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Body psychotherapy : a method where the body has a say

Updated: Nov 21, 2021

Life difficulties (bereavement, separation or difficult relationship, trauma, physical or psychological abuse, burnout or stress at work) can strongly impact us both physically and emotionally. This can lead us to feel anxiety, anguish or emotionality, as well as causing us to feel physical tension or even psychosomatic disorders (1). This can go to the point of preventing us from serenely living our relationship with others and with ourself. In these situations, body psychotherapy can help everyone overcome or resolve these problematic life situations and resolve the psychosomatic disorders they cause.

(1) Chronic health problems without injury or medical cause.

crédit photo : Toa Heftiba (unsplash)

Our body and our life mirroring each other

This form of brief therapy proposes to combine speech and touch in a therapeutic approach, to help the person to get better by relying on the body-mind link. It is part of the field of humanistic psychotherapy and is based on the principles of ancient wisdom, such as traditional Chinese medicine. (TCM). It is based on the premise that what we experience outside ourselves is also reflected inside ourselves, i.e. in our body, both energetically and physically. And that the reverse is true.

For example, when we go through a period of very strong tensions at work, we generally also experience it inside us either through uncomfortable emotions, or through physical tensions or psychosomatic disorders (back pain for example). And if we feel physically tense, it will "mirror" the way we are and behave. Conversely, if we feel relaxed in the body, it's a good bet that we will experience things in a more relaxed way. And vice versa...

A person-centered approach adapted to their needs

By following these fundamental principles, body psychotherapy allows each of us to make the connection between what is happening in our life and in our body, according to a psychotherapeutic approach centered on the person. This process, this exploration through bodily feelings offers the person the possibility of expressing what is wrong or that is causing him pain, to identify the causes of his discomfort, to find the keys to finally overcome these blockages. Whether these find their source in a situation of the present or of the past, near or far.

This help is provided through the experience of a trained practitioner who adapts his support according to the history, feelings and needs of the person. The practitioner relies on a range of psychic support techniques (listening to feelings, reformulation, analysis) and boy work (verbalization, massage and energetic touch, breathing and conscious movements, visualization exercises, etc.).

Listening to tensions, emotions and their history

No one fundamentally "deserves" to suffer or hurt, both physically and mentally. At the moment when a tension is expressed in the body and that it settles in a chronic way, either the nature of the disorder is medical and thus clearly relates to medicine or surgery, or its nature is of a more psychological order or emotional and therefore by definition psychosomatic. In the latter case, the application of the psycho-bodily field takes on its full meaning: tensions or physical disorders have a meaning, a logical reason to be expressed even if sometimes this reason remains hidden, and therefore unconscious. It is said then that behind a tension hides an unexpressed emotion and therefore the history of this emotion

Helping to unwind tensions through benevolent touch and massage in particular, helps the person to release unexpressed emotions, to welcome them and give him the opportunity to identify the underlying needs that are not, or were not met in a timely manner. (2)

Clarifying what we feel and discovering new resources for our life

The humanistic and positive vision provided by body psychotherapy is based on a fundamental postulate: that we are able to mobilize all the necessary resources, both interior and exterior, to manage the situations that life presents to us and to cross them in one's best way.

From a baby and as we go through our experiences, we acquire new knowledge to enrich our personal experience, our ability to act and reduce uncertainty when a new situation arises. Most of the time, the majority of us unknowingly and naturally activate these assets, forces or resources to overcome possible obstacles and move forward, without having to pay particular attention or awareness. We have used them sometimes for a long time, especially as our ways of dealing with situations find their source in our history, our beliefs, our education, the way we look at ourselves and the world. In short, a whole bunch of parameters that define us or rather condition us since our birth!

However, these achievements that were so useful and effective until then are no longer completely sufficient when a more complicated situation presents itself to us, especially if it is unprecedented. What worked then until now no longer works. We must therefore invent a new way of being or of acting, by definition unknown, and it is then a new learning ground that presents itself to the conscious adult that we are. With its share of fears or resistance to the unknown. Here again in particular, the body can help us, through its feelings, its power of reasoning, imagination and its part of intuition, by definition enlightening.

It is also in this specific case that external support given by body psychotherapy is useful to allow us to become aware of what prevents us, slows us down or limits us. Il helps us to take distance and sort out things in order to get out of any dead ends in which we are placed. It pemits to find different ways of being or of acting to overcome the problematic situation we are confronted with. And this in the way that is fairest for us, that is to say by respecting the basic needs and the conditions of internal security that we will have identified beforehand.

Philippe Bien

Body psychotherapy through touch practitioner (Relation d'Aide par le Toucher® method)


Feldenkrais™ method practitioner

To find out more about my support offers, go to : click here

To learn more about this same theme, see the following articles :

  • Feeling better thanks to body psychotherapy through touch (blog). Go to the article click here

  • Reprendre des forces avec la somatothérapie (Psychologies Magazine). Accéder à l'article : clic-ici

  • Thérapie psychocorporelle (Santé Magazine ; 11/02/2019). Accéder à l'article : clic-ici

(2) see the article "Our emotions are meaningful" click here

The statements, techniques and methods presented in this publication are part of a wellness approach, complementary to conventional care. They are not a substitute for ongoing medical treatment and do not exempt you from consulting a doctor whenever necessary.

© Inamovemento - 2021

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