Body Psychotherapy

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Body Psychotherapy [1] (also known as body-oriented psychotherapy) is a branch of Somatic Psychology and Psychotherapy with origins in clinical psychology and in the work of Pierre Janet and Sigmund Freud [2]. Body psychotherapy addresses both the body and the mind as a whole with emphasis on the reciprocal relationships within body and mind [3].

One branch of body psychotherapy evolved from the work of Wilhelm Reich, author of Character Analysis and many other books, and who developed his form of "Psychoanalysis" into what he called Vegetotherapy or Character-Analytic Vegetotherapy. When he moved to America in 1939, he proceeded to influence therapists both in the United States and in Europe. Many of these therapists practiced and developed their own (neo-)Reichian therapy. Another branch has evolved out of Arnie and Amy Mindell's work with the dreambody [4]. Mindell, once a Jungian analyst, began researching illness as a meaningful expression of the unconscious mind. This is an integrative approach to illness [5], which addresses the cultural, emotional, spiritual and physical connections that illness invites. The dreambody is believed to be an organizing principle in the background somewhat like a morphogenetic field (sensu Rupert Sheldrake). Other branches trace their roots to individual founders of distinctive forms such as Rolfing to Ida Rolf and biodynamic psychology to Gerda Boyesen (see below).

The term Body psychotherapy was utilised first in the 1980s as professional associations in this type of psychotherapy began to form. There are now associations of Body psychotherapy around the world and many journals inclduing the USABP Journal of Body Psychotherapy.

Field Leaders

Mind-body interventions - edit
NCCAM classifications
  1. Alternative Medical Systems
  2. Mind-Body Intervention
  3. Biologically Based Therapy
  4. Manipulative Methods
  5. Energy Therapy
See also

See also


  1. Body, Breath and Consciousness: A Somatics Anthology, ed. Macnaughton North Atlantic Books (August 5, 2004) English ISBN-10: 1556434960 ISBN-13: 978-1556434969
  2. Victims of Cruelty: Somatic Psychotherapy in the Healing of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder' Eckberg M, Levine P., "Shock trauma, originally defined by Freud as a breaching of the protective stimulus barrier, can be differentiated from developmental trauma"
  3. Healing Trauma: A Pioneering Program for Restoring the Wisdom of Your Body (Hardcover) Levine P., Publisher: Sounds True; Har/Com edition (March 2005) English ISBN-10: 1591792479 ISBN-13: 978-1591792475
  4. Mindell, A. 'Working with the Dreaming Body' Routledge 1985
  5. Morin, P. 'The Dreambody: A New Integrative Approach to Illness'

External links

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