Integrating the Body’s Intelligence in Psychotherapy

by The SETI Staff on September 14, 2015

Psychotherapist Aline LaPierre understands that healing is truly an art. She says that her journey toward understanding the body’s role in healing began well before her training in psychoanalysis— it traces back to her days as a painter. “Whatever I was putting on the canvas,” she shared in a recent conversation, “was a reflection of what was patterned in my body and my nervous system.”

The conversation is part of a new podcast focusing on the convergence of somatic healing and psychotherapy. The series, Somatic Perspectives On Psychotherapy, hosted by Serge Prengel, emphasizes clinical approaches with an experiential feel for each clinician’s perspective. In this installment, Serge suggests to Aline: “You were doing sort of art therapy on yourself by using art as a mindful exploration of who you are.” And she responds:

Painting is so slow— and it does require such a mindful attention to gesture— there was a patterning in using the body. I think musicians do it even more; art really comes through the body.

Their conversation goes on to explore Aline’s discovery of an “incredible wisdom” and “evolutionary intelligence” in the tissues of the body. Her discovery came at a time when her field was skeptical of this connection. As Aline shares:

I didn’t know what to do; how does one bring the somatic and the psyche together given that there was such a taboo around the body in the psychological circles where I was trying to learn to be a therapist?

To learn how far her own work and the fields of psychotherapy and somatic healing have come, listen to the full 30-minute conversation here:

guest of Somatic Perspectives On PsychotherapyAline LaPierre, PSYD, MFT, is the coauthor of Healing Developmental Trauma: How Early Trauma Affects Self-Regulation, Self-Image, and the Capacity for Relationship, and she has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed somatic journals. She was on the faculty of the somatic doctoral program at Santa Barbara Graduate Institute for 10 years. A graduate of Pacifica Graduate Institute, she also trained as a psychoanalyst at the New Center for Psychoanalysis in Los Angeles. She is the creator of NeuroAffective Touch™ and Experiential Psychobiology™ workshops supporting the development of embodied awareness for psychotherapists and bodyworkers. In private practice in West Los Angeles, she specializes in the integration of relational psychodynamic and somatic approaches.

Photo by Eugenio Cruz Vargas via Compfight cc

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