Contemporary Reichian Analysis and Character-Analytical Vegetotherapy from 1933 to 2022

In this article, I will introduce a set of grammar clarifying body psychoanalysis, which extends not only to psychopathology, itself primarily interpreted as being bottom-up in terms of evolutive time, but also, to clinical psychotherapy, that follows. Perhaps I am outlining a new position, certainly it takes the Reichian paradigm deeper, or is, rather, a "change in the visual gestalt" as Kuhn might put it. It represents a change in the mental architecture of observation which emerges from a different way of feeling, I might add. It is a paradigm which reads the unconscious in its entirety, because the unconscious is undoubtedly a "mirror" for what has been deposited in the body.

The Psychology of Meditation: Varieties, Effects, Theories, and Perspectives

Peter Sedlmeier offers a representative overview of meditation with a scientific slant in his new book The Psychology of Meditation. Divided into four parts, the text guides readers through varieties of meditation, the effects of meditation, theories of meditation, and concludes with Part 4: Perspectives. He notes that the first 10 chapters build the foundation to support the endpoint, Chapter 11: Perspectives on Meditation Research.

Tuning Into Gravity

Gravity matters. Not simply to keep us physically grounded here on Earth, but, at a fundamental level, our relationship with gravity affects our lives from start to finish. We start life floating in amniotic fluids. It's easy to assume a sense of buoyancy, free from gravity's impact. Yet, gravity is necessary for our physiological development during the second half of our lives in the womb.

Somatic Psychotherapy Today Volume 11, Number 1, 2021

This issue of SPT Magazine offers articles published online this past year for readers who do not follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn, and for those who want all of the articles in one PDF they can download and read at their convenience. I hope 2022 brings a return of contributors willing to share their experiences and clinical knowledge with our readers.

The Sounds Behind Our Voice

What do seasoned actors express that is more than the lines they say? What do the ‘raw/gut’ sounds behind our words actually mean? How aware are we of the underlying causes of our own and of others vocal tensions? How might professionals intentionally access ‘sound’ to more effectively persuade clients? And baby talk. What do we know about this? The bridge between early childhood sound and adult vocal tones is an area that requires better understanding if we are to realize fuller potential and depth in our communication. The sounds behind words often express unconscious aspects of ourselves and our memories. This is one reason they tend to remain unknown or unclear to us.

The Proactive Twelve Steps

The Proactive Twelve Steps offers readers a way to develop a deeper understanding of behavioral change, codependency, stress, and trauma, as well as look at neuroscience and the Polyvagal Theory and their impact on our physiology and behavior. Serge presents a clear roadmap for self-compassion and mindful self-discovery and provides specific step-by-step instructions within a broader context that helps readers make sense of the healing process.

Spirit Into Form: An Author’s Reflection

Spirit into Form led me through a profound and lengthy journey I can only equate to the birth process. I admit that after seventeen years’ gestation, I felt an unavoidable urgency to see it take shape as my clients and students eagerly, albeit patiently, awaited its arrival, too. During the final moments, I felt like a small-bodied woman giving birth to a 10-pound baby. When I began organizing my notes and bits of writing, I discovered I had initiated the writing process in 2005 in preparation to meet Emilie Conrad, the founder of a mindful- movement inquiry process called Continuum. Her writings were so inspirational I struggled to record thoughts speeding through me. Spirit into Form was conceived during those moments. My inspiration intensified as I met and then spent years in close contact with Emilie, who became an important mentor for me. Her visionary ideas and words are infused throughout the book.

Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach

Just at a time when the wider world is waking up to a more compassionate and inclusive way of understanding trauma and addiction, a timely book that addresses these issues in personal, historical, embodied, and practical ways has arrived. In Treating Trauma and Addiction with the Felt Sense Polyvagal Model: A Bottom-Up Approach (Routledge, 2021), author and psychotherapist Jan Winhall both demystifies and depathologizes addiction.

My Stuffed Co-Therapists

In my office I have stuffed animals - a rabbit, a dog, and a bear that sit together on one of my sofas. They represent an alternative somatic psychotherapy. Treatment with them involves talk, but it also involves touch and somatic awareness. Clients usually don’t notice them. However, often in therapy, themes emerge that arise from my clients' repressed bodies. These themes deal with both present and past events and how these clients were treated by their parents. This information is presented to me both quickly and as an affectionless series of stories. I stop my clients. I encourage them to take full slow breaths, to place their feet hips' width apart on the floor. Then I ask them if there is a feeling beneath the story that they are telling me. Often, after the breaths, they come back to the story slower but void of feelings. At this point I change the focus and ask them if they are drawn to one of my co-therapists — the bear, the dog, or the rabbit—and let them make their choice. After choosing, their fingers may start to caress or grip the co-therapist of their choice.

The Shattered Oak: An Author’s Reflection

My mother’s life was not easy. She dealt with and battled domestic violence, child abuse, suicide, and eventually mental illness. She was affected by and surrounded by the nature of mankind’s cruelty. And yet, she gave my siblings and I her gift of strength. In writing The Shattered Oak, I came to terms with her thought process and experienced her level of bravery and reliance. I finally comprehended her intense strength, courage, and determination by acknowledging her survivor skills and her deep love of faith that provided her comfort that she was never alone.