Different schools of biodynamics use different models and describe different stages for working with a client in one session. Somewhere they do not stand out at all, but it seems to me it will be useful to devote a little time to the model adopted in the school of biodynamics by Michael Shea, as the most detailed of those that I have met, and the most suitable for this work. Plus, we will need it to understand at what stage and how we can combine biodynamics and psychology.
So, there are several stages within one session with the client (what happens before and after we will omit here).
- Search and disengagement
Step 1. Orientation. This is the therapist’s attunement step when he takes time for himself. In this step, in essence, the therapist attunes himself to his therapeutic position. In biodynamics, when one system from the biology of two people works, this step is necessary, without this work will not go. The therapist becomes a tuning fork of a healthy and stable state, he becomes a smooth, plain, and clean mirror. The state of the therapist determines how high-quality Contact with the client can be built, how much a safe environment will be created in the system (which means how little / much resistance to changes will be), how deep the processes in the session can go. Don’t you think that all considerations apply to psychology? Within the SIM, all these nuances are also taken into account, how much the therapist pays to this attention depends on the experience and culture of the therapist. For some, this already happens automatically. Within the biodynamics, each school has its own method of initial orientation, I will not dwell on this here.
Step 2. Synchronization. In biodynamics, this step has to do with synchronization with something greater than the therapist, client, or their common system. Depending on the school, we are talking either about synchronization with the surrounding space (for example, a room or a space outside of it), or with the sensations of nature (using the analogy of the “sea around us”) or with other phenomena such as Primary Respiration, Long Tide (namely this approach is used in the school of biodynamics, where I am now an assistant, and it was the possibility of contact with these phenomena that at one time led me to biodynamics). Why is this needed? Do you know this statement of Einstein (she is sometimes quoted in different ways): “The problem cannot be solved at the same energy level at which it arose”? The point is that we include something more in the process of work in the “client-therapist” system. The larger the system, the more participants, the more input data, the more resources, the more “information” for solving the problem. Within the biodynamics, nature around us is an integral part (although I think this is true outside of biodynamics;)). Moreover, it is believed that it has a deeper level of stillness and knowledge, therefore, including it in the process as a third force significantly deepens and sometimes accelerates the therapeutic processes. Here, maybe someone will find a contradiction in what was said earlier: “the problem already contains a solution, so why do we need another 3rd force?” From my point of view, there is no contradiction here. The fact that there is a solution to the problem does not mean that we, as therapists, can be the very plain and clean mirror in which it will be reflected, on the contrary, we are people and our state is sometimes “uneven”, “blurred”, etc. , including something more in the session, allows you to expand the system, “remove” part of your own ego and the turbulence that it brings, to provide a greater purity of the process, as well as access to resources and opportunities that are larger than us. In biodynamics, we turn to the forces of nature and Primary Respiration and allow us to guide us in the process throughout its entire course or when it is “necessary”. In SIM, we also use the Contact phenomenon and the observer position in the therapeutic field, expanding the therapist-client system to something greater.
Step 3. Attunement. In this case, we are talking about attunement of the therapist with the client. This is the moment when from “tuning ourselves”, “synchronizing with something biger” we move on to direct contact with the client and find the optimal balance of our presence, tuning the two nervous systems so that they become one system. Both in biodynamics and in psychology – this is the expansion of the therapist’s own attention zone to the client, including him in the sphere of his attention. At the same time, attention can be very “dense”, therefore, first of all, there is a non-verbal dialogue (it does not exclude checking it through a conversation) – calibration to stay in the “green” contact zone, when the client does not feel pressure from the presence, there is an equivalent “exchange information “, but there is no detachment or disconnection from the client. Resonance in the attuned field allows the client to focus on the therapist’s stability and health, feel safe, begin to “show” his state and “see” it in the reflection of the therapist’s mirror.
Step 4. Search and detachment. This is the most “active” and interesting part of the process (for me), in fact, where the work itself takes place. I don’t mention here any techniques, etc. The very fact that there was a contact between two systems, one of which is “supporting”, “mirroring”, and the other – “looking”, starts the therapeutic process. Both positions are “active”. The client system “should” want to see – and this is often a matter of client readiness, not mirror performance. But when it “saw”, it starts looking for a solution. In the field of biodynamics, this is an opportunity for the client’s system to see the interconnection of different layers of tissues and organs (for example, the spine and intestines) or other biological processes, to “see” what “needs to be changed”, in what place and how.
There is an important aspect of work that is common to biodynamics and the psychological field. As a rule, in order for the system to come to a solution, it needs to come to a point of balance and equilibrium, when the “tension” is equal in all directions (neutral in the system of client) and it becomes possible to gain access to the health resource “contained in the problem”. Neutral – is a window through which the resolution can be seen. As long as there is no balance – the “curtain of tensions”, as it were, closes the window of entry to the source of the solution, health, resource. In biodynamics, balance is expressed in the therapist’s feelings as “balance” and homogeneity at the tissue level, fluid and potency perception of the client’s body and system. In SIM, for those who know the technique, it is a clarification of all states and decisions, conclusions in the “entrance window”, when the whole picture of the context is visible to consciousness, the charges of traumatic states are also noticed, “discharged” the system is ready to release them.
At the moment when the system comes into balance, neutral – it is ready for changes, the tangle is “unraveled”, previous tensions are released, the energy that was locked to maintain the problem also released back to system.
Step 5. Ignition. This term came to biodynamics from the automotive industry, from specialists who studied the phenomena of biodynamics during the automotive industry boom. Ignition is the process in which a “spark” “ignites” the fuel and makes the entire engine move. This metaphor can be interpreted in different ways, but at the bodily level in biodynamics it is felt as an increase in internal “energy” (we call it the potency of life) in biodynamic work, and even more often in the entire client’s system. This is also expressed by concomitant effects – greater mobility and an increase in tissue energy, relaxation or, on the contrary, an increase in tone, general sensations of health. In the work of SIM, we also observe, for example, in the process of canceling decisions, conclusions in the “entrance window”, when the client again gains access to resources previously closed by traumatic experience, and we, as therapists, perfectly feel this in the field, visible clear changes in the physiological and energetic client level.
In biodynamics, at this stage, the session (or the logical stage of the session) often ends, and here I like not to leave the client’s system, but to observe, to mirror how the integration of a new state is going on at various levels. When we stay with the system a little longer, we give it the opportunity to directly see how a new state is switched on, it is better to “remember” it at the cellular level (you can directly look into this, in what state and vibrations the cells are), and therefore to consolidate and deepen the therapeutic process.
Much more space is allocated to the process of integration in SIM. The level of thoughts, emotional state is translated into bodily experience, so that new awareness, a new state of balance is fixed in consciousness and at the cellular level.
We took a look the model at the stage of working with a client, both from the side of biodynamics and from the side of psychology (in the SIM approach). As you can see, there is a lot in common. And this gives us the opportunity to use this commonality for the benefit of our clients.