Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP) is a somatic psychotherapy that aims at reconciling the discrepancies between what we feel and what we think. We often think we should follow a certain course, yet really feel like doing altogether something else. This creates a huge gap between who we are and what we do! How can we bring these two parts of ourselves into alignment, and peacefully find the natural path, the one right for us?
One of the most effective ways is through increasing consciousness and presence, specifically through body-centered awareness practices. Allowing yourself to become aware of your every body-perception provides access to a deep inner knowing, which the fearful mind (ego) often tries to overrule.
First, it is useful to get acquainted with your fears (including anxiety, anger, sadness, etc.) and their origins. A certain defensive reactivity to your fears is programmed right into your body, into your very cellular memory. Any difficult childhood experiences you have not properly processed remain unconscious within you, repressed not only psychologically but actually physically, in your very flesh.
IBP helps you locate the physiological mechanisms that hold the awareness of these wounds tightly bound within your musculature. Why do massages feel so good? It's because you temporarily allow yourself to release this holding and enjoy they pleasurable sensations! Sometimes the physical release from a massage brings up a lot of emotion and even the urge to talk about your problems. But with time, you inevitably stiffen back up again, unless you learn how to work with what has arisen for you.
What arises when you experience fear is a physical stiffening of certain areas of your body. This occurs as a defensive reaction to restrict the flow of oxygen and feeling to those parts of your body that sense the discomfort. Certain chakra areas will respond to different emotional issues, so the area of your body that stiffens is always related to the nature your issue!
During IBP therapy, the therapist helps you discover which areas repeatedly block for you, and teaches you how to self-release. Through projective exercises, you will also discover the precise emotional content and the mental thoughts that keep your habitual blocks in place. You will discover how and when they came to lodge there.
The last step then, is to become sufficiently familiar with those set of circumstances that throw you into reactivity so that when anxiety grips you physically, you can consciously bear the sensation, having learned that it's more a past memory than a current reality. And even if it happens to be a current reality–which is more rare than you think–you will have trained yourself not to react defensively, like a child. Instead, you will deliberately dismiss/release the sensation, in order to deal with it with greater presence like the adult that you are, with the true and tried capacities that you have acquired throughout your life. In other words, stress will no longer make you lose your wits!
IBP helps you learn how to identify and dismiss the mental experience that grips you when you're stressed. It trains you to self-release–physically–and regain immediate composure with the effectiveness to respond! That is the recipe for presence.