Bioenergetics & Core Energetics: Body psychotherapy

We all carry in our bodies the emotional baggage of a lifetime.

From early childhood on, you have been dealing with emotions that were too difficult for a child to express: Fears – who is more powerless than a little child? Pain. Anger. Yearning to be loved…

You couldn’t express these feelings as a child, but they didn’t just go away. Your body functioned as a shock absorber, so to speak. Little by little, what you couldn’t process with your mind sculpted your posture, and your body language.

“The body of a person tells us much about his personality. His posture, the look in his eyes, the set of his jaw, the carriage of his head, the position of his shoulders are only a few of the many indices of character to which we unconsciously react.
“There are other characteristics such as the quality of a handshake, the tone of the voice, and the spontaneity of gesture that impress us immediately.”

From: Breathing, Movement and Feeling, by Alexander Lowen, M.D.

Over the course of your life, this has become a “body armor” that is so familiar, that you can’t conceive of a different way of being. And yet… this armor is narrowing the range of your experience, making your life less fulfilling. As you become more familiar with your emotional baggage, you become more capable of tapping into your emotional intelligence: your inner power to grow and get more out of life.

Bioenergetics was developed by Alexander Lowen, M.D. and John Pierrakos, M.D. (who later went on to develop Core Energetics). Bioenergetics and Core Energetics understand personality in terms of the body and its energetic processes:

“There are self-evident truths that need no demonstration. But, because they are self-evident, they escape our attention. For example, no one will deny the importance of being alive. We want to be alive, yet we neglect to breathe, we are afraid to move, and we are reluctant to feel.
“Another self-evident truth is that the personality is expressed through the body as much as through the mind. An individual cannot be divided into a mind and a body. Yet our studies of personality have concentrated on the mind to the relative neglect of the body.”
From: Breathing, Movement and Feeling, by Alexander Lowen, M.D.

Bioenergetics and Core Energetics combine work with the body and the mind to help people resolve their emotional problems and realize more of their potential for pleasure and joy in living.

It is not uncommon for people to see these therapies as primarily focused on “energizing” the body and releasing pent-up energy. As for me, my approach is based on the fundamental principle that just releasing energy is usually not sufficient to promote healing and transformation.

In other words, “cathartic” energizing is not enough, and may in some cases actually be counterproductive. Lasting results require the integration of Energy and Consciousness.