Bodymind Integration in the 21st century
„Bodymind Integration” consisting of Postural Integration® Psychotherapy, Energetic Integration® Psychotherapy and Pelvic-Heart Integration®) (since 2007 also known as „PsychoCorporal Integration”) originated in the late 1960's with Dr. Jack W. Painter’s personal, scientific and professional research in the human potential.
Jack Painter, PhD., Founder of Bodymind Integration
Dr. Painter (1933-2010) -- who is well known as a pioneer of the human potential movement -- was a Ph.D. graduate of Emory University (Atlanta, Ga.) in Philosophy, Literature and Psychology and served as a professor at the University of Miami. Influenced by Reichian Therapy (Wilhelm Reich), Structural Integration (Rolfing) (Ida Rolf) and Gestalt (Fritz Perls) traditions he found in his own search for personal clarity and in work with his clients, that a body-anchored approach was needed to bring these traditions together in his own approach. He received Gestalt training from Marty Fromm (Miami, Florida), an early pioneer in Gestalt work with Fritz Perls, M.D., as well as workshops directly with Perls. He received a complete program of individual sessions from Dr. Ida Rolf and Dr. Bill Williams (the founder of Soma). But through constant experimentation found his own ways of touching the body. In combining touch with a Reichian approach, he studied and collaborated with Raffaele Estrada Villa,M.D., Director of the Instituto Wilhelm Reich in Mexico City. As well as sessions and sharing and colleague work with Dr. Peter Levine, author of Waking theTiger and a well-known Reichian therapist, founder of Somatic Experiencing®. From 1973 to the present, Dr. Painter has trained an extensive network of teachers (trainers) and practitioners in Postural Integration® (from 1990 onwards also in Energetic Integration® and Pelvic-Heart Integration®), not only in most of the EU countries (Belgium, Holland, France, Germany, Italy, Austria, England) but also in Switzerland, U.S., Canada, Mexico, Nicaragua, New Zealand and Australia. The group of "first generation trainers" practiced Postural Integration® essentially as a holistic deep bodywork method and as "somatics" (most of the time in 3-year/700 hour programs). This was before the umbrella term of "Body Psychotherapy" was used. Later on, the field of "Body Psychotherapy"organised itself and ICPIT became - keeping it's own identity a member of the umbrella organisation EABP (The European Association of Body Psychotherapy) - affiliated to the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP). A 2010 survey of EABP showed that 10% of it's members had received Postural Integration® training. ICPIT (the International Council of PsychoCorporal (Bodymind) Integration Trainers) has received the full 3 golden stars for psychotherapeutic-competencies from EAP (The European Association for Psychotherapy) in 2011. Look here: http://www.psychotherapy-competency.eu/Participate/Participant_List.php (scroll down to octobre 2011). ICPIT (by which the IBI is accredited) is also an organizational member of WAPCEPC (the World Association of Person Centered, Experiential Psychotherapy and Counceling).
BODYMIND INTEGRATION - second and third generation professional trainings
With the rapid progress in the fields of medicine, psychology, philosophy, psychotherapy, not in the least coming from new insights in the neurosciences, Dr. Painter's research lead to a further conceptual and experiential integration of traditional Reichian work, neo-reichian work, trauma work, body psychotherapy, myofascial and other bodywork. By the time that his methods in Energetic Integration and Pelvic Heart Integration were developed in the early 1990, "a second generation of trainers" (as well as several of the "first generation trainers") were creating big training institutes (several of which now offer a 4-year training programme in Bodymind Integration). Raffaele Cascone, a psychologist and psychotherapist from Naples has brought to the attention that Jack Painter himself had no interest in being recognized by the established professions, guilds, etc, which gave him the freedom not to need to conform to external limiting requirements and to fit into existing labels.
Raffaele Cascone (I), PhD Psychology- Systemic and family psychotherapist. Scientific director of the Institute for Systems Psychotherapy and Medicine. Scientific Coordinator at ICPIT. Professor at University of Palermo.
Cascone says: "When Jack gave demonstrations of his work to professionals from different bandwagons, he always made sure to use words and concepts which would prevent people to stick old names to the new concepts and the new experiences he was referring to and, since he had no interest in being recognized by the established professions, guilds, etc, he had no need to conform to external requirements and to fit into existing labels." (Private communication, 2016).
Central to Postural Integration®/Bodymind Integration, since its inception, is the view that
- body and mind are inseparable and do not stand in a causal relationship with “each other” since they are dimensions of the same phenomena. Thus holistic psychocorporal work with awareness and consciousness is always simultaneous work with body expression, movement and energy. And conversely work with the body, including deep work with breathing and myofascia, is also simultaneous work with awareness and consciousness.
- Postural Integration is furthermore based on the notion of an „energetic flow” which is taken as the core of human experience. The promotion of this flow is considered as health, its persistent blockage is considered as illness. PsychoCorporal Integration presents a clear theory which uses but goes beyond the theories of F. Perls, MD and W. Reich, MD. It uses Gestalt claiming and experiencing as part of the process of transforming body armor.
