So excited to have attended Pat Ogden’s Sydney workshop Wisdom of the Body, Lost & Found. A Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Approach, with Yvette Allen recently.
Pat was truly inspirational, it is heartening ot hear of including the bodies wisdom into psychotherapy. The content and video examples of her work were awesome, not to mention her humility and contextualisation.
This fits in so well with Resource Therapy and can help many inform many RT Actions. Vivify Specific, Bridging and especially Expression, Removal And Relief Protocols. I’d love to hear anyone else’s experience.
What I found fascinating was Pat’s use of our innate gestures. How a facial expression is fairly empty without the body psoture informing it. In particular how we reach, grasp, pull, push and yield. One of the exercises was to reach out your arms. These were the only instructions given. I would encourage you to do this right now and just notice this. Babies instinctly do all the above movements. I asked a friend who has suffered family violence to do this. Her arms went out limply with her hands limp and down cast. As I saw this I said wow, it looks like you don’t expect anyone to be there. She said “No, I don’t beleive, I will get any help.” All that meaning from a simple gesture.
Naturally I wanted to apply this to Resource Therapy in my sessions tentatively. As I work with both couples and complex PTSD. Indeed RT is so effective for trauma processing, I continue to be amazed.
Working with a couple on when the wife said clearly to her husband “I need support.” I asked her to let her body posture show this. She immediately nestled into his side, where he put his arm around her. They both remarked, “Oh we used to do this all the time earlier in our relationship, it feels good to do it again.” Exploring this connection with them in this moment was a power intervention. Very heartening work!
To assist with Vivifying and Bridging, I suggested to people allow their body to really exaggerate or collapse ( using their words) the sense of helpless and hopelessness or whatever they expressed.
In a parts mapping session, this lead to working with a six month old part who was scared and alone. In the Relief section I got “Dad” who was there for nurturing ( I love RT action 6, as it totally works for attachment related trauma) to use the body to show him. The clients arms encircled himself in a big hug and you certainly could see the relief this provided and I would suggest amplified.
I have also played with using gesture and movement in RT sessions working with parts vaded in fear and rejection. One client I suggested she push back the responsility she felt in healed form back to the person it belonged to, in this case a parental introject. I watched as she scraped the heel of her hands along her thighs away from her in a pushing motion that looked like sewere psuhing away a real heaviness. In the debrief she spoke of how it felt like she were moving concrete rubble and could hear the sound of this as she was doing it, and her tears felt like concrete tears in that moment. This was said as she was crying tears of relief, she said felt like water bombs of joy at the session end.
For me Resource Therapy being a brief parts therapy has so many applications in psychotherapy change. Adding brief touches of Senorimotor Psychotherapy appeared to enhance clients processing and to use Pat’s Ogden’s terminology may have opened their window of tolerance.
I certainly believe Resource Therapy to be complimentary to effective practice. So practice practice your artfulness today!