BODYMAP TESTING + INTERPRETATION
Interpretation of the Bodymap as starting point for preparation of a therapy process
(test reading, prognosis and treatment plan).
The work with test reading, prognosis, and treatment plan builds on:
- an interview with the client,
- a Bodymap, and
- on the therapist’s impression of the client and the contact they have during the interview and during the body mapping.
The interpretation of the Bodymap consists of a systematic evaluation of the personality and ego-functions of the client, a prognosis based upon these, and an articulated treatment plan. The interpretation is based on a systematic analysis of the client’s patterns of muscle responses based on Bodynamic Analytic theory, and supplemented by the therapist’s accumulated experience and intuition concerning the test, the client, and contact with the client.
I: Test Reading
The result of a test reading is a description of the client with his present difficulties and his resources. We also have a description of the reasons for these, based on an interview, the Bodymap, and an experience of contact with the client.
It is important to evaluate and be clear about the following points:
1. The ego structure of the client
1.1 Suppressed and push (dominated by hyper-responsive defenses)
1.2 Balanced (light/medium balance between hyper/hypo defenses)
1.3 Resigned and withdrawn (dominated by hypo-responsive defenses)
1.4 Existence structure (Is it a Mental or Emotional existence structure)
1.5 Developmental trauma signs (Look for high symmetry percentage of one specific color in the ego-functions)
1.6 Closed coding’s (Dark, strongly polarized patterns of hyper/hypo defenses)
1.7 Shock dominated signs (big difference between muscle and fascia and “crispy” muscle responses – changes response when activated, collapses from A2 to B2)
1.8 Complex PTSD sees as a mix of developmental trauma signs and shock dominated signs in the ego function.
You make an evaluation of this based on the balance of hyper-responsive, hypo-responsive, and neutral muscle responses, compared with a series of specific signs
2. The background, education and present life situation of the client.
2.1 Background of class (sociological), culture and life style
2.2 Present class (sociological) and life style seen in relation to the culture and life style of partner and friends
2.3 Present situation of work, residence, and family
2.4 Friends, both close and more distant (social network)
2.5 Resources – especially unconscious resources (so called “white holes”)
The present situation of life and background indicate important lines of directions for a psychotherapy process. These conditions show the resources and difficulties from which the client must develop.
3. Specific conditions and difficulties
3.1 Drug abuse, Alcohol abuse and Hash abuse – especially as a teenager
3.2 Use of neuroleptics – and other forms of medication, that affect the body and the mind
3.3 Physical and especially psychiatric diseases. Physically we think of asthma, neurological diseases, allergies, etc. Psychiatrically, of psychosis (schizophrenia, manic-depressive, psychosis, paranoia), borderline psychotic states, phobias and intense neurotic signs and character deviations/psychopathy.
3.4 Significant shock and traumatic experiences i.e. abuse (physical/ sexual), early hospitalization, sudden loss of an intimate person, traffic accidents
3.5 Repeated abuse, incest, repeated physical abuse during upbringing, torture etc.
3.6 imbalance after other treatments or spiritual experiences
3.7 Incomprehensible or unresolved extrasensory experiences
Our evaluation of the above is based both on the Bodymap and on knowledge from the interview and from the evaluation of the contact with the client
II: Personality description based on the Bodymap
A personality description based on a Bodymap is based on a series of different, partly overlapping, analyses. These analyses have 3 categories.
- A general evaluation of the client and the most beneficial psychotherapeutic treatment form: From the balance between hyper-, hypo-, and neutral muscle responses in the Bodymap you can estimate the major personality structure of the client and the directions for the most appropriate psychotherapy.
- An evaluation of the present level of function of the client (in Bodynamic Analysis this means an assessment of different ego functions) Based on this mapping we are now able to give a precise description of the client’s resources and restraints in connection to a long series of intrapsychic personality functions, and in connection to a series of interaction skills in relation to other people.
- An estimation of the development of the personality of the client (in Bo dynamic Analysis this implies an assessment of the Character structure of the client)Character formation of healthy, stiff, or undeveloped patterns of experience and behavior characteristic of a series of different age levels.
The analysis of the Ego-functions and the analysis of the client’s character structures are overlapping analyzes with different focus, while at the same time as the analysis of the client’s ego-functions, attention is paid to how these are influenced by the personality development (character structures), as is also observed in the assessment of the client’s personality development, which ego-functions are affected by development and traumatization at various stages of development. Both are linked to the client’s life story from the interview.
Suggestions how to understand basic Bodymap answers:
Since it is interpretations we are working with, it is not possible to be exact. There is no key answer. But, it gives a grip of the person’s abilities and personality, and at least to know where there are some problems to be careful about.
When you read the Basic Bodymap think about if this is a person who needs female or male support. (meaning a lot of support or a supportive confrontation). If the Bodymap are bluer or have blue areas, these themes (ego-functions/ character structures) need female support and the more red areas needs more male confrontive support.
