Second Level: Birth Story Specialist-Apprenticeship
Witness the power of transformation as birth storytellers find the hidden meaning in their experience.
1. 12 Weeks: Fill your Birth Story Medicine Cabinet
Mid-January to mid-April 2024 (Dates/time TBA)
Weekly live-Zoom Instruction, Demonstration, Return-demonstration
2. Lead twelve sessions (or more) with classmates and volunteer storytellers. Birth story work requires intelligence, intuition, and creativity because no two storytellers or birth stories are alike. So, with every session, while honing your skills you are seeing judgment, blame, shame, and regrets transform into whole-seeing, self-acceptance, and peace of mind.
3. Personal, supportive mentoring in small case-study cohorts.
4. A 5-day Retreat to marinate in the soulful, experiential, most creative and ceremonial aspects of our work, and to break bread with the community you’ve come to know on Zoom
Old and New Ways of Learning
Readings, videos, demonstration and return demonstration on live calls, small group case study, and being mentored in supportive supervision from a birth story Magician.
Theories are informative and exciting, but the real Teacher comes when you dare to wobble or fail by trying new things and leading live sessions. To understand this Work, you cannot just take notes in class. You must be ready to lead weekly birth story sessions with parents and birth people.
What you will learn:
Upon completion of your apprenticeship, what you will have learned both in theory and application, and about yourself, exceeds what can be listed here. But here are a few of the skills you will cultivate by the end of this course. You will be able to:
· Lead the session, maintaining steady, patient, focused attention.
· Remember that everything is story and that stories are alive and evolving—even when we do nothing or don’t know what we are doing.
· Know when the storyteller is motivated and receptive to change work
· (Once your brain version is complete…) See possibilities beyond the problem and the mythic story beneath the medical story
· Having gathered initiation myths, fairytales, symbols, and metaphors, able to choose one that aligns with what is needed—and “turn a story”
· Suggest custom-designed practices or personal rituals as homework to take the change work home and into the future.
· Trust and tap into the vast unlimited unconscious pool of imagination, instead of overthinking or becoming habitual in approach.
· Identify and utilize (ever-changing) archetypes, Story Gates; symptoms of the birth story virus and birth story morphing, agreements; limiting beliefs, what’s working, what’s upside down, sudden changes in affect, and what’s there but not yet seen.
· Know when a session calls for inner work, art work, or clarification through practical information.
· Distinguish between authentic empathic acknowledgment and cheerleading.
Upon Graduation, What Will Be in Your Birth Story Medicine Cabinet?
Ancient and modern knowledge, methods, teachings, and remedies that create lasting change a birth storyteller’s perceptions and beliefs—from disillusionment, blame, shame—to finding mercy, meaning, and even a mythic version of what happened.
Examples of Medicine Modules for Healing Birth Stories
You will savor ten juicy lessons detailing when to use, how to present, case study examples, demonstration, and practice. Here are a few examples:
1. Practical information or explanations about birth and birth in our culture. Distinguishing the need for clarification versus inner work.
2. Identifying and expanding, loosening, and changing limiting beliefs
3. Scaling, the underestimate superpower
4. When to be indirect vs. direct: the wisdom of Milton Erickson
5. Your “brain version”: flipping from problem- to solution-focused thinking and speaking
Learn special considerations for:
· Fathers or partners
· Witnesses (moral injury)
· Follow up sessions
· When storytellers are pregnant again, changing the story they are bringing to birth
· Small groups
· PTSD, differentiating birth shock and conflict from ptsd
· Recognizing postpartum depression and mood disorders
Finally, let's put the cherry on top of this Apprenticeship!
After we have gathered and hunted together for five months, we will come from every direction to retreat together and go even deeper into the Work. With uninterrupted time, we will build connections between inklings, impressions, viewpoints, experiences--and one another--for the community of birth story specialists is a community of visionaries, poets, artists of the spirit, and pilgrims.
Zoom has positively changed the way we can learn and connect worldwide. And yet, to experience and understand the old ways of awaking through storytelling, art-making, dreaming, ceremony, and rituals--we must be empty and ready during Retreat to meet at dawn, by rippling water or candlelight, and in nature be enfolded and renewed.
The final invitation, perhaps even a Task, of your apprenticeship is not learning more approaches and theories, but to withdraw from busy life and mind... to complete personal inner work, to honor your transitions from wounding to healing, and from apprentice to professional birth story specialist. Before you cross this invisible threshold and begin your work in service, join this small band of your peers, dreamers who dream that birth is still a journey of initiation, and mentors, elders, and Magicians are still working secretly.
Early to Mid-April (dates and location TBA) (possibly Austin, Texas)
Our Mission & Vision
It is BIRTH STORY MEDICINE’s vision to raise the consciousness of birth as a journey of initiation and bring attention to the emerging personal ritual of pregnancy, postpartum, and self-care for birth workers: Making an appointment with a “birth story specialist” to complete themselves, their learning, and journey of initiation.
Upon successful completion of the Second Level,
We want to honor you with a beautiful Certificate of Completion & Competency
(it is not certification)
With this recognition and your new skills, you’ll be able to:
Market yourself as a Birth Story Specialist trained at the Birth Story Medicine Birth Story School and draw people wanting to heal and transform their birth stories to your services.