Alexander Lowen


Alexander Lowen (December 23, 1910 – October 28, 2008) was an American physician and psychotherapist. A student of Wilhelm Reich in the 1940s and early 1950s in New York, he developed bioenergetic analysis, a form of mind-body psychotherapy, with his then-colleague, John Pierrakos. Lowen was the founder and former executive director of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis in New York City.

Born in New York City, Lowen received a bachelor's degree in science and business from City College of New York,  an LL.B and a J.S.D (a doctorate in law) from Brooklyn Law School. His interest in the link between the mind and the body developed during this time. He enrolled in a class on character analysis with Wilhelm Reich. After training to be a therapist himself, Lowen moved to Switzerland to attend the University of Geneva. 

Lowen lived and practiced for the majority of his life in New Canaan, Connecticut. He suffered a stroke in July 2006. The Alexander Lowen Foundation was founded in April 2007 to continue his legacy. Lowen died on October 28, 2008 at the age of 97.

Dr. Lowen's innovative approach views the body as an essential component of overall health and focuses on helping people reconnect with their bodies. He was the first psychotherapist to have patients stand on their feet and pioneered numerous exercises aimed at releasing chronic muscular tention and repressed emotions.

“Grounding, Breathing, and Vibration are the three basic Bioenergetic principles.” If one doesn’t breathe deeply, doesn’t move freely, the life of the body is restricted. If one doesn’t feel fully, it narrows the life of one’s body. And if self-expression is constricted, the life of the body is limited. A person does not “have” a body, a person is a body.”


Alexander Lowen

“While the repression of a memory is a psychological process, the suppression of feeling is accomplished by deadening a part of the body or reducing its motility so that feeling is diminished. The repression of the memory is dependent upon and related to the suppression of feeling, for as long as the feeling persists, the memory remains vivid. Suppression entails the development of chronic muscular tension in those areas of the body where the feeling would be experienced.”






Long-term effects of psychotherapeutic interventions


 

 

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