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Womb Twin Survivors

The Dream of the Womb

Pre and perinatal psychotherapists maintain that experiences in the womb and around birth leave some kind of impression in the mind of the foetus that remains throughout life. (Chamberlain 2007) These impressions are timeless, for there is no sense of time or chronology in the womb. They are formless, for they are formed before cognitive functioning is fully developed. They are confused, because there is no context within which they can be understood. They cannot be described as “memories” exactly, so I have called this mix of vague impressions, feelings, beliefs and attitudes the “Dream of the Womb.” It is my belief that the process of self understanding cannot be complete without some attempt to unravel the details of one's own particular Dream of the Womb. The re-enactment of a “foetal mode of being” in psychotherapy has already been described. (Ploye 2006)

Until these vague impressions are given some cognitive context, they can only be expressed non-verbally. Until this is understood, the psychology of the individual is driven by the need to keep the Dream alive. These impressions are acted out in relationship, in terms of one's sense of self, in various moods and feelings that are unrelated to the real situation, and in maladaptive behaviours. Only when the Dream is contextualised and fully interpreted in terms of a series of real events taking place in real time chronology, does the individual awaken from the Dream to the reality of their born life. This effect is particularly noticeable in the case of a “womb twin survivor.”

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