Shadows in the Body

'Surprisingly, what we fear or are anxious about is never the external world in itself - rather, it is our own body, what it already feels and what it already knows'
-- Reginald Ray

Paul Sibson - EmbodiMind - Counselling & Psychotherapy - Durham, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

The poet Robert Bly writes of 'the long bag we drag behind us', the bag being a metaphor for unconscious shadow aspects of ourselves, 'stored and held in the darkness of our bodies'. And yet, our body is the medium through which we experience ourselves, other people and the wider environment around us—how we attach to our lives. Working within a traditional model of attachment theory, this workshop will be on the use of somatic practices to enhance the building of the therapeutic relationship and its subsequent effectiveness as a container in which our shadows can safely emerge.

This workshop focuses on:

  • A basic neuroscience model of how we attach to self and other, with an emphasis on the impact of early developmental deficits in creating our unconscious shadow and armouring our bodies.
  • How unconscious shadow material expresses itself through ‘symptoms’—depression, or anxiety, for example, which are in actuality remembered bodily states—and ultimately as physical illness.
  • Somatic practices to create a safe holding environment for the body, foster secure attachment and thereby facilitate the emergence of unconscious shadow material.
  • Somatic practices to gently amplify and safely release shadow material arising into awareness.

    Next 'Shadows in the Body' Workshop:
    To be arranged post-Covid

Paul Sibson is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and BACP accredited counsellor. He also holds a BA honours degree in psychology and is a contributing author to the book Unlocking the Emotional Brain published by Routledge 2012. He is the founder of EmbodiMind - and a Certified Trainer for the Coherence Psychology Institute - and is particularly interested in how unresolved trauma limits our capacity for embodiment, and the potential of current neuroscience to integrate the field of psychotherapy. He has advanced diplomas in both the theory and practice of Embodied-Relational Therapy (ERT) and continues to study with its originator Nick Totton.