Jack Lee Rosenberg

Jack Lee Rosenberg

Jack Lee Rosenberg is a contemporary psychologist and the founder of Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP). 

Professional Life

Jack Lee Rosenberg was born on September 11, 1932 in San Diego, California. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley in 1954.

Rosenberg began his career as a dentist, before he developed an interest in psychotherapy. He began frequenting the Esalen Institute in California, a residential retreat center dedicated to education in humanistic psychology and Eastern philosophies, where he studied under prominent psychologists such as Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, Fritz Perls, and Rollo May. Rosenberg learned Gestalt theories, object relations, and self-psychology and applied this knowledge to develop Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP). Rosenberg received his PhD in clinical psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology in 1971.

Rosenberg maintains a private practice in Venice, California, and he is the founder and director of the Integrative Body Psychotherapy Central Institute in Santa Monica, California. There are also 11 training centers around the world, dedicated to training mental health professionals in IBP techniques. Rosenberg wrote the book Total Orgasm in 1973, and he coauthored The Intimate Couple with his wife, Beverly Morse, PhD, in 1996.

Contribution to Psychology

Rosenberg, along with psychoanalyst Diana Asay and psychotherapist Marjorie Rand, developed the practice of Integrative Body Psychotherapy. IBP integrates several approaches to psychotherapy, including Gestalt therapy, transpersonal psychotherapy, object relations, self-psychology, yoga, and bioenergetics. It also has a strong emphasis on breathwork—the practice of controlling the breathing to promote mindfulness and alleviate depression and anxiety. The ultimate goal of IBP is to integrate somatic and conscious awareness. Rosenberg outlined these principles in his 1985 book, Body, Self and Soul – Sustaining Integration.

The trajectory of an IBP session varies depending upon the clients' needs. However, the therapist’s primary goal is to identify the client's reflexive responses that interfere with self-awareness. For example, a person might become defensive and begin breathing more rapidly when the therapist brings up the client's mother. After these reflexive defenses have been established, the therapist works to help the client uncover healthier coping mechanisms, relying on body and breathwork. As the person learns to avoid these unhealthy responses, he or she also learns how to deal with new situations more effectively.

IBP is a relatively new therapeutic approach and has not been thoroughly studied, although a great number of other body-conscious approaches have been effective at treating a variety of mental health concerns, ranging from chronic pain to anxiety.

References:

  • Jack L. Rosenberg. (2002). Directory of American Scholars. Retrieved from http://www.gale.cengage.com/InContext/bio.htm

Last Update: 07-13-2015

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