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.
Having no memory of an event does not mean it has no impact on one’s life. These ‘forgotten’ events might still affect people’s perceptions, emotions and behaviors without them ever being able to make a connection between present and past or process them verbally at a therapeutic session.
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.
What if you were guided in real-time not only through technique but also via feedback from the client’s autonomous nervous system—objective feedback from the client’s body, as well as what the client volunteers about his/her body and intuition during your therapy sessions?
Sound mechanistic? Perhaps too medically invasive?
In truth, it is possible to humanly obtain immediate feedback from the body, using a stethoscope (an electronic or ordinary one) to listen to the clients’ digestive system’s sounds, the psychoperistalsis. The sounds we hear reveal intriguing information about the level of accuracy, quality, and attunement of the touch we’re applying.
I entered my room. I like my therapy room. It is large, spacious and
painted in my favourite colours: dark aubergine, purple and lilac. It is not the exact shade of lilac I envisioned when describing it to the decorator, but I like it now; the touch of pinkish lilac makes me feel softer, warmer. A dash of green lawn hides beyond the azure curtains.
What did my client say yesterday? That it was the first time she had noticed that the walls of my room are pink. So many times she had been in this room – for how many years now? Over two years, almost every fortnight; over fifty sessions of at least one hour each. But still she hadn’t noticed the pink walls, despite being artistic. In her work she employs a great deal of awareness regarding the nature of colour and the slight differences between shades.
Even in somatic psychotherapy circles we still don’t appreciate enough just how fully physical behavior is. The implicit, or body memory, is not at all linear— not one event per behavior. There could be, and likely are, numerous events that might rise to threshold for recollection, and which are associated with any state, any emotion, any behavior.
Trauma and Memory illuminates the relationship between the body, memory and emotions. Levine brings hope to trauma sufferers with somatic techniques, but also highlights the complexity of combating traumatic memory. We must take the time to better comprehend the connection between our bodies and emotions, and work towards transforming the responses associated with traumatic memories. Ultimately, Trauma and Memory is a stepping-stone towards a better understanding of the mechanisms of memory through its application of the somatic experience approach.
A month ago, a pipe burst in an upstairs wall in my home. Fortunately, the small space where SPT is created was spared while the rest of my home was inundated with water and the resultant outcomes (ceiling collapse, walls torn out, flooring removed, personal property damaged, destroyed). That experience, combined with the now four weeks of frustration due to frigid temperatures (think 45 mph winds gusting through open walls; even my cement Buddha scrunched its shoulders up tighter to ward off the freeze) and frozen communications with the company hired to do the mitigation and restoration work, resulted in intense feelings of powerlessness (a familiar feeling from long ago).