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 phases of human life: conception, pregnancy, birth, early childhood – and their experience. Our aim is to sensitize,illuminate and to create awareness for the earliest stage of life – beginning with conception.

Against this background we offer comprehensive information as well as counseling and therapy offers for young adults and parents, apprentice and students. Extensive knowledge is conveyed through literature, documentation, training and further education offers as well as specialist conferences and congresses in Germany and abroad.

Further we address people in health and social professions.

These include midwives, doulas, doctors for gynecology and obstetrics as well as pediatric and adolescent medicine, psychologists, specialists in psychotherapy (for adults and children), sociologists, educators, educators in crèches and day care centers. Furthermore this knowledge is of great importane for cultural studies and health, family and social policy

We combine practice with theory and research

Through therapeutic practice, research, documentation and self-awareness, extensive, interdisciplinary knowledge has been gathered, reflected on and published over the course of more than 90 years. The respective individual and cultural circumstances and their effects on the child and its further development are examined and taken into account. We want to disseminate research results that are important for our field and promote research projects ourselves.

As a specialist, you can participate

According to its statutes, the ISPPM maintains interdisciplinary dialogues. The aim of all activities of the ISPPM is to create awareness among the general public and in specialist circles for the basic emotional, psychological and physical needs of the unborn child and to use this to fundamentally improve the pregnancy and birth culture in Germany and worldwide.

We sincerely invite you to attend our congresses and to use literature references and contact options. We would love to inform you about the opportunities of participation or membership in 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.

Based on a holistic view of human development, the ISPPM advocates overcoming the dualistic body-soul principle. This holistic approach is also expressed in the interdisciplinary composition of the members of the ISPPM.

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.)”. The official name of the association is the english version: “International Society for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Medicine (ISPPM e.V.)”.


Since 2019 – Amara Eckert, Germany:  Reinforcing 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: Advancement of empirical work on prenatal psychology and connection to psychoanalysis
1971 – 1976 Gustav Hans Graber, Bern, Switzerland: foundation of the ISPP in 1971.
establishment of the scientific fundamentals for prenatal psychology

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