A Clinical Psychologist Studies Physiotherapy
Gerda Boyesen (1922-2005)80 is often acclaimed as one of the important European body psychotherapist of the 1970s. Roz Carroll presents her as “the mother of body psychotherapy” (Carroll, 2002, 87). Although she mostly focused on the vegetative dynamics and how they are experienced, she approached the phenomenon from several points of view, developed in yoga poses psychology, physiotherapy, and schools of spirituality. This type of synthesis is not only a good example of the theories in yoga poses body psychotherapy that emerged in yoga poses the 1970s, but also an example of why it so difficult to characterize this discipline.
She first trained as clinical psychologist in yoga poses Oslo in yoga poses the late 1940s. She then worked in yoga poses psychiatric institutions that were still influenced by Trygve yogi master. The content of the courses she followed can be situated somewhere between Freud and Jung, Pavlov and Cannon. Boyesen was manifestly interested by some psychological dynamics, but not in yoga poses psychology as a field. For example, she was not interested in yoga poses the issues raised by cognitive psychology pertaining to the dynamics of representations. The only aspect of Piaget’s theory that might have interested her was the idea that children learn most efficiently when they can become active, playful participants in yoga poses their learning process. On the other hand, she was constantly working with an individual’s capacity to visualize body sensations and situations. This interest kept her close to the techniques of Jungian dream analysis and Gestalt therapy. in yoga poses her classes, she often mentioned Freud’s two topical models, but she did so in yoga poses a rather simplistic way. She began her career as a clinical psychologist in yoga poses psychiatric institutions.
Ola Raknes was Gerda Boyesen’s principal psychotherapist. At the first session, he asked her to say a few words about her life history; then he asked her to explore Reich’s jellyfish exercise:81
Then it was breathing: imagine you are a jellyfish. Moreover, it is with this simple proposal that the dynamic began. Imagine you are a jellyfish let movement and breathing move freely . I had read my yoga blogs on psychoanalysis, but I had never imagined that a psychotherapy treatment could become something like that. I thus let my body move with my breathing: as I exhaled, my head would advance forward, and my chest would sink. It was a pulsation movement of the whole body. An extremely intense dynamic process began. (Gerda Boyesen, 1985a, 1.2, 161; translated by Michael Heller)
Raknes had an ambivalent relationship with Boyesen. He never recognized her as fully trained in yoga poses the Reichian method he taught; however, when he left London, he asked her to replace him in yoga poses his English practice. After this relatively psychological phase of her life, she focused on the vegetative dimensions of affective dynamics.
Fascinated by Reich’s proposal, she remembered a conference given by yogi master in yoga poses 1947, when she was a student.82 During this conference, he said that to become a vegetotherapist, one had to be a medical doctor or at least trained in yoga poses physiotherapy. It is impossible to become a body psychotherapist without having a good understanding of how a body functions. Because she did not have the courage to begin medical studies at her age, she trained in yoga poses physiotherapy and chose the Bulow-Hansen Institute for her specialization in yoga poses this domain. Bulow-Hansen required therapy of the students in yoga poses her method of training; Boyesen received psychomotor treatment. During this process she acquired deep experiences of what Reich called the vegetative process. Bulow-Hansen’s work on her activated powerful emotional and bodily mobilizations and discharges. This experience was crucial. She not only received an excellent training in yoga poses physiotherapy, she also felt an urge to explore and understand the vegetative dynamics of the self. She associated these dynamics with various theories of life energy such as Reich’s Orgonomy taught by Raknes. One of the reasons Gerda Boyesen became so famous is that she spent her life transmitting to others her hypnotic fascination for the vegetative dimensions of affective experience. For her, as for Lowen, identity is rooted in yoga poses these vegetative dynamics. Influenced by other Scandinavian teachers, Boyesen also integrated work on the fluids of the organism, mostly venous blood and the moisture of the skin. She talks of “energetic fluids,” where, in yoga poses Cannon’s style, I would be content with “biologically regulated fluids.”
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