To live a full life means to embrace our whole selves, including the parts we like – happiness, joy, fulfillment – and the ones that we don’t think of as likable – pain, sadness, anger, hurt, shame. And yet it may be in the shadows that our greatest powers lie.
The only way through suffering is to create the conditions to explore your stressful thoughts and feelings, open your body’s wisdom and then to harvest your discomfort for new possibilities for living. The reward is both in and from that process.
Suffering wears many faces and, while it does not take the same form for everyone, it likely feels the same in intensity. Distress, grief, anxiety, doubt and worry are some of the masks of suffering. The cruel secret is that most of today’s suffering is the product of a deeper wound from our past and not from what’s happening now.
To go into discovery about source experiences can be intimidating. Think of it as though you were going to explore the Amazon on your own – you wouldn’t do it without a seasoned guide!
This work – mind-body therapy – uses the information stored in your body memory to access new planes of awareness and new emotional openness. And with new experiences, you have new choices – to reframe, release and/or renew your self-commitments to living your life full-out.
About Somatic Psychotherapy
Somatic Psychology, or body-mind psychotherapy or body-oriented psychotherapy, is a holistic form of therapy that respects and uses the powerful connection between body, mind and spirit. Your experiences and emotions are stored in the body; when you encounter a situation that triggers that body memory, your response is based on the past rather than the present.
As a very simplistic example, if you had fear as a child, you likely felt the need to defend yourself and your posture would indicate that by being hunched over, with your chest caved in, your back rounded and your arms around your knees. As an adult, if you find yourself similarly folded into yourself, it may be a measure of protection and a clue as to how a particular relationship is being experienced on a subconscious level. As one application of this insight to consciously gain freedom from fear today, you can straighten and expand your posture to experience a release and become more present to your resources and resilience in your current relationship.
Unlike traditional talk or cognitive therapy, Somatic Psychotherapy tends to be more experiential. It has a long and rich history, being derived from the theories and practices of Wilhelm Reich (a psychoanalyst and student of Sigmund Freud). Since then, it has been influenced by existential, humanistic and gestalt psychology, dance, movement and art therapy, family and systems theory, biology, neurology, Far Eastern philosophy and spirituality.
About Bioenergetic Analysis
Gerry King trained with Dr. Alexander Lowen, the founder of Bioenergetic Analysis. Bioenergetic Analysis is a specific form of body-psychotherapy that combines a bodily, analytic and relational therapy based on an energetic understanding.
As a form of mind-body therapy, Bioenergetic Analysis helps to release chronic muscular tensions, expand the capacity for intimacy, heal sexual difficulties and learn new, more fulfilling ways of relating to others. Tenderness, aggression, assertion – and their confluence in sexuality – are considered to be core life-saving forces. The therapeutic relationship provides a place of safety in which healing begins.
With Bioenergetics and Mind-Body therapy, the therapist ‘reads’ the body and gets into resonance with the energy found – emotions, feelings, sore spots and muscular tension – while listening to the clients’ words. The language of the body (posture / gesture, breathing, motility, expression) indicates the status of that client on their way to the present (from the past and even into the future). The therapist works with body contact, boundaries, grounding and the understanding of muscular inflexibilities as ‘red flags’ that show where there are psychological defenses against past trauma.
The goal of Bioenergetic Analysis is more than the absence of symptoms – it is having vibrant health, a sense of ‘aliveness’ and experiencing pleasure, joy and love.