Wombtwin Survivors

Wombtwin Survivors

United Kingdom
Organization type: 
nonprofit/ngo/citizen sector
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

It is now clear to us that the loss of a twin before birth leaves a profound psychological effect on the surviving twin – the wombtwin survivor.  Few people realise that many intractable psychological problems and personality disorders may be related to the loss of a twin before birth.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The primary problem is the large number of wombtwin survivors in the world - six hundred million- and a lack of resources and manpower to reach them. (On avereage, for every twin birth there are ten wombtwin survivors born, and as 1% of the brths on the world are twins, that means that 10% of the world population consists of wombtwin survivors, with the numbers varying between countries.) We need a massive campaign to increase public awareness, backed with excellent and well-researched information.
About You
Organization:
Wombtwin.com Ltd
Section 1: About You
First Name

Althea

Last Name

Hayton

Country
Section 2: About Your Organization
Organization Name

Wombtwin.com Ltd

Organization Phone

+44 (0) 1727761719

Organization Address

PO Box 396 St Albans Hertfordshire England AL3 6NE

Organization Country
Your idea
Country your work focuses on
Innovation
What makes your idea unique?

The psychological effect on the survivor of the loss of a co-twin before birth is a largely unexplored area of psychology and we have been exploring it since 2002. As far as we are aware, we are the first organisation in the world to work exclusively with wombtwin survivors. We have created a healing path for wombtwin survivors, in the form of 30 steps, published as an e-book, which has already proven helpful to sole surviving fraternal twins as a self-help scheme. We are working on another related scheme for sole surviving identical twins and a third for sole surviving multiples (triplets and more.) We are also planning a training course for therapists of all kinds in how to offer specific therapeutic interventions to wombtwin survivors. We have piloted several of these workshops with therapists and wombtwin survivors and with their help we are developing specialised psychodrama exercises. Some of our work overlaps with other various pre- and perinatal therapies but we focus solely on the loss of a twin during pregnancy or around birth, which makes us different. We have three published articles in professional journals so far and two publications, with three more books to come over the next three years. Therapists are beginning to diagnose wombtwin survivors, but there is widespread ignorance about the best kind of therapeutic intervention for this group. We intend to fill that gap with training courses and workshop manuals.

Research has revealed that one in eight people is a wombtwin survivor. Most of these co-twins die in the first trimester and in many cases the mother has a normal pregnancy and delivery. Consequently there are many millions of unaware wombtwin survivors around the world experiencing symptoms of psychological distress, which are often diagnosed as “personality disorders” and invariably, do not respond to psychological help. We intend to mount a worldwide public awareness campaign to put an end to this misunderstanding.

Do you have a patent for this idea?

Impact
What impact have you had?

Over 1000 people have contacted us by email asking for help, which has been provided free of charge. 500 wombtwin survivors have completed our questionnaire. Our two books are being read by wombtwin survivors around the world. 300 people receive Gemini Voices, our email newsletter, 20,000 people have visited our websites and blog. We now have some individuals whose lives have been blighted for a lifetime who are now free of their psychological problems. To date our impact has been small and local but we are very new and disadvantaged by widespread skepticism from some professionals. At an individual level however these ideas are transformational and are slowly gaining ground.

Actions

We now have a patron and a volunteer who is rebuilding the website. We hold our second open Space event and AGM in October 2009. We seize every opportunity to increase public awareness of this issue. We are receiving regular donations. We are planning to create sister organisations in USA, Belgium, Germany and Portugal with may more to come. A new book is being prepared with three more planned.

Results

We expect to have at least three sister organisations in place by the end of 2010. We will have increased traffic to our website to 100,000 hits. We will have a presence on as many social networking sites as we can find. The new book will be published and we hope reviewed widely. We will have piloted a therapists training weekend in the UK by the end of 2010.

What will it take for your project to be successful over the next three years? Please address each year separately, if possible.

