Professional Development

Advanced Training for Psychotherapists,
Addictions Counselors and Treatment Center Staff

Who | What | Why | How | Sample Exercise | Participant Comments
     

Who

 

Advanced Training for Psychotherapists, Addictions Counselors and Treatment Center Staff

 

What

 

BodyMindWellBeing deepens the understanding of the body-mind interface and the psychophysical process, as it applies to psychotherapy and addictions treatment.

BodyMindWellBeing offers on site:

  • introductory lecture/demonstration
  • 2 to 5-day workshops
  • ongoing instruction/supervision (individual/group)

Why

 

BodyMindWellBeing teaches skills required to assist clients as they gain and maintain their recovery and health. The training teaches therapists to help their clients:

Identify Basic Bodily Sensations

  • tolerate affect, anxiety, longing
  • establish appropriate boundaries
  • establish a realistic sense of self

Sequence Emotion

  • explore alternate ways of coping with strong sensation/emotion through nonverbal, body-centered activities
  • identify and discharge tension through conscious breathing, body awareness and movement exploration

Practice New Patterns

  • experiment with new patterns of behavior through new movement sequences - working with both release (expression) and containment (impulse control)
  • learn to connect words to physical sensation – enhancing self-regulation by gaining a sense of mastery on the most basic level – in the body

 

How

 

BodyMindWellBeing develops therapists/counselors embodiment skills. Embodiment increases the ability to be more responsive and present with clients, and with ourselves.

BodyMindWellBeing incorporates experiential anatomy, simple movement exercises and guided imagery to develop a greater sense of embodiment. Exploring body systems (muscle, bone, endocrine, organs, skin, fat, fluids and nervous system) and movement patterns (yield, push, reach, pull, grasp) facilitates a genuine and practical relationship with one's own body and teaches therapists to recognize and resource the body's natural intelligence.

 

Sample
Exercise

Imagine that someone ("Joe") says he feels "stressed out" or "on edge" about some difficult situation in his life. This might be the only information that he has about this uncomfortable feeling. Learning to notice, describe and tolerate bodily sensations, and "dialogue" (using the mind) with the body, will provide him with new information about the situation. Using skills learned in BodyMind Psychotherapy, to notice and describe details of body sensation, Joe may say:

Joe:

"I feel stressed out about work."

Therapist:

"Take a moment to 'check in' with your body, as you think about being "stressed out". Notice and describe the sensations. For example: What is tight or loose? Is there any area with little sensation? Numb?"

Joe:

"When I think about this situation, I get a bunched-up feeling in my shoulders ... my eyes are squinting .... my jaw is shut tight ... I feel like I can't catch my breath ..."

Therapist:

"It sounds like it feels constricting. Are these sensations familiar?"

Joe:

"It reminds me of all the tests I've ever taken ... I think I have to figure this out, RIGHT NOW, or something awful will happen! I always felt like that as a kid ... I had to be perfect. I wish I didn't feel this way." Joe lets out a big sigh.

Therapist:

[Therapist takes a deep breath, mirroring Joe's exhalation.] "I noticed that when you sighed, your shoulders seemed to relax. Allowing your jaw to open, and your body to breathe a bit more, will give you some fuel (oxygen) to cope with this situation. What else do you notice when you let your shoulders and jaw relax?"

Joe:

"I feel sad."

As the session continues, Joe can resource his body to both understand more about his "sadness", and how to support himself – emotionally, cognitively and physically – as he explores and develops new ways to cope with the difficult life situation.

 

Participant
Comments

 

"This training [BodyMindWellBeing] has opened up a new avenue, and taught me some practical skills for my work. I went to a traditional graduate school, many years ago, and was trained in "talk" therapy. Incorporating the body in my work as added a new dimension, for both my clients and myself."

"I am a psychotherapy intern, and at times I feel overwhelmed by how much I need to learn. The best part of the body-mind training is that it is not just some technique, or exercises, or even a theoretical model to be memorized. The training taught me to observe minute changes in the client, and to use my own body to "listen" to the client. I feel I can better connect with my clients."

"I have been working at an agency for almost 4 years, and was feeling some "burnout". This training [BodyMindWellBeing] helped me learn a body perspective for self care, while I work. I used to wait until after hours to relax. Now, I know that I can check in with myself, my body, throughout the day, and clear up some of the tension inherent in our work."

 

     
 
   
   
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