What is Bioenergetic Therapy?


A lot has changed since 2018

It’s been a long time since I originally made this video, so please, excuse the talk about emotions being in the body. I don’t say that anymore.

A book called Seven and a half lessons about the brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett

Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett’s beach-read about the Theory of Constructed Emotion.

Bioenergetic Therapy and Emotion Science

You see, in 2020 I came across a revolution in emotion science. It’s called the Theory of Constructed Emotion and it’s authored by Dr. Lisa Feldman Barrett, top 1% cited emotion and neuroscience researcher.

Grounded in predictive brain function and supported by several other branches of science, this theory has turned the science of emotions on its head. And it supports bioenergetic analysis better than any other stories I’ve ever heard that attempt to explain the mind-body connection.

In understanding the Theory of Constructed Emotion, we now know that the physical basis of emotion, in other words, feeling, known as affect or mood, is not the sum total of emotion. You see, an instance of emotion is created when we apply stories to those feelings in a particular context.

Now, I don’t want to go too far down this rabbit hole, so I’ll stop there. Just know, the rabbit hole goes deep. And if you want to know more, you can check out my recent videos where I go in-depth on the topic.

I know it might sound a little weird, and might even sound like semantics, but it’s not. This theory is a whole different way of understanding how your brain and body work together. And gives you a lot more power to take control of your life.

Since taking control of your life starts with building awareness, we’re now smack in the realm of Bioenergetics.

illustration of bow pose

The Bow is a bioenergetic exercise.

Bioenergetic Therapy

See, bioenergetics is about building awareness of the sensations in your body, and becoming conscious of the stories you apply to those sensations.

You learn to notice if you are calling those butterflies in your stomach “anxiety,” “excitement,” or “determination.” Once you notice what you are doing, you can determine if those stories in your head are helping you or undermining you, and then you get to do something about it. That something is called, emotion deconstruction. And it’s a process whereby you get to rename the sensations in your body. (You may not be able to change the sensations at that moment, but you don’t have to believe the story you’re telling yourself about them.) When you can do that, you have the power to construct new stories that will assist you in achieving your goals.

Remember, this is not semantics. I’m not describing cognitive behavioral therapy, even though it sounds like I am. See my newer videos to learn more.

In bioenergetic analysis, we teach you how to access and recognize the sensations in your body. Then you spend time practicing new ways of experiencing and expressing, or holding, the energy of those sensations. We do this actively, during sessions, because there’s no way to act differently in a stressful situation if you haven’t actually done so beforehand. This is because your brain uses past experience to deal with the present moment.

And it happens so fast, it feels like it comes out of nowhere.

Like it just happened TO YOU.

But it didn’t.

It’s what you’ve learned.

And it’s what you know.

Which means that unless you have new past experiences, like, literally experiencing the sensations in your body in new and different ways, you’re going to do the same things over and over again until you’re blue in the face.

bioenergetic therapy

Unfortunately there’s a very popular story out there that you have a primitive brain and a rational brain. Well, let me be the first to tell you if you didn’t already know; there’s no such thing. There’s no primitive emotion circuit and you’re not going to “control” anything in your brain at any moment of your life. That’s just not how it works. What you are going to do is rely on past experiences and decades of practice using particular ideas and stories to make sense of sensations in your body and act accordingly.

bioenergetic therapy

The only primitive thing you have up there are old ways of thinking and moving your body that aren’t working for you. Which means it’s time to practice something new that gets you what you want.

A good bioenergetic therapist can help you unravel your old patterns and build a new game plan, customized to work for you.

As in sports, you can’t just read about improving your golf swing, you actually have to get out there and practice it.

bioenergetic therapy

And if that’s something you’re after, give me a call, we’ll talk.

Emotional Utopia, the book by Leah Benson, LMHC

Contact me now to set up your free 15-minute phone consultation.

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