Scientific Validation of The Bodynamic System (Analysis)

We consider this chapter as our direct answer to the 15th. question stated by EAP:

Please provide evidence that your approach has investigative procedures that are defined well enough to indicate possibilities of research.

We have several papers and some books written about The Bodynamic System (Analysis).

A few of these are based on experimental or comparative research projects. Most of the written material contains descriptions of theoretical assumptions and methods.

We have enclosed a literature list as part 5 of this report.

In this context we will mention only some of the most basic books and papers.

2.1: The basic and initial Research

The Bodymap, a chart over the clients hyper- and hyporesponsive muscular patterns, is used as a basic and very accurate diagnostic tool in Bodynamic Analysis. The Bodymap is also used as an important piece of information during the therapy, and we have done a great deal of checking the effects of therapy by comparing bodymaps of the client made before and after therapy.

The development of the Bodymap and its interpretation has taken place over the last 25 years. The test and its interpretation are based on a training and a interpretation-system, which has long term research on clients and their therapeutic process as its foundation.

The initial collecting of correlations between single muscles and their psychological "parallels" (ego-functions and character-structures) was made by Lisbeth Marcher from the beginning of the 70's based on a systematic collection of parallel reports from therapy-sessions from therapists and clients (approximatly 10.000 reports of this kind). This work was later followed up and refined on the background of the practical experiences of all senior members of the Danish Institute.

This basic empirical research has never been described extensively, but is referred to in basic writings on Bodynamic Analysis.

In order to get this precise knowledge as a therapist it is important to mention that a huge part of our training is spent on learning and training the precise anatomical movements of the muscles in the body - and here we depend on different anatomical atlases and manuals and books used by other professional systems (medical field, physiotherapy etc), (please notice this is the only time we mention this)


Peter Bernhardt: Individuation, Mutual Connection and the Body's resources: An interview with Lisbeth Marcher

Peter Bernhardt: The Art Of Following Structure. An Interview with Lisbeth Marcher exploring the Roots of the Bodynamic System

Sonja Fich, Lisbeth Marcher: Psykologi og Anatomi. (PSYCHOLOGY AND ANATOMY)

Sonja Fich (ed.): Testmanual/Bodymap. 2. udgave (udvidet). This manual is both in danish and english. Bodynamic Institute, København: 1997.

Peter Bernhardt & Joel Isaacs: The Bodymap. Article in The Journal of Bioenergetic Analysis.

>From our experiences the Bodymap functions as a diagnostic instrument, as a helpful guide for the therapist during therapy and as a prognostic tool.

2.2: Research and papers on the question of validity:

We have taken some steps towards a scientific validation by initiating some comparative studies, listed here in no specific order:

In 1992 Marianne Bentzen informally compared the Bodymap of a client with the Rorschach-test of the same client. This work, done in collaboration with NANCY BRATT, Danish Rorschach specialist, was unfortunately never published. It only exists as an internal working paper.

At present a group of psychologists/Bodynamic Analysts are working on a research project in this area, where comparison between the Bodymap and Rorschach is made on a series of clients.

In 1995 Tom Verpe made a theoretical/practical comparison between the Bodymap and Rorchach. Tom Verpe: Egopsykologi og kroppspsykologi. Et forsøg på teoretisk integration. (Egopsychology and bodypsychology. Trying out a theoretical integration) Dissertation Ph.D., psychology, University of Bergen. Norway. Private print. Bergen, 1995.

In 1980's Lisbeth Marcher et. al. contributed to a research project on children of torture victims. This project was under the Danish National Hospitals Center for Treatment of Torture Victims (RTC). The purpose was to see, which kind of testing procedures (and one of these was use of the Bodymap as a non-verbal test) could give relevant information about these children/adolescents' situation and their difficulties. Using a non-verbal test like the Bodymap could be very helpful seen from the perspective of language-problems between the client and the therapist.

The report showed that very relevant and good descriptions of personality and problems could be obtained with the use of the Bodymap. The main reason for not getting a recommendation for the use of the Bodymap internationally was, that the training and education of the persons, that should use the Bodymap as a test, was too extensive (in fact they would need a total of 5 years training in Bodynamic Analysis). The report is regarded as confidential material by the RTC and is not public.

Another area of interest has been the validation of the knowledge you can acquire about a person by making a visual body reading of the person. Psychologist and assistant professor, Tove Hvid has written two books on the Bodynamic Character structure theory, using body reading and interpreting from this theory:

Tove Hvid: Kroppens fortællinger and Kroppens fortællinger i billeder.

(Tales of the body, and Tales of the body in pictures).

Tove Hvid has also made a pilot study on comparing visual body reading and Rorchach-testing: Tove Hvid og Nancy Bratt: Kropslæsning og Rorschach-testning. P. 325-45 in a Danish journal: Pædagogisk-Psykologisk Rådgivning no. 5-6, 1994.

