Body Psychotherapy North Brisbane
What is Body Psychotherapy?
When you’re overwhelmed by big emotions, when you’re anxious or depressed, you feel it physically as well as mentally. Your racing heart, your short breath, that crushing feeling in your chest.
Body psychotherapy integrates talk therapy with yoga-like poses, movement, breathing and mindfulness to help restore your mental and emotional wellbeing. It is a whole-body approach to feeling better.
Why work with the body as well as your mind?
Anxiety and depression are not just felt in your mind, but in your body as well.
Your mind expresses itself through your body and voice. Emotions have a physical expression in the body. The longer you stay in an emotional state, the more it shapes your posture. We can become locked into particular movement patterns and bodily postures, and associated mental patterns, beliefs and emotions. By moving the body, we change the physical posture and the emotional pattern.
To understand WHY you feel like you do we’ll be using the newest part of your brain (in evolutionary terms), the prefrontal cortex. We’ll talk and use mindfulness techniques. But to make CHANGE we need to engage your mid-brain, the limbic system (which controls instinct and the basic emotions (pleasure, anger, fear) and drives (hunger, caring, sex, dominance); and your brain stem (movement, breathing, touch).
We recalibrate your nervous system from the bottom up. To do that we use movement, breathing, posture, music, vocal and physical expression.
What are the benefits of Body Psychotherapy North Brisbane?
- The breathing exercises bring life back into your body which helps you regain your energy and motivation for life.
- Through movement and breathwork, we regain contact with memories stored in your implicit memory, and work with unmetabolized feelings held in your body.
- It helps you let go of physical and emotional tension you have unconsciously been holding in your body and your mind.
- The grounding exercises help you find awareness and strength in your sense of self. Giving you a sense of congruency, of wholeness of self.
Where does body psychotherapy come from?
Body psychotherapy comes from the work of Psychiatrists Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, and John Pierrakos. It stems from the psychoanalytic tradition created by Freud and Jung. In more recent times, psychiatrists such as Babette Rothschild, Pat Ogden, and Bessel van der Kolk have built on these theories with extensive research, bringing gentler, trauma-sensitive interventions to this body of work.
Body psychotherapy is an experiential therapy. This means you don’t just sit there and talk to your therapist. You experience it in your body as well as your mind.
Body psychotherapy combines psychoanalytic therapy for your mind with breathing, movement, and postures similar to Yoga and Chi Gong.
Your body is a storehouse of information about your history. How we related to our primary caregivers in our early days become encoded into our body patterns and implicit memory. Over time these physical and emotional patterns in our body become unconscious, and we still act in these patterns as an adult.
By combining talk therapy with movement and breathing we help you dig deeper into your psyche and access this unconscious information.
We get right to the root of your behavioural patterns. This makes your therapy more effective.
What kind of issues do I help with?
Body Psychotherapy can be applied to many issues we face in life. This list is not exhaustive, but these are the kinds of issues that I help clients with:
- Anxiety and panic attacks;
- Depression, low motivation and feelings of worthlessness;
- Relationship issues
- Wanting to be in a relationship;
- Issues within a relationship;
- Wanting to leave or end a relationship;
- Intimacy issues;
- Loneliness and isolation;
- Abuse (sexual, emotional or physical);
- Emotional crisis;
- Life transitions;
- Grief and loss (humans and pets);
- Psychosomatic illnesses;
- Stress management;
- Chronic fatigue;
- Workplace issues e.g. bullying.
How do I know if body psychotherapy is right for me?
- Are you aware of feeling symptoms of stress/ anxiety/ depression in your body?
- Do you want to involve your whole being in your therapy and not just talk about things?
- Are you looking for something experiential and deeply transformative?
If the answer is yes, click the button below to start your journey.
Have a look at my FAQ page for answers to some common questions about therapy.
For info on my fees and available health fund rebates have a look at my Pricing page.
Body Psychotherapy Research
I want to know that the techniques I use for my clients are going to be effective and give the results they need. Here are some of the best research articles I’ve come across so far:
(In some cases you may not have access to read the whole article but should be able to see the abstract)
The effectiveness of Body Psychotherapy
Röhricht, F. (2009). Body oriented psychotherapy. The state of the art in empirical research and evidence-based practice: A clinical perspective. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 4(2), 135-156.
Bloch-Atefi, A., & Smith, J. (2015). The effectiveness of body-oriented psychotherapy: A review of the literature. Psychotherapy and Counselling Journal of Australia, 3(1).
The effectiveness of Bioenergetic movement therapy
Nickel, M., Cangoez, B., Bachler, E., Muehlbacher, M., Lojewski, N., Mueller-Rabe, N., . . . Nickel, C. (2006). Bioenergetic exercises in inpatient treatment of Turkish immigrants with chronic somatoform disorders: A randomized, controlled study. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 61(4), 507-513.
The effectiveness of Body Psychotherapy on anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders
Berg, A. L., Sandell, R., & Sandahl, C. (2009). Affect-focused body psychotherapy in patients with generalized anxiety disorder: Evaluation of an integrative method. Journal of Psychotherapy Integration, 19(1), 67-85.
Röhricht, F. (2015). Body psychotherapy for the treatment of severe mental disorders – an overview. Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy, 10(1), 51-67.
Röhricht, F., Papadopoulos, N., & Priebe, S. (2013). An exploratory randomized controlled trial of body psychotherapy for patients with chronic depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 151(1), 85-91.
How our thinking is ’embodied’ rather than just in the brain
Rohricht, F., Gallagher, S., Geuter, U., & Hutto, D. D. (2014). Embodied cognition and body psychotherapy: The construction of new therapeutic environments. Sensoria: A Journal of Mind, Brain and Culture, 10(1), 11-20.
If you would like to discuss your situation and find out how counselling or body psychotherapy can help you please call me on 0450 22 00 59. Or go to my online diary to book now.
I offer a FREE 20 minute discovery session for new clients by phone so that you can ask me anything you want about counselling, body psychotherapy, movement therapy or group classes. You can book this though my online diary.
If you’re not ready to book just now, you can sign up to my monthly client newsletter and see what I’m sending my clients. I never give away contact details and you can unsubscribe at any time.