Body Psychotherapy: A Theoretical Foundation for Clinical Practice

Author(s) : Ulfried Geuter

Body Psychotherapy: A Theoretical Foundation for Clinical Practice

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : October 2023
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 456
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Catalogue No : 97525
  • ISBN 13 : 9781032010458
  • ISBN 10 : 1032010452
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This book introduces body psychotherapy as one of the essential approaches in psychotherapy, reflecting the increasing integration of the body into clinical mental health practice.

The book offers an entirely new view on body psychotherapy based upon advanced research on embodiment, memory, emotion regulation, developmental psychology and body communication and an experiential and relational understanding of psychotherapy. Accordingly, the author grounds the theory of body psychotherapy on the theoretical approach of enactivism, which regards experience as arising from meaningful living interaction with others and their environment. The book, fortified with clinical examples, shows the distinctiveness of body psychotherapy as compared with a traditional talking therapy approach. It also convincingly demonstrates that each form of psychotherapy should consider body experiences.

This text will be a comprehensive foundation for psychotherapists of every orientation, scholars of the humanities and students and especially those wishing to integrate embodied experience into their understanding of their patients.

Reviews and Endorsements

This is the book somatic psychotherapy and psychotherapy in general has been waiting for! With clear and incisive analysis, Geuter convincingly argues why the subjective body must be included in all psychotherapy modalities. He provides a very clear philosophical and conceptual analysis of the need for all psychotherapy to embrace relational, emotional, embodied and enactive human experience, rather than biology, as the basis of understanding for clinical theory and practice. This professional tour de force, covering an incredibly broad range of the historical and contemporary professional and broader humanistic and philosophical literature, is a ‘must read’ for all in the psychotherapy and related helping professions.
Jeff Barlow, BA, BEd, MEd, Somatic Psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer; founding director, Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy

Dr. Geuter offers us an intensely erudite yet delightfully readable survey of the contemporary field of body psychotherapy. His perspectives are refreshingly thoughtful and provide an interesting ‘take’ on the current state of these vitally important modes of healing practice. This book will help to advance the field significantly.
Barnaby B. Barratt, PhD, DHS, Director of doctoral studies in Bodymind Healing at the Parkmore Institute, Parkmore (Johannesburg), South Africa; author of The Emergence of Somatic Psychology and Bodymind Therapy

This is an excellent book which transcends but values the differences between schools and is a masterly foundation for body psychotherapy as a mainstream of psychotherapy.
David Boadella, PhD (Hon), Founder of Biosynthesis; founding president and honorary member of the European Association for Body Psychotherapy

In this exquisite book, Ulfried Geuter has taken on an epic task - clarifying and integrating the various streams of body psychotherapy - creating common ground for theory and practice both within and beyond embodied forms of psychotherapy. His work combines masterful reviews of the field’s history, development, and current trends, as well as contributions from philosophy, neuroscience, and classic psychological theory and practice, while at the same time deftly weaving in his own integrative perspective. By centering his work around the holistic nature of human experience, he brings the reader to a satisfying sense of structural integrity and clinical clarity. This book will be on my shelf as a go-to reference as well as an engaging read.
Christine Caldwell, PhD, LPC, BC-DMT, Professor Emeritus, Naropa University Somatic Counseling Program, Boulder, USA; author of Bodyfulness and Conscious Moving

Ulfried Geuter, a leading thinker about the theory and practice of body psychotherapy, has produced a highly original book with a sophisticated and thorough theoretical perspective. We here get Geuter at his best.
George Downing, PhD, former Clinical Faculty, Salpetriere Hospital and University of Paris VIII, France

This book gives us nothing less than a radical re-envisioning of the purpose and practice of Body Psychotherapy. Geuter takes the reader well beyond the fraught history of this field and into a new synthesis that places the experiencing human subject in the relational, present moment encounter with the therapist who guides the client into a deeper felt experience of their own embodied self.
Alan Fogel, PhD, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, University of Utah, USA; author of Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self Awareness and Restorative Embodiment and Resilience

Table of Contents


1. Introduction
2. Towards a definition of body psychotherapy
3. The quest for natural aliveness: On the origins of body psychotherapy
4. The legacy of the schools
5. The living subject
6. Body experience: The basis of self-experience
7. The experienced body and the body of natural science
8. Embodiment research: The sensorimotor basis of thinking and feeling
9. Memory: Embodied remembering
10. Emotions: Models of emotionality and the practice of body psychotherapy
11. Child development: The shaping of experience in early affect motor dialogue
12. Affect motor schemas as body narratives
13. Defence and coping meachnisms: Bodily forms of processing experience
14. Communication with the body: Body behaviour and therapeutic interaction
15. Transference and somatic resonance
16. Moments of understanding
17. Self-regulation and life regulation
18. The contribution of body psychotherapy to integration

About the Author(s)

Ulfried Geuter is a body psychotherapist and psychoanalyst who works in his own practice in Berlin. He taught body psychotherapy as a lecturer at the Free University Berlin from 1995–2003 and as an honorary professor at the University of Marburg from 2010–2023 and is a training analyst, supervisor and lecturer in postgraduate psychotherapeutic training programs. He runs the Institute for Advanced Training in Body Psychotherapy in Berlin and is the author of The Professionalization of Psychology in Nazi Germany, 1992.

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