On a more theoretical level, comparison between the theory and practice in Vegetotherapy and Bodynamic Analysis has been made by:

Jan Steiner Urdshals: Kropsorienters Psykoterapi: En sammenligning av karakteranalytisk vegetoterapi og kroppsdynamisk analyse, med henblik på teorier om utvikling, opprettholdelse og endring af psykopatologi.

Dissertation Ph.D. Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway, spring 1991.

Bodynamic Analysis has furthermore been put into perspective with other systems of Body-Psychotherapy by Mai-Britt Bjørndal: Psykosomatisk Teori og Kropsterapi. (psychosomatic theory and bodytherapy). Special paper in clinical psychology, Århus University, Denmark: 1997.

2.3: Papers on the question of reliability:

A basic question in using a muscle palpation test as a tool for making a personality description is the question of the reliability of palpable different types of muscular hyper- and hyporesponsive reaction patterns. The Norwegian physiotherapist traditions since Edel Bülow Hansen (1930-40-50´s) has in fact done some scientific research on this, and we have made our own research in the form of:

Lennart Ollars: Muskelpalpationstests pålidelighed. (The reliability of the Bodymap) Main thesis (dissertation) made for the candidate study of psychology, University of Copenhagen. Private print, 1980.

This empiric study shows, that you can differentiate different categories of muscular response patterns; that different testers trained in the system agree on the different muscle responses when testing the same client, and that the resulting Bodymap is fairly stable in time, unless the person tested goes through personal therapy or in other ways undergoes a change as a result of a crisis, trauma or more positively because of personal development in relation to his surroundings.

2.4: Papers on the question of efficacy, or the outcome of therapy:

We have obviously made informal evaluation of individual therapy, group therapy and workshops through all the years of Bobynamic Analysis. In two cases we can refer to more scientific evaluation of the results of working with Bodynamic Analysis.

The outcome of participating in workshops has been described and examined in Lennart Ollars. Voksnes Udvikling . (How adults grow) Kreatik , Copenhagen.: 1984.

This book is an empirical study of how adults experience their personal development, and eventually what role participating in Bodynamc group-workshops plays in this context.

Recently a group of clients and some Bodynamic Analysts participated in a research project conducted by a Danish sociologist working at the University of Copenhagen. The main focus of the research was on the effect of Bodynamic Analysis on psychosomatic symptoms, and the conclusion is, that it works effectively:

Eva Brendstrup: Klienter i Bodynamic Analyse. Sociologisk Institut, Kbh.Universitet: Juli 1998.

Marianne Bentzen has participated in a project on working with mentally retarded people in Ribe Amt (Ribe County), Denmark. The main focus was to use the Bodynamic Analytic knowledge about character structures and non-verbal communication in the pedagogical contact with the mentally retarded clients. The conclusions of the evaluation is that by using Bodynamic theories and recommendations a different form of contact with the mentally retarded clients can be established, but that it also demands that the personal involvement and experience by the people, who are going to work with the mentally retarded in question.

This project was described in a report:

Hvad kroppen kan fortælle, (What the body can tell?) published by Ribe county, Denmark 1992

In the 70's Lisbeth Marcher and Lennart Ollars participated in an outcome study based on participant observation of a group workshop on personal development / development of leadership, published in: "Møde med mennesket", Technological Institute, Copenhagen, DK 1973.

In 1974 Lennart Ollars published a survey based outcome study: Om virkningerne af intensiv psykologisk træning. Technological Institute Copenhagen, DK 1974.

Body sensations and experience was one of the investigated items in both these studies.

Lisbeth Marcher and Henrik Wengel have also evaluated the outcome of participation in a 2-module workshop. Technological Inst. Copenhagen 1975.

2.5: Papers that describe theory and method

Most of what has been written about The Bodynamic System (Analysis) are descriptions of theory or method.

The foundations of the system is described in:

Peter Bernhardt: Individuation, Mutual Connection and the Body's Resources: An Interview with Lisbeth Marcher and:

Peter Bernhardt. The Art of Following Structure: An interview with Lisbeth Marcher exploring the Roots of the Bodynamic System and:

Lisbeth Marcher, Erik Jarlnæs & Lennart Ollars: Fra afspænding til Bodynamic Analyse.

The Bodymap and guidelines for its interpretation is described in:

Sonja Fich (ed.): Testmanual/Bodymap. 2. udgave (udvidet) and in:

Steen Jørgensen & Lisbeth Marcher: Bodymap Reading - Bodymap Interpretation.

Ivanow: see earlier 1.3

Jorgensen: see earlier 1.3

Bernhardt and Isaacs: The Bodymap. The Journal of Bioenergetic Analysis.

The Bodynamic Analytic Character Structure Model is described in different publications over the years. The most recent version is in:

Peter Bernhardt, Marianne Bentzen & Joel Isaacs: Waking the Body Ego I, &:Marianne Bentzen, Peter Bernhardt & Joel Isaacs: Waking the Body Ego II.

The model was originally published in Energy and Character:

Marianne Bentzen, Steen A. Jørgensen, Lisbeth Marcher: The Bodynamic Character Structure Model.

