BodyMindWellBeing Psychotherapy

Individual and Group Psychotherapy

Who | What | Why | How | Example Exercises | Participant Comments
   

Who

 

Anyone who wants to develop bodymind intelligence in order to better cope with psychological or emotional challenges, learn from difficult life experiences, and create a more balanced, satisfying life.

 

What

 

What is BodyMindWellBeing Psychotherapy?

BodyMindWellBeing psychotherapy is a somatic or body-based, movement-oriented approach to psychotherapy. The work begins with developing embodiment skills. Embodiment increases your ability to be more responsive and present in your life. Learning to develop the dialogue between mind and body (embodiment) brings new resources for:

  • clarifying and resolving internal and external conflicts
  • coping with difficult life experiences
  • overcoming excessive worrying, stress, low self-esteem
  • creating an authentic, vital and balanced life

Why

 

Why use BodyMindWellBeing psychotherapy?

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

 

How does BodyMind Psychotherapy work?

BodyMindWellBeing psychotherapy blends traditional (talk/listen) psychotherapy with experiential anatomy, simple movement exercises and guided imagery. 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 your body, and helps you 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:

"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 looks and sounds like it feels uncomfortable. Have you had these sensations before?"
BodyMindWellBeing trained psychotherapist notices: Joe's head is forward: area around eyes is contracted; compressed mouth/teeth; jaw tight; shoulders are elevated; spine is collapsed; organs are compressed; minimal push through the feet; breath is shallow; little energetic circulation through the body core. In her own body, Therapist notices: tight sensation in chest/heart areas; a desire to breathe more deeply (yield/soften the throat) and elongate her spine (spinal push).

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 sighs. "That sigh looked like it felt good. I noticed that 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 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

 

"I have learned to calm myself down when I feel nervous . . . For years I have 'talked' about my anxiety . . . working with my body has helped me to manage my anxious feelings in a way that just talking didn't. I can see the difference in my social life. I find I can be with people, and feel good."

"My over eating was getting out of control. I just hated myself. I was able to learn a new, gentle way of helping myself – working with my body – not against it."

   
 
   
   
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