Body Oriented Psychotherapy / Biodynamic Psychotherapy
Becoming who we really are: meeting our essence
The bud stands for all things
Even the things that don’t flower,
For everything flowers, from within, of self blessing;
Though sometimes it is necessary
To reteach a thing its loveliness,
To put a hand on the brow
Of the flower
And retell it in words and in touch
It is lovely
Until it flowers again from within, of self blessing;
(…) excerpt from Galway Kinnell ‘Saint Francis and the Sow’, 2000
Biodynamic Psychology believes that every human being has a whole and complete inner core remaining unaffected by life’s turbulences, called the Primary Personality. Its counterpart though, the Secondary Personality, feeds on all life’s experiences, which make us suppress or distort our primary impulses of true self-expression. Thus, over time, the way we present ourselves to the world is formed and crystallizes in a person’s character and body posture.
We learn to suppress the urge to express ourselves from early age on, because in individual families and in society generally, the spontaneous expression of certain feelings is not welcomed. There may be prohibitions, disapproval, punishments or even more serious traumatic experiences, like physical violence and sexual abuse, to make us repress or restrict the instinctual responses.
However, the Primary Personality never stops sending subtle impulses from the core to the brain and body, carrying healing wisdom in the form of what physical movement, what sound, or what other expression or action is necessary, in order to release and re-balance the stuck energy of that person in this moment. One of the aims of Biodynamic Body Psychotherapy is to help the client to regain awareness of these subtle impulses ‘impinging from within’, and learn to trust and follow their guidance towards the enfolding of the true self.
Biodynamic Body Psychotherapy disposes over a wide range of techniques to work through a person’s layers of armouring, in respect of the person’s pace and in a gentle, allowing way.
If you are interested in learning more about the theory of Biodynamic Body Psychotherapy you can read more about biodynamic healing here.
Internal Family Systems Therapy
Internal Family Systems Therapy is one of the fastest growing approaches to psychotherapy. It has developed over the past twenty years into a way of understanding and treating human problems that is empowering, effective, and nonpathologizing. IFS involves helping people heal by listening inside themselves in a new way to different “parts” – feelings or thoughts – and in the process, unburdening themselves of extreme beliefs, emotions, sensations, and urges that constrain their lives. As they unburden, people have more access to Self, our most precious human resource, and are better able to lead their lives from that centered, confident, compassionate place.” (2001, Introduction to the Internal Family Systems Model, text on back of the paperback).
Since I introduced IFS into my practice I have seen many clients finding relief and healing, getting to know their inner parts and gaining access to their Self. Especially in the case of Trauma IFS has proved invaluable for clients to regain a sense of agency, learning that their depression, anxiety, anger or addiction are held by separate parts of their personality and don’t define their identity.
Body Oriented Psychotherapy and IFS in combination
Both approaches have shown to be highly compatible. For example the IFS model would provide the overall structure of the process and the body oriented approach would be used to help different “parts” of the client to explore their “burdens”. Both approaches share the belief in a core ‘Self’ that cannot be damaged. It can however be overshadowed by parts carrying powerful emotional burdens/traumata or by parts that try to ‘help’ us not to feel those deep and painful emotions by suppressing them, using a variety of different strategies, that in contrast to the original intention often create difficulties in our lives.
How does a session look like?
Sessions usually last 60 minutes. In the first meeting we will talk about the issues that brought you to therapy in the first place and I will outline a possible approach.
I recommend a minimum of 3 or 4 session to find out if it the method and our relationship works for you. When trust is established and we mutually agree, we will then continue to explore how the issues that are showing up in your life might are manifesting in your whole being: a state of emotional or spiritual imbalance is often reflected in either physical tensions (neck, shoulders, back are favourites), digestive problems, headaches, or some form of suffering in your mental health like anxiety, depression or insomnia.
£60 for 60 minutes. Concessions can be discussed.
Sometimes therapy is not quite what is needed. Or to put it differently, once we enter deeply into the journey of self discovery through therapy, we will often encounter a part of us that opens up to a spiritual dimension without being religious.
When that gateway opens, it offers a beautiful gift of discovering yet another layer beyond our personality, the world of Being. Here we can taste true freedom, universal love and a sense of wholeness that is neither fluffy nor new agey, but firmly grounded in our experience.
I experience it as a great privilege when I am asked to guide or accompany someone on this path for a while.
£60 for 60 minutes. Concessions can be discussed.