An extraordinary pathway to becoming a doula
and a Guardian of Intimacy
4-Day Intensive Doula Training
and 6-Month Mentorship
A COMPREHENSIVE GLOBAL DOULA EDUCATION PROGRAM for those ready to step into doula work for the first time, professionals who already work with pregnancy in the pre- and post-natal period, and birth companions seeking unique competences, nurturing and professional guidance.
“I think this information that Camalo is presenting
is need to know info.”
JAN TRITTEN, FOUNDER, MIDWIFERY TODAY
Who Is This Immersion For?
“This is such a unique and powerful offering that I think everyone should learn, whether you want to become a doula or not. It’s just incredible.”
– Davina Ebikeme, UK
ALL WITH GENUINE INTEREST ARE WELCOME AND WE INTEND TO SERVE…
- Individuals with a genuine interest in doula work, whether they are new to the field or looking to enhance their existing practice.
- Professionals already working with pregnancy, birth or postpartum who are seeking deeper insight into full-spectrum care.
- Persons seeking to step into or expand an understanding of spiritual companionship with competent and experienced guidance.
- New or experienced practitioners accompanying others through conception, loss, pregnancy, birth or newborn life.
- Anyone interested in developing unique skills and competences that effectively equip them within their scope of practice for addressing physical, psychological or spiritual discomforts or complications.
- Those open to a humanist approach to accompanying the whole person and being accountable to our impact on others.
- Those interested in integrating bodywork and fasciatherapy DBM to develop their perception, touch, and reading of the whole person for the benefit of themselves and their clients.
- Birth companions looking for a nurturing, non-hierarchical, judgment-free, safe environment to process and debrief their experiences with professional guidance, within a growing community that values collaborative knowledge exchange.
- Doulas seeking to understand and navigate obstetric and cultural bias in their everyday work and access a deeper awareness of tools to better serve and acknowledge a diversity of people.
- Individuals seeking guidance through ritual creation and intentional storytelling spanning pregnancy, childbirth, loss, and postpartum experiences with sensitivity, insight, and direction.
- Those committed to pursuing a passion for intentional and visionary work, well-prepared for the psycho-emotional, anatomical-physiological, and metaphysical aspects, as well as the business of being a doula and the role of advocacy inevitable in this work.
- Participants seeking in-person and remote mentorship from experienced guides with space to address questions and challenges confidentially or in community.
Additionally, experienced doctors, medical students, bodyworkers, neuroscientists, yoga teachers, midwives, psychologists, and others have acclaimed this program because it enhances and challenges their previously existing practices.
This program uniquely introduces within our scope of practice how to view and address common complications with notions of movement, knowledge of the fascia and foundations in relating to the human being through their fascia (the organ of innerness).
Furthermore this program nurtures our abilities to serve those we work with within a framework of our own self-development through practices that honor presence, perception and our sense of self – and ethical accountability.
If you are curious about walking this path, please contact us and we would be more than happy to take the time to answer any questions or concerns you might have.
– Nysha Johnson
It has always been my belief that those called to this path, come with a particular competence available to us –– presence.
Traditionally, people called to the doula path are equipped with empathy. Spiritual companionship and walking through the unknown is part of their calling.
Others arrive at this path to give voice to the epidemic of traumatic birth experiences spread across the planet.
Embedded in clinical practice that heavily relies on pharmaceuticals and instrumental procedures, others come to this path with a belief that there must be another way to accompany such an intimate rite of passage without force.
As advocates, some are called to protect the human rights and dignity of those whose identities become a medical ‘risk factor’ during their most intimate life event.
Others are in awe of the human body and our instincts to move and be born. Often calling us into deep study of anatomy, biomechanics, the physiology of everything from orgasms to bonding to trauma, exploring the breath to the nervous to the endocrine systems.
A call to make space for ritual healing and inner knowing directs many to this path.
And a thread that weaves through all of these callings is that each person grows abilities and a wide view of what it means to birth, to feel loss, to lose hope, to triumph, to touch the divine. Ultimately, each person is called to become an advocate for humanness (humanity) and a spiritual companion.
