Bioenergetics is a way of understanding personality in terms of the body and its energetic processes.
"When you have no words for your feelings, for what happened to you, for what is missing in you, we listen to the inner resonance - of your inchoate secrets - as it lives in your body. We help you to sense and amplify this inner resonance until its movement comes close enough to the surface of your being to enter your consciousness.
But we also listen carefully to your words and are touched by them when they come from a depth of your being that no one can put a hand on. We invite you to surrender to the spirit of your body and the body of your spirit - and in so doing, to embrace your true self."
- Robert Lewis, M.D
In 2013 at the international bioenergetic conference I read this paper on the relevance of David Berceli's Trauma Release Process for an ongoing relational somatic therapy (Bioenergetic Analysis). Along the way, A) I challenged David to tell us what kind of wounded person he was before he assumed the mantle of a wounded healer. B) I also took issue with his contention that trauma (as opposed to a secure attachment status) is the royal road to a deeper, more authentic existence.
This paper was a keynote presentation at the 2009 IIBA Conference on the Poetry of the Body in Buzios Brazil. It is proposed that we bioenergetic therapists are artisans whose craft is both an art form and a clinical science. In support of this thesis, the following questions are explored: Is it possible to both celebrate the poetry and ineffable mystery of our work, and yet remain true to and to honor our Reichian and Lowenian roots? Can we be grounded in the mystery of life, without slipping into the 'Mystification" against which Reich warned us? Has the 'grace of self' that we seek to 'unveil, actually evolved from the core pulsation which our founders strove to liberate from our character armor?
This paper examines the clinical relevance of recent neuroscience data to the practice of bioenergetic analysis. I conclude that the nonverbal, bodily basis of our approach is affirmed by the evolving picture of a right-brain-to right-brain infant-caregiver dialogue engraving our attachment experience into the right limbic system as a model of relationships to come. But I also conclude that, for for most of us, the neurobiological data does not help us in real time to be present with our patient in the clinical encounter. Two clinical vignettes illustrate both the above perspective and the continuing relevance of our basic Reichian/Lowenian model of our patient as the trillion-celled amoeba.
This paper was given as part of a memorial for Alexander Lowen in NYC in 2009: "Freud, Reich, Lowen: an historical overview". In it, I suggest that we honor Lowen and Reich and Freud before him, by both cherishing the gifts they gave us, and also following the behavior they modeled, by enriching Bioenergetic Analysis as a work in progress with our own creative contributions.
The Clinical Theory Of Lowen, His Mentor Reich And Possibly All Of Us In The Field, As Seen From A Personal Perspective
This paper examines the proposition that we therapists are all wounded healers. The focus is on the manner in which these empathic, inter-subjective wounds are interwoven with details of our chosen somato-psychic clinical theories and approaches. The theme is elaborated as regards the work of Lowen, his mentor Reich, and, potentially, all of us working in the field.
This paper details my increasing comfort level with both my shamed and playful Trickster selves. When I am at home with my selves in this way, I can better share a healing space with my patients - a space that is safe, but spontaneous enough that it encounters their traumatic wounds. Illustrated via personal stories, clinical gems from colleagues, mythology and alchemy
A consultation is a good way to decide what your comfort and trust levels are with me. We interview each other and both get a first hand sense of whether I can help you. Since the process has too many intangibles, we often may agree to an initial trial of a limited number of sessions (short-term, theme-focused) and then reassess where we are.
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