What Is Body Psychotherapy? Here Are 4 Different Types

Body Psychotherapy is a form of therapy that deals with the whole person. It looks at the effect on your body from an entire spectrum of experiences, including childhood trauma, sexual assault, accidents and natural disasters. It also helps you to understand how your environment affects your body and vice versa. Body Psychotherapy can help by providing tools for managing anxiety or other symptoms brought about by these experiences. 

The goal of this blog post is to provide information about what Body Psychotherapy is so people can know more about it when they see other people who need this type of care.

Can physical illnesses be cured by body psychotherapy?

There is some evidence that body psychotherapy can be helpful in treating physical illnesses. However, more research is needed to determine if this is truly the case.

One study found that body psychotherapy was effective in reducing pain and improving quality of life for people with chronic pain conditions. Another study showed that body psychotherapy was helpful in reducing blood pressure and stress levels for people with hypertension.

While these findings are promising, more research is needed to determine if body psychotherapy can actually cure physical illnesses.

What Is Body Psychotherapy?

Body psychotherapy is one of the main branches of psychotherapy. It has its roots in the work of Freud and his student William Reich. It has developed over the last 75 years using the studies of disciplines such as neuropsychology, biology, anthropology, neurophysiology, and developmental psychology.

Is body psychotherapy a scientific approach?

Yes, body psychotherapy is a scientifically-validated approach to counseling and psychotherapy.

Body psychotherapists believe the mind and body work together as one system. The functioning of our bodily organs affects our feelings and thoughts; likewise, mental factors such as beliefs, attitudes, expectations, fears and anxieties influence the functioning of our bodily organs. Since these two systems are inextricably linked with each other using this sense of embodied wholeness it becomes important that any therapeutic intervention involve both physical  and psychological techniques.

Body psychotherapy is a body-oriented psychotherapy that shapes their work in line with the functional integrity of the body-mind accepted by all psychotherapeutic approaches. At this point, it differs from traditional psychotherapy that focuses more on the mind.

Freud said that unexpressible, suppressed emotions, thoughts and feelings can cause tension and lock-in in the body, and sought solutions by addressing this problem with an analytical and mind-focused approach. His student, William Reich, focused on the body, taking into account the fact that the body and mind are one and there is no hierarchical relationship between them.

In other words, it says that consciousness and subconsciousness can sometimes be reached through the body so that not only the mind but also the body should participate in therapies. In this context, body psychotherapy is a dynamic approach. During therapy, the participant does not only provide relief by thinking and talking about their past experiences and feelings, or simply try to reach the source of the problems in this way. 

Using techniques that stimulate the body and mind such as Radix training, relaxation, meditation, yoga, and shiatsu massage, the person’s subconscious is reached, physical awareness is increased, emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety are brought to the surface, confrontation is ensured, and what effects such feelings have on the body is experienced.

 There is one more thing about body psychotherapy, it has been scientifically proven that body psychotherapy is highly effective in the treatment of disorders such as depression, panic attacks, sexual disorders, substance addiction (alcohol, drugs), eating disorders, as well as psychological balance disorders, borderline disorders, and psychotic diseases.


The Radix approach to psychotherapy is a third-generation therapy derived from the work of Reich and Charles R. Kelley’s work. It affects individual development and change by applying a holistic approach to people’s lives. The Radix approach uses a wide variety of methods and techniques as in body psychotherapy, focusing particularly on inhibited emotions such as fear, anger, and pain.

With Radix works, the ability to express and feel deep feelings increases. This means the growth and development of personality without oppressive training. Radix oriented body psychotherapy studies are working on and with the body. Radix’s Latin origin is the source and vitality, and Charles R. Kelly calls the vitality the pulse.

The basic concepts in therapy are pulse – opposite pulse, charge – discharge, armor and blocking.

The main technique used is the “intensive” technique, which means intense emotional expression. A structured working method consisting of eight parts is applied to the body. These sections; ocular (eye-related), oral (oral), cervical (neck), thoracic (chest), abdominal (abdominal), diaphragm (diaphragm), pelvic, hand, and feet.

As the study progresses, the participants solve their problems such as anxiety, depression, and trauma, and they generally begin to feel more vivid and unique. Although the Radix approach is applied in different ways according to the needs of each participant, all studies have a common theme such as mind-body unity, grounding, average, ego strengthening, pulse, charge, discharge, sincerity, satisfaction, choice, and awareness.



Yoga is a system created to train the body and mind.

It consists of three main branches;

1. Bodily movements (asanas)

2. Breathing exercises

3. Meditation

This system, which is described as Classical Yoga, has eight parts. These eight parts represent the eight stages of consciousness or states of awareness in the physical and spiritual bodies.


-The Japanese word Reiki means “life energy that exists everywhere”.

-The aim is to achieve mental and physical balance.

Life energy is transferred to the energy centers in the body using hands. According to the understanding of energy medicine, the first symptoms of the disease are the life energy in the body. It occurs with its decrease and/or increase for various reasons. Impaired balance in the body is tried to be corrected by reiki application.


-Its word meaning is ‘to press with finger’.

-It is a technique developed in Japan.

Accepts the energy medicine’s understanding of illness, such as Reiki. Various forms of pressure are exerted on the energy meridians in the body, and some mechanical manipulations such as stretching and playing the body. The aim is to achieve and maintain physical balance.


-It has a history of 12 thousand years.

-It is a complementary treatment method.

-It accepts the energy medicine’s understanding of illness.

According to this method, there is a point where each organ reflects on the hand and sole of the foot. The effect of the application made on these points is seen in the area where it is reflected.

Last Updated on December 17, 2021 by Lucas Berg


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