Where did the idea of body psychotherapy come from?

Body Psychotherapy can be traced back to Freud.  Sigmond Freud worked with the mental-emotional interaction of the personality.  Freud “discovered” the unconscious, and said that our behaviour is driven by unconscious motives as well as conscious motives.  He also developed the theory of conversion disorder.  He said that people sometimes converted anxiety into physical disorders.  Even though Freud considered physical symptoms, he mainly focused on the person’s mental and emotional state.  Carl Jung when he broke away from Freud included focus on the soul of the person.  He also considered that therapy needed to work with the potential of the person, not just their dysfunction.  It was Wilhelm Reich who merged physiology with psychology.  He made the discovery that resistances in our personality were also held in our body.  Reich developed a whole theory on characterology – how our character is held in our body. Psychiatrists Alexander Lowen and PierrakosJohn Pierrakos (pictured) were very interested in Reich’s theories, and they founded Bio Energetics based on Reich’s theories and their own work.  Later, John Pierrakos moved on to develop Core Energetics.  In Core Energetics we look at the body, emotions, mind, soul and energy.  In his book (Core Energetics) John Pierrakos said that he was preoccupied with the innate functioning of the life force.  What is Energy?  I’ll leave this blog tonight with the words of John Pierrakos “we create our lives ourselves through what we do with our energy: where we decide to go with it and how we direct it”.

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