A. In the first overview of the Bodymap look for:
- Is it primarily a red or a blue test, light or dark, difference between front and back. In general, a Bodymap dominated by hyper-responsiveness (a “red” test) indicates a client whose primary mechanism of defense is holding back. A Bodymap dominated by hypo-responsiveness (a “blue” test) indicates a client who primarily uses resignation as a mechanism of defense.
- Does it have horizontal splits – when there are more red at one part of a joint and more blue at the other part (ex. red head, blue neck, red back, blue legs, red feet) and there are some 2’s and 3’s on one part/ or both parts of the joint – we talk about Horizontal splits. It also could indicate trauma.
- If there are almost the same test answers in a sub-function (one sided and both sides) it indicates that the whole sub-function tends to hesitate (B1) or hold back (A1). (Ex. all answers in vastus intermedius B1 one sided or both sides). That could be called an Ego Function answer. If the answers are different (ex. A/ B) – go and interpret out of the Character Structure.
- Symmetry in a Bodymap is when the responses of the muscles in the left and right sides are identical or same color code (A1/A2 – B1/B2). If one side are outside the conscious level (3’s), the interpretation changes into developmental/ shock trauma understanding.Asymmetry occurs when one side is green/blue and the other red no matter the level. Different degrees of symmetry and asymmetry can exist in a Bodymap. In the areas with symmetry at same side or between the left and right sides, the client is likely to be less aware of problems. In the areas with asymmetry in the same side or between the left and right sides, the client is more aware of the inner conflict and it’s easier to access.
- Looking at Erector Spinae and Serratus Anterior we can access the level of keeping posture and reflect at the early aspects of reaching out for contact. A hypo-response in these muscles reflects problems concerning posture, connectedness and contact at a very deep level (bonding) and overwhelmed by emotions and sensations, or loss of energy and power to act. If there are at least two of the test places are B2, we regard the person as vulnerable to psychosis. Our experience has made us aware of than less than A2 in almost all the answers in Erector Spinae is crucial for the way a person stand and keeps up in life.
B. Insert the answers in the Bodymap program to get the different Ego-Functions and Character Structures.
C. Basic understanding of the answers:
N: neutral. In general, indicates there are no coding, no memory, maybe involuntary,not activated. React to a meeting without any reservation. No story or memory in theirbehavior pattern. Can seem naive, a little off. Can also react adequate
B1/A1: often conscious or easy to make conscious, fairly flexible patterns in directions of resignation – withdraw/suppressed – pushing.
B2/A2: patterns that normally are pre-conscious, they are more rigid patterns of resignation – withdrawal/ suppressed – pushing. It is possible to make these patterns more conscious. If you help a person to see he did so and so, he will not remember at first, but then slowly it comes back. In this way, the patterns are pre-conscious. In specific muscles we like to see A2 responses in example m. erector spinae, m. latissimus dorsi, the hamstrings and tensor fascia lata, as it gives more power to stand or to move or to contain oneself in life even if it means it is from a more fighting position.
B3/A3: Unconscious patterns of resignation-/restriction, that are often difficult to make conscious.
B4/A4: Deeply unconscious patterns – if there is any consciousness about them at all, they are experienced as unchanging, “that’s the way I am”, with no felt possibility for changes.
B3/A3 and B4/A4 patterns often come to awareness, when others comment on them. They are seldom conscious from one’s own observing ego.
If there is one muscle that in one side is A3 or B3 and in the other side is an Al or Bl then it is a sign of shock.
D. Looking at Ego Functions:
- The evaluation of the ego functions of the client primarily comes from an evaluation of the balance in the Bodymap (between hyper- and hypo-responses; between different degrees of responses; between different sides and parts of the body) and the following signs.
- By interpreting the Bodymap, you can give a description of the resources and difficulties of the person and a possible description of how the client function’s at the present time.
- And then you can differentiate the specific muscles that belong to each main category. They are affected in specific age levels (or character structures) and based on the Bodynamic theory you can then:
– first of all, give an interpretation as to which part of the development of an ego function has been insufficient, stopped, or completed. This can give your ideas concerning the age-level you have to go back to in therapy in order to further develop the ego functions,
-secondly (from the typical defense connected to age/character structure) you can get information about how to work,
-thirdly, you can get ideas about how to start work with the problems using the body.
E. Looking at Character Structures:
1: In a Bodymap with 125 different muscle numbers with many more test places per side – early most answers are blue, late the answers are more red. If a mix of B1, N, A1 maybe the client has a balanced position.
2: If deeper answers, but same color think more rigid (A2) or given up (B2) in the positions.
3: If there in a Character Structure are mostly A1/ B1 and a single A2/ B2 the client is having a bigger problem with the theme the muscle represents in the Ego-function. Ex. All in Autonomy are A1 but m. piriformis is B2 in both sides, it tells that the majority refers to the late Autonomy and that centering is given up.
4: If 3´answers – think Shock trauma. If 2’ answers in both sides – think developmental trauma.