Carlien van Heel - Biodynamic Body Psychotherapist
What is Biodynamic Body Psychotherapy?
There are several forms of body psychotherapy, which all originate from the work of Wilhelm Reich. Wilhelm Reich was a pupil of Sigmund Freud. He developed a psychoanalytic way of working that involved the body.
Biodynamic Psychotherapy was developed by Gerda Boyesen (1922 - 2005). Like other forms of body psychotherapy it combines bodywork and psychotherapy and works on the premise that, as we live in our bodies, our emotional, mental and physical processes are always interdependent. Our feelings can be accessed through talking and through bodywork.
Psychotherapy helps with gaining understanding of the impact of certain life events and with developing awareness of unconscious forces that are influencing our behaviour and choices in life. This understanding helps us find more satisfying ways of relating to ourselves, to others and to our circumstances.
Biodynamic body psychotherapy acknowledges that we repress and bury painful feelings in our body. We also tend to repress strong feelings of love, strength and joy. In Biodynamic psychotherapy we trust that with the right circumstances and support, these repressed feelings will want to surface again, so that, this time around, they can be brought to consciousness and integrated.
Along with verbal interaction and awareness of relational dynamics, we use awareness of body sensations as a way of accessing what has been repressed. This can be done through direct touch and Biodynamic massage or through tuning in to what is felt in one's body.
Really feeling long-buried feelings, can bring more compassion towards oneself and others. It also enables "digestion" of stress (past and present). Biodynamic Psychotherapists believe that the guts are involved in this digestion process. The clearing of the body tissues, through this digestion process, opens the way to the experiencing of currents of energy in the body (streamings) which give us the feeling of being connected and alive!
Biodynamic Psychotherapy helps us to get in touch with "what is" instead of "what should be"; the aim of the work is to become closer to and more expressive of who one truly is. This is not only an emotional and intellectual experience, it is also felt directly on the physical level. One's body becomes more alive and responsive. An "embodied" life is a life more fully lived.
What is Biodynamic Massage?
Biodynamic Massage can be used as part of the Biodynamic Psychotherapy process or as a treatment in its own right.
There are several forms of Biodynamic Massage. Some aim to soften tightness in the muscles, which helps bring up feelings and more aliveness in the body. Some massages help with integration and containment, when a person feels too sensitive or overwhelmed; other massages encourage expansion and strengthening. All massages will help increase energetic awareness. Psycho-postural Massage works on the deeper postural muscles.
We are always aware that as we touch someone's body, we also touch the person and their particular life history inside. This connection to the person and their history is not always consciously felt, but is nonetheless there. The touch is therefore always respectful and gentle.
During the massage I will listen to tummy rumblings, 'psycho-peristalsis'. These sounds give instant feedback about the level of relaxation deep within the body and help to guide the massage.