Diving Into the Healing: Trusting the Heart

Vacillating between emotional pain and the somatic relief of psychic numbing, Marie came to my office bewildered and in shock. Two weeks earlier a truck had crashed into a car in which Marie’s mother was riding. Although the truck driver had survived, Marie’s mother and her partner had instantly died.

“I don’t know how you can help,” Marie said, her tired eyes revealing her grief. “You can’t bring my mother back or help me make sense of my loss. I’ve always had faith in a divine spirit, in an afterlife, but now nothing seems right.”

Given the traumatic impact of Marie’s loss, how could I help?

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Kirtan Kriya

Dr. Christopher Walling, PsyD, C-IAYT shared work he is doing at the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation during his webinar sponsored by the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. He presented current research outcomes regarding the delayed onset of Alzheimer’s as well as age related cognitive decline and ways to incorporate yoga and meditation to offset the loss of memory and cognition. He shared the work being done with Kirtan Kriya, a 12-minute daily meditation that is yielding significant research results that involve the posterior cingulate gyrus (increases in blood flow that allow the brain to grow new brain cells), and improvements in concentration, focus and attention. You can experience this process by clicking the video link on our homepage.

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Beginner’s Mind

Russell Delman’s dedication to the study of awareness and human potential began in 1969, when he was a college undergraduate. The main influences on his teaching are over 40 years of Zen meditation, his close relationship and training with Moshe Feldenkrais (he has helped to train over 2500 Feldenkrais teachers worldwide), a deep study of somatic psychology including Focusing, and his rich family life. Over the last seven years, his friendship with Gene Gendlin has illuminated his understanding of life and had a strong influence on his teaching. In this conversation, we explore the concept of “Beginner’s Mind” in a down-to-earth way.

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How do we integrate scientific knowledge, training and application into our clinical work?

Hopefully, with good work and practice, with learning ‘on the job’, with learning from one’s mistakes, and by doing some ‘outcome’ studies or research, and thus getting useful feed-back from our clients, our peers, our supervisors, our mentors, etc., we will improve our skill-set. Working in different places, under different conditions, with different client groups, and with people from different cultures, we are able to hone our basic training, natural abilities, our skills: this is the ‘craft’ component of our work. We can only get better by doing more.

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APPPAH’s 20th International Congress

It is a pleasure and a privilege to welcome you to the APPPAH 20th International Congress! Our Congress Chair, Co-Chair, and Committee are looking forward to hosting this special event at the beautiful Town and Country Resort and Convention Center in sunny San Diego, California. We are beyond ecstatic to have you!

New times require new leaders, capable of bringing increased creativity and awareness to their work with the knowledge and skills required to be agents of positive change. In periods of significant scientific, psychological, and social transformation, old paradigms begin to erode, and new ways of thinking, leading, and interacting spring into action. The APPPAH 20th International Congress is designed to spotlight these new discoveries and open windows into ways of thinking appropriate for an interconnected pre- and perinatal global learning environment.

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Get In-Touch with Touch: A Powerful Tool for Emotional and Physiological Regulation

During the workshop, she will begin by looking at some key scientific aspects of the neurobiology of touch and how they relate to the diverse uses of touch in Biodynamic psychology. Scientific findings
underpin our understanding of the use of touch clinically. She will explore an updated understanding of the place of touch in the therapeutic encounter, referencing current research on the neuroscience of touch, affective touch, attachment, and trauma using clinical examples and integrated experiential work.

She will pay attention to the phenomena of embodied transference, countertransference, resonance and interference (Boadella, 1981) whilst negotiating the dilemma: to touch or not to touch, and, if to touch, how to touch. Exploring how we as psychotherapists can “hold the possibility of touch, as it can be both an appropriate or inappropriate therapeutic intervention” (Asheri, 2009 page 108).

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Spring. It’s been a delicious one here in this corner of south-west England I call home. We’ve had a lot of blue-sky days, stunning blossoms and fabulously noisy bird songs. As a lover of winter, I have sometimes found spring a little intimidating. I’ve been given funny looks and seen heads shaking when I’ve confessed that to the odd friend, met by: “How can you not love spring?” No, it’s not that I haven’t loved spring, I have just loved winter’s stark bareness more. But not this year – maybe I’m coming out of my shell. My body is unfurling as the days lengthen, and we live more in the light. I’ve loved the upsurging energy of the past fortnight. The sap rising and the energy of leaves and blossom springing into life feels tangible. I’ve noticed the upsurging in and through my being of a body as well as seeing it all around me. I’ve found myself reflecting anew on the nature of the upsurging movement of energy in the human body. I’ve been reminded of diagrams I poured over during the evenings of my body psychotherapy training, having spent the day doing the experiential bit. How energy moves, different energy models, character armouring – I drank it all in happily!

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Eugene T. Gendlin, the American philosopher and psychologist who developed the mind-body connection practice called “Focusing,” died on May 1 at the age of 90 in Spring Valley, New York. His death was announced by the International Focusing Institute (, which was founded in 1985 by Dr. Gendlin to promote the practice of Focusing and the philosophy behind it, which he called the “Philosophy of the Implicit.” Focusing is an experiential, body-oriented method for generating insights and emotional healing. Gendlin’s philosophy falls under the branch of philosophy called phenomenology. Significant influences on his philosophical work included Edmund Husserl, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. A nearly exhaustive library of his work is maintained by the Institute in the Gendlin Online Library.


Body Psychotherapy Case Studies

In 2014, the EABP Science & Research Committee (SRC) established a set of simple ‘Guidelines’ for BP/SP Case Studies. We are now engaged in collecting a number of possible contributions for a soon-to-be published book on “Body Psychotherapy Case Studies” (at end 2017 / early 2018). This is part of the SRC remit to help to try and establish a reasonably good ‘scientific’ basis for Body Psychotherapy; and to increase awareness of different types of valid research – case studies being one of these; and to increase awareness of different ways of working in the field of Body Psychotherapy / Somatic Psychology; and we are intending to use some of the ‘project’ money in our SRC budget for this purpose. We would like to invite you to help us in this project. We hope that a reasonable percentage of you will respond.

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Jaak Panksepp passes at age 73

Jaak Panksepp, a neuroscientist who helped reveal the emotional lives of animals by tickling rats and listening to their ultrasonic laughter in experiments that upended his field and opened new possibilities for the treatment of depression and other forms of mental illness, died April 18 at his home in Bowling Green, Ohio. He was 73.

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