Through the Science of the Physiology of Emotions and Principles of Energy Psychology
The inability to tolerate emotions is often the cause of symptoms that bring most people into therapy. Emotions are experienced as much (if not more) in the body than in the brain (Damasio, Pert). When the body is not involved in the work with emotions, much of a person’s emotional experience in the form of sensorimotor emotional states such as attraction, aversion, fullness, or emptiness can be overlooked. When emotional experiences are unbearable, the body can shut down, form defenses, get dysreguated, and form psychosomatic (psychophysiological) symptoms (Reich, Lowen, Sapolsky). On the other hand, the body can be used as a container for difficult emotional experiences.
Why is Emotional Embodiment Important in Therapy?
When we help clients to build a capacity for tolerating emotions (affect tolerance), not only can it help them to resolve their current symptoms but also help them to be resilient in the face of difficult emotional experiences in the future (Stolorow). Capacity to tolerate opposites in experience is necessary for individuation (Jung); and for spiritual development (Shankara). When emotions are unavailable, poor behavioral outcomes follow (Damasio). When emotions are not embodied, cognition is compromised (Niedenthal). While it is important to ensure that the body remains regulated during emotional work, excessive regulation of the body through tracking body sensations or other means during emotional work can destroy the very emotional experience one is working with.
For a more detailed paper on this subject read How to Improve Outcomes in All Therapies Through Embodiment of Emotions? by Dr. Raja Selvam.
How does ISP Work with Emotional Embodiment?
Incorporating all of the above insights, Integral Somatic Psychology™ (ISP™), using the knowledge of the physiology of emotions and attachment in the brain as well as the body from scientific sources and body psychotherapy traditions, and of the science of biological regulation from medicine, offers a number of ways for working with emotions with greater effectiveness in all therapeutic modalities. Integral Somatic Psychology, in addition, offers ways of working with emotions in the deeper energy body of an individual from Eastern energy psychology approaches.
Explore the ISP Professional Training.
ISP has developed into a rich treasure. In helping clients with difficult emotions such as fear, grief and pain my work has gained much more containment and depth. And during a severe flu combined with heart symptoms I was able to regulate my anxiety through what I have learned at ISP. I highly recommend ISP to therapists.