IN THE SPOTLIGHT

How to Recollect and Reconnect: Family Tension and the Cure of Holidays

Elisa came to me a few days before a 10-day holiday with her 21-year-old son, Thomas. They had planned to explore Portugal’s local beaches, have time to relax and be together. But she felt uneasy, stressed about the trip. Her history was rather classic. She was divorced; had had a boy, an only child. As it often happens when parents separate, they share their feelings (verbally and non-verbally) with their children imposing their point of view on their children. And as happens with children in this situation, they learn quickly, if they don’t already know how, to play with their parents’ feelings and how to take advantage of the situation and turn things to their own benefit. Thomas was quite practiced at the art of manipulation. Furthering Elisa’s difficulties, her former husband had remarried and fathered two girls. Thomas demonstrated a clear loss of self-worth; he obviously was looking for an identity that he was not yet able to comprehend.

TAKE A TOOL AND RUN

Take a Tool and Run with Dr. Heather Corwin

TTR 10: Exercise balls have been suggested by a wide range of health care professionals to help a person engage the core when sitting for long periods of time. The playful action of an exercise ball can help a person become more aware in the moment through the need to balance that is not necessary for a chair. In rehabilitation scenarios, the use of an exercise ball helps reduce the likelihood of loading up the low back, which helps avoid re-injury (Drake, Fischer, Brown, & Callaghan, 2006). For our purposes, finding ways to foster awareness is the tool to take and enjoy. This is Dr. Heather Corwin’s November edition of “Take a Tool and RUN!”   More can be found at www.BodybyHeather.com.

Dr. Heather Corwin’s Take a Tool and Run is a monthly vlog that offers quick and effective tools to share somatic centering practices.

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PODCAST WITH MICHAEL OSTROLENK

LISTEN TO OUR WRITERS PODCAST

Michael Ostrolenk is a licensed psychotherapist who completed his MA in Transpersonal Counseling Psychology at John F. Kennedy University and did post-graduate studies in somatic psychology at the California Institute for Integral Studies .  He is certified in Spiral Dynamics and Wade Mindsets.  Michael is Head Instructor  for SEALFIT’s Unbeatable Mind Academy as well as a personal development coach. Michael is also the host of #ORadio , a podcast which explores individual and social transformation.

Ostrolenk speaks with Doctor Diaz, a Sports Psychology Consultant with a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology. Dr. Diaz focuses on teaching peak performance and mental wellness, primarily to athletes, through an embodied mind and body approach. Under high levels of stress, the human nervous system feed behavioral patterns that disrupt learned skills, resulting in under-performing. Conversely, an integrative mind and body therapeutic approach is designed to manage emotions to alleviate the overwhelmed nervous system. In so doing, athletes learn to shift stress-related body sensations to a felt sense awareness that promotes increased focused, resilience, and, consequently, improved performance. To learn more about Dr. Diaz and his work, visit his website (sportsmentaledge.com/) and his Facebook (www.facebook.com/SportsMentalEdge/). Today’s show was brought to you by Somatic Psychology Today.

ENRICHMENT

Life Notes: The Yoga of Midlife

The trick in midlife is to keep moving, to breathe through it, allowing the muscles to soften, the mind to begin to rest, and the heart to begin to open. Keep practicing. As I dedicated more and more time to my own practice, sadness began to move through my body and into consciousness with each hip opening. Fear fluttered in my belly as I kicked my legs up the wall in my first handstand since I was 12. And joy! So many moments of joy as my body had another “aha moment” of recognition. Asanas, the funny shapes we make in yoga, were a secret portal. Yoga had invited me to feel all my feelings, and here they were. I didn’t have to talk for hours; I didn’t have to “share.” I owned my experience, embodied my feelings, maybe for the first time in my life.

Salutogensis and Well-Being

Today the Body is cast by neuroscience, to put it phenomenonologically, in Life's project, in all its visibility and evidence, so as to be revealed to prevailing disembodiment, in a liquified society at risk of rarefaction, by the acceleration of external cognitive time, with the consequent theft of people's internal, affective, relational time. It is a society which, absolutely, must meta-communicate with its own dominant Trait Mind (as defined below) about the role of mankind and our place in existence.

