Bioenergetic Analysis (BA) integrates traditional talk therapy with bodywork (manipulating the body, the body’s energy, or breath) and offers physical and emotional ways to heal psychological wounds. BA aims at undoing narratives that don’t support healthy relationships with oneself, others, and the world. Based in psychoanalysis, this therapeutic approach 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 affect clients’ choices in the present. As such, instead of reacting from a place of fear and hurt, it expands the capacity for interpersonal intimacy and allows for the re-discovery of joy and flow in life.
Read More… Bioenergetic analysis is a technique used to relieve tension that has accumulated in the body from early repressed trauma. The primary belief behind BA is that inner emotional states are experienced outwardly and that the release of physical tension can aid in the release of emotional tension. Once this chronic tension is released through therapy, the client will experience a sense of relief, both emotionally and physically.
How does BA work?
The psychological defenses one uses to handle pain and stress in life are anchored in the body, where they create distinct muscular patterns that inhibit self-expression. These patterns can be identified and understood by bioenergetic psychotherapists who know how to look at their client’s bodily structure, posture, movement, and breathing patterns. Using specific exercises and discharge techniques, both verbal and non-verbal, clients are able to resolve their emotional problems and physical blockages. As a result, clients realize more of their potential for pleasure and joy in living. In a safe and nurturing environment, a bioenergetic analytic 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 begin releasing the dysfunctional patterns and recovering some of the feelings they have repressed during childhood and continue to repress in their adult life. The client is encouraged to find out for themselves why the defenses were developed in the first place, and how these defenses helped them survive an early environment that was not supportive of their being.
What can you expect from BA?
With emerging repressed emotions, clients begin to realize that these self-defence mechanisms inhibit their spontaneity, creativity, and the ability for self-expression. As defenses falter, clients begin to understand that as these thought patterns crystallized and solidified over time; their body developed distorted muscular patterns as compensatory measures. Through the use of gentle techniques, including grounding, movement, and therapeutic touch, the body goes through physical and emotional changes, as these patterns 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 are all unique human beings, each striving to be the best version of ourselves we can be. A helping hand from a mental health professional may have a profoundly beneficial effect on our well-being and enhance our life by means of providing objective insights into the issues we seek to resolve. No matter what your spiritual beliefs may be or the faith you belong to, 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 each and every client that comes through their door, assist them to resolve issues, realize their potential, reach their goals, and attain greater happiness. 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. Read More…
Spiritually inclusive therapy integrates client’s spiritual orientation into the counselling process and uses it as a tool to gain insight into how the client derives meaning and purpose in their lives. 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 provide the most efficient and respectful way to help clients overcome the problems they would like to resolve. No matter what the client’s religious or spiritual beliefs may be, the therapist will provide the same dedication and attention to details. Whether you identify as a Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian, or new age seeker, mental health and overall well-being is paramount to anyone 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 many therapists may hesitate to discuss topics connected to 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.