The Center for Doula Pathways is a place where all these paths may enrich the other.
“I never thought of a doula as a modulator of pain and how much knowledge goes into becoming a doula”
Weih Bohr, BSc Chemistry
– JOHARA BELLALI, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTIST
In intimacy people find access to themselves, to the places where the most primal and complex parts of ourselves can be revealed and unfold. Here we encounter states of heightened vulnerability and fear of the unknown. It is where we meet our deepest selves.
Atmospheres of intimacy are the conditions for accessing our bodies’ intelligences and altered states of consciousness, where the miracles of life take place.
These are places where we may transcend the burdens of being human and find answers to how to move, how to be, and who we are, in an instant.
What becomes accessible through some of our most common life events –– being born, giving birth, and dying –– is transcendent in that it may return us to our nature to sense oneness.
In a more tangible view, we have a way to go through these events with less suffering and feeling more intact.
To become a Guardian of Intimacy is a tall order, so we strive…
To Train Our Ethical Lens
To Prepare for Spiritual Companionship
To Respect Medicine Practices As Cultures and Perspectives
To Honor Body As Living Experience
To Trust Birth Primarily As An Autonomous Process
To Offer Care and Aides Without Force or Manipulation
To Allow Pedagogy to Reflect Practice
To Step Onto The Path as Visionaries
Not Taking Your Trust For Granted
Some people make the mistake of believing that developing presence and protecting the dignity of a birthing person are separate from understanding physiology, biomechanics, and anatomies.
“Experiencing Camalo’s presence in person and her fasciatherapy touch is one of the most revolutionary experiences I had in my life.”
Federica Sosta, Researcher and Performance Artist
– DR. EVANGELISTA, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, CUNY (CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK)
THIS IS A PROCESS OF LEARNING AND UNLEARNING.
Each cohort experiences a curriculum that is responsive to the character of the group. These themes presented here are not an exhaustive list, but rather a scope of learning.
We intentionally move away from delivering a generalized “doula training”, rather we aim for a curriculum that is shaped by the need for mirroring the unfolding process of becoming a doula over time.
The themes below reference a scope of knowledge that will be pulled from throughout the intensive education and the mentorship, rather than outlining a list or syllabus.
The curriculum aims to equip participants with both new perspectives and skills that primarily center the internal resources of the person we accompany.
We access non-manipulative practices that open minds, amplify vitality in the tissues, balance anatomical structures, lighten breathing, calm the mind, and establish connection through touch, and presence.
This approach opens up new possibilities to go beyond applying the same exercises or ceremonies generically onto people, but rather we create the conditions to self-realize and emerge into new states of being.
+ THE FOUNDATIONS
- The Essence of the Doula
- Cultures of Care: Accompaniment and Advocacy for Conception, Pregnancy, Birth, Bonding, and Loss
- Principles and Practices of Intimacy
- Introduction to Embryology
- Childbirth Physiology, Biomechanics, and New Views of Anatomy
- Approaching Pain Management and Pain Perception
- Comparative Birth Practices: Free, Communal and Clinical Paradigms
- “Nature”, “Normality” and Common Practice
- The Life in the Fascia: From relational touch, to tissues that respond to presence
- What are Living Biomechanics?
