By Kay Walburger
"Self-Esteem & Emotional Maturity Starts in 
The Mother's Womb"
Proclaims Olive M. Pemberton,Ph.D.


"Today's Teenagers Could Begin To Stop The Cycles
of Abuse And Heal Many of Society's Ills!"

The delicate whited-haired woman standing before a classroom of high school teenagers is a messenger from their future. She wears the wisdom of her 78 years well. Dr. Olive M. Pemberton has a strong and melodious voice with which to speak and her large bright, compassionate eyes make them feel truly loved and respected. Teachers marvel as she receives complete quiet and respect from today's usually restless teenagers. It's as if they sense that she is very important to their life somehow.  "People say I'm a courageous woman and they are right. It takes great courage for me to come and stand before you teenagers, today.  I'm willing to dare it because the information I bring to you could make each one of you the greatest parents the world has ever seen. 

Your children would be the BEST and BRIGHTEST with high self-esteem and emotional maturity", reports Olive Pemberton. 95%  of the more than  400 high school students said on comment sheets "Nothing Dr. Pemberton showed (charts & diagrams) or told them was boring! In fact they were fascinated to learn this new information about what affects the babies brain before its even born.  They were especially interested how music affects the fetus for good or harm.

An Accident of Birth
Olive has an all-consuming passion to be the 'VOICE' of the yet unborn children of this world, and is an advocate for those who have not yet been conceived.  She has a profound sense of compassion for each and every person here now for the cycles of abuse they've experienced, however subtle, which have been unwittingly handed down generation to generation. This courageous wo-man is dedicated to stopping those cycles of abuse here and now, with the information from her lifetime of research on the subject, and today's teenagers, who will be future parents. 

Many, many unforeseen  forces are at play in forming happy, healthy babies, who will grow up to be happy, healthy adults capable of living fulfilling, productive, and creatively challenging lives. Too many people feel they are the result of an accident of birth and their parents never really wanted them.  Olive herself was such a child. She was the eighth child of nine, and somehow knew she was unwanted even before she was born.  From the day Olive was born, she was constantly reminded by her mother, "Daddy never wanted you because he had his Princess!"  Her siblings teased her relentlessly calling her the milkman's daughter because she was so different from them.  It was obvious, they wanted her to think that she was a mistake and an accident of birth.

"I felt like I never fit! I did not belong!  I didn't understand and that formed the burning question "Why?", admits Olive sadly.  This sad little girl was emotionally tender and compassionate to her brothers and sisters when they were hurt, which only made them mock and laugh at her the more. "By the time I was 13 years old I knew I was going to study psychology and learn how to raise children the right way, so they would be fully functioning and living up to their potential all through their lives," resolved a young Olive.

"Our kind doesn't belong in college," declared her mother at Olive's high school graduation.  Those words haunted Olive and kept her from pursuing her dream till her mother died.  At last she felt Œfree' to be herself and follow this tattered old dream!  At 48 years of age Olive left a 10-year violently-abusive marriage and became a college freshman.  She was in heaven ‹ studying, researching, and interning.  She received her B.A. in Psychology (Magna Cum Laude) from Chapman College;  MSc.Ed., Vocational Rehabilitation from USC. and her Ph.D., Transformational Psychology, International College, San Diego, Ca.

Amazing & Exciting Revelations
Dr. Pemberton's belief in the importance of the emotional life of infants, and the continuing research  has led to her to write a book being completed as we speak. Olive has a variety of rich personal and professional experiences from which to draw.  She studied Child Growth and Development at the prestigious C.G. Jung Institute in Switzerland; Psychosynthesis with the method's founder, the late Dr. Roberto Assagioli; inner child work with Dr. Violet Oaklander; and sandplay therapy with Jungian therapists Dora Kolff and Edith Sullwold, both world-renowned. Dr. Pemberton also studied with Dr. Kaspar Kiepenheuer, a Zurich pediatrician who specializes in helping children to understand their dreams using art therapy and multi-media tools. 

