A call for papers on Eros, Gender and Sexuality in Body Psychotherapy and Dance Movement Psychotherapy, due December 1, 2017.
You are invited to read your review of the USABP’s 2016 conference on Sexuality, Spirituality and the Body, as published in the International Body Psychotherapy Journal
You are invited to read our review of the USABP 2016 Conference entitled: “Sexuality, spirituality and the body: the art and science of somatic psychotherapy. Report on the USABP conference, 20th–23rd July 2016” recently published in Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy.
“Failure informs me,” William Cornell said. “You can’t learn if you’re not disturbed.” With 45 years in the field, William certainly understands the importance of noticing what excites you and what disturbs you—these are your learning edge, your leading edge, he said.
Embodied sexuality can provide some of the best of what life has to offer including feelings of pleasure, connection and satisfaction. For many people, however, sexuality has led to some of life’s worst experiences—violations, broken connections, and traumas that lead to feelings of shame and guilt. Culturally, we have confused sexuality with how our bodies look rather than how we feel. Helping people restore healthy sexuality, defined as a specific state of vitality in the body, is a central focus of Bioenergetic Therapy.
I am about to take two risks. The first is a great big leap into the unknown; at age 62 I have decided to end a marriage of 30 years. The second is to begin this article with this disclosure, which I have chosen to do because alongside my vulnerability is an energetic expansion and a clarity related to the decision to let go. To let go of what is known in my life and allow myself to be guided by inner truth into a void. To move into the unknown with trust in my heart knowing that this is a move toward love.
John Gray PhD has taught gender differences and ways of understanding communication styles for over 40 years now, and he continues to evolve. I learned that he realized healthy human relationships depend on more than strong connections, understanding our differences and good communication skills—they are also influenced by our physical health: “If you aren’t healthy in your mind and body, it’s hard to be healthy outside your mind and body. So if you feel sick, tired, exhausted, stressed and generally unhappy, this will cause your relationships to feel the same way” (www.marsvenus.com).
According to Joan Borysenko, “the body is the way in,” when it comes to spirituality, sexuality and healing. “Life force energy,” she says, “shows up as a spectrum of emotions. To work with life force energy you have to be in the moment. This seems to be the way to work with trauma and resilience. It’s less top down intellect, and more bottom up body-to-mind, how changes in the body show up in the mind, in our thought processes. Working with clients for years, I frequently see people who are traumatized have a moment of transcendence—they leave their body in trauma and enter a different reality, akin to a mystical experience. The spiritual realm is beyond religion. No matter what door you go through, if you talk to a mystic from any religion—Jew, Christian, Muslim—something larger than the individual mind occurs. They are all talking about the same thing: this immediate sense of recognition.”