- Foundations of Meditation and Hypnosis for Presence to Crisis in Pregnancy, Labor and Birth and Loss Companionship
- Waterbirth Awareness
- Life After Birth: Postpartum Matters
- Embryology and Babies as Beings
- Overview of Common Needs: Resources and Practical Skills
+ THE INTANGIBLE
- The Art of Rituals
- Perceptual Practices for Tuning into Bodies and Environments
- Creating a Cocooning Field for Intimacy
- Breathwork Foundations as Therapeutic and Transformational Source
- Approaches to Meditation
- Self-Care Processes
- Closing Ceremonies
- Prenatal Trust-building, Care and Connections
- Protocols for Holding Sessions with Intention
- Storytelling as Pedegogy
- Holding Space for Loss and Celebration
+ IN CONTEXT
- Medicine as Culture: Ethics, Equity and Evaluating Obstetric Biases
- Queer and Transpregnancies
- Histories of Anatomy
- Autonomy and Responsibility as Care Workers
- All Of Us: Intersectional and Transcultural Contexts
- Honoring Sources and Appropriation of Birth Work Practice
- Allyship and Advocacy
- Being Yourself And Seeing the Other
- Understanding Family Needs, Identities, and Structures
- Trauma Stewardship and Self-Reflective Companionship
+ IN PRACTICE
- Embodying The Doula Role
- Doula Community From Personal Calling to Collectivity
- Developing Commitments and Values
- How to Grow Trust Networks with Other Doulas and Care Providers
- Establishing a Doula Practice
- Expanding your Existing Practices as a Guardian of Intimacy (for bodyworkers, therapists, midwives, physicians, etc.)
- The Heart of Seeding Genuine Bonds and Interviewing Pregnant People and Families
- Curated Mentorship
- 6 Monthly Sessions
- One-on-one and Group Guidance
- Access Experienced and Expert References
- Dialogue and Debrief Stories
- Community and Resource Exchange
- Space for Practical, Existential and Spiritual Inquiry
- Individualized Mentorship on Putting Approaches and Protocols into Practice
At the end of the 6-month period, a day is reserved for each participant to hold a 20-minute presentation for the cohort pertaining to a topic relevant to this field of work.
Each participant will be encouraged to attend at least 3 births, or other relevant experience, to complete the full process of certification through this program. This may take place beyond the 6-month period, but should be agreed upon in writing. Each experience with a person or family you have accompanied will be debriefed with mentorship and reflection.
Why is this approach to fascia and presence a focus of doula practice?
Beyond this, the quality of presence in the birth space could influence a birthing person’s entry into an altered state of consciousness and their access to internal intelligences (we sometimes call this intuition) to move in optimal ways for babies to descend, without external input. For me, this has always been the purpose of this calling – to guard that space.
This quality of presence often arrived to me with a certain stillness. It came with a reverence for this critical moment of life and death. A presence that emerges in the face of awe. In this state was the first time I touched someone’s body and perceived a rhythmic internal movement. The person felt unusual internal changes taking place. Later, babies would descend after many hours of ‘stalling’. I was drawn to understand these internal movements, and what was at play in this field of life.
Later, in deeply studying Dr. Danis Bois methods of perceptual education and Fasciatherapy DBM, it became clear that we could go deeper and guide others into developing this quality of presence.
We could also transmit, through a quality of relational touch or attention, a harmonizing factor between the doula companion and the tissues and structures of the body, as well as to the psychological and emotional dimensions of a person. In this way, we equip the doula companion with a profound way to relate and bring ease to a person carrying a child, moving through loss, or labor.
“Camalo Gaskin is unique.”
DR. MICHEL ODENT, PIONEERING OBSTETRICIAN, SURGEON AND CHILDBIRTH SPECIALIST
The Center for Doula Pathways aims to support the initiation and nurturing of emerging and experienced doulas and to collaboratively develop curriculum for organizations seeking to enhance their own programs.
We facilitate learning that honors the doula as an embodied human being who can offer a quality of presence and enhanced perception for the care and well-being of those they serve. We expand our lens to the ethics of ownership of other peoples’ processes of healing and transformation. A commitment to responsible trauma stewardship is a vital aspect of this path. We look at ourselves as both witness and as protagonist.
“The Noh or Kabuki traditional theatre actors have a person that takes care of them invisibly. No one sees or hears them change the costumes of the actor. But they bring something seamless to what unfolds on the stage. The actor is not taken out of their trance. At my birth Camalo devoted to my unfolding in that way.”
– TSUKASA YAMAMOTO
Camalo Gaskin founded the acclaimed Center for Doula Pathways as an extension of a greater movement to bring together pioneers in the fields of obstetrics, midwifery, reproductive justice, embryology, perinatal psychology, palliative and spiritual companionship to steer how we birth towards an opportunity for humanity to experience transcendence.
