Family Group Photo

Who We Are
Natural Family Living~Right from the Start is a Santa Barbara community project initiated in June 2007 with the funding of the James S. Bower Foundation. Natural Family Living is a project of the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute Center for Clinical Studies and Research(a non-profit organization). Read more…

Our vision is to collaborate with others to create a tipping point in our community’s awareness, practices, and policies that nurture human potential and optimal relationships from the beginning of life.

Natural Family Living~Right from the Start (NFL~RFS) provides information, education, research, training, and support for families, professionals, community programs, and policy-making groups to maximize human potential and optimal relationships from the beginning of life. Research indicates that the primary period is the most important period to support babies to establish their fullest human potential. Thus, awareness, information, support and community resources are best utilized when we maximize our focus on helping families during this period. Read more...

NFL~RFS brings leading-edge understandings from fields such as prenatal and perinatal psychology, infant mental health, and the emerging new sciences to focus on optimizing the primary period of human development, preconception through the baby’s first year of life.

Investing in Human Potential From the Beginning of Life: Key to Maximizing Human Capital

2009 - Position Paper by Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD and Marti Glenn, PhD.

ABSTRACT: Economic analysis of human capital–the abilities and skills a person brings to community and work force–suggests that investing in early childhood programs is much more cost-effective than dollars spent intervening later in life. Even with increasing knowledge of the importance of early intervention programs, there still appears to be a mental divide separating the prenatal and birth period and infancy. Programs that begin during infancy or later may not address the fundamental origins of the increasing issues we face regarding our children. The key to reverse this cascade of poor outcomes and to dramatically improve human capital and human potential is to bring innovative and comprehensive efforts to support families during the primary period of human development–pre-conception through baby’s first postnatal year. This paper introduces 12 guiding principles to align the re-visioning and strategic planning for funding, policy-making, research, professional education and training, and parenting practices. First action steps to maximize human potential and human capital from a prenatal and perinatal psychology perspective are addressed.

You have our permission to post and distribute this document as presented here:

Download web low resolution pdf

Download high resolution pdf to print.

12 Guiding Principles To Nurture Human Potential and Optimize Relationships From the Beginning Of Life

Intense study and clinical experience in Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology over the last 30 years has expanded and deepened our understanding of the earliest period of development.

In 2007-2008, a team of leading experts distilled these new understandings into a simple document and 12 guiding principles to help parents, professionals and community readily focus on essential ways to help babies and families have the best start possible.



To order printed brochures in bulk, email (Pricing: $.50 per brochure plus $5.00 shipping up to 50 brochures.)


City of Santa Barbara Makes YOUTH #1 Priority

On August 1, 2007 The City of Santa Barbara passed a resolution to “make YOUTH our #1 Priority” and to join 50 other cities to adopt the National League of Cities’ City Platform for Strengthening Families and Improving Outcomes for Children and Youth.

Our first community awareness campaign aligns with this resolution and promotes the recognition of the prenatal period as the primary formative period for the person we will become. Please share this message with others in our community.


Click image to save image on your desktop.

Please bookmark this web site and visit often. We will be adding more information and community resources.

We look forward to working together to expand our community dedicated to nurturing our babies and supporting families.

Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD, RN
NFL~RFS Director



join our email list

Natural Family Living
~ Right From the Start

Wendy Anne McCarty, PhD, RN

Board Members
Marti Glenn, PhD, MFT, President
Ken Bruer, MA, MFT, Vice-President

Marti, Ken, and Wendy

525 E. Micheltorena, Suite 205
Santa Barbara, CA 93103

Tanis and Maya
Tanis Marble, MA & Baby Maya
Team Members

Patsy An Grace
Wendy Anne McCarty

Graphic Design
Lynda Rae, Aurora Design Studio

Kirk Candlish