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Embodied psychopathology course

A theoretical, clinical and experiential course
with Dr. Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar, PhD. (UKCP reg. EABP acc.)

12 days training in 3 blocks
Dates in 2015 to be advised

Every form of psychopathology represents a specific type of limitation
of the individual’s capacity to be fully alive as a human being.
Thomas Ogden

Body-psychotherapy offers a unique look at developmental arrests that 
obstruct the organism’s aliveness and create chronic pain and suffering. 
However, there is frequently a gap between the psychiatric and psychological 
jargon (DSM-IV, ICD-10) and that of body-psychotherapy, which may pose 
difficulties for both sides in dialoguing between them.

This short course was created to help bodyworkers, body-
psychotherapists and psychotherapists interested in character structures gain a greater understanding of psychopathology without 
having to adopt a completely different language or clinical principles. The 
course would also be useful for therapists from other modalities wishing to 
familiarise themselves with body-psychotherapeutic understanding of extreme 
character rigidities.

The course will include theoretical engagement (including some reading 
material before and between units) and an assignment, clinical work (in pairs 
and small groups) and experiential explorations.

During the course, we will:
  • Connect character structure to extreme character rigidities (i.e.
    psychopathology) –to better understand mental illness in terminology 
    that bridges ICD-10/DSM-IV and body-psychotherapy training.
  • Look at the usefulness and limitation of labels.
  • Learn to identify specific and different conditions.
  • Better recognise our practice scope.
  • Acquire terminology for conversing with other mental-health 
    professionals around psychopathology.
  • Recognise the gifts in the rigidity - between pathology and generative 
    aspects.
  • Explore ways of working with these in body-psychotherapy setting.
  • Focus on self-care when working with extreme presentations.
  • Explore transference dynamics when working with extreme conditions.
  • Generalise psychopathological knowledge into our regular practice.

Over these twelve days, we will mainly look at what practitioners are likely to 
meet in their clinic:
  • Mood Disorders: depression, anxiety, phobias, OCD.
  • Schizoid pathologies - Schizophrenia, Dissociative disorders.
  • Oral pathologies - Eating disorders
  • Personality disorders
The third unit will offer amalgamation and integration of the first two units. It is 
particularly tailored for those interested in EAP or EABP accreditation, as it 
can meet the organisations’ psychopathology training requirements. During 
the last unit participants will also be assessed for their theoretical and clinical 
understanding of the course. 

Who is it for?
  • Deep Bodywork students and practitioners – the course was 
    specifically tailored to accompany and complement Silke Ziehl’s 
    training.
  • Body-psychotherapy trainees – wanting to expand clinical and 
    theoretical knowledge or wishing to build towards their portfolio for EABP and UKCP 
    accreditation.
  • Body-psychotherapists and bodyworkers
  • Psychotherapists from other modalities wishing to be acquainted 
    with body-psychotherapy.


Where: The Open Centre, Old Street, London


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