Imprinted by her own mystical experience of giving birth alone at home, she was implored to investigate the internal resources available to human beings in a primal state of transition. This event opened new questions about human embryology, physiology, anatomy, ‘living’ biomechanics, sense intelligences, attentional and perceptual competences and invisible metaphysics and ‘ways of knowing’.
With this impulse she created the How We Birth film and conference series in 2015 with legendary thinker, surgeon and obstetrician Dr. Michel Odent, MD, gathering hundreds of birth enthusiasts across Europe and Central Asia including anthropologists, doulas, midwives, medical doctors, medical students, birth psychologists, lactation specialists, connection and bonding experts to dialogue about how our presence and state of being during this life event may have an epigenetic imprint on the future of humanity. This proved to be a seminal gathering, engaging national media outlets recognizing the centrality of this theme for the whole society.
Much of her knowledge and questions have arisen from unexplained phenomena emerging during her companionship with real people immersed in their powerful or vulnerable transition through loss, labor, and love in the absolute sense.
In ongoing dialogue and friendship with Dr. Michel Odent, Dr. Tsitsi Jaji, Indira Lopez Bassols, the late Claudia Booker JD, CNM, Deb McLaughlin and others the lectures and programs she developed were founded on the premise of pointing our attentions to ethics of personal and global practice and to a 10,000 year clock, where our practices are not merely focalized in the current protocols or knowledge limits of the present day, but accountable to long-term and planetary well-being.
Having moved through many studies and approaches to the most common issues facing human beings in transition, she found profound answers in the understandings of the body-mind unity and philosophy of experience proposed by Prof. Dr. Danis Bois. His teachings have profound implications on how we address some of the most complex health complications, pathologies, and accompany a whole human being through intense life transitions. Grateful for the pioneering thought and friendship of Dr. Danis Bois, his teachings have been intimately immersed in both her perspectives and practice accompanying people while exploring fasciatherapy, sensorial movement, and perceptual meditation paradigms that aim towards human warmth.
As an avid listener of stories across fields and other wisdom traditions, from pioneering experts to lay people and patients, the necessity for interdisciplinary, transcultural, and intersectional quests for truth is a core aspect of her pedagogical approach.
Camalo Gaskin is an experienced doula, ritual guide, anthropologist (gesture), fasciatherapist DBM, and lecturer.
She has been featured or invited to contribute to public discourse through speaking, teaching and writing at Die Zeit (German National Newspaper), Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE)’s Medical Anthropology Department, the Huffington Post, Tonic (Vice Magazine), Tip-Berlin, Midwifery Today conference, Temple of Emerging Histories & Staatstheater Kassel (her performative talk: Moving What Matters: Cohabiting Our Senses), Savvy Contemporary with German Foreign Office’s “Long Night of Ideas” (her talk: Human Birth Beyond Human Time); The Primal Continuum of Human Development (PCHD): Birth Keeper Summit panelist at the National Press Club in Washington D.C., CUNY’s New York College of Technology, Institute for the Study of Birth, Breath, and Death; Muttererde documentary by Jessica Taylor, advisor for acclaimed artist Candice Breitz’s film project “Labour”, and formerly acted as a partner and expert patron for All Our Mothers (AOM). Clue App named her a notable reproductive health expert to refer to.
She was previously a Mellon Research Scholar with focus on comparative spirituality.
And an avid student of life through diversions, failures, shadow times, re-emergences, and the powerful journey alongside the human beings who are big teachers – her children.
“Watching her at the conference, I thought “who is that?” She has got such a presence. Camalo is like the Lea center in the Sine Wave. All is going up and down, she’s steady, she keeps a vision for what’s true and she holds space for it. She has a very gentle way of having an intense truth.”
Gail Tully, Midwife & Spinning Babies Creator
A selection of press, journals, platforms, universities, culture institutions, and schools we’ve been honored to contribute to, collaborate with, or be featured in. Thank you for your shared enthusiasm.
