Integrative Body Psychotherapy, or simply IBP, offers a way of looking at one’s personality through the lens of the body and the energetic process within. What sets it apart from other schools of psychotherapy is that it utilizes personality and character analysis along with psychical techniques to detect — and release — chronic muscle tension, a necessary step toward overcoming withdrawal from life, which is a defense mechanism. IBP recognizes the body’s intelligence and ability to heal itself and encourages this process. In my work, I primarily use the Integrative Core Dynamics (ICD) method developed by the Center for Integrative Development. It is an approach based on the principles of vegetotherapy, character analysis, and the theory of segmental armoring, i.e. bodywork therapy developed by Dr. Wilhelm Reich
almost a century ago. This integrative method uses physical contact, breath, movement, and voice to open the energetic flow within the body so that we can through that flow integrate the different levels of the body, feelings, mind, and spirit.
In addition, I use bioenergetics principles and techniques as per Alexander Lowen, which are also based on the work of Dr. Reich. For grounding and embodiment, we use core energetics exercises, free movement, and various techniques to open the flow. The energetic flow takes us through the sensations, emotions, and thoughts, toward a grounded spirituality. Breaking through the adapted layers of personality into its destructive parts, and processing them in a safe therapeutic setting, we make room for the manifestation of our authentic self, and our essence which is constructive and inclusive.
When working with character structures, I give special attention to traumas, especially early childhood traumas. The so-called trauma energy remains trapped in the body, which is why the way to access it in the present is through the body, sensations, and feelings. By carefully opening the flow in a safe space, while strengthening the emotional container, we can release that trauma energy through the body and create room for free flow where there was none before. We thus have the opportunity to complete the process of the embodiment interrupted by certain development conditions. Thanks to the safety of the client-therapist relationship we are also offered a chance to mend our underdeveloped or previously damaged attachment styles.
All of this is made possible thanks to the implicit memory of the body, and the fact that in the here and now we can, through a safe interaction, create a new, positive, satisfying, and accepting experience that was missing in the past. This integrated experience is the foundation we will use to build and strengthen our adult selves and lives.
When suitable and if the client is willing, I will also occasionally use principles and techniques of Open Floor conscious dancing. Open Floor practice offers a whole wide range of dynamic and creative tools and resources which help us move through our lives fully embodied. We use the language of dance and mindfulness to achieve self-awareness, a sense of connectedness, and healing.