Individual sessions of body psychotherapy are available at our Cambridge Centre. We can also offer body-centred counselling, relaxation and stress management individually and/or in groups. Our clients come from places within travelling distance of Cambridge – London, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Beds, Herts and the Midlands.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY HELP?
Most difficulties in relationships and personal problems can be helped by body psychotherapy. This includes stress, which is often experienced as irritability, weepiness, aches and pains, sleeplessness, exhaustion and lack of interest in life. Body psychotherapy can also be helpful with depression, anxiety, panic attacks, trauma, loss (of a loved one, meaning and direction in life, spiritual connection), long term illness, lack of confidence, intimacy issues, unstable relationships, blocks to creativity and fuller enjoyment of life. We do not maintain a waiting list and you could expect to start psychotherapy within two weeks of contacting us.
WHO ARE THE PSYCHOTHERAPISTS?
Psychotherapists working at the centre are U.K. Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP) registered. At any one time we also have two or three advanced level student psychotherapists working towards UKCP accreditation. Psychotherapists have trained with and/or are accredited by CBPC, the Association of Humanistic Psychology Practitioners, the London Centre for Biodynamic Psychology (formerly the Gerda Boyesen Centre), the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy, and the Karuna Institute (Core Process Psychotherapy). They belong to appropriate professional organisations, adhere to recognised codes of ethics and are required to maintain their standard of expertise with ongoing professional development. The current group of eight psychotherapists has a diversity of personal and professional experience. Some are qualified in a state registered health profession such as nursing, or occupational therapy. Others have been involved in work in the business sector, in teaching and scientific research. Others have lived in other countries or were born abroad. Each psychotherapist works uniquely drawing on experience and interest in creativity, healing and meditation. We are currently able to offer psychotherapy in English, Italian and German
WHAT IS BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY?
Body psychotherapy focusses on the psyche through its expression in the body to enhance awareness on all levels of being. This can include body sensations, thoughts and thinking patterns, feelings, and movements of energy. Through the process of bringing awareness to “how it is” it becomes possible to make different choices and to reconnect with the “essential self”, which is intrinsically healthy. Body psychotherapy is derived from the work of Wilhelm Reich, and the influences of Eastern philosophy in the 1960s. The term Body Psychotherapy was coined in 1991 by the European Association for Body Psychotherapy(EABP).
The body reflects a person’s current state and previous life history. In health mind and body function in a relatively integrated manner. When this is happening breathing, movement, mood, speech and sense of wellness are harmonious. More often full health is not evident. Outwardly there can be success – perhaps there is a secure, well paid job, a family and a pleasant home, but the individual has persistent headaches, or feels constantly tired in the absence of illness, is bored, or feels that something indefinable is missing. Every trauma, shock, difficulty in life, every unexpressed joy is embodied. These experiences manifest as aches and pains, tight or slack muscle, shallow breathing, inability to relax and sleep, low or high arousal levels, feeling hot or cold, disturbed thinking, inability to concentrate or make decisions, and lack of vitality. When these phenomena persist for a long time they develop into more or less fixed states, and illness and general malaise become habitual and normalised. Most of us barely know what it could feel like to be really well and certainly have little idea of how to go about feeling more alive. Good resolutions and will power have only minimal impact on the body. In body psychotherapy the psychotherapist works with the client to discover the meaning of unskillful patterns of behaviour, how it is that relationships are maintained, which are not satisfying and the meaning of the messages that the body is communicating. Gradually a story unfolds about what makes for greater or lesser well being. Perhaps protective ways of being developed for survival in past circumstances are no longer necessary and are self defeating. As awareness of oneself develops, it becomes possible to be more in touch with what is healthy in terms of behaviour and lifestyle. And so as the individual is more in tune with him or herself, there is more connection with the wider world.
WHAT HAPPENS IN A BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY SESSION?
Body psychotherapy respects the innate wisdom of each person, even when you don’t believe it yourself. It is a compassionate form of psychotherapy in which you will be encouraged to get to know yourself in your own time and way. Your wishes will always be respected and you will explore ways of using the sessions jointly with your psychotherapist. A session might involve you sitting and talking: sometimes it may be suggested that you lie down and learn some gentle techniques for becoming more aware of yourself, and to discover new sensations and feelings through movement and breathing; sometimes it may involve you in standing and knowing yourself as you walk; sometimes you may be offered massage; sometimes you may be invited to talk to a cushion representative of a part of yourself or a person; and sometimes you might be invited to draw or write. These activities are vehicles for self exploration and will arise out of the psychotherapy process.
HOW LONG WILL I NEED TO COME?
Short term psychotherapy lasts from 3 to 6 months, but more in depth transformative self discovery is likely to last between 2 and 5 years. Generally clients are seen for one hour weekly, and usually this is on the same day and time each week. The cost per session will be £55.00 – £70.00. Cancellation of an appointment with less than 24 hours notice will be charged for. Individual psychotherapists will also have their own particular contractual arrangements.
HOW DO I KNOW IF BODY PSYCHOTHERAPY IS FOR ME?
The first step is to telephone or e-mail the centre for an initial consultation. Please do not drop in; we are only able to see you by appointment. The appointment will usually be within 7 days from your first contact. The initial consultation lasts up to an hour, is confidential and costs £70.00. You will be asked to talk about yourself, your hopes and expectations, your struggles and strengths. It is also an opportunity to ask about body psychotherapy. You will be advised of the possibilities for you and the appropriateness of body psychotherapy. After two or three days a suggestion will be made about a suitable psychotherapist and a regular appointment time. Appointments start early morning and go on into the evening. When you meet your psychotherapist you will be offered an initial series of 6 sessions for you to get to know each other and how you might work together. On the fifth session there will be a review of what has happened and consideration of the possibility of continuing for a longer period of time.