Presentation of The Bodynamic System

1.1: The Bodynamic Institutes

The Bodynamic System is practiced and trained in several Countries in Europe and in North America. The main responsibility for all the training is held by The Bodynamic International of Copenhagen, Denmark (formerly the Bodynamic Institute) or more precisely a Board of International Educational Managers.

The director of Bodynamic International ApS. in Copenhagen is Merete Brantbjerg Holm (DK).

The International Director of Bodynamic Training is Lisbeth Marcher (DK).

The Danish Institute has two "sister" institutes: One in Vancouver Canada, and one in San Francisco USA. Both function as separate institutes with this one and only exception: their educational training programmes have to be approved by Bodynamic International Aps. Copenhagen. Trainers are recruited from the institutes in Denmark, Canada and USA. They are all Bodynamic trained ad posses a trainer education.

Trainings in other countries are organized from Denmark with local organizers.

1.2: Origins and modality

The Bodynamic System was founded by Lisbeth Marcher in Denmark. Lisbeth Marcher developed the basis of Bodynamic (Analysis) from the late 60's and up through the 70's by observing correlations between musclular response and different psychological processes. Some of this work was done in collaboration with several of the later senior members of Bodynamic Institute. From the early 80's, and especially from 1985 when the Bodynamic Institute, Copenhagen, expanded from 4 to 10 members, all workings on the theoretical and methodological development was shared by senior members of the Bodynamic Institute, though still under the main responsibility of Lisbeth Marcher. This group work is something we are especially proud of, and we believe it has made for a strong system. Not only do we use the collective creativity for developing our theory, but also for finding holes in any one person's statements.

THE Bodynamic SYSTEM (Analysis) is a resource-oriented type of Body Psychotherapy, based on a detailed developmental model, combining motoric, social and psychological development. We work with a level of specificity that includes the correlations between single muscles, which ego-functions they are connected to and which character structures they are connected to. The spiritual dimension is acknowledged and included in our work, but is not seen as the major part of the work, which centers on personal and social development.

Interaction and intervention is adjusted according to assessment of deficits and resources (to defense and character-structures), as well as to the contract between client and therapist, prior to any therapy process. Interaction and intervention can be both verbal, non-verbal and by touch. We always work with clients and workshop-participants when they are fully dressed (preferring "comfortable clothing").

The Bodynamic SYSTEM (Analysis) has a visible element of teaching although it is clearly a type of Body Psychotherapy. We have learned from observation and feedback that we work just as often in a teaching mode as in a therapeutic mode. We consider our way of combining these two modes of interaction as one of our special characteristics.

The Bodynamic System works with both children and adults and has several general fields of application (modalities): individual therapy, supervision, group therapy, marriage and couple therapy, developmental groups and training groups, where we are teaching social skills, PTSD and crisis, as well as workshops with a more specific focus: team-building, development of leadership, communication and conflict resolution, TAKING CARE OF THE CARETAKER, focus on Boundary, focus on Spirituality grounded in the body, etc.

We do NOT have a specific target group, for example refugees or traffic-accident people.

We perceive the theory and methods of The Bodynamic SYSTEM (Analysis) to be original both in our way of combining known theory and also owing to our truly original contributions. Nevertheless our work, and also the initial development of Bodynamic Analysis, conducted by Lisbeth Marcher, is also a result of inspiration from many other sources.

Some of these inspirational sources are: Pedagogical theory and tradition (Neill, Makarenko, Vygotsky , danish "little schools",etc). Animal etiology (The first one being Konrad Lorentz). Theory of motor-perceptual development including its correlation to psychological and social development (a well developed and acknowledged tradition in Denmark and Norway - E.g.: Danish Britta Holle, the books of whom have been translated into 11 languages, and english speaking authors Jean Ayres and Ashley Montagu). Norwegian traditions concerning psychosomatic connections: (Psychiatrist, neurologist and psychoanalyst Tryggve Braatøy, Physiotherapist Edel Bülow-Hansen and Physiotherapist Lillemor Johnsen). Developmental Psychology (Piaget, Erikson, Bruun (Gesell, Ulin) and Stern); Psychodynamic theory. Humanistic Psychology, including TA (Transactional Analysis) (Schiff, Erskine, Goulding, Steiner and Maslow). Client-centered Therapy (Rogers), and Gestalt Therapy. LifeMODE Analysis - originally based on class-specific theory of socialization, as inspired by Marxistic psychology (Lorentzer, Brückner), later developed to have a more subcultural and cultural focus (Thomas Højrup and other danish ethnologists and anthropologists).

Body psychotherapy (Reich, Boadella, Lake), Pre- and Perinatal Psychology (Rank, Mirdal, Lake, Verny, Chamberlain), PTSD (Pavlov, Isaacs, Kirsch, Kohlrieser, Levine, Wilson, van der Kolk, Buus-Jensen, Herman), Spirituality (Native American Shamans, Jes Bertelsen, Tibetan Lama), Group development (Sjølund, Hjelholdt, Schutz).

