Carmella B'Hahn is English by birth and has travelled extensively. Born in 1958, she trained initially in art and photography, then moved on to work with magazine layout, writing and editing. In 1984 she co-founded MetaCentre: Foundation for Human Potential with her parents, M'haletta and Derek Taylor, and in 1987 she co-founded BirthWorks (now franchised) which offers support services for holistic childbirth and waterbirth.
The British Press has followed Carmella's life since she hit international headlines in 1986 as the first Midlands mother to give birth in water. They have reported her pioneering work with waterbirth, the shocking and ironic death of her son, Benjaya, age five, in her local river, and the subsequent birth of another son - also in water. She has been featured on television and radio many times, including a special BBC documentary entitled 'Customised Funerals'.
Carmella and her son, Benjaya
For over 20 years, Carmella has been developing holistic approaches to birth, life transitions and death, and has conducted workshops on these themes internationally. Her writings on both birth and death have been published in many journals and she has published two books: Benjaya’s Gifts and MOURNING HAS BROKEN Learning from the Wisdom of Adversity. She is also committed to Conscious Communication and is currently leading workshops as well as writing a book - Speech Achemy - on this subject.
Carmella studied Inner Light Consciousness with her spiritual teacher, Paul Soloman, in the 1980s – a comprehensive system of teachings including: Emotions Management, Dreamwork, Synchronicity, Effective Communication, Inner Life work, Universal Law, and Dynamic Meditation. She also has a diploma in Neuro-Linguistic Programming, has studied Focusing and Marshall Rosenberg's Nonviolent Communication. She is formally trained to counsel by the bereavement organisation, Cruse but has absorbed and learned many of her techniques from her mother – an outstanding counsellor.
She believes that being tested by life to apply her learning in every day action is invaluable training for helping others, and she considers the death of her son to be her greatest training in doing just this. Her passion is helping others to raise a phoenix from the ashes of their difficulties and she is currently on the team of the Inner Resilience Program in New York City, originally set up to help those in the teaching profession affected by the horrors of Sept 11th, 2001 (now supporting school personnel to connect with their inner lives).
Carmella lives in the Bowden eco-community in Totnes, South West England (www.bowdenhouse.co.uk), which she co-founded in 2005. The Bowden Estate also houses her business Solace which offers personal counselling and coaching sessions, workshops and other services related to grief and resilience.