- In Real Time Live Online
- In-Person on special occasion
- Not Pre-recorded.
How it Works:
- To enroll, please click the button below and fill out the form to get in touch with us about the process.
- We schedule an in-person (or online) informal interview and conversation about your story, why you are called to this field, to ask questions and learn more about whether this pathway is right for you.
- You receive an enrollment package, including questions that allow us to prepare relevant curriculum to each cohort.
- We set up the payment for program tuition
- You’ll receive a Doula Immersion Enrollment Pack and details of schedule and what you need to prepare for the days of the intensive.
- You are asked to set aside the time of the intensive as you would any retreat for yourself to be fully present.
- We gather in intimate-sized cohorts allowing for responsive, customized education and engagement.
- Our schedule is parent-friendly and honors human needs for integration time.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR TRUST IN THIS PATH OF INITIATION AND GROWTH.
“I think learning from Camalo is a bit like learning hypnosis techniques from Erickson himself or psychoanalysis from Freud. Some people have this gift that the learning becomes such a joy that people like to listen no matter what the subject is, like if you think at high school that you suck at Physics and then you get a great teacher, suddenly you and pretty much everyone wants to major in it. I also trust Camalo as an expert in this field.” Hana Cermakova, Psychologist
“When she guided meditations, she turned my attention to previously unseen and unexperienced internal spaces and opened my awareness to the full spectrum of life. When she treats with the touch of fasciatherapy she enters in a uniquely attentive communication with the tissues. She doesn’t instruct, suggest or force. She listens deeply, allows and transforms. During my miscarriage, Camalo was my most tender and stable companion, allowing my experience to unfold, gently holding all the range of emotions that came up for me. What I mostly appreciate and love about Camalo is that she doesn’t intend to make you feel anything specific; she doesn’t operate on any limited agenda. Her openness to encounter you every time anew is what facilitates the change within you and inspires you to be this person for other people too.” Evita Varela, Neuroscientist
“I would recommend this to absolutely anyone looking into becoming a doula, and I’m so lucky to have found this training that offers something really unique from all the other programs out there.” Jessica Roth, Yoga Teacher
“It’s amazing, it’s deep, it’s intense, it’s profound, it’s inspiring, it’s grounding, it’s intuitive. It’s everything I have been longing for, for a long time.” Johanna Hachmann, Singer and Communications Coach
“In my practice as an out-of-hospital midwife, it has been my pleasure to collaborate with Camalo on a number of occasions. Each time I am struck by the ways in which she is able to hold space for and accompany her clients through the childbearing cycle, with so much empathy, professional skill and intuition. I have felt confident working together with her to make sure that a family receives the best possible care, knowing that she will support them well through this transitional period regardless of where they choose to have their birth. I have experienced her as a grounded and steady advocate for families in situations where they may feel overwhelmed or unable to advocate for themselves. I recommend her highly as a Doula for families seeking sensitive, knowledgeable, continuous care, as well as to other midwives as a dynamic and supportive colleague. On a personal level I enjoy working with Camalo so much, sharing skills and experiences as we approach our practice from two complementary perspectives.” Imogen Minton, Midwife, Co-founder Of Cocoon Collective
“I am a Medical Doctor and an Anthropologist. I am currently working in the Amazon in Colombia. I am really happy to be learning how to accompany births not as a midwife or a medical doctor or even as an anthropologist, but as a doula who can accompany a woman during that very intimate moment of birth. It is a very subtle kind of knowledge that I would say is very difficult to teach and I think Camalo is very good at sharing through experience that allows one to imagine what a birth can be because it would be difficult to have a script and to have techniques and say, well this is what’s going to happen and have ideas and examples.” Dr. Johanna Goncales Martin, Medical Doctor And Anthropologist
“I’m actually a medical student, roughly half way through my studies in Cologne. For me during the immersion a lot of change of perspective came up on how to learn correctly. I found the style in which way more so Camalo teaches is almost radically different than how I was used to being taught at University. So that being Camalo telling stories, then giving you tasks, then these tasks leading to you finding your own answers, and then you also find trust in yourself. Because then that’s what you need, trust in yourself to know that your answers are the right ones. In quite a big contrast to just being presented one truth by some authorities as is often happening in University teachings I find. So, I do feel very thankful for this experience which really teaches me to find more trust in myself, which really makes this whole Immersion also a personal journey of growing, rather than just being practical workshops on how to do the work. This really is a multidimensional experience, which I’m really grateful for.” Maxime Oeburg, Medical Student
