What is Bioenergetic Analysis ?

Bioenergetic Analysis is a specific form of body-psychotherapy – based upon the continuity between body and mind – rooted in the work of Wilhelm Reich and founded by Alexander Lowen.

BA basically combines a bodily, analytic and relational therapeutic work, based upon an energetic understanding.

Bioenergetic Analysis helps to release chronic muscular tensions, manage affects, expand the capacity for intimacy, heal sexual difficulties and learn new, more fulfilling ways of relating to others. Tenderness, aggression, assertion – and their confluence in sexuality – are seen as core lifesaving forces. The therapeutic relationship provides a place of safety in which healing begins.

The therapist reads the body, resonates with its energy, feels the emotions, listens, hears and answers the words. The language of the body (posture/gesture, breathing, motility, expression) is on focus as it indicates the status on the way to personhood – from the past to the present and future. Techniques are used which address the energetic aspect of the individual, including her self-perception, self-expression, and self-possession. These also include work with body contact, boundaries, grounding, and the understanding of muscular tensions as indications of somatic and psychological defenses against past trauma. The goal of therapy is more than the absence of symptoms - it is having aliveness, getting a taste of pleasure, joy, love – vibrant health.

Dr. Alexander Lowen, founder of Bioenergetic Analysis, says :
"It (BA) integrates a work with the body, with the patient's interpersonal relationships, and with his mental processes; each of which is correlated and interpreted in terms of the others.... Bioenergetic Analysis starts with the reality of the body and its basic functions of motility and expression".

He also writes in his book Bioenergetics: "Bioenergetics rests on the simple proposition that each person is his body. No person exists apart from the living body in which he has existence and through which he expresses himself and relates to the world around him. If you are your body and your body is you then it expresses who you are. It is your way of being in the world. The more alive your body is, the more you are in the world. When a body loses some of its aliveness, as when you are exhausted, for example, you tend to withdraw. Illness has the same effect, producing a state of withdrawal. You may even sense the world at a distance or see it as through a haze. On the other hand, there are days when you are radiantly alive and the world about you seems brighter, closer, more real. We all would like to be and feel more alive, and bioenergetics can help us toward the achievement of this goal."

Robert Lewis, M.D, member of the IIBA Faculty, describes his mission as therapist: "When you have no words for your feelings, for what happened to you, for what is missing in you, we listen to the inner resonance - of your inchoate secrets - as it lives in your body. We help you to sense and amplify this inner resonance until its movement comes close enough to the surface of your being to enter your consciousness. But we also listen carefully to your words and are touched by them when they come from a depth of your being that no one can put a hand on. We invite you to surrender to the spirit of your body and the body of your spirit - and in so doing, to embrace your true self."

BA as a Practice ...                                 BA as a Therapy ...

Alexander Lowen

al lowenAlexander Lowen devoted his life to showing the importance of the body in the psychotherapeutic process, as he was convinced that every profound change has an impact on the body.
Alexander Lowen met Wilhelm Reich in New York in 1940, and trained  with him until 1952. He studied Reich's energy principles and character analysis. He also had personal therapy with Reich from 1942 to 1945 before becoming a Reichian therapist himself. In 1953, he split from Reich and his research on the "orgone". Lowen then developed "Bioenergetic Analysis" as his own creative contribution to help people clarify the complexity of the mind-body split. He teamed up with two other students of Reich, John Pierrakos and William Walling and together created the Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis (IBA) in 1956, in New York.

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The IIBA

iiba logoThe IIBA is an International membership organization of psychotherapists devoted to the development and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis.

The Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IBA) was founded in 1956, in New York city, USA, by Alexander Lowen and two other students of Reich, John Pierrakos and William Walling. They separated a few years later and Lowen remained alone to manage the IBA.

In 1976, facing the international expansion of Bioenergetic Analysis and a growing demand in psychotherapist's trainings, Lowen turned the IBA into the " International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis - IIBA".

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