Somatics and Your Mind: New Science for Old Insights

\”Pick up your bed and walk, ed \” and \”Hold still while I groom you\” [translated from chimp communications] are two ancient reminders that each of us must participate in our own body’s physical function, but that we only exist as a result of our interactions with others. [Note: July 31, 2013: Human centered or Person Centered psychotherapy is what Dr. Van Nuys specializes in. In his recent podcast about the \”demise of humanistic psychology\” he describes his intent to be what I call \”Faith-Neutral\” and not anti-God. He said that he was sorry that some people felt that \”humanistic\” meant \”anti-God. You can hear his interview with psychologist and academic historian, Jessica Grogan, Ph.D., here.]\n\nToday I encourage you to get acquainted with the interviews of David Van Nuys, Ph.D. His archive includes hundreds of talks with key individuals in mental health and wellness. His tag line is, \”All the psychology you need… and just enough to make you dangerous.\” [His site is Shrink Rap Radio; he also has interviews from a former podcast series on Mental Health.net, Wise Counsel Podcast.]\n\nAs I type this I am listening again to his latest interview — with Eleanor Criswell, Ed.D., titled, \”Frontiers in Somatic Therapy.\” You can listen online or download it for your portable MP3 player. [Left click this to hear it, or Right click this to download the audio file.] At the bottom of this essay I have pasted Dr. Dave’s introduction to Dr. Criswell.* They talked about a wide range of approaches such as biofeedback, yoga, Feldenkrais, Hanna Somatics and more. Because I am a FlexAware teacher I am energized by their insights and wisdom about the body and the mind.\n\nAddendum: Link to Dr. Criswell’s Somatics Educational Resources. Her excellent work with animals led to this DVD that she describes in the interview above — Equine Hanna Somatics (I’ve ordered it as both a pleasurable experience in seeing loving care for animals and also hoping to get some transferrable skills for my own bodywork with humans).\n\nNew Science for Old Insights: One of my most powerful discoveries in the last ten years has been the many ways that the sciences of health are beginning to give clues to the function of aspects of human experience that had been classed as \”mental\” and \”spiritual.\” The year-long certificate program at Bastyr University in Spirituality, Health & Medicine gave a major opportunity to see correlations that I’ve since explored further.\n\nSome of my insights are on my introduction page about the  New Brain Science. Other insights are on these pages on my sites: Kinesthetic Medicine (a term I created) | FlexAware introduction | Body-Mind introduction | Adventure Therapy.\n\nIt seems very clear to me, but perhaps not to you. Whatever your concerns or your joys may be, I encourage you to stay in touch with me and also with others who have skills to work with both the body and the mind. There is great hope for you to experience better health of body and mind by including approaches such as I champion on my websites.\n\nI invite you to let me know your visions and/or your concerns Contact me for an appointment — Phone coaching or in-office. We can work on it together.\n\n\n

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*Introduction to Dr. Eleanor Criswell, Ed.D.: She is emeritus professor of psychology and former chair of the psychology department, Sonoma State University. Founding director of the Humanistic Psychology Institute (now Saybrook University, San Francisco), she is currently a Distinguished Consulting Faculty member for Saybrook University. Editor of Somatics Magazine, the magazine-journal of the mind-body arts and sciences, and director of the Novato Institute for Somatic Research and Training, her books include Biofeedback and Somatics: Toward Personal Evolution, How Yoga Works: An Introduction to Somatic Yoga, and she is editor of Cram’s Introduction to Surface Electromyography. She is president of the International Association of Yoga Therapists, the Somatics Society, and past president of Division 32—Humanistic Psychology of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and the Biofeedback Society of California. She is on the board of the Association for Hanna Somatic Education. She is the originator of Somatic Yoga and Equine Hanna Somatics.

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