Bioenergetics


Alexander Lowen (December 23, 1910 – October 28, 2008) was an American physician and student of Wilhelm Reich. In the 1940s and early 1950s he developed bioenergetic analysis with his then-colleague, John Pierrakos.

Bioenergetics is a way of understanding personality in terms of the body and its energetic processes. 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.”

Bioenergetics is an adventure in self-discovery. It differs from similar explorations into the nature of the self by attempting to understand the human personality in terms of the human body. It explores the inexorable link between the body and the mind.


Alexander Lowen

“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.”






Somatic Experiencing (SE) a derivative of Bioenergetics has been developed by Peter Levine. It aims at relieving and resolving the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other mental and physical trauma-related health problems. In the 1997 book "Waking the Tiger" Levin discusses at length his observations of animals in the wild, and how they deal with and recover from life-threatening situations. SE is based on the understanding that symptoms of trauma are the result of a dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. According to Peter Levine, "Trauma lives in the body, not the event." Sessions normally involve a client tracking his or her own experience. SE attempts to promote awareness and release physical tension that remains in the aftermath of trauma. This occurs when survival responses like fight, flight or freeze are aroused, but are not fully discharged after the traumatic situation has passed.”




Long-term effects of psychotherapeutic interventions


 

 

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