Body Psychotherapy

There are many different schools of Body (Somatic) Psychotherapy, from the Focussing work of Eugene Gendlin to the Sensorimotor school, bringing together the psychoanalytic experience of relational therapy and the discoveries of Neuroscience. There are also psychotherapists working with dance and movement who work with the body to bring about release, to unlock memory and to inform discussion from the unconscious. I draw inspiration from these highly effective approaches and share an interest in the body as a store of non-cognitive knowledge. By this I mean that we learn and remember through our experiences and these stay with us, sometimes out of awareness. But this “knowledge” can still be used. We often find that the body is trying to tell us something but we are resisting hearing it. We can take time to listen – I prefer the word attend as there may not be words or clear messages – and we may find out what is holding us back or causing a problem.

I have also studied how the voice changes and inflects in response to desires, defences and fears held in the body. Posture and body tensions can be observed in a detailed way to help our discussion reach carefully into the psyche. By slowing down and observing somatics I Zenegra find we can bypass some of the verbal knots and complexities that bind us to unhelpful ideas and behaviours.

We all know that worry can make us sick. It shows up in the body. Fear, trauma and loss can also have serious physical effects as can identity issues and low self-esteem. I find working with the body often helps to restore health and build up confidence.

Some body therapists use directive touching such as massage or joint manipulation, but I do not use these techniques. I would enquire and help you to notice and attend. Together we may discover or explore what is happening somatically and emotionally. This helps us to balance between thoughts, feelings and actions – the alternatives might include:

  • getting tied up in circular thoughts
  • obsessing on negative ideas
  • low moods or depressive energy making change impossible
  • fear of change
  • being a victim of a habit despite knowing it is bad
  • repeating patterns of behaviour we regret

My work in Music, Theatre, Dance and many other somatic practices have given me valuable insights and skills. It is a way of working that requires sensitivity and curiosity on the part of therapist and client alike. Compassion for ourselves and our bodies is also important.

The Human Cry

I use this phrase the human cry to evoke the wordless expression of emotions, through our voices and bodies.

I originally developed this workshop to explore how we manifest feelings (especially grief) in the body and the voice. However the same workshop often covers other feelings eg. joy, anger, jealousy, love etc.I use discussion and simple, reflective exercises to guide participants through body observations and safely witness their own somatic feelings – feelings held in the body and observable in the voice and the body. By doing this in a group we share our common experiences and hear a rich variety of views. I encourage safe sharing and supportive observation.

Many aspects of grief are natural but unresolved feelings can inhabit the body in an unhealthy way. In some cases they can make us ill, angry or depressed. They may even inhibit our grief and block opportunities to share these meaningful moments with others. We may have multiple or conflicting feelings which need to be respected.

Family fallouts are common after a loss and sometimes last for decades as unresolved grief may cement grievances into hard, intractable resentments.

This work aims to develop compassion for our own complicated emotions.

This work aims to bring lightness and ease of expression/communication.

I offer an enjoyable exploration of your own voice. This is not a singing workshop and I take care not to put anyone in a situation they will find uncomfortable – because I want to facilitate ease of expression, even if what we may express is difficult or painful. This is not therapy but it does require some self examination. I hope it may prove helpful or valuable in your own expressive life and self-development.

What lies behind our words of grief? When words are not enough or even possible…. the body finds a way to communicate our pain, or if it cannot, where does it go?

Like a face, etched with the history of its life,so  the voice is our personal instrument, developed over the history of its use. From the first cries for breath, it’s timbre is honed by daily use, in conversation, conflict and restraint. That which is hard to express may be felt in the body and heard in the voice. Its rises and falls often say more than the words alone. 

The last workshop was in Todmorden as part of the Pushing Up Daisies festival May 8th 2017 FREE

Part 1 (10am-12) focusses on the voice, it involves discussion and a low level of physical activity. The subject matter may evoke strong feelings and there will be some opportunities to share with others. No-one is required to disclose or reveal anything they do not wish to be known.

Part 2 (1.30p- 4pm) looks at the body and the body in motion, for those who want to explore this in more expressive ways. They may continue to look further inward and/or to physicalise through movement and vocalising. There will again be opportunities to share with others, though no-one is required to challenge themselves beyond what they feel OK with. As a therapist and workshop leader I am experienced at holding a group and I encourage people to go at their own pace.

This is not a therapy session but may prove helpful in helping yourself and others.