Bioenergetic Psychotherapy Techniques for Releasing the Grip of Childhood Trauma

Excerpted from Academy of Therapy Wisdom blog post. Read the full article by clicking this link:

Did you know? Childhood trauma impacts the fascia and musculature along with the nervous system

We currently have a much greater awareness of the impact of trauma on the nervous system than we ever have. But trauma affects other systems of the body as well. The musculature and fascia develop chronic tension to hold back emotions and expression, which were unacceptable in the childhood environment. For example, when a parent tells a child to stop crying with a message such as: “Big boys don’t cry,” the child halts expression of the emotion by tightening their muscles and holding their breath. If the parent repeats this message regularly, the child learns to tense their muscles chronically, especially whenever they experience the impulse to cry.

The person no longer connects tense muscles with the message of the parent. Most people also have limited awareness of the chronic tension they carry, let alone of the emotions and expressions the tension blocks. Instead, they identify feeling depressed or anxious or symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, low energy, or dissatisfaction in relationships.  

Therapy that addresses the underlying causes of unhappiness needs to help people identify and release physical tensions. No amount of talking alone can provide the intervention necessary to release these restrictions. Without releasing the physical tension, the unhappiness will return or persist. 

Similarly, physical techniques without psychotherapeutic exploration do not provide sufficient support to create profound change. The structure of psychotherapy offers the opportunity to explore the root causes of chronic tensions. Within a healing relationship, clients can allow emotions previously blocked to flow safely. 

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