'Embodied Psychotherapy': A Reading List The alphabetically-oriented list immediately below can includes a number of books already mentioned in the references to each of the seven preceding papers, together with some other significant works. Some of these books are now out-of-print. Books relevant to Embodied Psychotherapy / Body Psychotherapy / Somatic Psychology Aron, L. & Anderson, F.S. (Ed.) (1998). Relational Perspectives on the Body. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press. Anderson, F.A. (2010). Bodies in Treatment: The unspoken dimension. London: The Analytic Press. Aposhyan, S. (2004). Body-Mind Psychotherapy: Principles, Techniques and Practical Applications. New York: Norton & Co. Aron, L. & Anderson, F.S. (1998). Relational Perspectives [...]


Significant People & Key Players in the field of the Embodied Psychotherapies

Pioneers Pierre Janet (1959-1954) was a pioneering French psychologist and psychotherapist; a pupil of Jean-Martin Charcot; and pre-dated Sigmund Freud slightly; he is said (by many) to be the true founder of psychotherapy. He was one of the first people to connect events in a person's early childhood with present day traumas or neuroses, and he also coined the words "dissociation" and "subconscious". Freud originally attributed some of his ideas to Janet, but later, having been accused (possibly correctly) of plagiarism, dissociated himself from Janet and even refused to meet with him many years later. Janet achieved great popularity and renown in [...]

Significant People & Key Players in the field of the Embodied Psychotherapies2019-05-30T19:03:15+00:00

The Contributions of the Embodied Psychotherapy Movement to Developments in the Wider Field of Psychotherapy

The role of the 'body' in psychotherapy was a taboo issue - an "elephant in the room" - for many years until the 1960s. It was not really until the Humanistic Psychology movement arose as a "third force" that the 'body' was once again included (along with the spirit) in the general field of psychology and psychotherapy. This is not to say that the founders of Humanistic Psychology (e.g. Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and others) related directly to, or worked with, their patients' (client's) bodies, nor used any specific embodied approaches: they just noted that, given the five basic principles of humanistic psychology, the body had - [...]

The Contributions of the Embodied Psychotherapy Movement to Developments in the Wider Field of Psychotherapy2019-05-30T19:03:17+00:00

Controversies in the Development of Embodied Approaches

Since Freud, there has been a fundamental controversy about the relevance of the various embodied approaches to psychotherapy, especially from within psychoanalysis, partly because Freud had essentially rejected (or not acknowledged) the vital contributions of Pierre Janet (a fellow pupil of Charcot's) and his basic direction towards body-oriented (or other embodied) approaches (Boadella, 1997). Freud also ignored (or 'revoked') Reich's systematic work that had supported some of Freud's earlier theories, though Reich's 1934 exclusion from psychoanalysis was probably due to his controversial socio-political views. Reich was also increasingly involved with analyzing aspects of the libido, whereas Freud had moved away from [...]

Controversies in the Development of Embodied Approaches2019-06-05T19:57:02+00:00

Scientific Method and the Embodied Approach

The various embodied approaches - both in physical therapy and in psychological therapies and psychotherapy - have (until recently) put insufficient effort into developing a good scientific basis, though this does not necessarily mean that they are 'unscientific'. Psychotherapies can be informed by science, and can also inform science, but they are not per se a science (Young, 2012a), so one needs to be cautious in applying a scientific method or a medical model to embodied approaches. Fortunately, in the last decade or so, the 'body' of science with particular relevance to embodied approaches has greatly increased, in particular through the [...]

Scientific Method and the Embodied Approach2019-05-30T19:03:13+00:00

The Embodied Basis of Human Relationships

If we consider how people actually relate with each other, we can see that there are many different levels of energetic exchanges apart from speech, and that a lot of communication is essentially non-verbal (Hinde, 1972). Non-verbal communication can be an extremely significant aspect of interpersonal relationships; much of it is body and thus relates to our own levels of embodiment. Forms of non-verbal relating include: body language (kinesics); distance and positioning (proxemics); physical appearance (height, weight, clothing, posture, style); gestures; elements of voice (paralanguage - voice quality, rate, pitch, volume, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as rhythm, intonation, and stress); touch (haptics); chronemics (the [...]

The Embodied Basis of Human Relationships2019-05-30T19:03:18+00:00

Historical Origins of Embodied Approaches to Psychotherapy

The origins of most of the embodied approaches to psychotherapy reside mainly in specific developments at the end of the 19th century with the work of Dr. Pierre Janet (see Boadella, 1997), who was a pupil of Jean-Martin Charcot (1825-1893) at the Pitie-Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, when Freud was studying there in 1885. Janet became one of the pre-eminent neurologists of the period. Contrary to common belief, Freud's early therapy takes up Janet's and Charviot's embodied focus. For example, Freud would lie on the floor with his clients, massage them, and apply physical pressure (Totton, 2002), an approach which he of course wholly abandoned in [...]

Historical Origins of Embodied Approaches to Psychotherapy2019-05-30T19:03:11+00:00