People outstanding in their fields were invited to speak on various aspects of bodily dimensions for the Congress. They shared their wisdom to provide us with main guidelines for our future elaboration. The invited key-note speakers were:
- Eva Reich, M.D. who spoke on Gentle Bioenergetics . "Let me tell you about the development that led me to this approach; my own life experiences and who were the teachers from whom my understanding derived. It seemed that one could treat "primal trauma" during the newborn period successfully by applying a "butterfly touch" vegetotherapy (massage). This has led to a teachable body of knowledge, which can be applied by not only professionals but also by parents, midwives and other caretakers of the very young. We consider the prevention of neurosis the important task. This leads logically to practical changes, step by step, country by country, in how we humans deal with the body armoring and the "murder of christ" (Wilhelm Reich), perpetuated throughout history."
- Fritz-Albert Popp, Professor of Biophysics, Research in Cell-Biology who spoke on The Biophysical aspects of the psychic situation. The talk concerned the communication within and between cells and organisms. He showed that "substantial" communitication by means of biomolecules (like RNA & Hormones) is governed by electromagnetic interactions. They are the real basis of communication. The understanding of their nature, in particular of their stability criteria, opens the dor for a deeper understanding of life. Experimental results of the biophoton research and the theoretical background provide the chance of closing the gap between the substantial approach of bio-chemistry and the "matter-mind" interactions of humanities.
- Seigfried Frey, Professor of Communications and Media Psychology; Head of the Human Interactions Laboratory, Gerhard Mercator University, Duisberg spoke on New directions in communications research: the impacts of the human body on the cognitive and the affective system of the perceiver. He presented a notation system for the coding of natural human movement for which he has won awards and for over ten years he has studied the impact that TV-mediated non-verbal behaviour patterns exert on the cognitive and emotional system of the perceiver. From thsi research he showed the impact of just one movement on the perceived and postulated the importance of such signals in Body-Psychotherapy.
- Bessel van der Kolk, Professor of Psychiatry, Boston University School of medicine,presented his research on the neurobiology of Post Traumatic Stress, entitled Trauma and memory. In recent years there has been an explosion of knowledge about how experience shapes biology and the formation of self. The study of trauma has probably been the single most fertile area within the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology in helping to develop a deeper understanding of the interrelationship between emotional, cognitive, social and biological forces that shape human development. Research in the area of trauma has opened up entirely new insights in how extreme experiences throughout the life cycle can have profound effects on memory, affect regulation, biological stress modulation, and interpersonal relatedness. These findings, as well as the development of a range of new therapy approaches have led to new and often unexpected ways in which traumatised individuals can be helped to overcome their traumatic past. This lecture resented current reseach findings about post-traumatic responses at different developmental levels, and in various domains, and explored in depth the treatment implications of these findings.
- David Boadella, founder of the International Institute for Biosynthesis and editor of Energy & Character, spoke on The soul of the flesh which he presented in six parts: 1. Soma and soul; body structures and life styles; between the past and future; character and conditioning; polarity and differentiation; the soul's code; from regression to progression; lifescapes and self-formation. 2. Trauma and the healing drama: from shock to remembering; between problems and resources; the cathartic and the formative principles; existential layering; tunnelling through the second layer; transformative enactment; life-grounds and support structures. 3. Contact, context, and connections: energies in relationship; between self and other; channels of contact and bonding styles and life-lines; transference, transformation, transmission and transcendence; inter and intra personal dimensions. 4. Elements of touch and bodies of manguage; between the flesh and the word; translating between verbal and non-verbal; explicit and implicit memory; tacit knowledge; soma somatics and bio-communication. 5. Postures of the soul and the soul of the muscles; between position and action; acting in, acting out and enactment; motoric fields and affecto motoric schemas; integrating the life streams of perception, emotion, and behaviour. 6 Grounds of the heart: between dense body and subtle body; the embodiment of essential qualities; life fields and states of consciousness; spiritual grunding and somatic centering.
- Al Pesso, co-founder of the Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor psychotherapy, spoke on How the body remembers. We body-psychotherapists should always remember this: the flesh of the living soul is designed by the wisdom of our evolutionary honed genes to survive and thrive in a world of other living souls. All emotional growth should ovvur in interactions. We do not become ourselves in a vacuum. This exquisite dance of existence is co-choreographed by our life-aware, ancient, incredibly wise, limbic system in tandem with our self-aware, young, incredibly brilliant, cortex. Do not be seduced into feeling emotions for their own sake - our nature requires the addition of meaning to existence. We, rapt in the dance of life, are stirred by the pulsating signals streaming out of the vibrant flesh of our brain cells to feel the beauty and wonder of our own existence. Consciousness is also made out of the living stuff of our brains and is not to be shunned as anti-life. And to create and create and create through loving interactions with others fresh wonders that have never been before. We are most filled when we harvest the mature fruit of our personal uniqueness and place it in the service of the future. When we know and facilitate these truths of the flesh of our soul, we are one with what is deepest and most satisfying in existence and fulfil our near sacred tasks as body-psychotherapists.
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