Body Centred Psychotherapy relieves anxiety, stress or tension
A body centred approach is a very effective psychotherapeutiic approach to depression or anxiety.
Having studied therapies for decades, the most effective way I have found for relieving emotional distress is body centred psychotherapy.
This is psychotherapy that includes the body, as well as that which other counselling approaches focus on (the patterns of the mind, emotions and behaviour), and works to relieve emotional distress through the body’s tensions and experience.
- Physical pain
- Panic attacks
- Inability to focus
- Illness and disease
All of these begin in the body. If not paid attention to these experiences can be overwhelming or start to ‘leak’ into all areas of a person’s life, resulting in:
- Relationship issues
- Family issues
- Work problems
- Sexual issues
- Isolation and loneliness
- Affairs, betrayal
- Low self esteem
- Unhealthy behaviour patterns
- ‘Acting out’ of anger, fear etc.
- Money worries, & so on…
D. H. Lawrence
The body-unconscious is where life bubbles up in us. It is how we know that we are alive…
Body centred psychotherapy explores the relationship inside you between your various levels of experience (cognitive, emotional, physical and energetic.) This enables you to know your own strengths, resources, boundaries, limits and desires. Which, in turn, will help you to move forward with choice and confidence.
Research supports the notion that the mind resides throughout the body and that every cell stores information, and communicates with other cells (see the European website for Body Psychotherapy : www.eabp.org)
Body oriented psychotherapy is based on the theory that the mind and body function as one.
How a body oriented session might look
One of the ways in which I use body oriented psychotherapy (also known in USA as 'Somatic' psycotherapy) evolves from something called 'Sensory Awareness'.
What this means is that I direct your attention to inner inner experiences via your sensations and feelings in your body.
The point of this is to bring you into connection with your real experience, of which sensations are an integral part. From this comes the strength of really knowing who you are, what you want, what's troubling you, and what your strengths are.
I might draw your attention to the strongest of these sensations and explore it.
Just this detailed focus often naturally leads to an energetic shift. You move on, simply by paying attention.
The body reveals its strength and ability to cope, which I look for and draw your attention to, and expand on.
What we are doing is tapping into your body's ability to heal itself.
Working with Shelley on my various issues, has been truly one of the most profound experiences of my life. It’s up there with my Mum first teaching me to write my name as a small child. My inner child will be forever grateful to you for helping me to connect with him, and to gain the understanding to use equally important tools as my mum’s earliest lesson, to enrich and expand my life.
This Therapy has cut through the crap for me. Something happens in every session. What I’ve got from it is a sense of myself.
I feel enlightened by the discovery that my inner sense can be my guide.
Try it for yourself!
Notice now, for example, whether your senses are telling you something about this article.
Notice the computer screen, the letters, the words.
Feel your feet on the floor and your back being supported by the chair.
Take time to notice any affect this has on you.
Be aware of the words you have been reading and the ideas that you have read about.
Gently invite yourself to take a moment to look inside.
Are you experiencing any sensations?
If you stay with a sensation for a moment, what is it telling you about this work or yourself?
You may wish to close your eyes for a few moments.
There may be more for you to explore here.
Pay attention to whether your body wants to proceed with me.
Not everybody has access to these sensations and feelings straight away. Don't worry if this is you, or if you feel panic or freeze. We can work gently with this too.
A brief word about touch
People often naturally assume that body oriented therapy involves touching the client.
This is not necessarily true. As with other psychotherapeutic approaches, the use of touch is very sensitively handled, and will only be used in the most ethical of circumstances, with trust and assured permission. Although touch, as well as noise and movement, may also be important in the healing process. Many of us have been severely deprived of loving touch. But it will only be used very carefully here. Despite being a trained massage therapist, your psychotherapy sessions with me are extremely unlikely to involve massage or physical manipulation.