Plastik

Therapy for the Whole Person


Therapy is there to help us attain a deeper, more satisfying life, to enter into more fulfilling relationships with others and to develop a solid sense of self. But what hinders us on our path to self-actualisation pervades all the levels of our existence, so that when we only work with one aspect of our multifaceted selves, we cannot really reach our potential.

It is of little use to deny the realm of the emotions, to try not to have feelings, because they are so painful or because we are afraid of being swamped by them, of drowning in sadness for example. Likewise it is one-sided to vilify the mind and to try to prevent thinking. And to treat the body only as something to be changed, modified, be it through diets, exaggerated fitness training etc. demonstrates only a deep seated rejection of it.

Thus we have lost contact with the most important aspects of ourselves, or rather have suppressed them to avoid the distress, the pain and confusion we experienced in the past, above all in childhood. My approach is to work with the whole person, to reach out gently to the "lost" parts and to integrate them into the whole self, so that a deeper process of healing and transformation can develop; a process which flows into a more intensive and fulfilling life than was hitherto possible.
I would like to encounter my clients and work with them on all these levels:

on the level of the body:

-through exercises, spontaneous movements and games

-through touch, massage, shiatsu;

-through awareness and intensification of the impulses and the inhibitions in the body;

-through sensing the energetic patterns in gesture, posture, voice and in the resting body.


on the level of the feelings:

-through directly working with the feelings when and wherever they arise by always letting them take precedence, by gently amplifying them, by allowing them to express themselves in any way, both bodily and verbally.


on the level of the mind:

-through dialogue;

-through considering and carefully interpreting dreams together and possibly re-enacting or re-imagining <<

-the dreams;

-through active imagination and constellations;

-through free association of thoughts and pictures.


on the level of relationships:

all feelings, thoughts and reactions towards me as the therapist are openly encouraged and can be worked with at any time.


What is so special about "Therapy for the Whole Person"?


The best way for me to answer this is to describe my own history as a therapist. My path began with my own Primal therapy and subsequent training as a Primal therapist.

Primal Therapy was discovered and developed by Arthur Janov in the United States in the nineteen-sixties. According to his first book "Primal Scream" (1970) this happened accidentally as he was leading a psychoanalytically orientated group session. He invited one of the participants to cry for his parents like a baby, which the latter did with astonishing consequences. He experienced spontaneously the emotional catharsis, which Janov proceeded to call a "primal", that is a re-experiencing of a traumatic episode often from early childhood, hence the name Primal Therapy.

Primals are at the centre of this method, even though it can take time to get to that level. Helping the client to become aware of and release feelings which have been split off or suppressed can relieve emotional pain and alleviate depression and other symptom, which are understood as defences against threatening emotional states. In the long run this can lead to the breakdown of old psychic patterns and thus resolve the negative effects of the past.

My own experience of Primal Therapy was largely positive; however it was accompanied by analytical sessions and dream interpretations outside the therapy, so that when I went in to a primal session, which took place in groups, I was already "prepared" so to speak and could go directly to working with the feelings. Seeing that, it was from the start a kind of Primal Integration Therapy. This differs from the Janov form of Primal Therapy, in that it integrates other methods into the therapeutic process.

Then I started to assist in the groups while training in Primal Therapy, with which I later worked in my first years as a therapist. But after a while I became disillusioned with it. I could often see people making good progress at first, getting more in touch with their feelings and their true selves, only to get stuck later. Why was this? In my opinion one of the main factors was that the relationship between client and therapist was actively disregarded by Janov. And another important point was the fact that Janov generally works with clients lying down with their eyes closed, so that the significance of seeing and being seen is largely neglected.

So I began to study the work of Wilhelm Reich, whose great contribution it was to identify the interrelationship between body and psyche and to integrate the body into psychotherapy treatment.
I started to work more with the body. As I was already trained in Shiatsu (a Chinese massage therapy working with the energy meridians, which are known in the West through acupuncture), I let this flow into the therapy and began to integrate energetic exercises and massage into the sessions. At the same time I took part in further training in different Reichian methods, for example with Alexander Lowen in Bioenergetics, and studied Reich's writings intensively, above all the "Character Analysis". I became ever more aware of the importance of working with the therapeutic relationship (transference and counter-transference) and of rigorous self-confrontation in this respect. It became increasingly clear that I can only take a client as far as I have been myself, therefore for me the first rule of therapy is that I must continuously work on myself. This doesn't mean that I have to be "perfect", that would be a completely unrealistic expectation, but that I must be willing to continually reflect on my work (supervision) and to further my own development and inner process.

Another important influence was the Analytical Psychotherapy of C.G.Jung. He views the human being in a continual process of development, a kind of soul evolution, which he calls "Individuation". In the course of this process it can happen that one gets stuck or blocked. I started to perceive my work differently. Instead of the so-called medical model, where the patient is regarded as sick and must be "healed" by the therapist, I could see my clients as human beings on the path to self-realisation, who were in crisis and needed assistance in order to move on.

In the course of studying all this I discovered the work of Malcolm and Katherine Brown and took part in a workshop on Organismic Psychotherapy they gave during the 1. Congress of the German Association for Body Psychotherapy (DGK). I was immediately fascinated by their work and went on to organise a series of training seminars in this method with two like-minded colleagues. Their approach united in a deep and often stunning way all the different aspects that I had been struggling with. The work is based on the one hand on Reichian Body Psychotherapy and on the other on the Analytical Psychotherapy of C.G.Jung. This training was the most positive group experience of my life and I am now in the process of writing a book about it.

The work I do now is formed by all these influences and experiences. It is important for me to meet the client where he/she is standing and work from there. As a rule my style is quite gentle and I aim to take all fears and anxieties carefully into consideration and to respect them. Those strategies and tactics which someone has developed in order to survive are important and also deserve respect since they are a source of strength and creativity. I'm especially concerned to establish a safe place where with therapeutic help clients can unfold their individual process.


Therapy in single sessions @ 90 minutes 75 Euros
In appropriate circumstances I can offer a reduced price.
mobil: +49- 172 320 76 69
E-Mail: Elizabeth.Marshall@gmx.de