This is an integrative approach to psychotherapy that combines work with the mind and body to affect lasting change. Our thoughts and emotions both manifest as physical sensations and are physiological responses to internal and external stimuli. When we change the body we are changing the mind and vice versa. Trauma, depression and anxiety, among other distresses, manifest as bodily symptoms sometimes even unaccompanied by conscious negative thoughts. We may experience body symptoms and not understand why. In order to work with trauma it is often necessary to work with the body. Body-focused psychotherapy retrains the brain, nervous and structural systems of the body and enhances self-confidence, cultivates body awareness, facilitates optimal hormone/emotional regulation, releases trauma and stress, and offers clients an opportunity to have a positive therapeutic experience in their bodies. This form of therapy is both for those struggling with some kind of psychological distress as well as those who simply wish to increase their awareness and well-being.
Body-focused therapy techniques may include:
- Breathing practices
- Gentle stretching and postures tailored to suit each client’s specific condition and constitution
- "Talk therapy", exploring cognitions, emotions, memories and sensations connected to symptoms
- Guided relaxation, mindfulness, visualizations
Work with the body is essential to sustain well-being, health and vibrancy throughout our lives. Body-focused psychotherapy provides clients with powerful tools to regulate their own emotions on an ongoing basis. Clients walk away with a skill set they can incorporate into their daily lives.