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Jeff Barlow Print E-mail

JeffBarlowJeff Barlow (B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed.) is a psychotherapist, supervisor and trainer in Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy. He has a private practice located in Melbourne (Australia) and is the Director of the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy which runs training programmes in Melbourne and Sydney.

Jeff has been working as a psychotherapist since 1977 when he commenced his private practice at the Gerda Boyesen Centre in London. He returned to Australia in 1981 and commenced a private practice in Melbourne where he has worked since then. Jeff was actively involved in the first training programmes in body-inclusive psychotherapy in the late 1970's in London, Germany and Austria. He commenced the first training programmes in body-inclusive psychotherapy in Australia with Robyn Speyer in 1983 and initiated the establishment of the first professional association for somatic (body-inclusive) psychotherapists in Australia in 1986.

Jeff has also been actively involved in the establishment of PACFA (the Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia) which is a national body for the registration of psychotherapists and counsellors in Australia, and SCAPE (the Society for Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators) a professional association for those involved in the teaching of psychotherapy and counselling.


Membership of Professional Associations:

Jeff is a member of :

  • United States Association of Body Psychotherapy

  • Individual Psychotherapy:

    Jeff is available for individual consultations in Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy for anyone seeking this form of psychotherapy. Private consultations are held in Richmond, a suburb of Melbourne. Each consultation is one hour duration. The first consultation is set up as an interview, is free of charge and without obligation.

    Jeff works with clients on a short, medium and long-term basis. Clients contact him for a wide variety of reasons, amongst which are:

    Personal development -people who believe they could function more effectively and efficiently in life and who are seeking more satisfaction and challenge in living.

    Relationship Challenges - people who are concerned about relationship issues which they are finding challenging and which they want to change. This can be individual psychotherapy or work with couples. Some people seek this development work for their intimate relationships and others for relationships with friends or work colleagues, work superiors etc.

    Symptom relief - people suffering from a wide range of psychological and somatic symptoms such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, undiagnosable body aches and pains and loss of energy, grief and loss, abuse, trauma, sexual difficulties and so on.


    Professional Supervision:

    Jeff has been supervising professionals in the field of counselling, psychotherapy and somatic psychotherapy since 1986. Consultations can be on a regular basis or as needed. Specific supervision needs and supervision methods are discussed in the first session for which there is no charge and no obligation.

    Supervision can be either individual or in a small group.

    Supervision in the work place is also possible in certain circumstances.


    Corporate Consultancy Services:

    Jeff is available for consultancy services in a wide variety of different contexts in the helping professions, corporations, small business and business partnerships. He has worked in the past with conflict resolution, communication challenges, motivation and career issues, supervision of staff, counselling skills in business relationships, key personnel counselling etc.

    Discussion with Jeff is recommended to ascertain whether he might be of assistance to you or your organization.

    Contact Information:

    Jeff can be contacted through the College. Click here for contact details.

Somatic Psychotherapy: The view from the second year couch Print E-mail

by Joanna Woutersz

Four years ago, one late summer afternoon I sat under an old Morton Bay Fig in Blackwattle Bay, Sydney, and dreamed about how I wanted my life to be different. I was twenty-eight at the time and I had just done 'The Turning Point'. For me, Turning Point was like a door opening. It showed me that I had more choices in life and could take up a bigger space in the world. Back then, there were many things that I wanted to change; I wanted to have a happy relationship, my own home, a sense of my place in the world, to be more secure within myself and I was looking for a new career direction.

Two years later, post 'Mastery', '21C', 'Life Death and Purpose', 'Breakthrough', 'Upfront' and several 'Turning Point' service teams, I found myself sitting in a circle with twenty-eight people on the first night of the Somatic Psychotherapy course with Jeff Barlow. Initially, Somatics* was a shock to me. Having had a steady diet of personal development workshops for the previous year or so, I found Somatics to be very different. The main focus of first year was to gain some initial grounding in somatic psychotherapy - basic counselling skills, bodywork, theory and group process. Second year deepens the work and has been a very different experience for me. I have learnt to draw the bodywork and verbal work together in an embodied way, the group dynamics have been more challenging and the theory has become more 'real' as I am able to see how it applies to my own life.