2010

Money to publish new book of the Wombtwin project written by Althea. Book completed and published by June 2010.
Volunteer to revamp website and connect Wombtwin.com top as many social networking sites as possible - by Aprl 2010.
Money to pay for further analysis of 500 questionnaires. August 2010.
A volunteer Membership Secretary to increase membership.

Sister organisations created in Belgium., Portugal Ireland Germany. Money to help set them up.

Funds to create an illustrated book for young wombtwin survivors, also publication and marketing.

Venue needed for local healing groups to pilot long-term self help

2011

Funds to take Althea Hayton to the APPPAH conference in California, USA and set up West USA organisation.

Funds to take Althea across the USA to set up central and eastern USA organisations.

Funds for illustrated childrens book for Wombtwin survivors aged 9-13

Funds and financial support to Althea Hayton to write and publish The healing path paperback book.

2012

Funds and activity to get Althea onto the UK conference circuit.

Funds to create pilot training course for therapists.

Activity to seek accreditation from a local university for this course.

Funds and activity to create documentary film about wombtwin survivors.

make documentary

What would prevent your project from being a success?

A lack of manpower. At present we have few staff and need to expand, but the first step is to create the information. This depends heavily on Althea as the author of the books, so support for her is crucial. We need funds badly. A lack of funds wont stop us but will keep us very small.

How many people will your project serve annually?

1001‐10,000

What is the average monthly household income in your target community, in US Dollars?

Less than $50

Does your project seek to have an impact on public policy?

Yes

Sustainability
What stage is your project in?

Operating for 1‐5 years

In what country?
Is your initiative connected to an established organization?

Yes

If yes, provide organization name.

Wombtwin.com Ltd

How long has this organization been operating?

1‐5 years

Does your organization have a Board of Directors or an Advisory Board?

Yes

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with NGOs?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with businesses?

Does your organization have any non-monetary partnerships with government?

Please tell us more about how these partnerships are critical to the success of your innovation.

We would wish to have a partnership with mental health organisations, but we are not yet in a position to offer them much.

What are the three most important actions needed to grow your initiative or organization?

1. To increase public awareness of the existence and psychological characteristics of wombtwin survivors
2. To make good quality information available worldwide
3. To establish local membership groups in as many places as possible.

The Story
What was the defining moment that led you to this innovation?

I am a qualified counsellor and worked for seven years locally with clients of all kinds. A female client with MS was particularly resistant and difficult. I had discovered two years previously that I am a wombtwin survivor - my twin brother was miscarried - and I had discovered that this new knowledge set me on a pathway to healing and greatly improved well being. I realised that this client was also a wombtwin survivor and she was very receptive to this new idea. My supervisor was very critical and regarded the use of this idea as unprofessional. Convinced that I had something useful, I resigned and took a three year sabbatical to research this idea. In this time I was able to formulate an hypothesis that wombtwin survivors constantly re-enact the loss of their twin and this is the root of their psychological problems.

Tell us about the social innovator behind this idea.

I am the social innovator I suppose, but these ideas rest on the notion of prenatal psychology, a science that began with Otto Rank in 1924 and which has expanded enormously since ultrasound studies of un-born babies have become so common. It is now abundantly clear that our neural networks are created in embryonic life and the impression of experiences and events at that time remain as a cellular memory. Prenatal psychotherapy is in itself an innovation, but to consider that the survivors of a "vanishing twin" pregnancy experience some kind of psychological effect because their twin died is rarely mentioned in the literature. I have had to work alone on this for a long time but as a writer I can do that. I am now retired and have plenty of time and energy for the work ahead. I have created the organisation Wombtwin.com Ltd so that this work can be rooted in ways that do not depend on me. It is no longer a one-man show and the team is expanding slowly. An increasing number of healed wombtwin survivors are beginning to make their story known and are becoming evangelists themselves, much to my relief!

How did you first hear about Changemakers?

Through another organization or company

If through another, please provide the name of the organization or company

The Association of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health