Reflections on the field of psychology:
Being a Buddhist psychotherapist in the western mental health world
The power of working with the body
Insight and understanding of our developmental history and personal characteristics is a valuable piece of therapy. It helps us to have compassion for how we have become who we are, and it helps us to recognize patterns that are repeating in our lives.
Ultimately, however, the feeling in the body is what drives us, and the body is what frees us. What makes us uncomfortable, we veer away from. What feels good, we are drawn toward. Awareness of how our behavior is influenced by emotions and energy that reside in the body is essential if we are to choose consciously, rather than be directed unconsciously by discomfort and pleasure. In addition, working skillfully with strong emotions in the body allows us to tolerate and ultimately clear difficult emotions, rather than be controlled by them.
The really amazing part of keeping the body at the center of therapy work is this: the body knows. Given a sense of safety and time and space, the felt sense in the body directs the therapy session with incredible efficiency and effectiveness. The wisdom to find our own next step toward wholeness and health exists within our own body. And when the body releases old pains and patterns, they are truly released.
I can’t explain more than that here. The experiences I have been privileged to share with my clients are beyond words.