In training to be a therapist and learning to be present with others, you need to be able to sit with yourself - your own pain and joy - more easily. If Turning Point is about starting to open the shields that we all wear, Somatics is about looking at the nuts and bolts of that shield, while also studying psychodynamic theory, learning bodywork and counselling skills, undergoing personal therapy, reading widely, and doing assignments! For me, this has been a gradual process of learning to open my heart and trust myself: it has meant embracing my vulnerability, realising that as strong as I am, I can also be quiet and soft and shy. It has meant confronting my fears about intimacy and trust in a big way through working with a group of people. I am more aware of what my drives are and am learning to sit a little bit more comfortably with the internal emptiness that's often underneath my drive to achieve. It is a confronting journey during which it feels like everything I hold within is coming out and everything that I put on the outside is turning inwards.

Somatics training has made a huge difference in the service teamwork I do at Zoeros. My counselling and bodywork skills have improved as I have become more grounded and present, my capacity for holding a space has expanded and I am more able to bring my heart into the work and to allow the process to unfold. Doing Upfront work, I feel more grounded, funnily enough because I am more in touch with my fears.

Jeff Barlow's empathic way of encouraging each individual has taught me to be more kind to others and myself. It has helped me become less attached to the outcome, which for someone who has spent thirty odd years being driven by results is a big change! When you work with a master teacher and get to be on the receiving end of, not only his skill and years of experience as a teacher and therapist, but also his genuine compassion and wisdom, you are more able to find the compassion within your own heart and practice it in daily life.

As part of the course, you need to work on yourself and be in one-on-one therapy. For me, therapy has been life changing and much of my growth over the last two years has come through being 'held', listened to and understood by my therapist. It has helped me to 'drop down' instead of 'holding up' so much in the world and to build from within rather than looking for something outside to fulfill me.

Having considered other courses and done much soul searching, I believe that this is the best Somatic Psychotherapy training available in Australia. Jeff Barlow's passion for this work and commitment to training therapists and raising the standard of somatic psychotherapy is extraordinary. This course definitely caters for people who are serious about becoming therapists or using the skills in a related profession. Everything that is taught - the different theories, bodywork, counselling and psychotherapy skills, the personal and group work - helps students build their skills as therapists. The exposure to different theories combined with the experiential work means that when I work with people, I work from a strong base, rather than out of my own process.

The more work I do on service teams, the more I realise that you never know what trauma or pain people have experienced and it's essential to understand what you are doing in the therapeutic process. If people have the courage to open up to me as a therapist, I want to have the courage to face my own fears and undergo solid training, which includes not only the actual course itself but also the sometimes painful internal work of knowing myself.

One of my Somatics teachers said, "If you listen to what is, next happens." I now live not too far from that Morton Bay fig in Blackwattle Bay. I often walk in the park and think about how I actually have many of the things that I once longed for. At the end of second year, my quest to become a therapist and teacher is ongoing, but I know that by doing this course I have started to put down some roots.

PS: 'The view from the therapist's chair' by Joanna Woutersz.

Five years down the track since I wrote this article, I still go for a walk in Blackwattle Bay Park and gaze at my tree. It has become a bit of an anchor for my dreams. I am now a practising somatic psychotherapist and have been teaching Turning Point since 2001. Now, more than ever, I appreciate my somatic training. It has provided me with a strong, solid base from which to work with people both one on one and also as a group. I often draw on the theories that I learnt, the counselling and psychotherapy skills, the bodywork skills – all these are incredibly valuable.

But, I think more than anything else, the reason why I value my training so highly is because it expanded my sense of myself and the world. It has led me on a path working with people in a way that takes me to the very heart of what it means to be a human being. Give yourself the gift of this training and your experience of yourself and others and life itself will undoubtedly change and grow and deepen.

 

 

Joanna's reference to:
* 'Somatics training' is an abbreviation for the 3 year professional training programme in Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy, provided by the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy.

Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy Print E-mail

Introduction

Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy embraces a comprehensive approach to personal growth and development. This approach acknowledges that all facets of human experience are interrelated: that the processes of the body/mind not only affect and reflect each other, but are actually interfunctioning aspects of a person's whole being. Each person's individual history, their cultural/biological context and somatically-based subjective reality are all inextricably interconnected.

