EABP 7th European Congress of Body-Psychotherapy
A report

The body we work with

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To order a book of the Congress papers (available 2000) please click here.

The Theme of the Conference was:

Even in body psychotherapy. the body is just often looked at, perceived and used as an interface between realms. One finds many people talking of the energetic body, the spiritual body, the physiological body ... but little is said of the body we touch and smell, see and hear. Little is said of the weight of a person's presence in the room on our breathing, on the rhythm of our heart. The sense of the body; the material vehicle of the psyche; the brute presence of the person it conveys; the beauty of it's movements; the social conditioning we continuously receive on it's aesthetics; all show that the body by itself is an immense power about which, once everything has been read, little thinking has been done. Even less thinking has been done on the simple fact that when we touch each other we also touch each other's flesh.

This was the theme of our Congress this year. In demonstrations and presentations, colleagues will show how they work with the body, explain why they work this way, and not that way, and share their questions and concerns. Hopefully, at the end of the Congress we can publish a coherent synthesis on the Body in Body-Psychotherapy.

2nd to 6th September, 1999
Kurhaus, Travemünde,
by the Baltic Sea, Germany

Body-psychotherapists claim that working directly with the body is a necessary way to contact the psychological life of an organism. We have discovered that the information a body yields is however much richer and more complex that one has ever imagined. Through the body we contact many things: the deep self, emotional communication, resistances and blocks, the baby still alive in us, the adult's attempt to find aims and achieve them, as well as the main channel through which we contact the world. When breathing, feelings, mind and consciousness become united, we also gain a unique tool to explore otherwise unreachable aspects of our experience. Thus, our body is at least one of the main interfaces between the outer world and the inner world of our energy circulation, our physiology, our feelings, our thoughts; it is also an essential interface between our conscious self and more profound layers of the organism.

In this congress we would like to unite people who work with the body from different points of view (birth, energy, physiology, communication, mind, consciousness, movement and expression). We would then like to pool our minds, and ask ourselves how all these facts can be put together, so that we can henceforth talk in a more coherent way about the body. For example, decide if such an interface actually exists, or if it is just a useful metaphor to speak about certain aspects of the human organism ?

Trying to be more coherent on the body is an immense task which has far too long been avoided. For this congress we shall focus on the body we work with, in body psychotherapy. In conferences, we shall ask major figures of our field to summarize what they teach about the body. Other prominent people studying physiology, neurology, and nonverbal communication will be asked the same questions.



The Congress was organised by the European Association for Body-Psychotherapy


Ilse Schmidt-Zimmerrmann
ArnsteinerStrasse 11
D-60389 Frankfurt
Tel+Fax: ++49-69-461188
e-mail: ilseschmidt@compuserve.com

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