Reflections on learning through therapy

A couple of weekends ago I was privileged to share group supervision with my colleagues from my bioenergetic training group, and International Trainer Louise Frechette.  I had some thoughts prior to this weekend, and a lot of thoughts since then.  I’ll share more of the reflections later but for right now, I want to share a list of things that I learned through my personal therapy and my training.   Those two things are profoundly intertwined.  Bioenergetic training is predicated on doing your own work, for as many years as it takes, and so a lot happens while training.
Anyway, more about that later.  Right now, here are…..Ten Things I Learned In Training to be a Bioenergetic Therapist:

  1.  It is okay to make a mistake.
  2. It is okay to say “I made a mistake.”   Self-deprecation (“Oh, that was dumb…”)  does nothing for me or for anyone else.
  3. If god is watching me making my mistakes, she is certainly cheering me on rather than criticizing me.
  4. I don’t have to know everything.
  5. I do know something.
  6. When I can’t remember that I do know something, I can look again at the body.   The body will remind me of what I know.
  7. Some defenses are useful but only if you know when you are using them, and why.
  8. There is no point in hiding anything because whatever you are hiding is sitting right out there in the open in your body and your behaviour.   Who I am, who anyone is, is not a secret.  Except sometimes from oneself.  And then, I just have to open up to the possibility that I am deluding myself.
  9. I don’t have to do it alone.  In fact, I don’t have to do ANYTHING alone.   I can ask for help, and I can wait until support is available.   Things that are hard, overwhelming, and are too much for me can be challenging, stimulating, and enriching if the time is right, the resources are available, and I have support.
  10. I am just as okay as each of the people who come into my office.  I am just as okay as each of the people who have come into my life.  I am just as okay as my bioenergetic colleagues and my sister trainees.   It is okay to be who I am, and I can extend that welcome to others.


Imagine living life as if you are okay.  As if life is okay.  How about that?


4 thoughts on “Reflections on learning through therapy”

  1. Good stuff, Leslie. And all so familiar. Hard to always be mindfull of those lessons sometimes. Heard an expression recently, wa.king into a destress presntation that I forgot to attend: check yr messsages, also referring to the body. I get the head messages. Only guessing at the physical, but I bet I know more than I thunk I do! ;~)

  2. Hi, Dianne,

    Thanks for your comment. I suspect that, yes, you do know more than you think about what your body has to say. Those little messages that come in quietly are often the truth as your body sees it. Yesterday I went to a “mental fitness” presentation. One of the exercises to develop emotional resiliency included a part about checking in with the body. What am I feeling? What is that about? Has something changed in the way I feel? Why? But in all of this, the focus was on feeling right into the core of the body…what’s going on in there?

    I’ve been a little “off” for a week: can’t stay focused, picking and craving foods that don’t really nourish me (read: chocolate and sugar), and various digestive disturbances, as well as no motivation to run. And last night I started with the chills and sniffles that tell me a cold virus is multiplying. So did the “off” feeling allow the cold? Or did the cold generate the “off?” Either way, I did know that SOMETHING was going on. Now I have a focus to attend to. But I could have maybe managed this earlier if I had devoted some time to working with the “off” symptoms.

    They say in bioenergetics that the body never lies. Guess not!

  3. I’m trying…to understand what your #8 means, it’s very deep and complex. (“There is no point in hiding anything because whatever you are hiding is sitting right out there in the open in your body and your behaviour.  Who I am, who anyone is, is not a secret.  Except sometimes from oneself.  And then, I just have to open up to the possibility that I am deluding myself…” If I understand correctly, what you are getting at we ALL have been there.
    I recently, went home to NS for an unexpected visit. In all of that, I had the pleasure of seeing an old childhood friend. We had a great time together! As the end of the day…drew to a close, I started to feel sick to my stomach. We had just finished a nice meal at a lovely restaurant….and here I was, suddenly not hungry and wanting to run to the bathroom and be sick. I realized…inside I was having an internal battle of FEAR–not wanting to go and stay with my parents. Going to stay the night with my parents, represented dredging up all those old, past….yucky feelings of neglect and verbal abuse I faced, growing up. Who was I fooling? I was certainly….not fooling myself! I got home and my parents were just going out. I felt terrible, like I was going to collapse, faint, throw up. Got washed up for bed, took a Gravol, shut my mind off….and went to bed. As I fell asleep, I kept telling myself “IM OK” and “IM GOING TO BE OK…. ” My mind and body…were BOTH trying to tell me something! You can never forget the past…but you CAN run forward and make something wonderful of your future. Life….is not where you start, it’s where you finish. I kept quietly, telling myself this… We all have our personal battles, Leslie…but you are so RIGHT…the “body never lies…..” I’m going to be OK–you’re going to be OK and we all have “enough…” 🙂

    1. Thank you for your comment, Sweet Caroline. That was quite an experience that you had! What I meant was more about how our bodies the truths of our lives. I used to understand that in a concrete way….I have stretch marks that are a result of pregnancy, a scar on my little finger from closing it in a car door, pins in my femur from a hip fracture. But now I understand it more globally: the way I stand on my feet reflects my stance in the world. The way I hold up my head tells the world how I feel about myself. My ability to make eye contact (or not) tells part of my story. When a person can read the body signals then there is a lot of information being shared. And most of us read body signals very well, by way of our intuitive system. We may not know how we know something about a person, but we know.

      It sounds like you had some good coping thoughts to help you through a difficult evening. Good to know that you can’t fool yourself!

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