Bodylistening - a grounding in body psychotherapy
*The 2020 course is now complete. Due to COVID uncertainties the 2021 training will probably start in the autumn. Let us know if you would like to be notified when dates are finalised. The details below relate to the 2020 training.*
Tutor: Tim Brown
Assisted by Kinga Tóth
October 31/November 1
The Bodylistening training programme is being offered in 4 weekend workshops. The programme is designed to introduce modern body-centred therapy, with a mixture of theory, demonstration and experiential work.
There is growing interest in the field of body psychotherapy and somatic psychology. Body-centred approaches to dealing with psychological problems are now well established. Recent advances in neuroscience explain how the body is involved in our growing sense of self, and how this can be affected during early development. Our bodies hold the key to old problems and new possibilities; Body Psychotherapy is a therapeutic approach which gets to the root of who we are, and what we can become.
Working with the body is a creative process. This programme will give you background theory on how and why body-centred techniques work. You will develop 'bodylistening' skills to contact and work directly with the body. This includes greater self-awareness of your own body as a channel of wisdom and useful information – an incredibly useful resource, both personally and professionally.
Who is this programme for?
counsellors and psychotherapists who want to explore body-centred approaches to therapeutic work with clients;
bodyworkers (massage therapists, teachers of body disciplines such as yoga, pilates, etc) who are curious about the psychological and emotional impact of their work, and want to work creatively with what emerges;
anyone who works creatively with the body (dance, martial arts, etc) and is considering a move into body-focused therapeutic practice.
The programme is designed to be a mix of training and self-development. It has the potential to lead on to more advanced trainings for those who may wish to take this work into professional practice. To get a flavour of the course content, you could read my article Body Psychotherapy – a short guide to the art and science of Bodylistening. There will be opportunities for discussion, sharing, interaction and exploration. Recommendations for reading and further information will be provided, along with course notes. You will be asked to provide a short written reflection following each of the weekends.
Studying Body Psychotherapy in a group means that our own bodies, and our reactions to other participants, will be activated and provide some of the learning experience. You must be prepared to be involved in experiential work and engage in the shared group process.
The programme is presented in four weekend modules:
Fundamentals of Deep Bodywork and Body Psychotherapy
Introductory concepts and theoretical background to Neo-Reichian Bodywork and body psychotherapy, including links to attachment theory, development of character, models of contact, embodied-relational therapy.
Safety: how to create and maintain a safe working environment for bodywork. Self-regulation and the relational field. Boundaries, orientation, and safety protocols. Taking risks.
Bodylistening skills: how to talk to the body and encourage its responses.Working with parts and channels. Body-gestalt techniques. Listening to my own body.
Body Dialogue and Process Work
Bodylistening means listening to the body and taking its messages seriously. This involves a dialogue – between client and therapist, and a process – of change and growth. We will explore ways in which we make contact with the ‘mind’ of the body and create the conditions for it to relax, release, and move into healing process. The work draws on Process-Oriented Psychology, Gestalt, Embodied-Relational Therapy, Mindfulness… and your own creativity, gut instinct and random inspiration. Topics include:
Creating and maintaining safety
Channels: Image, Movement, Breath, Emotion, Sensation, Thought
Working with resistance
The meaning of symptoms
Contact, Movement and Touch in Therapy
We learn who we are, we learn how to be, by moving in and out of contact. As our nervous systems develop over the first few years of life, the way we contact the world, and the way it responds, sets up deep patterns which are reawakened in therapy. We make contact through our eyes, our words, our bodies.
Touch is a powerful form of contact. Traditionally, the talking therapies avoid touch, but used with awareness it can be an important channel for therapeutic process. Bodyworkers know that touch can contact directly places in our bodymind which aren’t easily accessed by talking. Like any verbal intervention it can be used sensitively or abusively, respecting boundaries or overwhelming them.
By bringing attention to movement, gesture, posture and proximity, we open new possibilities in the client-therapist relationship. Movement disciplines such as Authentic Movement can engage the transpersonal realms, bringing new understanding and meaning to self-exploration. They can also be valuable tools for developing therapeutic presence. Topics include:
What kind of contact, where, and when?
Exploring proximity and reactions to contact
Six different styles of touch, and their shadow aspects
Authentic Movement and therapeutic presence
Working safely and respectfully
Working with Trauma
Understanding trauma and helping it to release through the body is a fundamental skill. Modern neuroscience research now shows the way in which the body ‘remembers’ past traumas. Painful or difficult experiences can trigger a shock response which remains frozen in the body. Whilst trauma theory often emphasises shocking events, it can also explain long-term chronic developmental difficulties. As therapists, we don’t need to go looking for trauma – it will surface sooner or later. We need to welcome it as an important aid to process, and give the body space and time to tell its story directly.
This isn't a 'trauma training'. We will be looking at how early attachment forms a somatic imprint which shows itself in the way we hold ourselves, move, and make contact. It's a way into therapeutic process which gets straight to the heart of early wounding. Topics include:
The trauma model as a basis for therapeutic process
Shock trauma and developmental trauma
How to spot trauma and work with it
Mindfulness and tracking sensation
Hyper- and Hypo-arousal, and self-regulation
Dealing with overwhelm
The Bodylistening training programme costs £580. Early registration discount (before December 1st) £550. Refreshments and course materials included. Payment by installments can be agreed in case of difficulty.
Location: Mankind,1 Brunswick Rd, Hove BN3 1DG
Dates: Saturday and Sunday, Jan 18/19, Feb 22/23, October 31/November1, December 12/13.
Times: 10.30am - 6pm Saturday, 10.30am - 5pm Sunday
Application: Places are limited. To apply for a place on the course, please write with information about yourself:
- what you do;
- a brief 'body history' and any experience of therapy;
- your reasons for applying, and what you hope to gain from the course;
- your reaction to the prospect of working in a group, sharing potentially difficult personal material;
- any concerns you might have about the course;
- your contact details, including a phone number where I can follow up any queries.
This can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
If we haven't worked together before, I require an interview - so you can meet me, ask any questions and decide if you would like to work with me, and so I can meet you face-to-face. A phone interview or Skype is also an option. If you would prefer to do this before submitting a full application, that's fine.
Further development: on completion of the course participants will be given a BSET Certificate in Fundamentals of Bodylistening. For anyone moving towards body-centred practice, the Certificate is designed to serve as an introduction to more advanced practitioner-focused trainings.
I would welcome any questions, either by email email@example.com or telephone: 01273 271408.