Standing On Both Legs: A Bioenergetic Perspective on the Family, Gender Roles and the Development of the Self in the 21st Century
How does Bioenergetics, which is focused on the body of the individual, articulate its concerns about the family and gender roles? And how can we add new ideas to Bioenergetics without betraying Alexander Lowen’s essential ideas, whose integrity he strongly protected? The model of ‘suspicion and recovery’ of Paul Ricoeur, the French philosopher, allows us to discover what is unexamined, unexplored or repressed in Lowen’s ideas on the body and the self. This hermeneutic perspective enables us to examine the otherness of the embodied self in a way that honors Lowen’s genius and his emphasis on the body. It also provides a way to critique the historical limitations of Lowen’s views on the development of the self, the family and gender roles and provides a pathway for incorporating new knowledge into Bioenergetics.
Key Words: Tradition and Innovation, Hermeneutics, Otherness of the Embodied Self, Social Ethics
Paradigms for Bioenergetic Analysis at the Dawn of the 21st Century
First, basic Lowenian paradigms are reviewed. Then updated bioenergetic paradigms are presented which integrate contemporary theoretical and clinical contributions, articulated around the concept of Self, including: adaptive motility, sexual motility, and motility of attachment. Three methodologies are distinguished into which are working on conflicts, working on deficits, and working on traumas.
The therapeutic intersubjective relationship is distinguished from the analytical relationship. A developmental model from these up-dated bioenergetic paradigms is proposed. Finally a sociological approach is outlined as development of bioenergetic techniques from the perspective of a “shared world”.
Key Words: Bioenergetic Analysis, Paradigms, Self, Attachment, Intersubjective
Psychoanalyse der Lebensbewegungen.
Zum körperlichen Geschehen in der psychanalytischen Therapie - Ein Lehrbuch
Your Core Energy is Within Your Grasp
This paper, an abridgement of a 55-page paper, Curling: Exercises and Notes, highlights a new gentle approach to stimulating instinctual life-energy, helping restore natural energetic pulsation, and providing containment for building boundaries.
A soft curling and uncurling of the fingers and/or toes, in rhythm with the regular breathing pattern, brings up a mild, expansive, pleasurable energetic charge, which can then be augmented with simple body movements, eyes and words to help repossess repressed natural instincts. If stronger, more assertive energy is desired, the curl can be held tighter and longer.
This paper outlines six Curling exercises, useful both in the therapeutic setting and as self-help. The exercises can be done standing, sitting or lying down, and can be both relaxing and/or revitalizing. Some exercises can be done in bed, for helping to fall asleep, for example, or for an invigorating way to wake up.
Keywords: boundary, charge, contain, energetic, exercises
Fathers are the Dark Matter of the Psychic Universe
This paper explores some of the aspects of fathers’ influence on personality development. The author takes the position that significant aspects of that process have been left unexamined, for reasons hypothesized about in the paper. Using personal and clinical material, the author attempts to bring some of those aspects to light.
Keywords: fathers, fathering, men, masculine development
"If You Turned Into A Monster"
Book Review and Reflections
Bioenergetic Analysis and Contemporary Psychotherapy: Further Considerations
This article attempts to make a case for the integration of neuroscience research and theory into the field of Bioenergetic Analysis, and body psychotherapy in general. It is argued that such an integration might lead to a better dialogue between body psychotherapies and more traditional schools of therapy.
After discussing basic neuroscience terms a basic bioenergetic concept, “energetic charge”, is reviewed in the light of neuropsychological models; in this context the concept of a “window of tolerance” comes into play.
Then, illuminated by the description of two concrete therapy situations, the author demonstrates how body oriented interventions might have an influence on brain activity. This, it is argued, points to the necessity of more focus on the body in traditional psychotherapy, as well as to the necessity of integrating appropriate body oriented interventions into the repertoire of traditional psychotherapy. In this context, a propositon for ‘multi-lingual’ understanding and language, bioenergetic, neuropsychological and relational, is made, in order to ease our communication with other modalities.
Key words: neuroscience, limbic system, implicit and explicit knowledge, optimal arousal level, window of tolerance, mirror neurons, body oriented interventions
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