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Somatics Therapy
Research Guide

Terms & Definitions | Reseach Resources | Research Tips | Journals | Organizations | Schools & Clinics

Terms and Definitions

While CIIS' program is Somatic Psychology, and we sometimes speak of “somatic psychotherapy”, the term “body psychotherapy” has been widely used elsewhere. The two main associations, Body Psychotherapy in United States (USABP) and Europe (EABP), define it thus:

  Body-Psychotherapy is a distinct branch of Psychotherapy, well within the main body of Psychotherapy, which has a long history, and a large body of literature and knowledge based upon a sound theoretical position. It involves a different and explicit theory of mind-body functioning which takes into account the complexity of the intersections and interactions between the body and the mind. The common underlying assumption is that the body is the whole person and there is a functional unity between mind and body. The body does not merely mean the "soma" and that this is separate from the mind, the "psyche". Many other approaches in Psychotherapy touch on this area. Body-Psychotherapy considers this fundamental. (From the European Association of Body Psychotherapy, www.eabp.org.)

Wikipedia gives a more historical definition:

  Body Psychotherapy (a.k.a. Body-Oriented Psychotherapy, Somatic Psychology) is a branch of Psychotherapy with roots in the pre-Freudian work of Pierre Janet. It addresses itself to both body and mind, and emphasizes the relationship between the two. This approach found prominence in the work of Wilhelm Reich's Character Analysis and Vegetotherapy, which proceeded to influence therapists in the United States and Europe. Those responsible for significantly developing Body Psychotherapy include:
    Elsworth Baker (Orgonomy)
David Boadella (Biosynthesis)
Gerda Boyesen (Biodynamic Psychology)
Charles Kelly (Radix)
Ron Kurtz (Hakomi)
Alexander Lowen (Bioenergetic Analysis)
Lisbeth Marcher (Bodynamics)
Albert Pesso, Diane Boyden-Pesso (Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor   [PBSP])John Pierrakos (Core Energetics)
Ola Raknes (Character Analytic Vegetotherapy)
Jack Lee Rosenberg (IBP)
Ilana Rubenfeld (Rubenfeld Synergy)
Myron Sharaf
Jay Stattman (Unitive Psychotherapy)


Research Resources

PsycInfo

The most useful resource for any psychology research. Includes citations to journal articles, books, book chapters, and dissertations. Includes materials both in and outside of CIIS' Library. Links to full text articles that the CIIS Library subscribes to. Materials not owned by CIIS may be requested through the Library's Interlibrary Loan service. See the section on Research tips - PsycInfo before beginning to search.

Articles from health literature - AltHealth Watch and CINAHL

These two resources cover alternative medicine and health care, respectively. Somatic Psychology, particularly applied to pain and traumatic injuries, is discussed in this literature, too. Search using keywords for the specific technique or approach (eg., Hakomi).

Books, dissertations, videos at CIIS - CIIS Library Catalog

Includes online books as well as print. See the section on Research tips – CIIS Catalog and other libraries before beginning to search. When in the CIIS Library, you can also browse the shelves in these areas: BF161; RC480; RC489.

Bibliographies

Books on Body Psychotherapy recommended by the Scientific Committee of the EABP.

EABP Bibliography of Body-Psychotherapy This CD-ROM contains currently about 3,000 entries of published or available Body-Psychotherapy material in a variety of different formats: books; chapters in books; journal articles; conference papers; dissertations & theses; film; videos; tapes. The first version (with 1,500+ entries) has already been published on CD-ROM in 2002, and is available from the USABP bureau for $10 US. The second edition, with over 3,000 entries, is forthcoming on CD-ROM.

Don Hanlon Johnson's Website CIIS Faculty member Don Hanlon Johnson maintains a website that provides, among other subjects, a detailed history of Somatics, an anthology on Somatics websites, and information about his publications and writings.

Lomi's recommendation list A list of recommended books on Somatic Therapy, trauma, mindfulness, and attachment, among other subjects.

Additional Research Resources

Books in libraries across the United States - WorldCat

See the section on Research tips – CIIS Catalog and other libraries before beginning to search. Books not owned by CIIS may be requested through the Library's Interlibrary Loan service.

NCCPL is a consortium of Bay Area schools of professional psychology. CIIS students may access member libraries with a referral; inquire at the Circulation Desk or by sending email to: askref@ciis.edu.

UC Berkeley Ed/Psyc Library has a large collection of materials on education and psychology; at present open to the public on a limited basis (CIIS students may read and photocopy materials in the library, but may not check materials out). Search Melvyl to determine book and journal holdings.

 

Research Tips -PsycInfo

Simply typing in “somatic therapy” will only reveal a small portion of the available literature. In fact, the term “somatic” is widely used by mainstream databases such as PsycInfo for “psychosomatic” or “somatization” and seldom refers to body psychotherapy. The choice of search terms has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your search. Increase your search results by referencing articles in related fields that might share key concepts. Try searching for concepts such as alternative medicine, health psychology, stress management, or humanistic psychology.

