Body-Psychotherapy  

 

“The body is the outermost layer of the mind.”
David Mitchell

“The Body never lies.

The body says what words cannot.”

Martha Graham


What does it say? It tells a story – the person's story- from conception to the now. It speaks through posture, muscle tone and movement, through sensations and feelings, visceral and biochemical dynamics.


Body- or Body-Oriented Psychotherapy, Somatic- or Sensorimotor Psychotherapy are using the interaction between body and mind, aiming to facilitate a whole person process of recovery from stress, etc. They may look at and work with voice, gestures/ body-language, movement, breathing, body -structure and biofeedback: peristalsis (in Biodynamic Psychology) and/or Heart-Rate-Variability (HRV)* .


Its roots go back to Pierre Janet, Siegmund Freud and particularly Wilhelm Reich, while later  Alexander Lowen (Bioernergetics), John Pierrakos (Core Energetics) and Gerda Boyesen (Biodynamic Psychology) developed further styles. Even F. Perls' Gestalt Therapy is considered a Body-Oriented-Psychotherapy school.

Later still, HakomiBiosysnthesisProcess-Oriented Psychology, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy have contributed further to the body of work.


By its nature, Body-Psychotherapy is Integrative. It is a part of the whole treatment approach towards the whole person. Naturally, the talking is very important, particularly, it facilitates the conscious part of integration.

“More specifically, in an integrated therapy:

-The psychological process being verbalized – for example, conflicts or beliefs – are explicitly connected to their bodily expressions.

-Physical processes, such as posture, muscular holding, and somatic disturbances, are seen as meaningful expressions of the person.

-Both physical and psychological processes are looked at as aspects of the same whole (person/organism) and the divisions into parts both within and across each domain is the issue of therapeutic concern. Therapeutic technique strives to restore the sense of the self as a whole and reassert the mutual identity of the parts” James I. Kepner in: Body Process – Working With The Body In Psychotherapy, 1993.


Some people need more than Talking-Therapy approaches.

They may feel estranged from their bodies or frightened or dissociated. Some people somatize - a tendency to experience and communicate psychological distress in the form of somatic (bodily) symptoms. This is typically the case in Trauma:


“Trauma survivors have symptoms rather then memories.” Harvey, 1990


Markus has extensive experience in working with a variety of techniques:

  • Grounding and Breath
  • Scanning and Body reading
  • Interoceptive Awareness
  • Adapted Vegeto Therapy
  • Movement
  • Biodynamic (Psychotherapeutic) Massage


He holds a Diploma in Biodynamic Psychotherapy and Massage and has over 16 years experience which he applies in a sensitive and responsible manner. While most people will benefit from a Body oriented approach in combination with talking, not everybody is suited or wants hands-on techniques. There are some contra-indications which will be carefully and respectfully discussed. Others, however, find the hands-on approach particularly beneficial in their process and  sometimes much can happen from small interventions.


* The Heart-Rate-Variability (HRV) is “a measure of neurocardiac function that reflects heart-brain interactions and autonomic nervous system dynamics” (Rollin McCraty)