The Scientific Committee has divided the general theme into three domain areas.
The first is on the theme of sexuality, including love, attachment and relationship. Some of the most significant contributions to psychotherapy theory and practice coming from the work of Wilhelm Reich and followed by Al Lowen’s contributions have related to the central place of sexuality in human connection. We hope to study the intersection of the understanding of the centrality of sexuality in all its manifestations: desire, passion, longing, love, affection, procreation, intimacy, and the ever-increasing understanding of the nature and importance of attachment and relationship in human life. We are hoping to bring the light back to basic experiences of sexuality, including arousal, charge, capacity for experience, orgasm, and their place in human experience. And we want to draw the concepts, methods, and experiences of those phenomena forward to see them in modern bioenergetic conceptions of relationships as complex amalgams of gender, identity, emotion, dependency, and more.
The second theme is on the impact of chronic relational trauma and its effects on the soul and the somatopsyche. The concept of trauma as at the core of the disturbance in personality is at least as old Sigmund Freud’s formulations, and is then carried forward in Reich and Lowen’s ideas of what causes human psychological, emotional, and interpersonal dysfunction and distress. Here we want to focus on the deleterious effects of chronic relational trauma: soul murder, the destruction of emerging self and identity, psychosis, and the resulting distortions and tragedies of relating from the body formed in the crucible of these forces. Bioenergetic Analysis offers us a very powerful tool to examine and understand the effects on the somapsyche of these dynamic forces coming from the chronic and often devastating trauma of profoundly destructive relationships. Bringing the insights that come from this perspective with those coming from other viewpoints can broaden our understanding of people living in the universe created by such deep damage to being, and offer additional methods for working as therapists with people suffering this way.
The third theme we propose to discuss is about social consciousness and social action. The early psychoanalysts were, many of them, very involved in the social issues of their time. This of course included Wilhelm Reich during his time as a psychoanalyst. Al Lowen made many trenchant critiques of social issues and the impact of attitude and behavior based on beliefs held by many in human societies, but he did not espouse and active program of consciousness-raising activities, or proposed social action to advance the influence of our work beyond that of clinical practice. For many of us in the community of bioenergetic therapists, both these dimensions of our work have been personally and professionally important. We propose to discuss this area updating what we know with the elaborations of modern understanding of prejudice, inter-group hostility, attitudes of social superiority, violence in communication and emotional behavior, and adding in the insight provided by a bioenergetic understanding of how these attitudes and behaviors are structured into the somapsyche in the form of character organization and personality organization.
As at past conferences, the educational program will be a mix of morning plenary sessions and afternoon workshops.
We intend for the conference program to lean toward clinical presentations, work that will be related to the theme and also offer participants a direct experience of material that will be relevant to clinical work and the therapist’s part in that work.
Two workshops for Students ONLY, who may have missed a training workshop in their regular Program and would want to make up for this missed workshop
Selection, Registration and payment of the fee will be handled directly by the IIBA office (NO online registration).
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