Curriculum Description

FSBA Core Curriculum ~ Themes and Topics

Throughout the Certification Training Program, didactic and experiential teachings are interwoven into workshop themes and study topics to guide students into a deeper recognition of how to use Bioenergetics in their practice and also its impact on their own personal energy systems


Themes Incorporated in Training Workshops


Treating Trauma:

Treating Trauma from a Bioenergetic Perspective: Chronic Relational Trauma, Development Trauma (character structure), and Acute Trauma. The training will include an overview of Bioenergetic history and theory for new trainees from the perspective oftrauma, identifying types of trauma and the level of trauma in a client, Trauma Releasing Exercises and use in ongoing therapy, and affect regulation – containment and expression. We may include a brief discussion comparing other somatic approaches to trauma.

Bioenergetic Techniques:

Bioenergetic Techniques workshop – overview of Bioenergetic techniques and how their use has changed from Reich to Lowen to the present. This will include a beginning review of basic techniques and their uses for first and second year trainees (review for third and fourth year trainees): body awareness, grounding and boundaries. For third and fourth years teaching and practicing advanced techniques – the jaw, neck and pelvis. Discussions will include when to use which techniques in the flow of a Bioenergetic session.

Bioenergetic Approach to Psychological Issues:

Psychological Issues in Bioenergetic Therapy – Somatic transference and countertransference – therapist’s use of self and of their own body awareness in the therapy process. This can include therapist’s use of boundaries and ethical issues regarding touch in the therapy process. Differences and similarities between Bioenergetic Analysis and Psychoanalysis.

Phases of Bioenergetic Therapy Process: 

Process of Bioenergetic Therapy. Introducing Bioenergetics to new clients, assessing client’s preparedness for Bioenergetic work, phases of Bioenergetic Therapy within a session and over time. How to tie the client’s presenting problem to their history and character issues.

Special Issues in Bioenergetic Therapy: 
Special issues in Bioenergetic Therapy – work with couples and with groups. Working with dreams Bioenergetically. Work with shame and guilt. Addressing common complaints such as depression, anxiety and relationship issues.

Core Topic Areas


Five Ongoing Core Topic Areas that Span the Four Years

· There are five core topic areas (noted below) in the bioenergetic work which will be  touched on over and over again throughout the training.

· For each of the core topic areas, there are general foundational readings for each year. These readings are progressive and students are responsible for each year’s readings. Required readings and experiences – by year – will be offered to trainees in a binder, along with an extended list of additional readings and resources.

· Training sessions are typically oriented thematically as described above (e.g., the neurotic conflict, trauma, sexuality, joy). The core topic arenas are addressed through the lens of the workshop theme.

· In addition, prior to each workshop, facilitators will commonly suggest pre-readings that fits the theme of their workshop.

Core Topic Areas

1) Bioenergetics – Fundamentals

· History, basic concepts (Freud, Reich, Lowen) and new developments in bioenergetics and somatic work

· Energetic processes, continuity of psyche, soma, energy, feeling, relationship

· Bioenergetic view of individuality, culture, defense, healing/therapy

· Character structure – somatic and psychological manifestations

2) Bioenergetics – Tools and practices

· The bioenergetic therapy process

· Assessment, body reading, character

· Use of exercises: grounding, breathing, movement, to address client issues

· Use of physical manipulations, stool, roller, mattress, racquet, and so on

· Integration of analytic themes and processes into the work

3) Biological foundations

· Study of anatomy, movement, breathing

· Neurophysiology of emotions, neuroanatomy of development and trauma, affect regulation/dysregulation

4) Psychological and psychoanalytic foundations of individual and group work

· Foundations of psychodynamics and psychoanalysis. Drive, defenses, conflict, relationship, self. Role of ego, body, sexuality, relationship, unconscious.

· Developmental tasks and stages (prenatal to adulthood), including needs, deficits,trauma, attachment

· Centrality of presence, relationship and contact in therapy

· Working with resistances, defenses, transference and countertransference

· Exercise groups versus process groups, experiential group exercises, learning to run group exercises, stages and processes in group development

5) Working with the person of the therapist and professional issues

· Explore own energetic process and character structure. Personal therapy and ongoing experiential bodywork as foundational.

· Presence, mindfulness, use of countertransference

· Ethics, the use of touch, therapeutic integrity, power differential in therapy, the challenge of multiple relationships

Related topics and new approaches in bioenergetic and somatic therapy are covered in the training as well. Additional topics and themes will be integrated throughout the training, and may include related somatic therapy fields and techniques (e.g., TRE) and related subjects (e.g., adult development, sexual abuse, PTSD, mindfulness, spirituality).

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