9th August 2022 

psychotherapy & supervision #01

psychotherapy and supervision: listening to your body

I am trained to use the body as an integral part of the psychotherapeutic process: it offers an alternative route to the unconscious, because it fleshes out our internal reality, both emotional and psychological.

If we only listen to them, our bodies reveal an extra-ordinary wisdom - and an innate capacity for self-regulation. Our bodies can lead us to the most simple and also the most profound truths about ourselves. Your body takes the impact, minutely registering and encoding all that you encounter. It absorbs distress; perhaps defends against it by numbing off or dumbing down. It holds the record not only of your own story but of whatever other narratives you listen to and whatever relationships you engage upon.

When you re-attune to its information, the body yields invaluable insights. It can also restore you to and maintain a more balanced and responsive working position. Inviting your body into the process can hugely enhance your therapy or professional supervision because it can

 ground you more fully in a sense of yourself enhancing both your presence and your authority

 help you delineate and refine boundaries and separation between self and other;

 wordlessly restore or maintain your own balance and well-being by nurturing your self

If you are seeking professional supervision, you may come with the focus of particular case material to which we will direct our attention, using the body as a conduit or messenger to uncover new layers of insight through your counter- transferential experience.

You might be experiencing a more pervasive and general sense of overload or over-whelm and feel the need for support extra to your normal supervision requirements: space simply to breathe and let go - stop striving - with the aid of bio-dynamic massage or breath work. You are likely to find that your body yields new understandings as it tunes in to itself.

You may be suffering physical pain and struggling on a physiological level with the impact of the psychological material you carry and need help to recover your balance and to relate to yourself with more tolerance and understanding.

Listening to your body can help digest and integrate on a physiological level the impact of provocative client material. It also helps you connect at the raw emotional level with counter-transferential process in order to identify, differentiate and articulate it more vividly and clearly

This method of supervision may be of particular interest

 in addressing those cases which most confuse, provoke and dumbfound you and which are resistant to your best efforts at understanding

 to practitioners whose own psychotherapeutic model pays less attention to the body

 to practitioners whose own expertise in addressing issues integratively and holistically needs explicit support and validation

 to practitioners who are exposed to a lot of secondary shock and trauma