tamar’s first birth“ Before the treatment I was really worried because I thought that guidedimagery and all kinds of exercises might embarrass me. Given that I am adancer and grasp myself as someone with a high physical awareness,I thought I could handle the pain with movement during labor and thoughttraditional childbirth preparation course is enough, but I was wrong. I do notthink I could cope with pain during labor without the help of Sarit. During thetreatment my husband and I practiced our voices together with movement inthe most comfortable way for both of us. When contractions arrived, mypartner and I expressed the sounds and moved together. He was the bestdoula for me with the guidance of Sarit.”
  29. 29. Mayas first birth"towards the middle of my first pregnancy I knew that I should prepare forchildbirth. I felt that the preparation should be both physical and emotional.I continued to swim and regularly practice yoga and came to Sarit with theintention to open creative channels in me-I wanted to paint. But what happenedin the meetings was more than painting. I talked about my fears and concerns,there was dancing, I moved as I wanted to intuitively move, I learned to use myvoice correctly and I found the places of creativity and freedom. I preparedmyself to cope with the labor pains througt the objections relieving andempowering of the flow and relaxation. Sarit was amazing and her tolerantattitude allowed her to accept my difficulties. She continued to travel with me anddirect me sensitively and exactly to birth. I had a wonderful birth and a powerfulplatform like I wanted, quick, without the epidural, I trusted my body, I was therelike an animal, with the body and the birth process.
  30. 30. Michal and Ron, experienced their first birth as traumatic, were wishingfor a corrective experience toward a second birth.Michal wrote: "while we came in order to decide whether to give birthat home or in a hospital, the process with Sarit became anunexpected double process, which was not possible in anotherframe.self introspective as well as a couple introspective....we were able tostrengthen the ability of organization and possession together.Process can lead to the finding of the places of relaxation andcreating a space of my own for birth and to some extent at all. Itallowed the development of the ability to look a little closer, tounderstand what I have - again in the context of childbirth, includingeveryday life. It hekped me to learn my limits and keep myself andmy energy better.The process allowed us to arrive to birth out of a clear choice andprepared, coordinated and want to be in this process together.
  31. 31. Sigals third birth story after two vacuum births:It was important to have a natural birth after two severe traumas from previous births. At theseventh month of my pregnancy I practices once a week, not so sure what to expect butcuriosity overcame fear and began to practice the Gaya Method. I can not say it was easy,what can you innovate? I read, I asked, I inquired. But from a meeting to meeting, Sarit led meto places I did not know before. "Your body knows what to do - you just have to let it„, Shereminded me every session. And between exercises, guided imagery, between writing out ofmovement and into the voices who taught me to play, I began to listen to the body.Contractions started at 07:00 in the morning, I sent the kids to school, I said goodbye to themwith love and got into the bath. In the water I began to concentrate in the process where it allbegins. At 08:30 I told my husband that we must go to the hospital, I yelled at him not to stopat traffic lights, and all the way closed my eyes and practiced what Sarit tried for two monthsto teach me ... to breathe, concentrate, be there. I growled softly, I assured myself (and myhusband) until we got to the delivery room. In 09:15 started pressure contractions and at 9:30 Iwas holding my amazing daughter Gal in my hands."
  32. 32. Sarit Zeltzer is an Art Therapist M.A. graduate of the LesleyUniversity (2012). She has studied the Anthroposophicalapproach to Art Therapy at the Tobias School of Art inEngland (2001). Sarit is a B.F.A. graduate of the BezalelAcademy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem (1992). Afterteaching Intuitive Creativity courses and workshops for 8years in Israel and abroad, Sarit has created the GayaMethod (2002). Sarit Zeltzer is working for more than 10years in her clinic with pregnant women and couples, givesworkshops in colleges on training courses for Doulas andchild birth instructors and lessons for childbirth professionalsin hospitals. More information about the Gaya Method canbe found at: