The Evolution, Application and Ethical Considerations of Body-Oriented Psychotherapy

No Thumbnail Available
Issue Date
Nikolarakos, Dimitra
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
This capstone will address the evolution, application, and ethical considerations of body-oriented psychotherapy. A historical overview of the mind-body connection indicates an evolution from the segregation denoted by Descartes dualistic perspective to one of integration due to advancements in the field of neuroscience and trauma therapy. Research from neuroscience indicates that trauma causes physiological and biochemical effects on the body that create a shift in a client's nervous system state, in turn impacting their perception as well as behaviour (and vice versa). The nervous system is wired to respond to threat and fear in predictable and hierarchical ways. Thus, when a clients trauma symptoms and behaviours are viewed from a neurobiological lens, the usage of pathologizing labels diminishes and the focus in therapy becomes finding ways to bring the bodies nervous system back into balance. This capstone will provide research as well as clinical application for two body-oriented approaches that aim to renegotiate this balance: the Polyvagal Theory and Somatic Experiencing (SE). This capstone will also disseminate the ethical implications and considerations surrounding the utilization of touch as a body-orientated intervention.
body-oriented therapy , trauma , somatic experiencing , polyvagal theory , touch , nervous system , neuroception , sensation , co-regulation , titration , pendulation