What to Expect from a Session
All sessions, whether body psychotherapy or biodynamic massage, begin with some verbal exploration as to how the client is feeling emotionally, physically and generally in life. Here the client is encouraged to say anything that is important to them.
I may introduce, at this point, some awareness of the body so that words can begin to connect with sensations.
For body psychotherapy, further techniques are explored based on what appears to be unfolding in the client: different forms of attuned touch, continued talking, visualisation or guided imagery, biodynamic massage, lying down to feel more into the body with any movement or expression that may follow, standing to feel strength and autonomy. The client's emerging energy will dictate the path of the session, and messages from the body give clues towards healing. As hidden needs are revealed, the therapist adapts their methods accordingly in order to welcome the client's true self. From the need to talk, to the need to be seen, to the need to express grief or rage, to the need for touch and being held, body psychotherapists listen and respond with empathy, respect and compassion.
Where a client has come specifically for biodynamic massage, this will be the focus of the session. The massage is conducted over light clothing or directly on skin, with the use of a blanket for warmth and containment. A stethoscope is placed on the lower tummy to listen to noises from the gut that indicate the body's response to the massage. As well as using different levels of touch - investigatory, releasing, calming, integrating, energising - I will be looking to see how the massage is being received and what is the 'story' held in the body.
It is worth noting that therapy is unpredictable and it is impossible to know exactly what will happen in a session or what feelings will surface. Sometimes a massage session will involve more talking than massage, equally a psychotherapy session may involve more massage than talking. As both methods are essentially a form of therapeutic exchange between client and therapist, it can be difficult to distinguish between them.