Course Graduates Share Their Experiences of B.O.T

Tami Tessler, a certified nurse-midwife, shares:

 Keren Gadassi's B.O.T. course has introduced me to a new world of experience, which has since continued to evolve. I have begun paying attention to the quality of my listening – how curious am I, how I listen, and how this impacts the person I am listening to. As a woman and a midwife who likes to be part of a process and part of a larger whole, this is especially important to me. At the birthing center I founded in collaboration with my colleague Ofrit Peck, we meet women during different stages of their pregnancy and accompany them during the delivery and often for long periods after the birth.

We often meet women experiencing physical and emotional challenges, and sometimes feel that we were not trained to attend to these issues and that our holistic model of treatment raises various questions. For instance – what therapeutic tools do we have? How to approach the emotional issues that surface in almost every meeting? Is the woman seeking our services interested in "therapy"? These and other questions are all explored in the B.O.T. course. What is great is that the tools we are given are so simple, accessible, and yet deep. I began implementing them immediately after our first class and feel that they strengthen me tremendously as a midwife – expanding my perception of things and honing my ability to listen.   

Gazit Margalit, a pelvic-floor physiotherapist, shares her experience of treating a pregnant woman:

"Dalia came to me late in her pregnancy for  guidance about preparing for the birth of a second child.  As the session began, I sensedthat not everything was being said, but I was also unsure about what I should or shouldn't ask. And so I skipped my usual intake question about sexual abuse… As I was getting ready to examine her and while I'm putting on gloves she asked me to remind her to breathe. As I thanked her, I realized how charged the situation was. I stopped, put my hand on her, and told her what was about to take place.

She burst out crying and said 'I'm out of breath,' and I waited and reminded her that she had asked me to remind her to breathe. She continues crying, staring into the distance as she said "It's all coming up and overwhelming me, give me a moment to try and push it back down and away." I asked what is going on and she answered, "Age 17, my pervious birth, everything together…" I asked her if there was another option that doid not involve diving in to the experience, so that we could acknowledge its presence. She was a bit shocked by my suggestion, but a moment later it felt right: "Rape at 17 – that is the caption," she said, and the tears begin to subside. I felt that she was slowly becoming more present. I thanked her for the 'title' and explained again what was about to happen, adding:  'Now that great big thing that has been here with us from the moment you came into the room is out there, and I know how to call it, I will respect it and I'm asking it to respect us, itself, and the baby growing inside of you.'  She smiled. The vaginal examination went well.I noticed that she didn't complain about any pain and I mentioned this. She was surprised she didn't notice it herself…  
What happened in that session felt like an extremely powerful and significant process. And I suddenly remembered what you wrote, Keren, about that small, life-changing moment… and I cross my fingers in hope that this was indeed such a moment for her and her baby. It certainly was for me."

Childbirth education classes, lactation consultations or pelvic-floor examinations by a physiotherapist can all trigger emotions around past events that may become overwhelming during this highly sensitive period. The B.O.T. training course teaches different ways of working with women in states of emotional overwhelm and offer tools to support a woman's ability to remain in touch with herself and with her baby. When necessary, the B.O.T facilitator will assist the woman in finding the right professional guidance for further treatment.

Ayelet Lahav, a doula and lactation consultant, shares:

"The range of tools and possibilities provided by the B.O.T. training has enriched my abilities to approach women as I accompany them in a range of situations – while preparing for birth, during the birth itself, during lactation consultations and even while interacting with their partners. The B.O.T tools enable extraordinary change both for me and for the women I work with. Sometimes it seems almost magical… because it's not always clear what has created the change…

 Michal Mansovsky, a family doctor, shares:

"As a doctor treating young families and women during and after pregnancy, I would like to warmly recommend the B.O.T. course. B.O.T. provides a set of tools based on a number of theoretical approaches, as well as practical tools that can be easily implemented independently or as part of a treatment process – both within and outside the field of birth. In my opinion, this course offers a personal experience that every professional, and especially women professionals, can benefit from – an opportunity to acquire knowledge and experience, while practicing under the instructor's close guidance."

Shir Gilboa, a doula, shares:

"This morning I and a colleague held a professional training session for doulas about accompanying women in the process of undergoing a stillbirth. It was the first time I used B.O.T. tools in a group setting, and it was incredible. The responses I received after the meeting were truly wonderful."

Neta Aharoni, an occupational therapist, shares:

"I was working with a woman on her birth story, and one of the most significant moments was when she was able to tell of the instances of power and strength she experienced during a very long delivery, which she experienced only as exhausting and traumatic. For the first time, she had changed her point of reference from one of guilt to one of heroism. I was astounded.. It was the first time she had told the whole story in such detail, and she said it was a great gift for her.

At the kindergarten where I work as an occupational therapist, I also feel significant change. My ability to listen deeply when I speak to mothers has changed, and I feel I have new tools for listening and assisting them in processing emotional experiences. In short, this course was a major contribution and I am already looking forward to the next one!!! I warmly recommend the course for holistic or paramedical therapists like myself who work in the field of birth, motherhood, and so forth – I think it provides a unique approach and tools that are not provided during paramedical training, and warmly recommend it to my colleagues."

Hofit Haimovitz, a doula and therapist, shares how the B.O.T approach changed her way of supporting women:

 "I met a woman for a birth-preparation session .During our meeting, I felt I was able to stay "balanced," if that is the right term. I usually offer more direct advice and play a dominant role in conversations… This time I felt that I was just going with her feelings and not thinking about how to make her feel better, but rather simply about how to be present with her. I am accompanying her towards something she will reach on her own. And the sense I get from this is much more moving and fulfilling, because I feel I am there as a sort of walking stick, rather than a painkiller. I don't have to feel she is dependent on me or on some idea I introduced to her."   

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