Humanistic & Integrative Psychotherapy

 “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.” Victor Frankl

There are many different approaches and schools of Psychotherapy.

Its roots go back all the way to  W. ReichC.G. Jung and S. Freud(Psychoanalyses) but Humanistic Integrative Psychotherapy (HIP) is a much more friendly and personal, non-pathologizing approach ( A. Maslow) further integrating Person Centred (C. Rogers) as well as Gestalt ( F. Perls) ideas and values.

Even Behaviourism had some influence and has also been integrated, perhaps to a smaller degree.

Humanistic Psychology sees the individual as a whole being, arising from the parts. It takes a more holistic view of the person within her/his family, social and cultural background and even their religious and spiritual beliefs and experiences.

HIP integrates the research and techniques of most schools of Psychotherapy to deliver a more personalized experience for the client.

But the word 'Integrative' also points to the desired therapeutic outcome of human experience:

to integrate ones own experiences into a meaningful whole. Needless to say that when it comes to some of the most challenging and overwhelming experiences - this can be a difficult task to achieve without the right kind of support.

Respectful listening, empathy and mindfulness are the most important aspects of Humanistic therapy.

While it is based in the same principles as mindfulness with its non-judgemental presence, it won't be completely non-directive.

This means that the experienced therapist will discern when to offer some guidance or Psycho-education.



“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, all manifest in the neurobiological continuum.

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, Hakomi, Biosysnthesis, Process-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 24 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)