Defining Bodymind Integration
Bodymind Integration can be understood and defined from several angles:
- As an existential approach, it deals with whatever aspect of a given individual — body symptoms, sensations, feelings, images, thoughts, subtle energy, spirituality — is most accessible in this moment as a way of making contact.
- Whether as a Body Psychotherapeutic approach, a Counseling approach of the Self, a Self Development approach it is a powerful way of making a profound and authentic contact with the Self in order to restore and promote energy balance and equilibrium. The therapeutic alliance in Bodymind Integration is the powerful joining of forces which energizes and supports the long, difficult, and frequently painful work of life changing healing & transformation. The conception of the practitioner here is not of a disinterested observer-technician but of a fully alive human companion for the client.
- Bodymind Integration is a resource-oriented approach. It emphasises helping clients establish connection to the parts of self that are already organised, coherent and functional with interest, curiosity and exploration. It tries to work inwards from that point to the more defended, disorganized, ignored, dysfunctional or excluded aspects of a person’s being, without however making these elements the primary focus of therapy or becoming a regressive model.
- Bodymind Integration treats embodiment as an intrinsic and important feature of human existence. It re-associates the spirit with the body in order to more deeply appreciate life; It helps dissociated parts of our spirit that have been fragmented from our body back into our body, re-united, re-associated.
- In Bodymind Integration, a „somatic mindfulness” is encouraged which includes the detailed moment-by-moment tracking of sensations, feelings, emotions and impulses to movement, as well use of charging and discharging of energy through the working through and completion of a „natural energetic cycle.
- Blockages in the natural flow of energy are dissolved through the use of both hands-on-bodywork and non-touch guidance (depending on the client’s needs), encompassing a process of titration (the bit by bit discharge and minimization of dysregulation or excess load as a result of traumatic suffering) and pendulation of internal experience ((The gently back and forth rocking between contraction and expansion, between fear and safety, between anger and calm, between grief and acceptance, between inaction and action,…) in order to mitigate overwhelming, or not yet integrated states, all while keeping the nervous system activation within a “window of tolerance.”
A focus on the body (guided by 12 steps (paradigm sessions) in Postural Integration® and 12 steps (a paradigm energetic cycle) in Energetic Integration (also included in Postural Integration®)),brings dissociated parts of our spirit that have been fragmented from our body back into our body, re-united, re-associated. Specialised work, called Pelvic Heart Integration aims at sexual healing. All this work is a rich synthesis of many influences and sources: Reichian and Neo-Reichian Work (e.g. with breath, muscular armouring and Character defences), Gestalt Work, Peter Levine's Waking of the Tiger/Somatic Experiencing, Work with Placeholders (Mother, Father, etc.), Work with the 5-Elements (connected with emotions, energy flow, etc.),... ”
©By Dirk Marivoet, Registered Psychotherapist (BVP-ABP, EABP, EAP, WAPCEPC) - Licensed Psychomotor Therapist and Physiotherapist in Mental Health (Catholic University of Leuven, VVPMT).
- Before the training actually starts, applicants need to demonstrate that they have received between 5 and 10 individual sessions in Bodymind Integration® with a by ICPIT certified practitioner and that they are willing to take an introductory workshop.
- Other entry criteria are:
- A capacity for developing self-awareness and self-reflection.
- A capacity to relate to others in a facilitative way from a stance of respect, empathy and mutual interest.
- A capacity to reflect on and examine the impact of their actions on others.
- A capacity to be aware and report the impact of others on them.
- A capacity for curiosity and enquiry, a capacity to open up to new ways.
- A capacity to take responsibility for physical and emotional well-being.
- A capacity to contain, express and integrate strong emotions
- A capacity to cope with the various demands of the course including the fulfillment of financial obligations, the timely completion of learning tasks and active participation in the course (This presupposes sufficient personal and social stability)
- A capacity to understand and practice ethical behavior as outlined by relevant professional codes such as ICPIT/EABP/EAP.
- A capacity to learn from life experiences.
- A capacity to receive feedback on strengths and constraints.
Submitting your Enrollment application
- Please submit your Enrollment application TOGETHER WITH A CURRENT RESUME (In English, French or Dutch) to:
- The Administrator p/a Institute for Bodymind Integration, Destelbergenstraat 49-51, B-9040 Gent
- OR E-mail scanned documents to email@example.com
- OR through the Form on this website
- Your emotional biography needs to be received more than 14 days before commencement of the course at the latest!!
- Following receipt of an application for enrollment you will be invited to attend an Entry Interview (can be live or through Skype) which is an informal process conducted by one of the Directors of Training (Dirk & Elisabeth). You may also request an Interview before enrolment if you wish.
- At the Entry Interview prospective participants will be notified of their acceptance into the course. Payment methods and schedules will be discussed at the Interview.
- During the Entry Interview, applicants are required to demonstrate the willingness to develop the following qualities and capacities, as a pre-requisite for commencing training at IBI.