Prenatal, Birth & Attachment Clinic

Preventing & resolving early childhood trauma

 
 
 

Clinic

We offer therapeutic services for preventing and resolving trauma during pregnancy, birth and postpartum for marginalized families. We support people suffering from prenatal or postpartum depression or PTSD and alleviate relationship challenges between parents. By supporting healthy early developmental patterns we reduce behavioral and relationship issues later in life, intervene in the transfer of intergenerational trauma,  and decrease the likelihood of chronic disease and addiction.

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Our Approach to Care

We focus on prenatal, birth, attachment and intergenerational patterns because we focus on healing root causes. The primal experiences of our lives, particularly the preverbal experiences of conception, gestation, birth, infancy and early childhood imprint onto our beings and lay down a foundation and scaffolding that shape our lives.

We incorporate Somatic Experiencing®, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy, Prenatal, Birth & Attachment Therapy, applied attachment theory, polyvagal theory, autonomic nervous system physiology, acupressure, Polarity Therapy, other somatic modalities to offer a naturalistic approach to the resolution and healing of birth and relational trauma. 

Vision & Mission

 

Our Vision

Our integrative therapeutic group practice offers care to families during the prenatal and postpartum time and adults who have experienced challenges in their early life. We work with families and adults of all income-levels and of diverse backgrounds, those at risk of marginalization, and people impacted by generational and modern social fragmentation.

This care fits into the framework of Complementary Alternative Medicine (CAM) and is offered alongside midwifery, obstetrics and pediatrics. Our focus is to prevent and resolve trauma in birth, build and enhance bonding and attachment, mitigate the impacts of chronic stress, and support resiliency.

Treatment reduces rates of complications (Early Childhood Adversity and Pregnancy OutcomesAdverse Childhood Experiences are Associated with Spontaneous Preterm Birth: A Case-Control Study), repairs disruptions in the bonding and attachment process, alleviates postpartum depression, supports breastfeeding, and supports lifelong health.

Additionally, it is preventative in nature: intervening in the transfer of intergenerational trauma (Maternal Emotions and Human Development), alleviating relationship challenges between parents (The Effect of the Transition to Parenthood on Relationship Quality: An Eight-Year Prospective StudyBuilding the sound marital house: An empirically-derived couple therapy), and decreasing the likelihood of chronic disease (When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress) and addiction (In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction).

 
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"We all come into a human body with the innate ability to hard-wire our brain for secure attachment, and health in our system that is seeking to be our authentic self."

— Myrna Martin, MN, RCC, RCST, international teacher and therapist

 

Our Mission

Access

Reduced rates for systemically oppressed families and those that can’t otherwise access this care.

Clinical

Therapeutic services for preventing and resolving trauma during pregnancy or birth, we support people suffering from prenatal or postpartum depression and PTSD. By supporting healthy early developmental patterns we reduce behavioral and relationship issues later in life (Early Childhood Adversity and Pregnancy Outcomes).

Prevention

Lowering the risk of stress-based addiction and chronic disease.

Education

Supporting new families with childbirth education and parenting skills, particularly in infancy, i.e. breast/chest feeding, sleep issues, colic/fussiness, overwhelm, supporting a baby with health issues, prematurity or significant time in the NICU.

Mentorship

Education and supervision for interns learning to support families to prevent and resolve trauma in the prenatal and postpartum period.

Referrals

Other providers can refer patients/clients for specialized care, e.g. midwives, obstetricians, nurses, pediatricians, educators/teachers, lactation consultants, craniosacral therapists, etc.

 

About Us

 
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Elsa Asher, MS, CD(DONA)

Executive Director, Co-Founder, Practitioner

Elsa is a prenatal, birth and attachment somatic therapy practitioner, trained by Myrna Martin in her 700-Hour 3 year practitioner training; biodynamic craniosacral therapist, trained by Anna and John Chitty in their 700-Hour practitioner training; womb surround birth process workshop facilitator; Ancestral Healing practitioner, trained by Dr. Daniel Foor of Ancestral Medicine; DONA certified birth and full-spectrum doula; Narrative Medicine professor; workshop facilitator; and ritual facilitator, ordained as a Kohenx. Elsa holds a Masters of Science degree in Narrative Medicine from Columbia University, is an Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health Educator, Mentor and Board Member; teaches at Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine and Columbia University; and is currently in the advanced bodywork training Body into Being with Ray Castellino and Anna Chitty. Elsa's people are Hebrew people from Ukraine, Turkey, Spain, and the land that is now known as Israel/Palestine, Sami from Sapmi (Northern Scandinavia), English, Scot-Irish, and native to Cherokee/Chickasaw land. Elsa was born on Duwamish land (Seattle, Washington) and lives on Ohlone land (Berkeley, California).

Email: elsa@prenatalbirthandattachmentclinic.com
Phone: 210.413.5029

 
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Chanti Smith, CPM, LM, SEP

Assistant Director, Co-Founder, Advanced Practitioner

Chanti is a midwife; advanced prenatal, birth and attachment therapy practitioner, trained by and assistant to Ray Castellino and assistant to Myrna Martin in her 3 year training; womb surround facilitator; somatic experiencing® practitioner; holistic pelvic care® practitioner; prenatal yoga and embodied anatomy yoga teacher; massage therapist specializing in biodynamic craniosacral therapy, acupressure and body mind centering®; infant massage instructor; lactation specialist; and western trained herbalist. Chanti is also an Association for Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health {APPPAH} Mentor, Trainer, and Educator. Chanti is committed to bringing perinatal psychology into birthing communities through teaching workshops and professional education, and supporting families and individuals locally, and globally via online sessions and offerings.

Email: chanti@prenatalbirthandattachmentclinic.com
Phone: 510.432.8181

 
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Joel Decker, MFT#50087, SEP

Clinical Director, Advanced Practitioner

Joel is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Somatic Experiencing® Practitioner. He has a passion for helping individuals, couples, and families recover from developmental and inter-generational trauma; allowing for more expressions of love and their life purpose.

He has facilitated men’s groups for eight years with a focus on stress resilience, building community, career, and emotional depth. He has worked as a client-centered therapist and collective member of the Berkeley Free Clinic, a psychotherapist at the Jewish Family and Children’s Services, a street outreach counselor for homeless youth at SUK, a classroom milieu therapist at the Berkeley Albany YMCA therapeutic preschool, and a somatic psychotherapist in private practice in the Bay Area. He offers supervision to MFT associates on the path to licensure and consultation to students in the Somatic Experiencing training.

His body-oriented approach is informed by Peter Levine’s Somatic Experiencing®, Kathy Kain’s Somatic Resilience, Ray Castellino’s pre and perinatal therapy, and Anna Chitty's approach to Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy. He assists the Somatic Experiencing® training in the US and in Australia. He is a clinical member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT) and the Associated Bodywork & Massage Professionals (ABMP).

Email: joel@prenatalbirthandattachmentclinic.com
Phone: 510.229.9765