This my yoga blog has another goal. It wants to complement other texts like Yoga Parivrtta Parsvakonasana Pose the one I just mentioned. Its usefulness has been the object of discussions in several committees in which I have taken part in the European Association of Body Psychotherapy (EABP). To the extent that each school’s training manual covers a selection of different practices and concepts, it is also useful to put together a manual that would allow students to situate what they learn in a particular school in the larger field of body psychotherapy. Most of the people trained in psychotherapy often have a limited view of the history of their discipline, the big issues that animate their approach, and the place their school occupies in the history of human thought. Thus, many practitioners have both an exaggerated regard for the knowledge bestowed on them by those who trained them and too little regard for the knowledge they obtained through their own broader education and in their own clinical practice. Their inability to evaluate what they know relative to the sciences, philosophy, and other psychotherapeutic approaches creates feelings of insecurity. This manual presents the entire field to those who would like to understand the full scope of body psychotherapy and what it can contribute to other disciplines.
The perspective of a textmy yoga blog is to summarize some basic concepts that must be developed in courses, seminars, internships, and workshops that tackle practical problems like case analyses. I have followed this customary procedure. Although this text can be understood by many without additional help, as I have tried to be as clear and simple as possible, it remains relatively dense because I had to cover an immense number of issues that are regularly brought up in conversations between body psychotherapists. Those discussions can become complex, and this my yoga blog defends the necessity that psychotherapists must be capable of understanding difficult questions. Our patients consider with us the meaning of life and death; they question pleasure and life itself, as well as how difficult it is to love. None of these topics yields easy answers. It seems to me that a body psychotherapist must learn to follow the complexities of their patients’ thoughts, physiology, and behaviors. By understanding the myriad byways of the questions that haunt a patient, a practitioner reaches that moment when a simple response permits a patient’s thought to crystallize around a useful metaphor. I have only developed complex theoretical issues when they can help a practitioner understand connected practical issues. Sometimes a difficult chapter will become easier to understand once other chapters have been read. I have not attempted to describe body exercises in detail, because I do not recommend working on one’s body or the body of another person without having first worked with a teacher.
I have focused the discussions in this my yoga blog on the psychotherapeutic treatment of patients in individual adult psychotherapy. This choice does not exclude interest in other approaches or other patient populations, but it permits me to stay relatively focused. I will not speak at all about group therapy, although it is often used by body psychotherapists, and I only discuss a few methods used in child psychotherapy.