Courses for Birth Story Listening skills  TRAINED birth story listeners in every community

Birth Story Listening trainings are for birth professionals who:

  • Feel dumbstruck or overwhelmed when parents tell a birth story.
  • Want to know what to say when parents rant or rage at the medical model, or withdraw altogether from wanting to talk about what happened.
  • Find that memories of their own birth experiences get in the way of truly hearing parents' birth stories.
  • Want to lead constructive and healing birth story groups.

Birth Story Listening

As a profound rite of passage, birth has the power to leave parents and birth workers cracked open, raw, and vulnerable, especially after an unexpected event during the birth. A trained Birth Story Listener can help those impacted by birth to collect the parts of themselves that have undergone a “shattering,” and integrate their story of the birth in a new way. Those who dedicate themselves to the Kintsugi process, and to incorporating the lessons of Birth Story Listening, find a rich source of spiritual nourishment to be used personally and, with development and practice, shared with the world.

The skills you master in Kintsugi and Birth Story Listening will forever change the way in which you understand yourself and interact with birth stories.

First, the Kintsugi Process...

The Kintsugi Process can be taken as a stand-alone course for personal growth, or as a prerequisite to Birth Story Listening. In order to give this gift to someone else, we must first give it to ourselves. We cannot guide another through a place we have not yet gone; we cannot give to another what we do not embody or have not lived deeply within ourselves. So, for the first four weeks, turn your attention inward and experience healing. The cost of the Kintsugi course is $125.

Who should take this course?

The Kintsugi Process is for birth-related professionals, those who wish to heal from difficult birth experiences, and those who are interested in self-awareness and personal empowerment. This four-session course cultivates deep listening and compassion when you are exploring the stories that you are telling yourself about birth in our culture; the way you yourself gave birth; and/or births you witnessed that left you feeling unworthy, confused, or in a state of shame or blame. This process begins with birth stories and becomes a pathway to exploring all of your life stories in a more meaningful way.

Birth Story Medicine for Birth Trauma Support

If we break a bowl or cup, we might try to repair it with invisible glue in hopes that the cracks won't show and it'll look like new - or we might discard it altogether. There's another possible approach, though, as represented by the traditional Japanese art of "kintsugi." In kintsugi, a skilled craftsperson repairs damaged pottery with gold or silver lacquer so that the cracks are not only visible, but actually serve to enhance the object, rendering it more beautiful, unique, and precious than it had been before the damage occurred. In this way, kintsugi becomes a metaphor for living by showing us how to mindfully pick up the pieces and embrace our brokenness.

Like a treasured ceramic dropped and shattered at your feet, sometimes unexpected events in birth suddenly shatter expectations, beliefs, dreams, confidence, and even relationships. The Kintsugi Process is a nourishing, self-help, story-mending process. In the future, you can continue to rely on the Kintsugi Process to track your mind and open your heart, and to move from shame, blame, or guilt to compassion, not only for yourself, but for everyone touched by birth in our culture.

...then become a Birth Story Listener

When an unexpected event occurs any time during the childbearing year that "cracks" the birthing person or a birth attendant open, a trained and compassionate Birth Story Listener can help to gently excavate and gather the shattered, scattered, precious bits.

In this Birth Story Listening course, you will learn how to listen to people's stories deeply with your whole body and mind, as well as learn what to listen for and what to ignore. Your compassion will expand as you begin to see how everything and everyone is a mirror of the mind. With this new seeing, the words you speak will become a healing balm for the storyteller. You will also learn how to build a medicine bridge that will take the storyteller towards a future where self-acceptance, forgiveness, and personal freedom is possible. Your presence and guidance will create a container for the storyteller to begin envisioning and embodying lasting transformation. The cost of the Birth Story Listening course is $320.

Your presence and guidance will create a container for the storyteller to begin envisioning and embodying lasting transformation.

birth trauma support

you will learn how:

  • Lifelong conditioning informs a person's narrative about birth
  • Birth stories naturally evolve
  • Active, deep listening accelerates healing
  • To conduct a solution-focused (rather than problem-focused) interview
  • You can co-create lasting change with a storyteller in just an hour or so
  • To take storytellers across the bridge from confusion and sadness to new insight and self-compassion
  • Reserve 30 minutes or more daily of uninterrupted time to read, listen to the lessons, and marinate in the rich material.
  • Create a quiet space during the six live consultation calls. This includes arranging child care.
  • Each week during this course, plan to find one to two volunteer birth storytellers who are motivated to change the way they feel about their births.
  • Submit one audio recording of a birth story session for constructive, in-depth feedback from your facilitator.

upcoming courses 2019

(online course, prerequisite for Part II)

Thursdays: May 30, 2019 - June 20, 2019 9:30 am - 10:45 am PST with Pam England

PART II: BIRTH STORY LISTENING (online course, after successful completion of Part I)

Thursdays: May 23, 2019 - June 27, 2019 11:30 am - 12:45 pm PST with Danit Tsur Almog

Struggling With a Birth Story?


"I was so impressed with the course. It was a challenging and a rich learning experience. The personalized feedback was beyond anything that I expected, and made the live calls even more valuable. Nikki was an exceptional facilitator, modeling all the skills we are working to develop so deftly, and listening compassionately to the personal stories that participants shared. I got as much out of hearing her workshop other students' homework as I did when she helped me with my own."


Doula, Breastfeeding Specialist, Yoga Teacher (Kintsugi Course)

"Deep deep gratitude in my heart for all the teachings and wisdom I received these last few months to become a Birth Story Listener, ready to bring this healing to the Netherlands and far beyond. Because birth matters and birth heals. Many hours of study, calls, sessions, reading, writing, crying, wondering, giving and receiving. It is time to look deeper in a very meaningful and embodied way beyond all our beliefs and patterns through birth. I bow for the knowing and for the medicine you gave us new ones on the path, to carry it with us and share it with our communities. I feel the calling and the honor to be one of this beautiful strong tribe. Thank you for holding space dear Pam and Nikki for all that you are. Looking forward to explore and integrate all of it."


Doula (BSL Course)

"I was able to work through some very big issues that have been holding me back. I feel more confident in holding space for my clients to do the same.”


(Kintsugi Course)

"Birth Story Listening changed my life; the way I speak with clients, the questions I ask (and how I ask them!), the way I provide care... It’s infiltrated my personal life as well. How we integrate stories is an important journey. I’m thrilled I have the tools to support clients in their return from the underworld."


Birthing From Within Doula, Mentor, and Student Midwife

Birth Story Listening is designed for aspiring and experienced birth professionals who work with parents in a variety of settings from hospital labor and delivery floors to postpartum support groups, and everywhere that parents share their birth stories in between. Birth professionals who attend our workshops and trainings include, but are not limited to, OBGYNs, midwives, nurses, doulas, IBCLCs, therapists, massage therapists, midwifery/nursing professors, yoga teachers, and new parent support group leaders.

"Do your best as you know it in each moment. Love yourself, especially when you are lost. Even when you don't know what to do, take one small step."