|Without bridges riverbanks would be solitary and isolated.....|
Body psychotherapy - the bridge to more vibrant life here and now.
Body therapy is based on Reichian theory of the human character:
■ (W. Reich, A. Lowen, G. Pierrakos, etc.). According to this theory the character is seen as a function of energetic blocks result of childhood traumas and fears of painful experience. These blocks, or interruptions, determine specific ways of thinking and behavior which form five character structures with typical body postures. The character is presented in the world by a mask (persona), which is the character behavior conformable to the reality stimuli. There is no individual who represents only one pure type of character and one and the same individual can represent the whole variety of defense mechanisms typical for the five characters we can talk about the parliament of characters. That parliament has one party which has the majority and rules the individual’s life. And that party defines the typical behaviors for that rule – or the party, which predominates, has typical bodily, emotional and mental defenses or posture towards life. At times of stress, when this ruling party cannot cope with the problems, which in the language of symptoms can be translated as states of fear, anxiety and other pathological manifestations, cedes the power to another party or character with its typical behavior .
■There are five Reichian characters having typical for them blocked communicative models due to their fears and traumas. The proceeding is that every symptom or dysfunctional behavior substitutes a healthy communicative model or behavior.The five characters can become addicted to food, drugs, work, exercises, Internet, etc. or suffer from other symptoms for different underlying reasons due to their traumas and fears.
■ The limitations of the 5 characters:
- Schizoid (Escaping) character: fear of physical contact, as a result escaping in an imaginary world in which to satisfy the needs of intimacy.
- Oral (Dependent) Character: Fear of being abandoned, that is why is never moving towards the world.
- Sado – masochistic (Enduring) character: Fear of bursting out that is why, is never sayng ‘no” and never takes responsibility for the experience.
- Psychopathic (Controlling) Character: Fear of being alone, never revealing their weaknesses, always in control and searching for leading position at all costs.
- Rigid (Stiff) Character: fear of release and feeling satisfaction, distrustful and obsessive, caring too much about moral rules and expectations of others. The second names in brackets are less pathologizing and are used by Canadian counselor Lise Bourbeau. That is why, I prefer them when working with people.
- It is a working and effective method because it helps a person sense more of the self and draw strength from inner resources. It also opens deeper breathing and leads to a resurgence of repressed feelings and/or memories. It works on such feelings both on an emotional level and reflective level (through catharsis, verbal processing and helping the patient find his or her "grounding" in current emotional reality).
- Body work and "mind" work (analysis) complement and deepen each other. Body work opens feelings so they can be understood and integrated into the mature adult Self. In turn, the analythic work provides insight that allows more relaxation, feeling and integration in the body. Both body work and analysis take place in the safety of a growing and evolving therapeutic relationship.
- The goal is more about greater "aliveness", pleasure, joy, love and vibrant health, than just the absence of symptoms.