Consider the following words and phrases - some broader, others narrower - from the PsycInfo Thesaurus. Select Search tools, then use Thesaurus to select terms, combining them as appropriate (use the Combine Terms tab):

Anxiety Management Holistic Health
Alternative Medicine Human Body
Biopsychosocial Approach Integrative Psychotherapy
Body Awareness Meditation
Body Image Mind
Body Language Movement Therapy
Boundaries Neuropsychology
Catharsis Nonverbal Communication
Dance Therapy Pain
Dualism Perinatal Period
Eclectic Psychotherapy Physicial Contact
Exercise Psychotherapeutic Processes
Expressive Therapy Psychotherapeutic Treatments
Folk Medicine Physiological Psychology
Gestures Relaxation Therapy
Guided Imagery Somatization
Health Education Tactual Perception
Health Psychology  


A lot of research in Somatic Psychotherapy has been done in the field of trauma. Search for the following words as keywords or Thesaurus terms in PsycInfo:

Abuse
Dissociation
Emotional Trauma
Physiological Arousal
Posttraumatic shock (instead of the abbreviation PTSD)
Shock
Survivor
Stress
Torture
Trauma
War


Also use the names of individuals associated with Somatic Psychology / body psychotherapy techniques and theories (see Terms and Definitions for details)

Search PsycInfo



Research Tips -- CIIS Catalog and other libraries

The choice of search terms has a tremendous impact on the outcome of your search. Simply typing in “somatic therapy” will only reveal a small portion of the available literature.

Increase your search results by using other keywords, and by searching in related fields that might share key concepts, such as alternative medicine, health psychology, stress management, or humanistic psychology.

Search for the following words or phrases as keywords or subjects in the CIIS Library Catalog or in WorldCat:

Alternative Medicine Experiential Psychotherapies
Awareness Focused Expressive Psychotherapy
Bioenergetic Psychotherapy Mind and Body Therapies
Body, Human Movement or Movement Therapy
Chronic Pain Touch
Consciousness Perception
Dance Therapy Psychobiology
Energy Somatic or Somatics
Exercise  

A lot of research in Somatic Psychotherapy has been done in the field of trauma. Search for the following words as keywords in the CIIS Library Catalog or Worldcat:

Abuse
Dissociation
Emotional Trauma
Physiological Arousal
PTSD
Post-traumatic [two-word phrase]
Posttraumatic [one word]
Shock
Survivor
Stress
Torture
Trauma
War


To be certain to include different versions of the same term in your search, link variations with OR, like this:

PTSD OR Post-traumatic OR Posttraumatic

 Also use the names of individuals associated with Somatic Psychology / body psychotherapy techniques and theories (see Terms and Definitions for details)

Search CIIS Library catalog

Search WorldCat

 

Selected Journals

Selected Journals

To access online journals, search by the journal name in the CIIS Journals list. Specific articles not available at CIIS may be obtained via our Interlibrary loan service.

Advances: the journal of mind-body health ; Advances in mind-body medicine. CIIS Print 1985+; Online 1999+

Alternative medicine review . Online 2003+

Alternative therapies in health and medicine . Online 1995+

Body & Soul . CIIS Print 2002+

Body Mind Spirit . Online 1992 - 1998

Energy and Character

The Folio: a journal for focusing and experiential therapy

Hakomi Forum

Journal of Orgonomy . CIIS Print 1977+

Journal of psychosomatic obstetrics and gynaecology. Online 2003-2005 online 2004+

Journal of psychosomatic research . CIIS Print 1990-1995

Journal of psychosomatics .

Massage and bodywork . Online 1995+

Massage therapy journal .

Mind/Body medicine .

Pain reviews .Online 1998+

Psychosomatic medicine . Online 1939 – two years ago

Psychosomatics . CIIS print 1996+; Online 1998+

Psychotherapy and psychosomatics . Online 1998-2005

Somatics: magazine-journal of the bodily arts and sciences . CIIS print 1990/91+

Subtle energies ; Subtle energies and energy medicine . CIIS Print 1990+

The USA body psychotherapy journal: the official publication of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy .

 

Organizations of Interest

Organizations of Interest

The United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (www.usabp.org) and the European Association for Body Psychotherapy (www.eabp.org) include a range of different techniques and approaches.

More specific organizations are:

American College of Orgonomy
American Dance Therapy Association
Association for Hanna Somatic Education
Authentic Movement Institute
Body-Mind Psychotherapy
The Bodynamic Institute USA
Center for Energetic Studies
Continuum Movement
The Feldenkrais Guild of North America
The Focusing Institute
Foundation for Human Enrichment - Somatic Experiencing
The Hakomi Institute
Integrative Body Psychotherapy
International Foundation for Biosynthesis
International Institute of Core Energetics
International Society for Bonding Psychotherapy
Lomi
The Middendorf Breath Institute
National Association of Rubenfeld Synergists
The International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis
The Radix Institute
The Rolf Institute
The Rosen Institute
The School for Body-Mind Centering
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute
Sensory awareness Foundation
The Somatics Society
The Touch Research Institute

 

Somatic Psychology schools and clinics

Graduate programs in Somatic Psychology ( USA )

California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco , CA
John F. Kennedy University , Pleasant hill , CA
Santa Barbara Graduate Institute, Santa Barbara , CA has MA and PhD Programs
Naropa, Boulder CO

Low fee Clinics specializing in Somatic Psychotherapy ( Northern California )

Center for Somatic Psychotherapy, San Francisco (CIIS)
Center for Holistic Counseling, Pleasant Hill , (JFKU)
Lomi Psychotherapy Clinic, Santa Rosa

 

This research guide is a work in process. We welcome any suggestions, referrals, links that might be of interest in this field. Contact us at askref [at] ciis [dot] edu.

Revised May 2006

 


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November 6, 2013