All of these studies and collaborations have led Dr. Pemberton to the understanding that emotional development begins in the womb and continues throughout the first year of life. "Thanks to some very recent scientific studies, I now have some stunning charts and graphs to show as I explain my research on how emotions and the fetus's brain and anat-omy develop simultaneously," says Dr. Pemberton.

"Love begins at home and your first home is the womb," reminds Olive. Your newly-conceived baby wants you to talk to it and tell it you love it and want it.  It's good to sing to it and touch by massaging mom's belly. 'Emotional  Intelligence' which affects all aspects of life begins in the third month of pregnancy. The unborn hears its mother's and father's voice and learns to love by being loved.  Emotions hold the rest of the thinking brain together. Emotional and learning centers now being formed in the womb will be the conductors of future inter action. 

At birth the baby's brain has approximately 100 billion brain cells.  By age ten, some 1,500 connections to each of these cells needs to be made, equaling 150 trillion connections. Beginning at conception you are already setting the stage for the lifetime of this developing person. According to Daniel Goleman (author of Emotional Intelligence) "If the ability to experience empathy, love, trust, and compassion are not nurtured during this time span, the child will probably be crippled in his or her self-esteem, feeling of security, socialization skills and learning abilities".

E.Q.  vs  I.Q.
Olive's research shows that because most of the care and concern for the mother and child has been exterior/physical, we have the perpetuation of raising generation after generation of physically healthier, yet more stressed, ANGRIER persons whose emotions have been continuously ignored through the most critical period of their lives. This must come to an end because 'Emotional Intelligence' influences all aspects of our mental life during our lifetime.  It is imperative that parents and potential parents (especially junior high, high school and college ages), and all child givers become aware of this range of information. The child's I.Q. is dependent on its E.Q. - "Windows of Opportunity" or "Prime-Times" in the brain when circuits for our many and different capacities are most sensitive to programming. 

The Prime-Time for a strong emotional foundation is from the third month of pregnancy through the eighteenth month after birth.  This is a relatively short time span! "One of the most important things a child learns during pregnancy, birth, and the first three years of life is either to trust or distrust his/her parents and the world.  Parents and caregivers who focus only on two categories: the physical and mental development of babies are unintentionally part of society's major problems today.  We are paying a huge price for this lack of attunement as statistics of child abuse and neglect rise! Troubled children grow up to be emotionally dysfunctional, alienated, and ethically bankrupt. We pay in dollars when we have to create more social services, more prisons, more mental hospitals, and more courts.

The developing fetus is impacted in a significant way by feelings, emotions, attitudes, and behaviors of its parents and significant other family members and friends. This can directly affect the self-esteem and emotional stability of this future adult.  Young potential parents need to begin to understand the importance of optimizing this great window of opportunity for the emotional growth of their future children, and the critical need of identifying and interpreting the fetus's body language, and after birth, the sounds and cries of their wordless emotions.  They need to start becoming armed with the skills and knowledge necessary to raise emotionally-fulfilled, strong children who have a sense of self-respect and self-esteem.

For the past twenty-four years, Dr. Pemberton has been an educator, workshop leader, and therapist in child and family psychology.  She has taught graduate classes at the California Christian Institute, as well as giving workshops and counseling classes at California State College in Fullerton, the Jet Propulsion Lab-Cal Tech Child Education Center, and the We Can Do Foundation. Dr. Pemberton has also been a consultant for the Westminster Center for Personal Development, and a public speaker for Los Angeles County Women's Task Force on Ritual Abuse. 

She employs a wide variety of approaches in her counseling work with children and families, including Psychosynthesis, Gestalt and Jungian therapies, Transpersonal Psychology, psychodrama, and art and sandplay therapies.

I feel this is the most important story I've written to date, and there is too much information for one column, therefore, Dr. Pemberton has been asked to write a series of articles based on her research to be printed in future issues of Awareness' Positive Parenting Section.  Look for them to start soon.

Reminder: Jack Canfield says "High self-esteem and peak performance go hand in hand."

For more information, call Dr. Olive M. Pemberton, Licensed Psychotherapist in Laguna Hills, California at (714) 951-7473.

Return to the May/June Issue Index page