The ET style of bioenergetics is based on exercises developed in the USA in the 1960's by two psychiatrists, Alexander Lowen and John Pierrakos - students and colleagues of Wilhelm Reich. At the Expressive Therapies Institute we have developed playful variations on the basic exercises that are also suitable for children and adolescents.
Our bodies carry the strain of the blocked emotional life. Repressed emotional pain is reflected as physical pain or tension. Unexpressed love and generous impulses that have not flowed out harden and begin to feel like their negative opposites. The body's part in repression is physical holding, muscular contraction. Under this armouring though is a healthy core so freeing the body is a vital aspect of personal growth.
'A fundamental thesis of bioenergetics is that the body and mind are functionally identical: that is, what goes on in the mind reflects what is happening in the body and vice versa.'
- from Lowen & Lowen, 'The Way to Vibrant Health.'
'The life of an individual is the life of his body. Since the living body includes the mind, the spirit and the soul, to live the life of the body fully is to be mindful, spiritual and soulful. If we are deficient in these aspects of our being, it is because we are not fully in or with our bodies.'
- Lowen (1975)
'Healing the splits between my mind and my body has been my life's challenge. In the sixty years that I have practiced psychotherapy, I have learned that the pathway to emotional health is through the body. The underlying purpose of Bioenergetic Analysis has always been to heal the mind-body split.'
- Honoring the Body - The Autobiography of Alexander Lowen M.D.
'My way back into life was ecstatic dance. I re-entered my body by learning to move my self, to dance my own dance from the inside out, not the outside in.'
-Gabrielle Roth, Maps To Ecstasy.
Lowen, A., & Lowen, L. (1977). The Way to Vibrant Health - A Manual of Bioenergetics. New York: Harper & Row
Lowen, A. (1975). Bioenergetics. London: Penguin.