Workshop: Institute For Imaginal Studies: Bodymind Healing In Psychotherapy – November 01, 2008

Title of Course: Bodymind Healing in Psychotherapy:
Ancient Pathways to Modern Health

Presenter: Michael Mayer, Ph.D.
For Link to Institute of Imaginal Studies website click here.

Program Description

Expand your healing repertoires with self-healing methods that can aid physical and mental health through this integration of Qigong and psychotherapy stemming from Dr Mayer’s 30 years of private practice, and testing this combined approach in an integrated medical clinic that he co-founded. Qigong (of which Tai Chi is the best known system) is a many thousand-year-old method of self-healing practices that can be done with movements or in stillness. You’ll learn how to integrate Qigong into psychotherapy without using Qigong movements, and without mentioning Qigong, by combining Qigong breathing, acupoint self-touch, anchoring naturally arising movements at the moment of “felt shift,” and activating the imagery/somatic dialectic. This integral bodymind healing approach can help alleviate anxiety, hypertension, chronic pain, insomnia, etc.

Oriented to psychotherapists, health professionals, and anyone wanting to learn self-healing methods for physical and mental health. Continuing Education units for MFT’s and LCSW’s as well as BRN.

Suggested Reading and Viewing: Books (1). Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy: Ancient Pathways to Modern Health .(2). Secrets to Living Younger: The Self-healing Path of Qigong, Standing Meditation, and Tai Chi DVD: Bodymind Healing Qigong.

Course Outline:


  • General Introduction-.
  • Presenter’s background integrating Qigong, psychotherapy and behavioral medicine and his co-founding and being a psychologist at an integrative medical clinic.
  • Brief case example-Carpal Tunnel.


  • Psychotherapy and Behavioral Healthcare: Eastern and Western tools
  • Mind-body Healthcare
  • The psychotherapy mandala.
  • The Body in Psychotherapy
  • Psychotherapy and Qigong – Theoretical framework and case example of anxiety treatment.


  • Introduction to Qigong movements as a complementary treatment for: relaxation, energizing, limbering joints, hypertension, balance and prevention of falls in the elderly (Province, 1995), somatic complaints, chronic diseases, etc. (Johnson, 2000). (Research including peer-reviewed research is summarized in Pelletier, 2000; Mayer, 2004, 2007).

12:30 – 1:00 PM

  • Broadening and deepening the scope of bodymind healing interventions in brief and depth psychotherapy using static Qigong practices- relaxation and breathing methods, self-touch using acu-points to aid self-soothing, the imaginal/somatic dialectic.

1:00- 1:30 PM What psychotherapy and Qigong give each other.



  • Powerpoint presentation regarding the cross-cultural pre-modern roots;  and modern  psychological roots of self- healing methods for mind-body health problems.


  • Integrating psychotherapy, behavioral healthcare with Qigong: Applications for other Psychological and Psycho-physiological disorders Case examples: Chronic pain, hypertension, insomnia; trauma, {Practices from Dr. Mayer’s Bodymind Healing Qigong DVD are used in trauma trainings by Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, Medical Director, the Trauma Center, Boston University School of Medicine.}


  • Psychotherapy as Changing your Life Stance
  • Transmuting internalizations  with body-based psychotherapy. Case Examples: Social phobia, sexual trauma.
  • Knowledge of Qigong/ Tai Chi stances enhances awareness of somatic changes at moments of “felt shift”  in psychotherapy, and enhances anchoring of these new life stances.


  • Research and Ethics . Research and Ethics (Andrade & Feinstein 2003; Nerem, R. 1980; Becker, 1985; Kuang 1991;Wu 1999, Mayer M. 2004; Pellitier 2004): APA Ethics Code; Zur O., 2005).

4:45-5:00PM- Questions remaining.

Goals and Objectives:

1. Participants will broaden their perspective of the cross-cultural, pre-modern roots of psychotherapy and mind-body healing methods and how this expanded perspective can enhance treatment.

2. Participants will learn how to apply various static Qigong methods in their psychotherapy practice without ever using a Qigong Movement or mentioning a word about Qigong. Methods of breathing, relaxing and energizing methods, self touch. Awareness of somatic movements that a patient makes at a moment of “felt shift” can help to anchor new life stances.

3. Participants will learn about ethical issues about which to be aware in integrating Qigong into psychotherapy.
4. Activate the imagery/somatic dialectic to increase effectiveness of psychotherapy.

adminmmWorkshop: Institute For Imaginal Studies: Bodymind Healing In Psychotherapy – November 01, 2008