Bioenergetics is a form of psychodynamic psychotherapy that combines work with the body and mind to help people resolve their emotional problems and realize more of their potential for pleasure and joy in living.
Bioenergetics psychotherapists believe that there is a correlation between the mind and the body. What affects the body affects the mind, and what affects the mind affects the body. The psychological defenses one uses to handle the pain and stress of life are also anchored in the body. They appear in the body as unique muscular patterns that inhibit self-expression. These patterns can be identified and understood by bioenergetics psychotherapists who know how to look at the structure, movement, and breathing patterns in a person’s body.
Bioenergetics psychotherapists, like other psychotherapists, focus special attention on the muscular patterns in a person’s body. They are interested in these patterns and their relationship to movement, breath, posture, and emotional expression. Every physical expression of the body has meaning.
The bioenergetics psychotherapist studies muscular patterns and introduces the client to physical expressions or exercises to help them experience in present time these patterns of constriction in the body. The therapist explores with the client what it would feel like to begin to release these patterns and recover some of the feelings they have repressed during childhood and continue to repress in their adult life. The bioenergetics psychotherapist also helps clients come to understand how and why patterns of constriction developed and how these very defenses hindering their life today allowed them to survive an early environment that was not supportive of their being.
As these repressed emotions emerge, clients begin to realize that these patterns inhibit their capacity for spontaneity and creativity in self-expression. They begin to understand that as these defenses became chronic, so did the muscular patterns in their body. As clients progress in bioenergetics psychotherapy, old ineffective patterns that block connection, pleasure, spontaneity, and joy slowly dissolve. Through the physical and emotional release in the body, the client can begin to experience safe, healthy, supportive connections with him/herself and others in new, more satisfying ways.
© Copyright 2007 by By Julie Simon. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to GoodTherapy.org.
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