 

How it differs from ‘body-work’

Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy is very different from conventional forms of 'body-work'. The focus of the work is very clearly psychotherapeutically based; it is a psychotherapy that involves the potential for working not only verbally but also bodily. This work recognizes that central to each person's sense of Self are fundamental somatic action and sensing/feeling patterns developed from early childhood as well as throughout the life cycle. We strongly believe that the organization of these patterns in the body/mind needs to be included in any comprehensive therapeutic work. The Self, according to this way of constructing human experience, is a body self. This way of working is not antagonistic to verbal systems of psychotherapy but is instead supportive of including the body in the psychotherapy encounter.

 

The link between body and mind

If we think of a person as having a 'body' and a 'mind' (quite a usual way of thinking in western culture), that separation creates distortions in our understanding of the complexity of interconnections. These distortions are then played out in both the theory and practice of most verbally based psychotherapies, to such an extent that many aspects of somatically based human experience that could enter the psychotherapy encounter are ignored or dismissed as being irrelevant. This also means that certain toxic cultural practices remain unexamined while individuals are pathologised. 

 

How contemporary somatic psychotherapy supports change

Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy engages both therapist and client in a process of change that places primacy on this conjunction of biology and culture, where the concept of individual 'pathology' is replaced by the concept of 'appropriate adaptation' to cultural contexts. Thus the somatic psychotherapy process becomes one of experiencing and critically reflecting upon these culturally adaptive patterns within the context of new experiences that emerge within the therapeutic encounter. It is out of the emerging process of these new somatically based experiences that fundamental changes are initiated. Importantly, these changes are not simply cognitive changes but deep somatically experienced and somatically anchored transformations to action/feeling/thinking patterns from which the organization of being with oneself, of being with self and others and being in the world, arise. In other words the somatically based experience of the person and the orientation to their social context is profoundly reorganized.

 

 

Ethical practice

Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy is an ethically based practice. In consideration of what is appropriate behaviour and practice within the psychotherapeutic context the issue becomes one of what is in the best interests of both the client and the therapist in the process of change. It is also acknowledged that all psychotherapy theories (including somatic based theories) invoke particular ethical practices, either explicitly or implicitly, and we need to ask ourselves, as Foucault suggests, whose interests are best served by these practices; who gains power. 

 

 

Historical Development

Contemporary somatic (ie body-oriented) psychotherapy has evolved considerably since its origins in the bodily-based work of Janet, and the Freudian drive based theories developed by Wilhelm Reich in the 1920's - 40's. Reich's energy and character models of somatic psychotherapy have been extended by therapists such as Lowen, Pierrakos and Keleman in the USA, and have been substantially modified by the outstandingly creative work of Boyesen and Boadella in the UK and on the continent. 


Contemporary somatic psychotherapy, as well as working with psycho-organic processes of emotion, sensation, desire, breath and a range of other bodily experiences, and psycho-physical tension states, incorporates understandings of the complexities of human subjective experience and consciousness by drawing on more recent intellectual developments. This is critical. Philosophical and theoretical assumptions as well as therapeutic practice derived from existential phenomenology, self psychology, intersubjectivity, dynamic systems theory, infant research, trauma theory as well as post modern and post structural thinking, fundamentally shape and inform the theoretical basis of contemporary somatic psychotherapy. This paradigm shift from Reichian and neo-Reichian theory and practice to contemporary somatic psychotherapy has occurred at the same time as all major theories of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis in the West have been experiencing significant theoretical and methodological revisions and restructuring. 

 

 

The Body in Psychotherapy 

Since its beginnings, psychotherapy in the West has developed from a dualist philosophy, that is, a philosophy that separates the mind and body, privileging the mind over the body and relegating the body to an inferior status. In the binary of body/mind, the body is abject. The body is the animal that has to be controlled by the mind. This power and control, of mind over body, has been a central tenet of all psychotherapy systems. Passion, deep emotion, desire, the eroticism of being, deep intimacy with life and with the other as a spiritual experience, the transformative power of love and sexuality, the physical expression of the body - all these have been either largely ignored, minimised or pathologised by much psychotherapy theory.

