CABP psychotherapists offer psychotherapy for individuals who feel in need of help as well as those who want to deepen their self-understanding and their capacity for fulfillment and participation in life.
You may be seeking help for any variety of reasons, whether it is a long term problem that just does not seem to improve, or an immediate crisis that is causing you distress. You may feel overwhelmed by emotions or physical symptoms, or, rather, experience life as empty of either meaning or vividness.
You may have a very clear idea of what you want to get from therapy or you may know nothing more than that you want some sort of independent help or support.
Whatever you may be struggling with, a Body Psychotherapist will try to address these on all levels of your being, body, emotion, mind and spirit, recognising that many psychological problems have immediate correlations in the body: anxiety and panic attacks, sexual or eating problems, addictions, overwhelming feelings or depression. It is worth taking into account that pre- and non-verbal communication constitutes 93% of human interaction. This is true for relating to others as well as relating to your self.
As in all kinds of other counselling and psychotherapeutic approaches, you can expect your therapist to be a sympathetically listening professional, providing an empathic, non-judgmental presence, and a confidential space, giving you the opportunity to be and talk and reflect and experiment outside the pressures of ordinary life and social duties.
Body Psychotherapy understands all emotional and mental problems in the context of the body/mind as a whole system. For recurring problems to be resolved, mental insight often is not enough - something needs to happen that affects all levels of our being. Body Psychotherapists, therefore, pay a lot of attention to the connections (or disconnections) between feeling and thinking, between physical sensations and images, between spontaneous impulses and patterns of relating. The session may involve anything, therefore, from touch to movement, massage, art, imagery, physical exercise or a combination of these. This is because psychotherapy should be a space in which you can be and become who you really are. For that to come about ALL of your body/mind needs to be involved.
About Body Psychotherapy
The body is like a mirror of thoughts and feelings. All our attitudes express themselves in the manner in which we move, hold, contract or tense, relax or expand our bodies. In every situation of our lives all external and internal circumstances are somehow memorised and stored in the cells of the body, creating innumerable inner connections.
Pleasurable thoughts and feelings bring about an expansion and lightness in the physical body; repeated or chronic conflicts with others at home or work cause tightness and a sense of narrowness, in the mind as well as in the muscles and other body tissues. If this ‘narrowness’ goes on for too long or becomes unbearable, the body remains in a constant state of contraction and may get ill. In the early stages, dis-ease may manifest as aches, pains, tensions, fatigue, listlessness and exhaustion. If little or no attention is paid to these symptoms they may eventually develop into more severe emotional/physical disturbances such as depression, anxiety, sexual dysfunctions, desperate loneliness and illness.
Body Psychotherapists may make use of an eclectic range of techniques, some of which could involve working directly with the body. Some of these are derived from other therapeutic approaches (e.g. Biodynamic Massage, Gestalt, Psychodrama, Transactional Analysis, Psychosynthesis). Even the simple use of body awareness can open up a whole neglected world of information, both for client and therapist.
More about Integrative Body Psychotherapy?
The term Body Psychotherapy was coined by the European Association for Body Psychotherapy in 1991 and is rooted in a tradition since 1920 which has developed from the work of Wilhelm Reich. Integrative Body Psychotherapy encompasses various different approaches to working with the body, mainly Reichian Vegetotherapy and Biodynamic Psychology. It is integrative because it assimilates other philosophies, models and methods such as Gestalt, transpersonal approaches and Object Relations. It is called Body Psychotherapy because it takes particular account of the way the body is also involved in our psychological life, by holding trauma and expressing distress, as well as embodying and expressing well-being and pleasure.
Our approach is holistic. We believe that we have to pay attention to the whole person. Only by increasing our awareness of our body, mind, heart and soul can we develop a deeper and truer sense of our self.
The therapist may sometimes work directly with the body, using touch - in massage for example - or work with breathing or body sensations without touching. This work may take place while you sit on a chair, mattress or cushion, or you may lie down on a massage table or a mattress on the floor.
Alternatively, you may spend some or most of your time sitting in chairs, when talking and listening are the main activities. Exactly how you work together will develop out of discussions, and will take as much account as possible of your expressed needs and wishes as well as being guided by the therapist’s professional judgment.
Chiron ‘the Wounded Healer’
In Greek mythology, Chiron was a wise elder and healer amongst the centaurs, and although a healer, he could not cure the wound in his own knee. The Wounded Healer symbol encourages and allows therapists to stay connected with their own wounds and vulnerability as the basis for understanding and meeting both the pain and the potential of those they work with.
How to choose your Body Psychotherapist?
For most people, the most important consideration is to have a psychotherapist within reasonably easy travelling distance, so they might want to run a geographical search. Additional considerations might be: man or woman, more junior or more senior (which has, among other things, financial implications), therapist who uses hands-on work or not. It is fine to contact several potential therapists and see which one feels most comfortable.
By searching our directory you can find an appropriate practitioner. Many of our members embody rich backgrounds incorporating several modalities and theoretical orientations enabling them to support you in a professional way.
By choosing the title Therapist in the drop down menu you will be able to select a CABP Psychotherapist appropriate for you.
Find a CABP Body Psychotherapist by click here