As a second-generation Holocaust survivor, Dr. Elya Steinberg was not in the Holocaust. She was the victim of her own parents and not the Nazis, parents who did not undergo psychotherapy and therefore transmitted the trauma to her, as many Holocaust survivors did to their children when they were unable to process the horrible atrocity. They did not have enough help from mental health professionals who were also unable to process these horrible stories.
Bigger and wiser people than me have examined the benefit of the therapeutic frame and the value that a weekly session has. They understand that a generative relationship can heal and create intra-psychic and interpersonal connections. Nevertheless, I sometimes feel uncomfortable.
My name is Yael Shahar, and I am a relational body psychotherapist. With time and by deepening my growth process, I learned how my personality and my complexity can’t be separated from the therapist I am, nor do I wish to separate them.
From an object-subject relationship point of view, we should never underestimate how challenging it might be for a body-mind system that has been betrayed by humans to trust humans again—to trust the object ‘human’ and to authentically experience that this subject is safe.
In this article we offer our experiences working with psycho-peristalsis within the intersubjective field, within the shared body, with curiosity: what potential benefits may arise by using psycho-peristalsis in this way?
Biodynamic massage is an integral part of biodynamic psychotherapy, which allows psychotherapeutic work within the framework of the body. The name ‘biodynamic massage’ encompasses fourteen different methods of touch. Almost all the touch methods can be performed at different levels of the body.
A biodynamic psychotherapist is often guided by a stethoscope (either electronic or ordinary) stethscoprewhilst carrying out biodynamic massage (Southwell, unpublished; Stauffer, 2005, unpublished, 2010; van Heel, 2014); the stethoscope is utilized for listening to the digestive system’s sounds (also known in this context as the psycho-peristalsis) (Boyesen, M-L. & Boyesen, G. 1978). This makes it possible to obtain immediate feedback from the body about the level of accuracy, quality, and attunement of the touch applied. The experience of touch must be modulated by context and internal state (Ellingsen et al., 2016).
Every particular landscape of events in the therapy room and events that are surrounding this time, act as a microcosm of the universe of the intersubjectivity of the two people in the room. The web of phenomena can be described as multi parallel levels and patterns of balance and flux that we can relate to as phenomenological research.
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.
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.