What is Body Psychotherapy?
Essentially, body psychotherapy is a shared exploration of embodied experience. The therapist supports the client to bring attention to how the mind expresses itself through the body in the form of sensations, feelings, emotions, impulses and patterns of thinking. Through tuning into the body in this way it is possible to uncover what messages are being conveyed by the body and gradually to gain a sense of what behaviours and choices best support a person’s wellbeing. Mindfulness is really at the heart of the approach, bringing a gentle and accepting curiosity to present experience.
Body psychotherapy offers a means of exploring the way in which we operate in our lives and especially in our relationships. It can support a process of becoming more aware of what drives habitual patterns of behaviour, with a view to claiming more freedom, wellbeing and vitality in our lives.
Body psychotherapy is derived from the work of Wilhelm Reich, a medical doctor and psychoanalyst who was a contemporary of Sigmund Freud. It was also shaped by the influences of Eastern philosophy in the 1960s, for example the emphasis on the present moment.
I believe that our challenge is to become more consciously aligned with a natural impulse towards health and wholeness. This is achieved through developing more awareness of our experience, e.g. feelings, sensations, thoughts, emotions and impulses. We will then find ourselves better equipped to offer ourselves the necessary conditions for our wellbeing, healing and development. Bringing awareness to our present state of embodiment is key to this process.