Bioenergetic Analysis is a psychotherapy committed to the premise that mind and body, psyche and soma, are not separate but integral aspects of a unified whole. Alexander Lowen, MD, who founded Bioenergetics in 1956, believed that emotional problems in living should be understood and addressed through a combination of in-depth talk and a deep exploration of the language of the body - that is, how we breathe, move and express ourselves physically. Today’s Bioenergetic practitioners believe that blocks to emotional expression and wellness form psychosomatically. Problems of the mind are revealed and expressed in the body. Through a process that goes beyond talk, we actively help people to move toward their most desired goals. Recent findings in neuroscience have substantiated the importance of working with the body in psychotherapy. Bioenergetic Analysis is unique, time-honored and dedicated to psychological and emotional growth, vibrant health, aliveness, pleasure, joy, love, autonomy and a rich connection to others and the world.
In Bioenergetic Therapy, we focus on the psychological issues presented by each person and the manifestation of these issues as shown in each individual's body, energy, and movement. The verbal work consists of an exploration of an individual's past, dreams, associations and current issues. It also focuses on the relationship between the client and the therapist.
Work with the body involves helping people to become aware of their emotional issues on a body level by addressing disturbances in breathing and chronic muscular tension. Bodywork involves a variety of movements and exercises that facilitate change on a deep body level.
By addressing conflicts at a cognitive, emotional, physical and spiritual level, Bioenergetic therapy works with the whole person. It seeks to help each individual gain a greater understanding and awareness of old patterns of action and reaction, increase our capacity to tolerate and resolve old pain, conflict or trauma, and enhance one’s ability to experience pleasure. This results in an improved connection with oneself and with others.
Breathing is intimately connected to our emotional states. Since we suppress emotion by holding our breath and tensing our muscles, we find that with every emotional disturbance there is a disturbance in one’s breathing. Chronic muscular tension, caused by unresolved emotional conflicts, inhibits full and free breathing. Bioenergetic therapists work to mobilize the chronic tension that inhibits free breathing. Deepening one's breathing will often release held emotions and memories facilitating the resolution of these emotions and/or memories can then become possible. To breathe deeply is to be fully alive.
Grounding is understood as the quality of one's connection with oneself and one's surroundings. To be grounded is to have identity and security in who you are. Groundedness means having your feet on the ground, standing on your own two feet and holding your ground. Being ungrounded means being a pushover, having your head in the clouds, being weak-kneed or being hung up. A primary goal in Bioenergetic therapy is to become more grounded in oneself and in one's relationships with others. Being grounded allows us to realistically move into life and to strive for what we desire.