What is the impact of incorporating work with the body in the therapeutic treatment of assault/abuse? Victims of violence or sexual abuse who have tried to work it through exclusively in verbal therapy often express: "I know what happened, and I have talked it through, but I'm still missing something." "I can't seem to be finished with it." "I still don't like my body." "I'm still scared." Body-psychotherapeutic work with victims of assault/abuse usually enables radical progress. First the client will experience the assault/abuse as more "real" -- the experience gains a somatic and emotional reality. Later s/he will find it is actually possible to release the experience: feelings can be expressed, nausea and anxiety disappear, the stomach becomes quiet again, etc.
Challenges on the way towards a common ground of body psychotherapy – Body psychotherapy versus the established areas of psychology.
I believe that we need to move towards a common ground of body psychotherapy, and also that we need to enter into a more professional dialogue with the world of established and academic psychologists. These are no easy challenges. I will address some of the difficulties I see as connected to these processes including what I perceive as our fears and resistances. And I will suggest a few steps in both (interconnected) directions: what is the common ground of body psychotherapy and how can we establish a dialogue with the world of academic psychologists?
What does it actually mean to care for oneself? Some of the first words that come to mind are personal integrity, to feel oneself and to listen to oneself. One of the great gestalt therapists was once asked: Who was more important the client or the therapist? The answer was the therapist. It is a provocative way of seeing it, but the point is true. If the therapist does not see him/herself as the most important, it is not possible to help the client fully.
What is it that lets a work group function optimally? What promotes the completion of the task, an atmosphere conducive to cooperation, the solution of conflicts and the further development of the group and of its individual members? Many models have been constructed at various times to answer these questions. BODYnamic's answer is a model consisting of eight necessary functions to be maintained by a leader (leader functions) or as a group (group functions). Hence the name: F8. Associations to the F16 fighter bomber are not out of place here: A "crash landing" cannot always be avoided, but the F8 model generally "keeps you flying" when used consistently.
Covers Developmental Movements and abilities across many dimensions such as: Gross motor, Fine motor, Visual Performance, Auditory Performance, Eat / Speech organs, Tactile Performance, Kinesthetic Sense and Abstract Reasoning.
Since a traumatic experience is essentially one of disintegration, it is understandable that it would bring out any pre-existing defenses. It becomes important then, for SE practitioners to learn how to spot these defenses and work around them. Otherwise, the SE process in general, and self-regulation in particular, will be hindered. The purpose of this note is not to teach people how to work developmentally. The purpose is rather, to give SE practitioners some ideas about how they might work around the developmental defenses that most often manifest in SE sessions.
This chapter compares findings in developmental neuroscience and infant research, from children from birth to two years old, with five basic somatic character structures derived from the slightly varied descriptions of development in three different somatic character systems: Bioenergetics, Hakomi, and Bodynamics.
Shock trauma can, of course, occur at any time in one's life. Thus it might occur within developmental stages (pre-birth through adolescence). The focus in this workshop is on trauma that occurs within particular developmental stages -- the attachment stages: Existence (2nd Trimester to 3 months): Need (1 month to 1.5 years of age); and Autonomy (8 months - 2.5 years). During these periods, most of the infant's experience is in the sensory motor realm. Spoken language is barely available, and the limbic and cortical portions of the infant's brain are not fully developed.
In this article we introduce readers to the Bodymap, a precise diagnostic tool developed as a part of Bodynamic Analysis. The Bodymap is a concise visual format for displaying and analyzing psychological information stored in the muscles. The ability to measure muscle responses and access the historical information they contain makes a developmental analysis in terms of psychological character structures more concrete and less metaphorical. We also introduce ten “Ego Functions” (e.g. grounding and reality testing, centering, etc.) that are used to understand human functioning.
In Bodynamic Analysis, we use a Bodymap as a starting point for the evaluation of the personality of the client. It also helps us find out how they might benefit from different kinds of therapy. On the Bodymap form, which is a drawing of a figure of the human front and backsides, we make a color-coded depiction of the muscle responses of almost all the muscles of the client. By muscle response, we mean the elasticity of each muscle, as measured by palpation. We differentiate nine degrees of response: 4 degrees of hypo-response, 4 degrees of hyper-response, and 1 neutral response.