Bioenergetic Analysis


What is Bionergetic Analysis?

Bioenergetic Analysis is a relational somatic form of psychotherapy that works with the physical, emotional, and mental patterns of the person to reduce emotional stress and help with the problems of living. It is a way of understanding personality in terms of the body and its energetic processes.


Bioenergetic theory is based on the premise that there is no fundamental separation between the mind and the body; that psychological states reflect and create what is happening physically, and physical/somatic events both reflect and create mental and emotional states. Emotional stress from many areas…relationships, family crises, jobs, health, etc. produce tension in the body. Contractions in the muscular system are often the result of carrying unresolved emotional tension. These contractions can have a direct effect on the energy level of the individual, on the capacity for spontaneous and creative self expression, and on feelings of well-being.


Bioenergetic Analysis seeks to bring about the conscious integration of mind and body, therefore, the focus is on the relationship with the therapist, the psychological issues presented and the manifestation of these issues as shown in the individual’s body, energy, and movement. Patterns of muscular tension reflect an individual’s emotional history and include such things as early childhood relationships with caregivers, physical and emotional traumatic experiences, and the degree to which self-development was possible.


By addressing conflicts at a cognitive, emotional, and physical level, Bioenergetic Analysis seeks to help the individual gain greater understanding and awareness of old patterns of action and reaction, increase the capacity to tolerate and resolve old pain, and increase the ability to experience joy and pleasure. In addition to cognitive and emotional processing, Bioenergetics includes four major types of body work interventions to achieve the goals of your therapy:

Awareness Experiences: Body awareness interventions are designed to assist you in attending to your experience of your body. The focus is on areas of muscular tension, posture, breathing patterns, and the ways in which physical and emotional tensions, behavioral patterns, and mental states are related. Methods of increasing body awareness may be suggested and encouraged.

Physical Interventions: Physical interventions are used to help bring more aliveness and movement to your body. These movement experiences may focus on areas of your body that have chronic muscular tension, poor circulation, low levels of awareness, or restricted movement abilities. They may include stretching exercises to enhance the tone of your muscles, breathing skills to charge the body or create states of relaxation or stress reduction tools to expand the range of state you are able to experience. The purpose of these interventions is to increase energy, charge, and feeling by reducing chronic muscular tension and increasing the capacity for movement and self-expression.

Directed Expression: Difficult or traumatic material from your past is sometimes the focus of therapeutic work, and the release, understanding, and integration of these feelings through procedures that facilitate emotional expression can be a therapeutic goal. To assist you in moving toward this goal, your therapist may suggest directed experiences in emotional expression. You may be asked to participate in body movements, exercises, and experiences that can deepen emotional expression and help you clarify your feelings. In turn these experiences are designed to support an expanded range of feelings and a deepening of emotional awareness.

Touch: In Bioenergetic analysis, touch is sometimes used to help you bring awareness to your body, to release the tension in chronically held muscle groups. To support you during the release of past traumatic material, or to assist you in making new movements outside your usual restricted range of motion. The guidelines for the use of touch include asking your permission when touch is involved, respecting your personal boundaries and preferences in the use of touch, and staying within the guidelines for the use of touch designated by your therapists licensing board and professional association. Under no circumstances will the use of touch in therapy involve sexual areas of the body.

The effects of utilizing bodywork as part of your therapeutic approach are very individual and will depend on which procedures you choose to use, and the nature of the therapeutic problem you are attempting to solve.


Like other forms of therapy, Bioenergetic Analysis can heighten awareness of the past and present. These procedures can serve to bring up memories, images, and sensations that have been previously unconscious. They can also intensify feelings or emotional experiences that are connected to past traumas. Bodywork can also bring existing muscular tension patterns and physical limitations to your attention. Although the goal of such increased awareness is to help resolve emotional conflicts, there may be times during treatment, as in other forms of psychotherapy, when the feeling may be uncomfortable or intense. As your therapist, I will work with you to understand these experiences and help you to focus and integrate them.