John Leigh Dent
In body-psychotherapy the physical, emotional and mental are seen as inextricably linked. Memories are seen to be held in the body, reflecting a life's story, from embryo through to present day.
Most issues in life involve something that needs to be addressed at the root, and this in main involves tackling unexpressed emotions and destructive self - belief systems.
Expressing ourselves in early life is an essential part of being human but when circumstances are not conducive to this, all kinds of problems arise. Eventually we inadvertently mistake being who we are for; "I'm not lovable!" "I'm too emotional!" "I'm boring!" "The world is hostile towards me!" "I need to prove myself to be accepted!"
These internal life scripts, often unconscious, arise from the belief that the true self is not acceptable. They then surface by default in a variety of ways such as relationship difficulties, bad back, panic attacks, eating disorders, shyness, depression, anger issues etc. which are misguided attempts to deal with the struggle that lies underneath.
In order to make positive changes we need to engage with and understand the core issue. This involves disentangling 'what was' from 'what is' and experiencing who we truly are without a constant repetition of a disempowering script. This means connecting with the underlying cause and finding it's expression. When this happens and is met with openness, a trust in who we are deep down begins to emerge. Through this trust the disempowering defences are no longer needed and finally change can begin.
I used to have chronic back pain and was told I would have this for life but when I became involved with a therapeutic community, I was encouraged to connect more fully with my emotions and my body. A cathartic process took place and my chronic pain was brought to an end. This exciting breakthrough spurred me on to train in various humanistic therapies.
For several years, whilst practicing as a therapist, I lived in a caravan beneath an oak canopy of woodland. Here I experienced the powerful impact of the natural world. As a result I began offering sessions outdoors as well as in the usual clinical setting.
I am convinced that feeling, expressing and understanding what is hidden in the body - not just intellectually but energetically - can bring about profound psychological, emotional and physical healing. I also know that having a connection to nature can play an essential part in restoring a deep sense of spiritual well -being. I live with my partner and son in Stroud.