Workshop: Wright Institute: Bodymind Healing In Psychotherapy – May 15, 2010

Bodymind Healing in Psychotherapy

In this workshop therapists will learn how to expand their healing repertoires by being introduced to self-healing methods that can aid patients’ physical and mental health. Participants will be introduced to an integration of Qigong and psychotherapy that Dr. Mayer developed from thirty years of training with some of the most respected TaiChi/Qigong masters, and which he applied in an multidisciplinary medical clinic which he co-founded. Qigong (of which Tai Chi is the best known system) is a many thousand-year-old method of cultivating the energy of life through synchronizing movement, breath and imagery. Dr Mayer shows how to integrate the essences of these practices into psychotherapy without using a Qigong movement, and without mentioning a word about Qigong. Some of the integrative methods include: Eastern stress reduction and breathing methods which simultaneously relax and energize; acu-point self-touch; hypnotherapeutic methods (Rossi, 1986);  the transcending and transmuting dimensions of the imagery/somatic dialectic (Mayer 2007, 2009), and anchoring the bodily movements expressed by patients at a moment of “felt shift” (Gendlin,1978). Bodymind Healing Psychotherapy presents an integral (Walsh & Shapiro, 2006).paradigm for bodymind healing which is accessible for clinicians to integrate into brief or depth psychotherapy. Theory, case illustrations, and practices will be combined to show how this bodymind healing approach can help alleviate anxiety, hypertension, chronic pain, insomnia, etc.

Course Outline:

9:30-9:45 AM-

  • General Introduction-.
  • Presenter’s background integrating Qigong, psychotherapy and behavioral medicine in an integrative medical clinic .
  • Brief case example of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


  • Towards an Integral Psychotherapy: Mind-body interventions
  • Psychotherapy and Qigong – Theoretical framework of Bodymind Healing approaches in psychotherapy illustrated with a case example of anxiety treatment.

Break 11:30- 11:45

11:45-12:05 AM-

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

12:05-12:20 AM What Qigong gives psychotherapy

12:20-12:50 PM

  • Integrating psychotherapy, behavioral healthcare with Qigong: Applications for other Psychological and Psycho-physiological disorders Case examples: Chronic pain (Hilgard 1983, Mayer 1996. Wu 1999), hypertension (Johnson 2000, Pellitier 2000, Mayer 1999, 2003, peer reviewed), insomnia (Irwin, 2008); trauma (van der Kolk 1995), {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.}

12:50-1:15- PM

  • What creates change in Psychotherapy
  • Psychotherapy as Changing your Life Stance
  • Transmuting internalizations (Stolorow, 1987) with body-based psychotherapy.
  • Case Examples: Social phobia, sexual trauma.
  • Incorporating Qigong into Psychotherapy without using a word about Qigong and without using a Qigong movement: Relaxation and breathing methods; self-touch using acu-points to aid self-soothing; the imaginal/somatic dialectic; Knowledge of Qigong/ Tai Chi stances enhances awareness of somatic changes at moments of “felt shift” (Gendlin,1978) in psychotherapy, and enhances anchoring (Bandler & Grinder, 1975, 1979) of these new life stances.

1:15 1:25 PM

  • 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).

1:25-1:30   Questions remaining.

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