Wilhelm Reich, the psychoanalyst who pioneered the inclusion of the body in psychotherapy, paved the way for the development of a range of different psychotherapies, which now do include the body in both their theory and practice. Today thousands of body inclusive psychotherapists are working in Europe, USA and Australia and body psychotherapy is now an officially recognised psychotherapy in the EEC countries. It is a professional field of growing interest in the West, and in Australia somatic psychotherapists are currently working in most states, governed by their own professional association and by a professional code of ethics. Reich's theories were embedded in the intellectual context of his time and looked at now, through the eyes of the post-modern, post-structural sensibility, his theories appear grossly inadequate. Nevertheless, there is much in Reich's work that is suggestive of threads of post-modern thinking and much that engaged Reich is now being considered to be relevant to contemporary psychotherapy and psychoanalytic theory and practice.


However, it is not just somatic psychotherapists who place importance on embodiment. There is also a growing interest amongst some feminist writers in the significance of the body in the process of redefining the meaning of gender and power relations. They remind us, as Reich did, that society inscribes itself not only on our psyches but also on and in our bodies. Gender itself is socially constructed; the body as a text of culture is also a site of social control. Contemporary somatic psychotherapy, in the radical tradition, intentionally engages the body as a significant discourse, expanding the meaning of consciousness to incorporate the body. 

 

Body experience and the Self

The body is located at the centre of the Self transformative process whether we are aware of it or not: emotions, behaviour, sensation, impulse, action patterns, meaning and language all originate in body experience; they also transform and shape both experience and the body and thus consciousness in a dynamic interplay. Experience of one's own body is central to deep change in Self-structure. Consciousness arises from embodied experience. 


By directly experiencing the cultural inscriptions on and in the body, and by reconstructing our desire from within our felt bodily experience, we begin to create new meanings of what it is to be an embodied human being and we begin to redefine our relationship to the society in which we have been so deeply embedded.

 

 

The Limits of Verbal Psychotherapy

It is our conviction that while there is much in many verbal psychotherapies that is profoundly healing for many people, and much of significance that we have learned about human functioning through psychotherapeutic practice, nevertheless, if body process is not included as an integral part of the psychotherapeutic process then we eliminate an opportunity to engage the significant transformative dynamic of the body - a dynamic which impels us towards an eruption from the docile bodies in which culture has so frequently contained us. This orientation highlights the political nature of psychotherapy and places before both therapist and client the possibility of choosing a life of authentic embodied being.

 

 

Focus of the Work

Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy pays attention to the different levels of human experience as these emerge in the therapeutic relationship: verbal, emotional, physical, social and spiritual. The unitary nature and special creative quality of each individual person is deeply respected, as are the very different paths of personal growth, which emerge from each person's individual process of development and self-actualisation throughout the life cycle. Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy engages with and facilitates this process in a deeply respectful, compassionate and holistic way.

A Matter of Mind and Body Print E-mail

By Heather Ellis

 

JeffandLyndel

IN TOUCH: Jeff Barlow and Lyndel Dean - a Yoga teacher who has trained in somatic psychotherapy

As we move through life, whether it is a frenzied scramble for 'more' or a leisurely stroll, it is easy to view the body as a vehicle - a mere conveyance for our thoughts and minds.

But what happens to all those thoughts and memories - some uplifting, some negative? All, according to somatic (body) psychotherapists, are signals absorbed and remembered not just by the mind, but also by the body.

In the situation where we bombard ourselves with a constant stream of negative thoughts, the result is an unhappiness that often manifests as ill health, said Jeff Barlow, a Melbourne-based somatic psychotherapist and the training director for the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy.

However, instead of 'putting up' with these negative feelings or masking their unhappiness with alcohol, drugs or anti-depressants such as Prozac, some people are seeking change through somatic psychotherapy.

This little known field of psychotherapy that offers significant benefits to our health and wellbeing encourages us to see the mind and the body as being inextricably interconnected.

"It is the awareness that your body is not just a vehicle but is as much a part of you as your mind," Jeff said. "Our bodies are the source of sensation, feelings and emotions and could actually be more significant in how we form ourselves as human beings than our minds."

By using a combination of verbal counselling, psychotherapy and body methods such as breathing, relaxation and expressive movement, a somatic psychotherapist can help a client come to terms with their emotional pain and/or to move forward with strength and confidence in their life.

"We often believe that the way we feel about life and about ourselves is just a matter of changing our mind or our thought patterns, but personal change has to be deeply connected to our bodies through making changes in our neuro-physiology," Jeff added.

Jeff, who first introduced somatic psychotherapy to Australia from Europe in 1983 and soon after founded the professional Australian Association of Somatic Psychotherapists, said most people see their bodies as a 'given' - a result of our genetic make-up.

