meet Thomas Verny


Thomas R. Verny MD, DHL (Hon), DPsych, FRCPC, FAPA
Thomas R. Verny is a psychiatrist, academic, writer, poet and podcaster. He has previously taught at Harvard University, the University of Toronto, York University (Toronto), St. Mary’s University (Minneapolis) and the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute.

In 1974 Verny founded and became Director of The Centre for Psychotherapy and Education in Toronto that lasted until 1985. Based on his experiences with therapy and growth groups McGraw-Hill Ryerson, published Verny’s first book, Inside Groups: A Practical Guide to Encounter Groups and Group Therapy (Also published in Holland and Sweden) in 1974.

In 1983 Verny founded the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA, renamed APPPAH—Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health – in 1995), and served as its president for eight years. In 1986 he launched the APPPAH Journal – the Journal of Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (JAPPAH) (Human Sciences Press, New York), which he edited from its inception until 1990. In 2013 he became once again Editor-In-Chief of the JAPPPAH. In 1987, Verny edited Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: An Introduction, published by Human Sciences Press. Verny’s next two books were Parenting Your Unborn Child (Doubleday 1988), and Nurturing the Unborn Child (co-author Pamela Weintraub, Delacorte Press 1991, and Dell 1992).

His next book, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, was published in 1981. Simon & Schuster sent him on a coast–to-coast book tour with the usual daily multi-TV, radio and print interviews. In the course of his travels, he met many like-minded midwives, obstetricians, psychologists and other health care professionals and academics. Verny called on these contacts when he organized the First International Congress on Pre and Perinatal Psychology in 1983 in Toronto. About 500 people from all walks of life and from many countries attended the meeting. It was a resounding success. Immediately following the meeting, he founded with some of his colleagues, the Pre and Perinatal Psychology Association of North America (PPPANA). Verny was elected to be the Association’s first President in which role he continued until 1991. In 1986 Verny launched the Association's Journal (Human Sciences Press, New York), which he edited from its inception until 1990. At present, he is Associate Editor of the Journal.

Verny is the author of 47 scientific papers and a total of eight books. His most recent book, The Embodied Mind, Pegasus, New York and Cambridge, UK was published in 2021. Also available in Spanish, Greek, Russian, Portuguese and Czech.

Over the years, Verny’s short stories and poems have appeared in many literary journals. His collected poems were published as Cordless in 2014.
Verny's books, professional publications and founding of the PPPANA and the Pre- and Perinatal Journal, have established him as one of the world's leading authorities on the effect of the prenatal and early postnatal environment on personality development. In 2004 Mothering Magazine, in recognition of Verny’s contributions to the field of parenting and child rearing, named him one of their “living treasures.” In 2005 the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute bestowed on Verny a Doctorate of Humane Letters (DHL).

Dr. Verny lives with his wife in Stratford, Canada. He is a member of the Ontario Review Board (ORB) as well as Editor Emeritus of “The International Journal of Prenatal & Life Sciences.”



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