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guided by a stethoscope (either electronic or ordinary) stethscoprewhilst carrying out biodynamic massage (Southwell, unpublished; Stauffer, 2005, unpublished, 2010; van Heel, 2014); the stethoscope is utilized for listening to the digestive system’s sounds (also known in this context as the psycho-peristalsis)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).
Emilie Conrad was no stranger to fear and discomfort. Growing up in an abusive household, she suffered traumatic exposures and illnesses. Dance became her salvation. Her experiences sparked the question that became her lifelong inquiry and work: Continuum Movement.
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.
I had a dream. I wanted to create a shop-fronted organisation on my local High Street to offer drop-in counselling and psychotherapy services. It wouldn't be a bad location; not the poorest nor the poshest area of town, but with a strong community focus.
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.
Whether psychology’s debt to Dr. Wilhelm Reich is acknowledged or not, many of our present day systems of psychotherapy rest squarely on his shoulders. Though now dead, he remains impressively alive. And in the context of what a fearful society can do to its greatest innovators, I believe his story, and in effect my story of our relationship, needs to be told far and wide.
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.