"But our bodies are not only formed by our genes. Significantly, our bodies are also formed by the experiences and the relationships we are exposed to," he said.

"These relationships start with our parents when as a child we may be exposed to behaviours, emotions and attitudes, which undermine our self-confidence and self-esteem. This view of ourselves can be carried through into our future relationships from school friends through to work colleagues and our partners."

The result is that our neurobiology forms around these experiences and somatic psychotherapy can help change our neurobiological patterns, he said. "But to do so, we need to develop an awareness of our thought patterns and the associated tensions and emotions felt in the body," he added.

Somatic psychotherapy has its origins dating back to 1923 when Sigmund Freud recognised the importance of the body in psychoanalysis. But it was Freud's student Wilhelm Reich who researched the concept further and founded somatic (body) psychotherapy. He believed as children we develop defences as a way of avoiding painful emotions. He called these defences "muscular armouring" - a muscle tension state which as we grow, blocks the body's natural flow of experience and energy. Reich found that talk or counselling alone was not enough to bring back the energy flow but touch through pressure to a particular muscle could assist in releasing the emotional blockages.

Dr Gwen Francis, a College graduate and one of a small but growing number of Australian medical practitioners who have studied somatic psychotherapy, is convinced the mind/body connection plays a leading role in our physical health.

"I have always had a strong belief about the connection between our mind and our wellbeing and our health and disease," Dr Francis said.

A general practitioner since 1969, and now also a teacher of somatic psychotherapy, Dr Francis said her GP experience placed her in an ideal position to see the limitations of what general medicine and psychiatry had to offer in treating some patients.

"This is especially relevant to those with emotional and relationship distress, those struggling to make something of their lives and those struggling with alcohol or drug abuse," she said.

Dr Francis said it was through her practice that she had become aware of the serious impact that trauma, loss and abuse had on people's physical and mental wellbeing both developmentally and throughout their life.

"I actually developed an awareness that certain people did not get better with routine medications and counselling and when I looked at these people they had actually suffered quite significant traumas at sometime in their lives," she said. "And what I had to offer medically did not solve their problem very well at all."

Dr Francis said she found these traumatised people amongst those suffering chronic pain syndromes, some of the chronic fatigue syndromes, intractable drug or alcohol abuse and personality disorders.

With adding somatic psychotherapy to her work, Dr Francis said she was able to include dealing with people's feelings [both past stored and present ones], in a very empathic way and also to work with their bodies where appropriate. She believes that the body holds and expresses people's psyche, including the traumas they have been through.

"The body gives you a lot of information through posture, movement, breathing and skin colour and this may reveal inner distress that the individual may be unable to express verbally.

"And using this information appropriately can assist a patient to connect with his feelings and body as part of the process of recovery," she said.

Dr Francis has found that this integrated approach has created more calmness, aliveness and well-being for her patients. After using somatic psychotherapy and getting good results with treating patients, Dr Francis said she now wanted to demonstrate to the medical profession the importance of working with the body beyond just its physiology.

"Doctors are trained in the body and what goes wrong with the body but we are not really trained to look at the body as an expression of our psyche and that is the difference because the body holds so much of our psyche," she said.

Somatic psychotherapy makes this connection and treats people holistically, said Jeff Barlow.

"We can all easily take control of our health and wellbeing just by developing an awareness of this connection to our bodies, especially with breathing and habitual tension states," Jeff said.

"This is an important first step to understanding the physical and emotional tensions we harbour, often for years, in our bodies - tensions resulting in all manner of symptoms."

In this way there are some similarities, he said, between somatic psychotherapy and Yoga and Shiatsu, as both can put us in touch with accessing these tension states.

Yoga teacher and former somatic psychotherapy student, Lyndel Dean, said Yoga, through focusing on the breath directs our awareness to sensations felt in specific areas of the body. This in turn helps increase the flow of energy, dissipates anxiety and calms the autonomic nervous system.

"When I first started teaching Yoga twelve years ago, I noticed that some of the asanas (postures) often triggered an emotional response, creating in some people, a strong need to talk about their experience.

"Because there was no instruction or explanation available about the emotions when I first began learning Yoga, when these arose, I either avoided the feelings or avoided Yoga altogether." said Lyndel.

