I had a dream. I wanted to create a shop-fronted organisation on my local High Street to offer drop-in counselling and psychotherapy services. It wouldn't be a bad location; not the poorest nor the poshest area of town, but with a strong community focus.
Having no memory of an event does not mean it has no impact on one's life. These 'forgotten' events might still affect people's perceptions, emotions and behaviors without them ever being able to make a connection between present and past or process them verbally at a therapeutic session.
Short Stories from the Biodynamic Psychotherapy Room: Salutogenesis and the Web of Dynamic Phenomena
Learning biodynamic massage means learning to sense and direct non-verbal processes in a partially conscious manner, to transform some of the subcortical processes of the dance into partially conscious processes.
Whether psychology’s debt to Dr. Wilhelm Reich is acknowledged or not, many of our present day systems of psychotherapy rest squarely on his shoulders. Though now dead, he remains impressively alive. And in the context of what a fearful society can do to its greatest innovators, I believe his story, and in effect my story of our relationship, needs to be told far and wide.
When a good enough mother plays with her baby, a complex reciprocal ‘dance’ unfolds, consisting of touch, observation, movements, the quality of movements, the words and prosody, the pace, and the nature of the words and sounds.
Short Stories from the Biodynamic Psychotherapy Room: What Makes Biodynamic Massage Psychotherapeutic?
Gerda Boyesen, the founder of Biodynamic Psychology, used to say that the therapist needs to be like Sherlock Holmes and observe the details, be curious about the parts of the puzzle that the person and the situation are made of and ask yourself questions. I call this puzzle the web of phenomena.
What if you were guided in real-time not only through technique but also via feedback from the client’s autonomous nervous system—objective feedback from the client’s body, as well as what the client volunteers about his/her body and intuition during your therapy sessions? Sound mechanistic? Perhaps too medically invasive? In truth, it is possible to humanly obtain immediate feedback from the body, using a stethoscope (an electronic or ordinary one) to listen to the clients’ digestive system’s sounds, the psychoperistalsis. The sounds we hear reveal intriguing information about the level of accuracy, quality, and attunement of the touch we’re applying.
I entered my room. I like my therapy room. It is large, spacious and painted in my favourite colours: dark aubergine, purple and lilac. It is not the exact shade of lilac I envisioned when describing it to the decorator, but I like it now; the touch of pinkish lilac makes me feel softer, warmer. A dash of green lawn hides beyond the azure curtains. What did my client say yesterday? That it was the first time she had noticed that the walls of my room are pink. So many times she had been in this room – for how many years now? Over two years, almost every fortnight; over fifty sessions of at least one hour each. But still she hadn’t noticed the pink walls, despite being artistic. In her work she employs a great deal of awareness regarding the nature of colour and the slight differences between shades.
She says, "If only I could say everything I want", and tells us that lately she has begun writing a diary, despite her inner struggles. When she talks about her writing she diverges and tells how sometimes a style of writing can change and turn the most secret thoughts in her diary into what she calls "real writing", and gradually the energy in the room changes and we all feel that we are marching "into the real" with her. From the universal pain that pounds the room sprout new buds, her pale face becomes pink once again; her hands that previously froze over her mouth awaken and begin to move seemingly of their own accord in excitement, in order to add additional dimensions to the pouring words. Her body straightens up and starts swaying to the rhythm of her words, and she no longer needs support for her back, which was previously aching, and it seems that the strength of her vitality serves her and is like an internal support invisible to the naked eye, enabling her to sit straight and at the same to develop new dimensions. Gottfried, my co-facilitator for the group "Attending to the Silence" says, "Look how the energy in the room has changed". And this new recognition in transformation beyond the old standpoints is molded; another option beyond the painful dynamics of victim-aggressor-collaborator.
Even in somatic psychotherapy circles we still don’t appreciate enough just how fully physical behavior is. The implicit, or body memory, is not at all linear— not one event per behavior. There could be, and likely are, numerous events that might rise to threshold for recollection, and which are associated with any state, any emotion, any behavior.