“It is also the intangible aspects that were most important in Camalo’s guidance. Her ability to hold presence for the duration of the intensive was like an adaptogen, maintaining the balance of our space. It was marvelous to be in a learning environment co-facilitated by such a gentle, strong, knowledgeable, and experienced Being.” Rebekah Green
“I think that the combination of learning the practicality of being a doula, but also the emotional and spiritual side – on top of the education on fascia therapy and the importance of touch to me is a completely new industry and a completely new set of skills that I didn’t even know were possible to obtain.” Jessica Karas Bay, Our Name Is Mama
“I feel like something in me has changed through this experience. I finished the Immersion feeling different and that has continued. The intimacy and connection, Camalo’s clear depth of knowledge, the opportunity and encouragement to bring yourself to the learning and to your developing practice.” Anna Bishop
“Camalo engages with birth at a global level in ways absolutely unique in the Berlin birth world. She allows the nuance in each birth story to be self-so. She approaches birth without fear or judgment. And she is dedicated to this work at a soul level.” Gem Kocher, The Rainbow Doula
A This is a vital question for all participants.While this immersion is an enriching experience on all levels, a valuable aspect of the course and mentorship provides practical guidance and experience focused on the steps each participant can take, if desired, to earn back the cost of this program within the first few births (or other companionship offerings) following the intensive or later after certification. Nonetheless, each participant will be encouraged to be proactive in their application of this guidance.
There will be time assigned for discussion on how to integrate the new principles and techniques learned into participants new or existing practice and how these may aid the personal development of the doula practitioner.
A Along with a robust community of other peers with on-going relationships, we offer structured mentorship with 6-monthly online gatherings to debrief experiences, access direct guidance in the practices learned, and references to practitioners in our global network. Each participant will have access to a community group and a schedule to confidentially consult guides within the mentorship period. The Mentorship Curator will nurture the needs of our intimate community providing a safe space for gathering, and for us to expand on the atmosphere we created during the intensive.
A Participants have access to trusted and experienced doula mentors to guide them in the process of understanding how to apply the learning in practice and how to address challenges or triumphs you may face as you enter this path. This is both an opportunity to engage further in the learning and a debriefing framework to help support participants through their experiences. Beyond that, this may be a time to connect with revered researchers, practitioners, activists, healers, and interdisciplinary experts that will help our community fortify our learning and life experiences.
A Immediately. The curriculum of the intensive is curated specifically to prepare you to be ready to enter any accompaniment with a unique perspective and hands on practices that will deepen over time. This intensive is a unique education that is uncommon to any other doula, midwifery, bodywork, therapy, spirituality or medical program.
Once you enter your accompaniment practice, the guidance is more specific to what you encounter. The practical experience and evaluation period allows for guided mentorship to ensure self-confidence and competency of each participant. This also is a period of understanding and evolving your own practice and questions that arise uniquely from being in the field. We allow this period of letting go of assumptions and bias, by living our practice. Challenges can be discussed and processed with mentorship and peer community.
A Many health care practitioners encounter strenuous conditions in their clinical practice and entered their field with the wish for more human connection. They may also be in search of other ways of seeing the body-mind beyond the lens of pathology.
This path of practice explores the possibilities of being Guardians of Intimacy as an approach for anyone accompanying other human beings through transition. It is not exclusive to those wishing to work strictly as doulas. The perspectives and competences we offer are valuable for anyone applying knowledge of human physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, psychology to the living experience in the body.
This pathway equips them with both new perspectives and skills for re-entering their practices with confidence to explore new ways of accompanying.