A part of of our original contribution is that we have developed how "all kind" of therapeutic work (see the above mentioned) has a close and very precise correlation to the body, and we have worked hard to find out how we can make these different therapeutic directions work together - we have distilled from the above what fits into our Basic Concept: "MUTUAL CONNECTION" (as being the primary drive).

In a real sense all life is interrelated.

All men are caught in an inescapable network

of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.

Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly.

I can never be what I ought to be

until you are what you ought to be,

and you can never be what you ought to be

until I am what I ought to be.

This is the interrelated structure of reality.

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This 'saying' from Martin Luther King, Jr. signals both mutual connection and broad-mindedness (in danish 'frisind'), which are two very important concepts for us.

For further information about the origins and fields of application of Bodynamic Analysis we refer to our literature list, especially the following titles:

Peter Bernhardt: "Individuation, Mutual Connection and the Body's resources"

Peter Bernhardt: "The art of following structure"

Lisbeth Marcher, Erik Jarlnæs and Lennart Ollars: "Fra afspænding til Bodynamic Analyse" (this paper is not translated; but the title means: From Relaxation Therapy to Bodynamic Analysis - and includes many articles describing the widespread applications)

Steen Jørgensen: Forløsning af Choktraumer. (3 PTSD articles that are also in english).

BEING A DANISH SPEAKING COUNTRY nearly all our material is written in danish - but since we are present and teaching in so many other countries, using the english language, most of our basic material is also in english.

We also have a few translations into german, and some in polish, at least one into french, one into dutch, two into japanese and finally a 1-page introduction written in russian.

When we mention danish literature, we will try to include in english what the meaning of the title is - although it will not be systematically.

1.3: The essential theory

We understand the human being as a social being, whose strongest motivation is to strive for as much 'Mutual Connection' as possible. Taking this point is deliberate. We obviously recognize the importance of sexuality, but only as one of the emotions. In this respect we differ from Reich and most Reichians.

Development of personality (bodily, social and psychological) depends on at least four kinds of interaction between the individual and his/her surroundings:

- pre- and perinatal processes

- learning ways of acting and understanding from seeing and imitating parents, siblings and other close social persons

- the characterological development that comes out of everyday interaction with the primary caretakers

- more sudden events, like peak experiences, traumatic events causing different degrees of post-traumatic disturbances etc.

Also the transpersonal or spiritual dimension of human development is seen as influenced by all three kinds of interaction, as well as of course in many cases by a deliberately chosen meditative or spiritual practice.

It is our basic theory, based on actual observations, that the psychological, social and motor-perceptual development is interconnected and inseparable and as such they are presented in our Character Structure Model.

Our basic theory also contains three (or rather four) aspects of the ego:

Body Ego, Identity Ego and Social role Ego (and in addition: the Observing part of the Ego), as well as 11 functions of the Ego:

Connectedness; Posture and Positioning; Centering; Boundaries; Grounding and Reality Testing; Social balances; Cognitive skills; Gender and gender skills; Management of Energy; Self-Expression and Selfassertion; and finally: Patterns of Interpersonal Contact.

Agewise the Character Structure Model is horizontally based whereas the Ego Aspects and Ego Functions are vertically based.

As such we cover both traditional and modern thinking within child development research.

We need to add that even though we use the concept "EGO", we do not use EGO in the same way as Ego psychologists, and we do not use the concept "SELF" as the SELF psychologists use it. We use "SELF" as a concept that includes spirituality. The danish word "JEG" is more correctly translated with "I" (rather than Ego), but we know that this is not commonly used in english, so as long as we do not have a book out (published), describing and defining our use of the word "I", we still prefer to use "EGO".

We understand the child's development as moving through a series of overlapping age-level-thematic phases: Existence, Need, Autonomy, Will, Love-Sexuality, Opinion, and Solidarity-Performance. Also the teenage period is understood as a significant period of personal development.

It is part of our theory (based on actual observations) that the child in each of these thematic phases can go through a healthy development or get stuck in either hypo-responsive or hyper-responsive body-psychological-social patterns.

It is our observation that the result of this psychological and social development is connected to a person's motor-perceptual development, and is thus mirrored in body and movement of the individual, so that defense patterns as well as resources are reflected in body, muscle-responses and movement. Special attention is also given to development and management of boundaries in the interaction with others.

We know that personality, later on in life, is remolded through a series of adult developmental phases, overlaying and interacting with the character structures developed during childhood and adolescence. In accordance to this we work with events and themes from adult life in every therapy process, but we do not have a specific Bodynamic model of adult development phases. When we are looking into adult development phases we refer to authors like: Erikson and Lievegood.

Both principles and specific ways of working psychotherapeutically are developed to meet variations of developmental disturbances as they are expressed bodily, psychologically and in social skills.

