Friday, June 2, 2017

Psychomotor Therapy

I've learned of some novel (to me) trauma therapies from reading The Body Keeps Score. I'd like to try this one myself some day. The name "Psychomotor" sounds a been off-putting -- it sounds a bit like "road rage," but the technique of building new "emotional memories" is intriguing to me.

Bessel van der Kolk

Psychomotor Therapy

Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor, also known as psychomotor, psychomotor therapy, or PBSP, is a body-mind interactive model that analyzes the present-day effect of traumatic memories and helps people work to create new memories in order to offset emotional deficiencies experienced in the past.

Though the approach draws from several body and movement-oriented methods, it also incorporates theories and techniques from psychodynamic therapy, systems theory, and cognitive behavioral therapy, among others. This approach to treatment may be beneficial for adolescents, adults, or young children who are seeking therapy. 

How Does Psychomotor Therapy Work?

Psychomotor therapists believe that many of the mental and emotional concerns a person may experience in adulthood develop as a consequence of unmet emotional and developmental needs in early childhood. When childhood needs go unfulfilled in this way, according to psychomotor theory, the adult a person becomes may not be an accurate representation of their true self. One major tenet of psychomotor therapy is the idea that humans possess an innate knowledge of their basic needs, as well as an understanding of when a particular need should be met. When a person's basic needs are not met, lasting memories of the negative experience may form, and these memories can have a significant impact on an individual throughout life.

Psychomotor therapy is designed to help people in treatment become more conscious of emotional and sensorimotor information to help them become better able to uncover and address their unique needs. Once the childhood memory of an unmet need is revealed, the therapist can use the acquired information to recreate an external version of the memory with the assistance of objects, other group members, or facilitators. People in treatment can then attempt to address unresolved conflicts, perform incomplete actions, process stagnated emotions, or receive the emotional support that was missing in childhood. 

Some mental health professionals are wary of the possibility of retraumatization, but psychomotor therapy does not involve regression. People in treatment are simultaneously conscious of the historical memory as well as the fact that they are in the present, in the secure setting of the therapy room. Practitioners of the approach believe that the use of positive symbolic interactions can help offset any psychological trauma a person may have experienced in early life, also suggesting that these new memories may be processed internally, alongside the original memory, as a more positive and affirming experience. 

This information was excerpted from the website. For more information on this  and other therapies, kindly visit their website.

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