An up to date and detailed description of the muscles relation to each Character Structure is published in a booklet from 1998:

Sonja Fich & Lisbeth Marcher: Psykologi og Anatomi. (Psychology and anatomy)

Presently a detailed description of the extensive work with ego-functions is only available in danish. However, a broad description in English can be found in:

Marianne Bentzen, Peter Bernhardt & Joel Isaacs: Waking the Body Ego II and in: Sonja Fich (ed.): Jeg-funktioner.

The basic "searching" model and "Contact and Communication" model used in all training programs in The Bodynamic System (Analysis) are described in a paper by EriK Jarlnaes: The Art of Undoing Knots. 1994

Our basic model for group interaction: "The F8 - model", is used in training programs and in addition to this also Europe-wide by some management consultants and some private companies, who also compare it with the much more well-known MBTI-model (and the evaluation is very positive). This model is described in:

Lennart Ollars: Flying or falling, and: Lennart Ollars: Teamudvikling - hvordan gør man det? (Teambuilding - how to do it ?)

The whole area of PTSD is one where we have very strong opinions and a set of guidelines in a very encompassing practical model - and we are also in direct contact with two of the recognized experts in the field to get support for our thoughts, Bessel van der Kolk and Søren Buus-Jensen.

The Bodynamic System (Analysis) has developed special methods for working with shock trauma and PTSD. Different aspects of this are described in many books and publications. Peter Bernhardt is presently making a comparison between the work of Bodynamic and Peter Levine (who has recently written "Waking the Tiger"). Another article is co-written by Lisbeth Marcher and Peter Levine, in a publication by EABP, where they make the distinction between developmental trauma and shock trauma. Two articles are by Babette Rothschild (who has recently expanded her knowledge into a book "The Body Remembers"), two by Erik Jarlnaes, and three more by Jorgensen, Ollars and Marcher. Here are some of the more important ones:

Steen Jørgensen (ed.): Forløsning af chocktraumer; (3 articles in english)

Steen Jørgensen: Bodynamic Analytic Work with Shock/Post-Traumatic Stress and Character Structure and Shock;

Lennart Ollars: Bodynamic Analytic Work with Assault and Abuse;

Babette Rothchild: A shock primer for the body-psychotherapist;

Babette Rothschild & Eric Jarlnæs: Nervous System Imbalances and Post-Traumatic Stress: A Psycho-Physical Approach;

Erik Jarlnaes: Bodynamic guidelines to working with shock and trauma

Peter Bernhardt: Somatic Approaches to Shock. A Review of the Work of the Bodynamic Institute and Peter Levine. (In Ian Macnaughtons book)

The theory and methods of working with pre- and perinatal disturbances are described in Lisbeth Marcher & Lennart Ollars: Bodynamic Analytical Developmental Re-birth Therapy. This article has been published both in the Pre & perinatal journal and in The Nordic psychology journal.

Basic work with grounding, centering and boundaries in Bodynamic, and their relation to the interaction between therapist and client, is described in:

Merete Holm Brantbjerg: Caring for Yourself while caring for Others.

The most recent overview of Bodynamic Analysis will be published this autumn in a paper written by Steen Jørgensen and Lennart Ollars, in a danish journal called: 'Psykologisk Set' (translated: A Psychological View): Kropslig forankring i psykoterapeutisk arbejde. (Bodily anchoring in psychotheraputic work - a short presentation of Bodynamic Analysis: a bodily related modality of psychotherapy, based on empirical observations concerning correlations between elasticity patterns in muscles and psychological themes).

The principles and thinking behind our training programs, our methods of teaching and the development of competence in Bodynamic Analysis is described in: Lennart Ollars: Fra amatør til mester. (From amateur to master), whilst more writing on this issue is "work in progress" in a special project group.

Our own practical basic concepts stretch back to the 1970´s, whereas the theory goes even further back. Denmark in general has strong traditions in education for including the body, and in our field we have had a very strong movement, dealing with "building bridges" between the medical and the educational field - the so-called "Relaxation" movement, where Gerda Alexanders Eutonie is best known. Today this field of work has chosen to change its name to psycho-motor development, while keeping their focus on teaching Body Awareness to the public in general and also in specialized areas.

In this educational field a great deal of material has been written, and this material is part of our background understanding.

Our philosophical background is described by the Danish philosophers Kierkegaard, Grundtvig and Peter Zinkernagel and the physicist Niels Bohr, and also by Danish thinkers and writers within the Danish Folk-High school movement.

Lennart Ollars has written on supervision including Bodynamic perspectives, published in Danish psychological Journal in 6 articles.1999.

Many of the articles in English are published in Energy and Character, most papers are published by the Danish institute, a few have been published in pre-and perinatal psychology journal, some in Danish and Scandinavian psychology journals, in Danish magazines and newspapers, and some in Canadian and American magazines - and then there are all the references in books by other authors.

We also have manuals for our 1-year and 2-3 year training programs.