At Brighton and Hove Psychotherapy we believe that the mind and body are intricately linked. That what is felt in one is felt and, in the case of the body, expressed in the other.
Our experience is that too many practitioners focus purely on the mind of the client and ignore the body. This may come from a lack of understanding evidenced in more recent research showing how the mind and body are one emotional system and, sadly, it is often borne out of many counsellors and psychotherapists not being connected to their own body.
In fact the interaction of what is essentially one emotional system is encoded in our language. Think about popular expressions such as:
“She is carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders”
“He is a real pain in the neck”
“I have butterflies in my stomach”
“She is digging her heals in”
“He is dragging his feet”
Body psychotherapy is a way of gently working that is non-invasive aiming to bring the sensations in the body into the consciousness of the client. In the modern world we are conditioned to spend most of our time in our heads and even when engaging with activities such as going to the gym or doing some manual work, we disengage from our bodies through watching the screens at the gym or listening to music as we work.
Research is now proving that trauma – the root cause of most psychological and emotional problems – is rooted in the body as well as the mind. Working with one without addressing the other simply leads nowhere at best and be re-traumatising at worst.
Secondly, it is now also becoming increasingly accepted that the only way we can regulate of our emotions – thus not get overwhelmed – is through sensing them in our body and learning to breathe through them.
Body psychotherapy does not involve touch. It is an attuned way of working with an awareness of how our bodies respond to stress and trauma and in learning to regulate our emotions through our bodies.
What we offer is simply a more holistic process of counselling and psychotherapy whereby you can, if you wish, start to get curious about what your body is telling you, noticing your sensations and feelings in the moment and in learning to engage with your body to manage your emotional state long-term.
If you are unsure of the type of therapy you need, you can search for a therapist here.
All the content on this page has been reviewed and vetted by Mark Vahrmeyer UKCP Registered Psychotherapist, Superviser and Co-Founder of Brighton and Hove Psychotherapy. For any questions or more information about the subjects discussed on this page please contact us.