Bioenergetic Analysis (BA) integrates traditional talk therapy with bodywork (manipulating the body, the body's energy, or breath), offering physical and emotional means of healing psychological wounds. Based in psychoanalysis, BA is built on the premise that there is a connection between the mind and the body and that they function as one. On a physical level, BA helps release chronic muscular tensions and dysfunctional movement patterns. On an emotional and psychological level, it promotes healing of past traumatic experiences which continue to negatively affect the clients. As such, BA replaces reactions rooted in fear and hurt and expands the capacity for interpersonal intimacy, allowing for the re-discovery of joy and flow in life. *Should appear after clicking on "Read More"* BA is a technique used to relieve tension that has accumulated in the body from early repressed trauma. At the core of BA is the belief that inner emotional states are experienced physically and that the release of physical tension can promote the release of emotional tension. Once this chronic tension is released through therapy, the client experiences a sense of relief, both emotionally and physically.
How does BA work?
The psychological defences we use to handle pain and stress are anchored in the body, where they create tension that inhibits self-expression. The pattern of tension can be identified and understood by bioenergetic psychotherapists who assess their client's posture, movement, and breathing patterns. Using specific exercises and discharge techniques, both verbal and non-verbal, clients resolve their emotional problems and physical blockages. As a result, clients realize their potential for pleasure and joy in living. In a safe and nurturing environment, a bioenergetic therapist “reads” the client's body, resonates with its energy, feels their emotions, and listens. Together with the therapist, the client explores what it would feel like to release their tension and recover some of the feelings they've repressed. The client is encouraged to find out for themselves why they developed defences in the first place, and how these defences helped them survive an environment that was not supportive of their being.
What can you expect from BA?
As repressed emotions emerge, clients begin to realize that defence mechanisms inhibit their spontaneity, creativity, and self-expression. Now, years later, clients see that as their defences crystallized over time, tension arose to compensate for the emotional burden. Through the use of gentle techniques, including grounding, movement, and therapeutic touch, the body goes through physical and emotional changes, as old habits begin to dissolve. Consequently, a client begins to experience deeper, more satisfying connections with others and a greater sense of harmony within themselves.
What issues can be resolved with BA?
Bioenergetic analysis has proven effective in alleviating anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, phobias, panic attacks, obsessions, compulsions, and sexual problems. It may also be helpful for clients aiming to develop a greater sense of bodily awareness and acceptance.
Spiritually Inclusive Therapy (SIT)
We're all unique, each of us striving to be the best version of ourselves. A helping hand from a mental health professional may have a profoundly beneficial effect on our well-being. No matter what your spiritual beliefs or faith may be, it should not influence the quality of care provided by a psychotherapist. By right, an unbiased and non-judgmental mental health professional has the obligation to help every client that comes through their door. By being sensitive to varying belief systems and faith expressions, a spiritually inclusive mental health practitioner will be able to provide their clients with tools to adequately deal with their situations. In this type of therapy, spirituality is considered a tool that the therapist uses to find solutions to problems. Since spirituality can be an important part of one's identity, it can allow profound insight into how the client sees the world and addresses problems. *Should appear after clicking "Read More"* Spiritually inclusive therapy integrates client's spiritual orientation into the counselling process, using it to gain insight into how the client derives meaning and purpose in their life. By integrating the client's spirituality and value system into therapy, a more tailored approach to the client's issues can be employed.
How does SIT work?
Spiritually inclusive therapy considers the different moral, spiritual, or religious influences a client has been exposed to, and believes in as an adult. Spiritual beliefs, by nature, shape personality and profoundly impact one's worldview. A spiritually inclusive approach is designed to help clients overcome the problems they would like to resolve while respecting their beliefs. No matter what the client's religious or spiritual beliefs may be, the therapist will provide the same dedication and attention to details. However you identify, mental health and overall well-being is paramount to everyone and does not discriminate based on faith.
What can you expect from SIT?
Like any other psychological approaches, the purpose of a spiritually inclusive psychotherapist is to help their clients gain clarity, resolve specific issues, and help them invite more joy into their lives. The difference between a spiritually inclusive practice and a traditional practice is that therapists in traditional settings may hesitate to discuss spirituality or religion to avoid potential controversy. However, research has demonstrated that the inclusion of these topics may be beneficial and even essential in a client's healing process. A mindful and sensitive therapist is aware of the importance of addressing questions of religion and spirituality when working with a client and finds appropriate ways to do so.
Indigenous Spiritual Practice. From “Two Feathers CO.”, https://www.twofeathers.co.uk
References: Hilton, R. (2008). Bioenergetics as a relational somatic psychotherapy. The USA Body Psychotherapy Journal, 7(1), 9-14. Chandrashekarekar, S. (2017). Bowenian family therapy. Retrieved from talkitover.in/family/bowenian-family-therapy. Corey, G. (2005). Integrating spirituality in counselling practice. American Counselling Association, 25, 117-119.