What is the Conscious Body process?
The Conscious Body process uses a body symptom as an opening to know more about oneself. While illness or pain may have nutritional, environmental or genetic causes, symptoms may also relate to inner issues. Any symptom, from a small headache to a major illness, can open the door to self-knowledge.
How does this change the body?
When a person finds this inner issue and allows its expression, the energy of the body often changes dramatically.
What kinds of conditions have been explored?
Does this process apply to psychological conditions?
Psychological conditions, such as depression or panic attacks, can have physical and energetic components that can be addressed the same way.
Will this heal the body?
In many cases, the body heals. For example, when a woman explored a rash she had for years, she discovered anger toward her husband that she had never expressed because she was usually "nice." When she expressed her anger, the rash disappeared. We have hundreds of examples of healings like this.
What might a person discover?
People have discovered many gifts, all of which relate to being in the world in a new way. These may involve owning one’s power, embracing one’s vulnerability, or being less rational. One may meet the Inner Critic or the Inner Patriarch. One may become more sensual. One may express emotions that have been buried. Relationship issues may surface. One may face memories from childhood. The body leads to the specific issues with pinpoint accuracy.
What is the Conscious Body process like?
Conscious Body begins with an interview about the history of the condition, treatment received, and personal background. We discuss and honor any reluctance to venture into this kind of process. Then the client lies down, remaining fully clothed, and goes through a deep relaxation. The body symptom begins to send messages, much as a dream sends images. Together we follow these messages, and they lead to the energy and the issue within.
Can a person do this alone?
Issues that arise from the body are often the opposite of the way a person has behaved in daily life. It is challenging to access this new way of being without the support of someone who can hold and encourage the new energy.
How long does this take?
It is best to allow a series of sessions to fully explore the body symptom. A session may last one to three hours. The number of sessions is highly individual and may range from one day to several months.
Can this be done over the phone?
Sessions often work well over the telephone. Some people choose to begin their exploration on the phone and then set up time to be together in person. After that, they can intersperse phone time and in-person time in any way that is convenient.
How is this different from other bodymind techniques?
One of the main differences between Conscious Body and other bodymind techniques — which we respect and admire — is that Conscious Body emphasizes the interplay of selves, or parts, in the body-psyche. These selves often occur in opposites — one part is crying to be heard, while the opposite part does not want this expression because it fears the new energy might upset the balance of a person's life. Awareness of this interplay of opposites allows us to honor both sides as we begin to allow the new energy to move through the body and become integrated into daily life. Conscious Body is built, in part, on the foundation of Voice Dialogue and the Psychology of Selves, an approach to consciousness and transformation pioneered by clinical psychologists Hal and Sidra Stone, Ph.D.’s.
Is touch involved?
Touch is an optional component of this process. We use touch only with the client’s permission.
If a person is in therapy, how does this relate?
Conscious Body is compatible with any system of psychotherapy, bodywork or approach to consciousness. A person is welcome to work with us while continuing with their regular therapist.
Can a person explore a former condition that has been successfully treated?
Yes, the body remembers the inner issues. The process is the same.
What are the roots of Conscious Body?
For a full description of the background of Conscious Body, please see About Judith Hendin.
Conscious Body is compatible with any system of medical practice, bodywork,
psychotherapy, or consciousness development.