Parallel with this the Bodynamic System (Analysis) has developed specific ways of understanding and working with disturbed pre- and perinatal processes and with posttraumatic disturbances.

For further information about the theory underlying Bodynamic Analysis we refer to our literature list, especially the following titles:

Peter Bernhardt, Marianne Bentzen and Joel Isaacs: "Waking the Body Ego I: Core Concepts and Principles"

Marianne Bentzen, Peter Bernhardt and Joel Isaacs: "Waking the Body Ego II:

Psychomotor Development and Character Structure"

(These two titles are by far the most comprehensive description of the Bodynamic System, in english - so far)

Steen Jørgensen: "Character Structure and Shock"

Steen Jørgensen(ed): "Forløsning af Choktraumer" ( title means: "Release of Shock-traumas" 3 of the articles are in english as well)

Lisbeth Marcher and. Lennart Ollars: "Bodynamic Analytic Developmental Re-birth Therapy". (Pre- & perinatal psychology journal)

Jorgensen: Ph.D. Dissertation on the Bodynamic movement theory and development, 1979, Copenhagen

Ivanow. Ph.D. Dissertation on measuring muscle responses in different systems including The Bodynamic, 1977 and 1980

Jorgensen: Kropsterapeutisk Karakterteori 1978, Copenhagen University.

1.4: The basic methodology and working models

We work with a series of basic methods or working models in The Bodynamic System (Analysis):

* - Contract. Principles and methods concerning the contract between client and therapist including: - What the client actually wants to change, ways of working, initiation of how to integrate changes in daily life of the client

* -The Character-Structure model, with connected principles of interaction and intervention.

* - The three Ego Aspects and how and when to work with them.

* - The eleven Ego Functions and how to work with them.

Agewise the Character Structure Model is horizontally based whereas the Ego Aspects and Ego Functions are vertically based.

As such we cover both traditional and modern thinking within child development research.

* - The Body-Map, a registration of the bodily patterns of neutral-, hypo- and hyper-responses mostly in the muscles. This is probably the most scientific instrument we have, because this can be used to evaluate how clients are changing, "with a client-neutral-instrument" rather than only relying on a client's own verbal statement of the changes he/she experiences.

* - Principles of verbal interventions connected to the character-structure model, integration of child and adult parts of personality, including principles of parental core-messages.

* - Development, management and re-establishing of healthy boundaries.

* - The Bodyknot - a model that describes the formation of human interaction with the surroundings: sensing, reacting, understanding, choice and acting, and as such a very crucial model in analyzing whether, how and where interaction with the outer world is functioning as opposed to being "stuck"

- The Bodyknot - is also used as a communication and contact model with connected principles of how to work with conflicts.

* - The F8-model. A model of social skills developed late in childhood and at the same time a model describing functions of group-interaction and team-development.

* - A model of differentiation between five levels of interaction and therapeutic work including: - Body Sensing;- Energy Sensation;- Body Experience; -Body Expression (emotional containment and release) and Body Regression. (Levels mentioned first are also active when you work at a level mentioned later, e.g. when you work at the level of Body Experience you must also address the levels of Energy Sensing and Body Sensation).

* - A model (or actually several models) describing how to work with post-traumatic stress.

* - The womb and birth-model including principles of working with pre- and perinatal disturbances

* - Life-MODE analysis and class specific socialization

* - Different modes and modalities of touch and movement (also including use of music and rhythm)

* - Levels of the human consciousness, connected to an understanding of energy fields

* - Principles of understanding and integrating Peak-Experiences.

* - Active sensing, a very basic model about the development of bodily sensing as a way to more accurate and authentic self-understanding , as well as to a grounded containment of emotion and a solid basis for authentic interaction

* - Tracking transference and counter-transference in interaction.

* - Our content and models that we use in working with shock and trauma (PTSD) is a combination of the above and more specific tools, methods and models, that e.g. include a specific approach to "Peak-Experiences".

* ALSO OUR WAY OF TEACHING IS A BASIC METHOD THAT IS UNIQUE, A METHOD THAT WE TEACH OUR STUDENTS AND CLIENTS, (while we use it) - a method that constantly includes many shifts among many levels within each teaching/psychotherapy module. Only now is it in the process of being described.

It is far too big a project to describe all these basic models in this context. Most of the models are described in various papers and handouts. For further information about the basic methodology of THE Bodynamic SYSTEM (Analysis) we refer to our literature list.

We have chosen to include some of the models mentioned in Appendix.

1.5: Training programs

Trainings programs in THE Bodynamic SYSTEM takes place in Canada (Vancouver), USA (California), Norway, Sweden, Holland, Denmark, Germany and Israel.

Requirements prior to trainings, the structure of training programs etc is described in our application for recognition addressed to EABP.

This application is enclosed in Appendix



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