Moving Towards Freedom: Effecting Optimal Health Through Reichian Inspired Exercises

Wilhelm Reich is an important influence in what I am about to share so all aspects of our being are part of the process. The gentle movements that I’m writing about help me feel present in my body and ready for the day before I even step out of bed. They loosen segmental blocks that have occurred and continue to occur during my life and keep me lubricated and open from the inside out.

The Embodiment of Primary Respiration: Order, Organization and Transparency

I want to share my perception of PR within the context of what I call the Long Tide Model of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy. I teach several biodynamic sensory awareness principles regarding PR. These principles transform into stages of sensory exploration. The first basic principle of sensing PR: It is the highway upon which embodiment of the whole moves.

THE THREAT RESPONSE CYCLE AS A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON MINDFULNESS

When I talk about mindfulness, I’m talking about everyday mindfulness as opposed to something esoteric: Mindful as the opposite of mindless. Doing something mindlessly means your mind is not engaged in it: there is a mechanical, or a passive quality to it. It’s not that “mindless” is synonymous with “passive” and “mindful” with “active”. It’s more like giving a sense of some broad circles of meaning, with one that encompasses notions like “active”, or “engaged” (the “mindful” concept), and another that encompasses notions such as “passive” or “disengaged”.

Embodied Awareness – Balance

Built into our biology are mechanisms of mind which continuously assess value (+ or -) to our experience. The biological necessity of such mechanisms is obvious: we are designed to survive. To assign value (+ or -) allows us to make decisions in childhood, (the most vulnerable time period) that support our physical or psychological survival. For example, Mom is angry.

RELATIONAL MINDFULNESS

RSS Relational Implicit: Conversations on Psychotherapy

  • David Mars: AEDP for couples November 1, 2019
    In this conversation, David Mars Ph.D. gives us an experiential sense of AEDP for Couples. Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy for Couples is a cutting edge approach that combines affective neuroscience and attachment research into a love-inspiring way for couples and the therapists who treat them to find refreshing, healing and restorative ways to bring about […]
    Relational Implicit
  • Stacy Reuille-Dupont: Using Exercise Science to Bridge Understanding in Therapy September 1, 2019
    In this conversation, we talk about a blending of disciplines – – specifically, using exercise science to bridge understanding in somatic psychology interventions. The goal is to bring together the science of the physical body with the science of the emotional body to go beyond symptom reduction and reconnect the self and body. Audio only: […]
    Relational Implicit

Relational Mindfulness with Serge Prengel

Embodied Spirituality

In my work, I am accustomed to thinking in terms of embodied experience. That is, mind and body are not separate entities. I think of the mind as an emerging property of the human organism. Where does the notion of spirituality fit with this kind of outlook? The word "spirituality" refers to "spirit". Traditionally, spirit is seen as immaterial, the opposite of flesh and blood. It is what animates the body, gives it life. In many traditions, it is something that leaves the body after death, and continues to live on its own once disembodied. So, essentially, the word "spirit" evokes the very opposite of "embodiment." There is such a chasm between these two notions that it makes it hard to conceive that they could be integrated. Indeed, if you only contemplate these two propositions as logical statements, you simply cannot find a way to reconcile them.

SPT BOOKSHELF

Book Reviews

The Routledge International Handbook of Embodied Perspectives in Psychotherapy: Approaches from Dance Movement and...

What do you get when four seasoned academics combine their scholarly resources and put their pens to the page? An impressive "fertile intersection of fields of inquiry” with a star-studded list of contributors writing about body psychotherapy and dance movement therapy.

Origins

Somatic Movement Educator who has read many books by authors in the field, I felt a quickening and rising in my body and became curious, shyly excited, and a little nervous when invited to review a book by Joan Davis. Davis is among a generation of creative professionals in Ireland and across the UK dedicated their lives to in-depth explorations and research through the silent level (non-words) processes and expressions of the human body. In this very small, yet internationally growing world of somatic movement, Davis is among the “rock stars”, and she has rightfully earned her honor and fame through decades of creative, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual research that she integrated into a training programme called Origins.

Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster

Linda Graham’s 2018 book, Resilience: Powerful Practices for Bouncing Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, and Even Disaster, is a continuation of the practices she first wrote about in her book, Bouncing Back: Rewiring Your Brain for Maximum Resilience and Well-Being. Throughout each chapter, Graham details exercises aimed to build and strengthen resilience by way of regular practice. Graham divides the book into eight chapters that are designed to guide the reader through a journey of understanding and strengthening resilience.