Body Psychotherapy

 

...a child who needs to inhibit his or her natural feelings, whether for healthy or unhealthy reasons, also unconsciously either inhibits muscles that would express those feelings or activates muscles opposing those muscles of expression. In either case, the effect is the same: using the muscular body to keep the unacceptable emotions ‘under wrap’. Touch can disrupt the patterns of muscular tension intended to inhibit emotions; thus, touch can have the effect of changing a person’s emotional responses and promoting emotional healing.
— Elliot Green, "The Psychology of the Body"

Body psychotherapy is an integrative process of Deep Bodywork, Postural Integration and Embodied Relational Therapy, forms of Reichian body psychotherapy which draw on the work of Wilhelm Reich and Alexander Lowen.  It incorporates modern psychotherapeutic and creative processes drawn from Gestalt Therapy, Rolfing, Accupressure and movement awareness, and is updated with contemporary insights from brain and neurological research and relational and trauma psychotherapy.


Postural Integration

Postural Integration is a 10 step process of deep muscular and myofascial work pioneered by Jack Painter. It draws from the structural aspects of Rolfing and integrates this with the emotional processing of gestalt and Rechian psychotherapy

It works in a systematic way through the different structures of the body to soften areas of muscular tension, rigidity and hardness.  This gives space for feelings that arise to be explored with sensitivity and awareness so they can released and integrated.

Using deep touch with slow, focused entry into the body, or long strokes similar to massage, it stimulates acupressure meridians and energetic pathways, which softens muscles and loosens tension, enabling the body to realign and restructure itself. The result is a body that is softer, freer in movement, more open and expressive, more elongated and balanced, with more breath and energy.


Deep Bodywork

Deep Bodywork is a development of body psychotherapy pioneered by Silke Ziehl.  It works with the awareness that our early prenatal and childhood experiences, inherited beliefs, trauma and suppressed emotions, as well as joy and pleasure, are held in the body. The process uses deep touch, breathwork, movement, and Gestalt dialogue process (role play) to help you make contact with the feelings and sensations of the body and the subtle ways it communicates. By becoming more aware of these and giving voice to them you release unconscious blocks and stuck energy, which frees your body-mind and opens your life up to the possibility of greater wellbeing and wholeness.

Deep Bodywork helps you make contact with this primal somatic self and give it voice. It creates an environment of warmth, trust and safety, with clear boundaries, where you can listen deeply to the voice within, tell the story of your life, and discover new ways to live by.


Embodied Relational Therapy

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Embodied Relational Therapy focuses on the experience of being embodied and being in relationship with others. This psychotherapeutic process, developed by Nick Totton, explores embodiment through deep inner listening, to experience how we express ourselves through our body-mind and how we are in relationship.  It gives us space to explore the aspects of body-mind which keep us separate from others, and the ways of soul which call us more deeply into knowing ourself and more deeply into knowing the other.

At the heart of the work is a deep trust that ‘whatever is happening in someone’s life or in the wider world needs to happen, and whatever needs to happen is trying to happen.’*  From this place there is an acceptance of life and the challenges you’ve faced and an understanding that difficulties are merely pointers for change, rather than problems to be solved, and signposts on the path to healing.

This allows for spontaneity and playfulness in welcoming whatever aspects of your life comes up to be explored and an opening towards being more loving and accepting of yourself.  In this way we become more fully integrated in body-mind and spirit through being in right relationship with Self and in right relationship with others.

*Nick Totton