Energetic dimensions of trauma treatment
David J. Finlay
I address both psyche and somatic dimensions of trauma treatment, emphasizing the key role of the client/therapist relationship. Somatic techniques are also emphasized.
Key Words: Energetics, Developmental and Shock Trauma, Embodiment, Metaphors, Vision, Processing
The embodied mind
Focus is on the salient aspects of neurobiological research, which are relevant for psychotherapy and particularly for Bioenergetics. This research concludes that the brain informs the body and the body in turn informs and sculpts the brain. The implications of this finding are discussed in relation to the Bioenergetic theory of character development. A brief overview of the anatomy and functions of the brain is presented with references to theories regarding the processing of traumatic memories. Finally, a more in-depth analysis of some of the findings from neuroscientific investigations are summarized regarding how empathic interactions between caretakers and infants build neuronal structures in the sensory motor areas of the brain.
Key Words: attachment, Bioenergetics, brain, embodied, empathy, mirror neurons, neurobiology, trauma
Shame in the light of sex and self-respect
Philip M. Helfaer, Ph.D.
A bioenergetic perspective on shame and its treatment is presented. Therapeutic work with shame will be seen as an intrinsic aspect of bioenergetic analysis. The nature of shame from the psychodynamic, the energetic, and the characterological points of view are all discussed. The unique and specific contributions that a bioenergetic approach offers to understanding and treating problematic shame and shame related issues are presented. From a developmental point of view, shame is viewed within the context of the development of sexuality as well as self-hood. The significant concepts of ‘self-respect’ and the ‘self-hate system’ and their relevance to shame are elucidated. Specific treatment issues and approaches are presented from the bioenergetic perspective.
Key words: shame, treatment of, bioenergetic analysis, self-respect, bioenergetic therapy of shame, self-hate system
Sensitivity Training during Pregnancy: Key to Bonding and Possible Prevention of Neurosis of the Child?
Christa D. Ventling
The prime importance of the quality of mother-child bonding has been known for many years among psychotherapists; however, this is not common knowledge for most mothers-to-be. Thus a pregnant client is a chance and a challenge for a body psychotherapist: 1.We can assist the mother-to-be to form a deep bonding with the baby before birth already by educating her about the neurobiological changes occurring during pregnancy and the expected degree of development of the infant at birth. 2. We can offer special awareness exercises (described here in detail) which improve perception of all senses (seeing, hearing, touching and smelling) and thus sharpen the mother-to-be’s sensitivity for her environment, especially for the signals the baby will send out. The work described here aims to help the pregnant client to tune into the body language of the baby as a prerequisite for a deep and loving bonding. It could also be a preventive measure for a later neurosis of the child. Two short case vignettes will illustrate the approach.
Key Words: Pregnant clients, sensitivity training, awareness exercises, newborn signals and body language, bonding quality
Embodied Comprehension: Treatment of Psychosomatic Disorders in Bioenergetic Analysis
Bioenergetic Analysis should prove to be the method of choice in the treatment of psychosomatic diseases. Patients with psychosomatic dissociation need an embodied dialogue with the parent-body of the therapist, i.e. non-verbal somatosensory awareness and attachment as well as verbal dialogue. For the basic construction of a new embodied self the three Ss are needed: Slowness, Safety and Support. In this way the process of therapy supports bodily self-awareness and agency, and a change in the implicit relational knowledge of patient and therapist is co-created. Inevitably, the therapist shares the dissociation of the patient and attunement is disrupted again. By acknowledging his “faults” the therapist regains his self-regulation and is thus available for the regulation of the patient’s somatosensory states and emotions. The new implicit knowledge leads to changes in the “mental organizing principles”. This is shown by an extended case history of ulcerative colitis. Finally exercises and techniques helpful in the work with psychosomatic as well as traumatized patients are described. In this context triangulation is a useful concept.
Keywords: Psychosomatic dissociation, basic creation of an embodied self, self-efficacy or agency, parent-body, implicit intersubjective knowledge, triangulation, balance disc, rope, teething ring
Bioenergetics in search of a secure Self
Robert Lewis, M. D.
This paper, based on my personal experience and more recently available biographical and autobiographical sources, is an attempt to reevaluate classical (Lowenian) bioenergetic analysis from a perspective based on recent research from the attachment paradigm. Specifically, it explores the use of the body, its energy and sexuality as substitutes for a secure relationship with a caregiver.
Key words: attachment, secure base, avoidant, shock, dissociated, psychosomatic unity
Living On Purpose: Reality, Unreality and the Life of the Body
This article is the author’s account of the experience of choosing to live the life of his body, even when that means entering a soulless truth of being. The forces which generate such a state are examined, as well as the dynamics which emerge from and maintain such a state of being. This paper attempts to provide a framework for understanding, in an immediate felt way, the experience of the person living in this reality, one common in people organized as a borderline personality. It also attempts to illuminate some of the grave difficulties faced by the therapist trying to work with people so afflicted.
Keywords: borderline personality, organization, soul-murder, unreality, psychosis
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