Now with her knowledge of somatic psychotherapy, Lyndel said she was capable of supporting the students who came to her when their emotions were triggered.

"As a result, both the student and myself can gain some understanding. Discovering that there is actually a therapy called somatic psychotherapy which includes the body, has helped me personally and professionally," she said.

"The theory of somatic psychotherapy becomes more easily understandable when you consider that there is a constant communication going on with every cell in our bodies.

"In a basic way, you can see how it all makes sense," she added. Melbourne third year student Marisa Ranieri, a qualified Shiatsu practitioner since 1993, said she immediately found a link between the Yin Yang focus of Shiatsu and the mind-body theories of somatic psychotherapy. Marisa said during a 90 minute Shiatsu treatment, while working on different organs or parts of the body, some clients would open up emotionally. But without counselling training she was not skilled at responding verbally. "I wanted to know how do I deal with this, how could I help,"

Marisa said her training in Shiatsu had taught her that different emotions are harboured in different organs, but the training did not provide skills in verbalising the emotions that people experienced as a result of the treatment. Marisa said people can hide their feelings by what they say and it may be difficult to spot what is going on. However, any chronic muscular constrictions in the body may point to long held and unexpressed emotions and this can allow the somatic psychotherapist an access to the life issues that are currently important to the person, she said.

"A general message conveyed by the body can be observed by a person's posture, for example, hunched shoulders portraying the carrying of a heavy burden," Marisa said. "But this may not be the same as what is being communicated verbally."

While Marisa's Shiatsu training allows her to pick up, with her hands, the physical tensions in a person's body, her recent training in somatic psychotherapy means she is now able to discuss the associated emotions. But somatic psychotherapy, unlike Yoga and Shiatsu, also pays significant attention to relationship patterns, said Jeff Barlow.

A lot of the problems we have in life, Jeff explains, originate in difficult relationships. "The way to resolve these problems is to understand our relationships with other people and the tensions around these relationships where we either run away from the people close to us, verbally attack them or don't listen to them."

Melbourne sisters, Kim and Ann-Marie Robinson work as residential youth carers for teenagers and children from homes surrounded by crime, drugs and violence.

Ann-Marie said as residential carers they had completed a certificate course in youth, child and family studies but found it had little relevance in helping them understand how to react to the gauntlet of intense emotions expressed by their clients - emotions mostly developed out of their relationships with parents and other family members.

Both have been studying somatic psychotherapy for two years and say they are now better equipped to read body language and the triggers to violent and destructive behaviour.

"The children and teenagers take out all their anger on you but with this training, I can now recognise and understand what is happening and respond in a more appropriate way,'' Kim said.

Jeff said he became interested in somatic psychotherapy in 1975 while studying in London. "I had been involved with a number of personal development groups and had many experiences that convinced me that working with the habitual tension states in the body was a significant key to making long term change to behavioural patterns," he said.

It was a belief that saw Jeff formally study somatic psychotherapy in the UK and Europe for the next six years. "It has been a study which has now engaged me for 28 years," he added.

 

Gwenyth Francis Print E-mail

GwenFrancisDr Gwenyth Francis
M.B., B.S. (Hons), M.Psych.Med., Dip. CSP., FAC.Psych.Med.

 

 

 


Teaching focus: Psychosomatics and Human Wellbeing

Dr Gwenyth Francis graduated with honours in medicine in 1969 and now practices medicine in a holistic way, caring for the physical and mental health of individuals and families. She feels that medicine with its psychiatry and use of medications does not have all the answers and is convinced that there is a very significant connection between mental wellbeing and adequate functioning in life, life fulfilment and physical health.
Dr Francis has explored the histories of people suffering illnesses such as chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and personality disorders and has discovered that a large percentage of these people had stories of considerable trauma, loss and/or abuse in their developmental years.
As research continues to reveal the intricacies of neuro-psychiatry and the developmental neuro-anatomy of personality formation, it is apparent that a lot of adult illness are created by, or at least seriously influenced by trauma in the developmental years of childhood. In fact, there are those who believe that the illnesses of childhood abuse will be shown to be disorders of the immune system, such as allergies, auto-immune diseases, certain pain syndromes and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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Marg"I have an ongoing sense of gratitude about the course because I realize now how well it has prepared me for working as a therapist in private practice" - Marg

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