Exploring the relationship between psychotherapy, stillness and happiness

With Howard Evans and Dr Elya Steinberg

8-10 November

Hallswelle Road
London, NW11 ODJ

In November 2007 I was invited to talk at a conference called ‘The Power of Touch’, covering: ‘The psychophysiology of touch, exploring emotional communication, physical contact, cellular memory, manual messages and tactile stimulation’. The conference was jointly organised by CONFER, the University of Westminster and The Journal of Holistic Healthcare.

I presented a paper and a workshop on ‘Craniosacral touch and the communication of inherent health’ and an accompanying article was published in The Journal of Holistic Healthcare that month.

During the conference I met with Dr. Elya Steinberg, a medical doctor, psychotherapist and the Director of The School of Biodynamic Psychotherapy. We started a conversation that explored the similarities between biodynamic craniosacral therapy and biodynamic psychotherapy, particularly the craniosacral concept of ‘inherent health’ and the psychotherapeutic concept of ‘salutogenesis’ proposed by Professor Aaron Antonovski .

The seeds of that conversation remained with me over the years and Elya and I returned to it early this year. We explored some of the common principles that informed our respective approaches. We compared techniques. We exchanged sessions. Along the way we began to experiment using EEG (an area in which Elya is an expert) to map the effects on the brain of one particular intention in biodynamic craniosacral work – the movement into stillness.

What we saw was profound and we intend to take this aspect of our research work much further. But, along the way we decided to share some of our discoveries to colleagues working anywhere along the therapeutic continuum from talk to touch.

The common theme of this workshop will be Antonovski’s concept of salutogenesis which is his answer to his research question: ‘what causes health?’

We will ask the question: ‘what encourages salutogenesis?’ to which we propose to explore the answer: ‘therapeutic stillness’.

This fifteen hour workshop will cover some theory and a lot of practice.