1. A basic vocabulary of techniques that provides us with a structure of engagement.
2. The Evolutionary body has crept up on us since the publication The Origin of the Species in 1859. Instead of being a little lower than the angels and ruled by spirit, the body more often an afterthought, we are a little further along than the apes now. Now, in certain circles we are only body–the mind and soul being mapped out in our head. What is it like these days to believe in God, in spirit, in a higher power, in reincarnation, in life after death? Without Divinity in ascendance, what constitutes the basis of justice, of freedom from tyranny, and what is the fate of the planet without a God of history? In some form, many of our older clients are dealing with a loss of meaning that places an unfamiliar demand on a somatic psychotherapist.
3. Character defenses describe the correspondence between the psyche and soma's defense structure. Reich’s character defenses were systematically laid out by Alexander Lowen in accordance with Freud’s developmental theory: the schizoid, the oral, the narcissistic, the masochistic, the rigid and the genital character. Reich as a psychoanalyst used Freud’s developmental theory working with clients in the 1920’s. Winnicott explored the concept of a false and a hidden true self. I distinguish between the ego and the self.
4. Analysis, both Freud's Psychoanalysis and Jung's Analytic Psychology create essential techniques and useful maps in our work with our clients, and finally
5. We practice the presence of being in the body, mind and spirit. Too often we are very busy doing. We talk; we work on the body defenses. Doing turns our clients into objects. But the key is simply to be completely present, much harder than it seems. Being gives our clients room to be seen and intuitively met where words and even touch fail. There are clients we can't fix. There is nothing to do. We may have to feel useless by providing an extraordinary space for our clients to have thoughts of their own.
Many people manage to focus their emotional or intellectual attention well enough but their somatic attention puzzles them. That is why I put together what I call the foundations: grounding, boundaries, breath, range of emotions and intention to be here. To Be Here Now, we need to be present in mind, body and spirit to deal effectively with the dark aspects of our life.
I once ran a halfway house in the 1970's for Schizophrenics who had recently been released from the hospital. In hiring staff, I always wanted to know how they dealt with their depression–perhaps you can imagine why. The problem is no less important working with a wider range of clients. For instance, some 50 year olds are losing the houses they raised their children in. What is there to say really? What is there to do? As you can see, I am training you to encounter your own deep humanity and for the long-term, a training you can grow into in your own time–but issues to think about now.