Biosynthesis therapy was founded by David Boadella in 1975. Its early roots lie in the character analysis and vegetotherapy of Wilhelm Reich, the psychological synthesis of Pierre Janet and the pre- and peri-natal work of Francis Mott and Frank Lake. Since 1985 the method has been co-developed by Silvia Specht Boadella, particularly in its philosophical and transpersonal aspects. The transpersonal approach has been supported by the researches of Robert Moore into energy circulation and somatic meditations. In October 1998, the somatic and depth-psychological psychotherapy method of Biosynthesis was recognized by the European Association for Psychotherapy EAP as one of the first accredited methods in the field of body psychotherapy. Biosynthesis has been further developed in different fields of application by leading members of the International Foundation for Biosynthesis IFB, founded in Zürich in 2001, which takes care of the worldwide coordination of congruent training standards and research projects within the Biosynthesis institutes. They are all connected to the International Institute for Biosynthesis IIBS, based in Heiden, Switzerland.
Biosynthesis represents a holistic and humanistic approach in somatic psychotherapy. The basic starting points for this work therefore include interconnection and mutual mirroring of mental and physical processes.
As the name of the method suggests, Biosynthesis emphasizes integration of life processes: the physical with the emotional and the mental. Biosynthesis uses a process approach when working with clients; it is based on the internal signals and movement manifestations of the client, which it follows and develops with specific techniques. At the heart of this form of therapy always lies the need of the client, respect for their individual differences and unique internal resources. Biosynthesis deeply trusts the client’s healthy potential for growth and harmony, the possibility of interconnecting with their internal and external resources.
With its holistic and deeply integrated approach, Biosynthesis offers an understanding of the person and their life situation from many points of view, which it tries to connect. Besides bodily expression, emotions and thoughts, this includes insights and inner images, sexuality and spirituality. It emphasises anchoring of the person in their network of relationships with others and with their family. It does not neglect the importance of the early period before and after birth. It contains methods for working with these periods on a symbolic level as well as with body-oriented procedures.
The Biosynthesis method focuses not only on disease and problems, but perceives healthy moments, strengths and possibilities of the person. In therapeutic work we can call it search, acceptance and nurturing with inner qualities and resources, which every individual has inside. Internal resources make it possible to heal illness and traumatic experiences They help manage more and less challenging, stressful periods. They are not just our physical health, but they also include memories of our experiences, images, beliefs, values, skills, expectations, hopes, friends, family, property and work.
Life resources of each of us are always present. Often, a person is not aware of them, or is unable to be in contact with them or draw on them due to the stress of traumatic events. Biosynthesis therapy helps people to contact their own resources. It uses these to achieve emotional balance, balance in the body, in the mind, in relationships, in life. That is the reason why it is well-suited for therapeutic work with clients with traumatic experience.
The psychotherapeutic method of Biosynthesis is suitable for a whole range of clients: whether for those who are looking for tools for deeper contact with themselves, the path of personal development, as well as for clients suffering from emotional, psychosomatic and somatic difficulties, going through crisis or post-traumatic states or psycho-spiritual disturbances.
The model of life fields represents a basic view of human development as well as of therapeutic work aimed at helping people to restore good contact with themselves, with internal impulses and with their essence.
In the middle of the diagram, we find the essence that manifests itself in three basic life-streams: movement and actions, feelings and mental processes. The basic life-streams are based on our somatic organization during prenatal existence, when the endoderm as the
deepest cellular layer of the embryo, has become the basis of visceral organs and tissues (the life stream of feelings); the mesoderm has become the basis of muscles, bones and the circulatory system (the life stream of movements and actions); and the ectoderm has become the basis of nervous system, skin, organs of perception.
Our essence can therefore be expressed at the level of mesoderm (red) in our muscular tonus, movement and breath, at the level of endoderm (green), in our emotional experiences and relationships, and at the level of ectoderm (blue) in thinking, language and inner visions. If the environment accepts and welcomes these impulses, we can express ourselves healthily, spontaneously and freely express ourselves. If our impulses do not meet a healthy way of mirroring, but, on the contrary, refusal, restriction, humiliation or aggression, blockages appear in individual life fields as an outer circle that is further from the essence and can become the foundation of our false self, our mask. The goal of therapy is to move from the mask to the core, to the essence. The process of therapy in Biosynthesis interconnects individual areas of life fields and includes:
Biosynthesis sees the development of personality as an integrated process involving individual phases and themes that are associated with developmental periods and tasks, but also, for example, with areas of the body or psychosocial aspects. These 12 developmental topics, map the areas of human existence in life, but also in therapy give the structure of the psychotherapeutic training.
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Boadella, David: Lifestreams – An introduction to Biosynthesis, Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987.
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Boadella, David & Boadella, Silvia: “Basic concepts of Biosynthesis” in:
Globalised Psychotherapy, ed. Pritz, Alfred, Facultas Universitätsverlag, Vienna 2000
Psychotherapists are required to engage in extensive personal psychotherapy during their training which is up to seven years duration. Psychotherapists usually have a first degree followed by a professional, highly specialised, theoretical and clinical training which includes research methodology and continuous professional development. The EAP promotes the recognition of common standards of training throughout Europe, and will ensure their mobility across member states.Training