Including the Body in Psychotherapy Practice by Angela Porter

Doing graduate work at The Wright Institute allowed me to assimilate my life experience with my desire to become a clinician capable of navigating the increasingly complex mental health needs of our society. Before becoming a therapist, I was a substance abuse treatment counselor for many years, and I studied Gestalt and Body Psychotherapy as a work scholar at Esalen Institute, with some of the great pioneers in the field.

Mulching fallen trees after a storm at Esalen, I injured my back and was referred to the Breema Clinic in Oakland. My back healed, but there was more; I began to experience a sense of cohesiveness, presence, calmness, and clarity that I had never experienced before. Continue reading “Including the Body in Psychotherapy Practice by Angela Porter”

When the mind is connected to the body…

Our health is constantly affected by what we think. Like our clothing, our way of thinking covers our body and affects it. But our thoughts are based on self-interest, and when we live in the past and future, we never have a new thought. In order to become healthy, we need to have a healthy mind. When we are present, we can have new thoughts. This is possible only when the mind is connected to the body.

–from First You Have to Be by Jon Schreiber

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What can I do to be more available?

At any time, you could ask yourself, “What can I do to be more available?” For one thing, you could bring the attention of your mind to the process of inhalation and exhalation. When your mind registers the effect of inhalation and exhalation on your body, it becomes quieter. The quiet mind is like gold, but we exchange it for noise and rubbish. If someone is sitting quietly near you, you may think they don’t like you, because we’re addicted to noise. But inner quiet makes us receptive to what is given to us, moment by moment, by the flow of the life force within us. The life force is like the sap that flows through all plants. Without it, they all die. For the sap to flow correctly, we have to be in touch with it—we have to experience it. We experience it through taste. Taste begins with body and mind working together in harmony.

–from First You Have to Be by Jon Schreiber

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Conscious energy can be received.

In the street, there’s constant noise from many cars going by. Those are like our thoughts—they’re from mass consciousness. When you stay with the process of inhalation and exhalation, the traffic thins out. At some point, it looks like there’s no traffic. That’s when the feelings join the mind and body. Conscious energy can be received. Begin by asking your mind to stay with the process of inhalation and exhalation. Start with three minutes a day, preferably in the morning. When you are ready, increase it to four minutes. The mind that’s free of thoughts, the mind that doesn’t live in the past and future, isn’t something you just have. You have to work for it.

–from First You Have to Be by Jon Schreiber

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Whatever you’re doing, let it become complete…

Whatever you’re doing, let it become complete. Let each movement in Breema be one complete movement. When you wash dishes, pick up one plate and wash it, then put it away and pick up another one. When you walk, let one step mature on the ground, then, without pause, take another step. This way, you are present with yourself.

–from The Taste of Being Present by Jon Schreiber

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