What is Body Psychotherapy?
Body psychotherapist is part of the group of Humanistic therapies, which focuses on helping an individual gain a healthier and stronger sense of self. As with other more familiar traditions, sessions usually involve us getting to know each other and talking, as part of the therapy.
Where body psychotherapy differs from other therapies is, as the name suggests, in the belief that feelings and emotional regulation involve the body as much as the mind. The practice derives from the theories of Wilhelm Reich, who worked with Freud. Reich observed that very young infants can develop a defence system in order to cope with difficult feelings. This defensive patterning can emerge at a time when the infant’s brain is in quite early stages of development, involving the limbic (emotional) centres and the body. The ‘thinking’ part of the brain, the frontal lobes, develops later as infancy progresses. As the infant learns to repress their feelings, a process which involves our autonomic nervous system (breathing, heart-rate, digestive system etc) as well as our muscular system, this defence system becomes embodied and not easily accessible to conscious thought. This is why we sometimes feel that talking ‘isn’t doing any good’ or that it ‘isn’t getting to the bottom of the problem’. Sometimes we think: ‘this is just the way I am’, but it isn’t necessarily the case. The work of the psychotherapist can involve helping the client track what is happening to them in their body and what they might be feeling, below the level of conscious processing.
What is Biodynamic Massage?
Biodynamic massage is a contact-lead form of massage, sometimes practised as a stand-alone therapy at complementary level. I tend to integrate biodynamic massage into my psychotherapy work with clients. We continue the relationship we had in chairs, on the massage table and work to deepen a ‘felt’ sense of where you are in yourself, to release tension and emotional blocks in a safe and grounded way. The body is a safe container but sometimes we need help to realise this, to feel where we begin and end and to strengthen our sense of physical and emotional boundaries. Touch can also help us feel contacted – ‘reached’ at a non-verbal level, repairing early difficulties and healing losses in human communication.
You can find out more about Biodynamic massage at www.abmt.org.uk
I have completed four years training at the Cambridge Body Psychotherapy Centre and am now registered with UK Council of Psychotherapists (UKCP) as a qualified trainee body psychotherapist.
I also trained in biodynamic massage and gained the Foundation Certificate in Biodynamic Massage and I am registered with the Association of Biodynamic Massage Therapists (ABMT). I am currently Chair of the Association. I adhere to the Code of Ethics of the ABMT and am also registered with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC).
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Telephone: 07890 798081