Increasing Psychotherapy’s Effectiveness
Psychological problems are generally not solved; they are more often resolved. Something in a person has changed. In Bodynamics we are able to access and build these changed states more directly. By using the body, we can help a client establish a new and felt sense of competency in the areas being worked on verbally.
In childhood, non-traumatic developmental disruptions typically occur around the motor, mental, and psychological abilities coming online. The results of these disruptions are imprinted in the mind, the nervous system, and in the related muscles. Usually, the presence of an issue in an adult’s life implies that certain abilities were not learned or accepted at a related developmental age. As a child, the client had to learn protective responses – to give up aspects of themself, or of their relationships. The resulting protective behavior that was once adaptive, is now the source of many contemporary issues.
We generally work verbally with the here and now, on how an issue is appearing in present-day life. Then, from knowing the psychological function of the muscles, we can employ specific muscles to deepen the work and move it forward. Using a muscle will simultaneously do two things: it will evoke the corresponding developmental age and themes; and it will help to build missing abilities from that stage, or release ones that are held back. As these abilities develop and stabilize, often quite rapidly, they can lead to a felt sense of competency in this area. The previously reflexive or sensed need for protective behavior becomes less urgent. This allows people to change lifelong patterns in a liberating way.
Since muscles from a given developmental stage evoke the themes of that stage, we can also build our relationship with the client around these themes. This enables a client to embody new behavior more quickly and more lastingly. Additionally, we have found that meta-processing, i.e., therapist and client together discussing the experience of the new sense of competency, furthers the integration of the developing abilities and brings to awareness nascent competency in other areas. Working toward these changed states is changing our understanding of effective psychotherapy.
© Bodynamic Institute USA, 2015