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About the International Society for Prenatal and Perinatal Psycholoy and Medicine e.V. (ISPPM)

We inform about the beginning of life

As members of the ISPPM we dedicate ourselves to the earliest phase of life which includes conception, pregnancy, early childhood – and their experience. Our goal is to sensitise, illuminate this topic and increase awareness  of  the earliest stage of life to begin with conception.

Against this background we offer comprehensive information as well as counseling offers and therapy offers for young adults, parents, people in training and students. Extensive knowledge is conveyed through literature, documentaries, education and retraining offers as well as through expert conferences and congresses inland and abroad.

We address people in health and social professions

These include midwives, doulas, doctors for gynecology and obstetrics as well as pediatricians, psychologists, specialists in psychotherapy (for adults and children), sociologists and educators in nurseries. Moreover this knowledge is of great importance for cultural studies and  health, family and social policy.

We combine practice with theory and research

Through therapeutic research, documentaries and self-awareness extensive interdisciplinary skill has been collected, reflected and published. The individual and cultural  circumstances and their effects on the child as well as further development are being examined and taken into account. We would like to disseminate important research results and faciliate research projects ourselves.


As a specialist, you can participate

In accordance with it’s statutes, the ISPPM maintains multiprofessional cooperation and dialogues. The goal of the ISPPM is to create awareness on the basic emotional, psychologial and physical needs of the unborn child among general public and in expert groups and, as a preventive measure, to fundamentally improve the birth culture in Germany and worldwide.

We cordially invite you to visit our congresses and to use our bibliography and contact options. We would be happy to inform you about the opportunities to participate or to become a member of the ISPPM.


Our philosophy

The ISPPM e.V. engages in the earliest stage of human development starting before conception and ending after birth.

The ISPPM comprehends this prenatal and perinatal phase of life as the first ecological situation as a human being, being inseparable with its mother and its enviroment in form of a continious dialogue on a physiological, social and transgenerational level.


The history of ISPPM e.V.

The “International Study community for Prenatal Psychology” (ISPP) was founded by Gustav Hans Graber (president of the ISPPM e.V. from 1971 to 1976) in Vienna on July 26. 1971. Based on psychoanalytically oriented models of prenatal psychology (Gustav Hans Graber, Igor Caruso, Friedrich Kruse), the theoretical and methdolical concepts were further developed by including devolopmental psychology (Sepp Schindler) and embryology (Erich Bechschmidt).

Link between psychology and medicine

Psychoneuroendocrinology of pregnancy and birth (Fredor-Freybergh) turned out to be the key link between psychology and medicine, which is why gynecologists, neonatologists, pediattricians and endocrinologists  increasingly turned towards the ISPP.  In accordance with the elaboration of primary-preventive concepts, the ISPP also opened up to the application-related professional groups, which especially included  midwives, birth preparers, social eduation workers and adult educators.

This development led to the expansion of the name, decided in 1986: “International Study-community for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine” (ISPPM). The development was also associated with the intensification of international contacts in particular with the “Association for Prenatal and Perinal Psychology and Health” (APPPAH) in the USA and the “Assoziazione Nazionale per l’Educazione Prenatale’ (ANEP) in Italy. Prenatal Psychology was publicised through international  congresses of the ISPPM, whose took place in several cities like Bad Gastein, Jerusalem, London, Krakau, Heidelberg, Budapest, Cagliary, Sydney and Moscow.

From 1971 to 2002, the institute for Psychology at the University of Salzburg continiously published research on prenatal psychology and cataloged further studies, which are accessible via the database for psychological literature “Psyndex” under the keyword “Prenatal Psychology”.

Re-establishment of the „International organisation for Pre- und Perinatal Psychology and Medicine e.V.“ as a non-profit association

The re-establishment of the ISPPM as a non-profit association took place in 2010. The organisation sees itself as an international association with a similar orientation. The official name is the English version “International Society for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM e.V.)”.


Since 2019 – Amara Eckert, Germany. Reinforcing the international networking
2016 – 2019 Paula Diederichs, Germany. Aftermath of birth culture for the experience of women and children
2010 – 2016 Sven Hildebrandt, Dresden, Germany. Paradigm shift within obstetrics leading to a „Relationship-led birth culture“
2005 – 2010 Rupert Linder, Birkenfeld, Germany: Combining psychotherapeutic approaches with practical support for pregnant women in the gynecological practice
1995 – 2005 Ludwig Janus, Heidelberg, Germany: Collection und structuring of the field of knowledge
1992 – 1995 Rudolf Klimek, Krakau, Poland. Connection to international obstetrics and neonatology
1983 – 1992 Peter G. Fedor-Freybergh, Stockholm, Sweden. Link between medicine and psychology. Formation of the ISPPM into an international specialist society
1976 – 1983 Sepp Schindler, Salzburg, Austria. Assistance of empirical work on prenatal psychology and connection to psychoanalysis
1971 – 1976 Gustav Hans Graber, Bern, Switzerland:  ISPP founded in 1971.
Establishing scientific basics of prenatal psychology







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