The USABP is a professional organization dedicated to advancing somatic psychology (theory) and somatic/body psychotherapy (practice) among our members and the community at large. A steering committee of 20 clinicians and trainers representing most of the major modalities of the field, including but not limited to Core Energetics, Bioenergetics, Bodynamics, Rubenfeld Synergy, Gestalt, Hakomi, Somatic Experiencing, and Integrative Somatics founded the USABP in June, 1966. The USABP was incorporated as a 501c(3) (nonprofit) association in April, 1997, and the first Board of Directors was organized in September, 1998.

We are a governing organization that works to promote and sustain standards, ethics, and professional worth among our members. To support our mission and goals, the USABP is involved in many activities to promote somatic psychology, body psychotherapy, and body/mind practices including: conferences; publications; the Alice K. Ladas research award; the Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Academic Council.

As a member-driven, volunteer-run organization, all of USABP’s activities are generated by “us.” The main policy making body is the Board of Directors, with day-to-day operations overseen by the Executive Committee of the Board. Organizational activity and development is carried out by the following committees: Membership, Research, Publicity, Conference, Publications (with separate committees for the following publications: The International Body Psychotherapy Journal: The Art and Science of Somatic Praxis; Somatic Psychotherapy Today;), and the Institutional Advisory Committee.

Our guiding beliefs are based on the empirically supported premise that emotions originate and reside in the body and that body, mind, and spirit are interconnected. Body-centered psychotherapists and practitioners maintain that:

  • Present moment experience holds value for psychological healing.
  • The body has a propensity for health.
  • The felt sense is an amalgam of emotion and psychological phenomena that can reveal unconsciously held information.
  • Memory is held in the body, and can be retrieved.
  • Healing happens in relationship.