How Body Psychotherapy Can Be Practiced Profitably

Body psychotherapy is one of the fringe techniques that is still used in rare cases on people with psychological disorders, although its use remains controversial.

There are often ethical concerns with this technique, due to the proximity of the practitioner and the patient, but it is rare for there to be any serious allegations made.

In Western countries, a psychotherapist would be facing the loss of their livelihood and possible jail time if it could be proven that they had anything other than completely honorable intentions.

psychotherapy approaches

Even though few practitioners now include it within their portfolio of possible techniques to use, there has never been a debunking or discrediting of the use of the body in psychotherapy.

One of the reasons for its rarity is that there are so many other modalities which can be carried out with the patient and the practitioner in the traditional position, that is, with the two parties sitting opposite each other.

That arrangement seems to have a calming effect on most patients, and allows them to express themselves far more easily than is possible with the patient lying down. Of course, the lying position has to be employed by anyone using body techniques.

The technique is more suited for attempting to reach trauma within the subconscious mind than it is to trying to get the conscious individual to behave in any specific way. This does not mean that the goal is to bring the trauma back into the conscious memory, as would be possible with hypnotherapy, for instance.

The movements of the body are simply used to try to release emotions and to build up new behavior patterns. There have been many documented examples of success for this therapy, but a large percentage have been documented by the founders of the technique. Independent testing has not yet brought any conclusions.


The European Association for Body Psychotherapy (EABP) and The United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) are two professional associations for body psychotherapists. In 2012 they together launched the International Body Psychotherapy Journal.

They are covered by the laws which govern general psychotherapy in most Western countries, including the United States. You will need to qualify from college with a major in psychotherapy to be able to apply to become licensed, and to make psychotherapy your career.

This is inevitably going to mean a significant sacrifice of time and resources to achieve your target, but you no longer have to commit to residential study at a college campus.

Studying to become a psychotherapist is something which you can now do at home, while you continue to work in your existing career. This is because of the online learning opportunities which are offered by both the established mainstream colleges and private learning centers.

You can study all of the theoretical material in your own time, and with the assurance that you will be learning exactly the same techniques as those studying on the college campuses. You will then be able to take part in the practical studies at local centers near to your home.

The techniques of body psychotherapy have become somewhat marginalized despite the fact that there have been some charismatic and high profile leaders who have espoused the cause.

If you want to employ it in your own practice, you will need to use it as part of a consolidated portfolio of therapies which are used in different situations.

It is unlikely that there will be enough demand for this therapy alone to sustain a full time practice, but when it is combined with others is can certainly play a part in helping people to overcome trauma.

There is still a future for the practice of body psychotherapy.

Author: Marc Knox