Jack Painter was one of the pioneers of the humanist growth movement that emerged in the 1960s, characterized by a lively search for awareness and empathy. As Professor of Philosophy and Psychology at the University of Miami, he had an engagement in the exciting developments that were taking place at the West Coast at that time where he met many of the people who together would form the 'Human Potential' movement. As others from that time, Jack Painter personally explored many different approaches - Zen, Yoga, Gestalt (with Fritz Perls and Marty Fromm), Rolfing (with Bill Williams and Ida Rolf), Reichian therapy (with Raffael Estrada Villa, Peter Levine and others) and lots of others. In the process, he became increasingly interested in integrating influences and aspects from different approaches into an efficient and coherent method of personal growth, self-development and healing. For example, Postural Integration® was born and, to promote this new method, he founded his own institute, "The International Center for Release and Integration" (ICRI) in San Francisco, later in Mill Valley CA. A few years later he developed a second method - Energetic Integration. Both Postural and Energetic Integration® combine work with the physical, energetic and cognitive as well as the emotional processes in the bodymind. Jack Painter trained numerous practitioners in the work he had developed, and then trained a number of 'Advanced Practitioners' who eventually became trainers of this work. These trainers belong to the International Council of PsychoCorporal (Bodymind) Integration Trainers (ICPIT) and continue and develop the work of Postural Integration and Energetic Integration.
Under his impetus, training in Postural Integration® was also organized in the Low Countries. This happened since 1985 in Belgium initially in French by Lavanya Delneste (B) and in the Netherlands in Dutch by Rashma Schaeffer-Buss (NL). From 1998, Dirk Marivoet took over the torch, which made the course Dutch-speaking. Today he is the only recognized trainer in the Benelux who can organize both Postural, Energetic and Pelvic-Heart Integration® trainings. Jack Painter wrote several books (which were translated into several languages including Dutch), standard works for bodymind integration. Thanks to his long stays in foreign countries for many years, first in Canada, Mexico, South America and India, later in many countries of Europe, as well as in Japan and Hong Kong, a lively network of colleagues and friends arose that is being maintained today by enthusiastic practitioners and trainers in Bodymind Integration from all over the world who meet regularly at Bodymind and Body-oriented Psychotherapy Congresses. My personal relationship with Jack: "I met Jack for the first time in 1986 when he was teaching when I was in training. Through the years he became one of my great examples. I got many sessions from him and he became my personal mentor. When I went through the process to become a trainer, I organized several demonstration lectures and workshops with him in Belgium".
JOHN C. PIERRAKOS, M.D. (1921-2001) who was a pupil and colleague of Wilhelm Reich, M.D. (1897-1957), the grandfather of Body-oriented Psychotherapy. John received as one of the few the Lifetime Achievement Award from the USABP. He created in the 1960s together with Alexander Lowen Bio-energetics (Bio-energetic Analysis) and in the 1970s Core Energetics. Bioenergetic Analysis was an evolution of the work of Wilhelm Reich, the first of Freud's students who drew attention to the physical manifestations of psychological problems and neuroses. Reich showed the importance of having an eye for the body in the diagnosis. He taught therapists to view chronic muscular postural patterns, impaired breathing, and inadequate grounding as expressions of inner emotional / mental themes. John and Lowen created a system of "reading" of five typical defensive patterns that are visible in the body of people. These became known as "character structures", each with a physical structure that represents a typical pattern of frozen emotions and thinking. Lowen and Pierrakos created ways to help people mobilize their bodily armor and frozen emotional energies through, among other things, a series of bio-energetic exercises that are done in group and in individual therapy. John also had the ability to "read" non-physical energies, including the aura.
The theory of Core Energetics arose from John's therapeutic studies with Wilhelm Reich, his mentor, and his work with Alexander Lowen (1910-2008). Core Energetics is also inspired by the spiritual studies of Carl Jung (1875-1961) and Eva Pierrakos (1915-1979) (see photo), the leader of the Pathwork community (Pierrakos, 1986). Core Energetics therapists are trained to help their clients with energetic blockages and physical dysfunctions, to break through their mask and thus free the lower self and express it and connect with their deepest truth and beauty. The two main components of Core Energetics theory are "energy and consciousness". In order for mental health to occur, energy must flow through five levels : body, emotion, mind, will and spirit. When the emotional level is energized, one can identify feelings as well as communicate them. When emotions are suppressed and somatized, they lead to energetic dysfunction. When the mental level is energized, the mind becomes flexible and reasonable; when the energy is blocked, negative thoughts such as judgments, accusations, rationalizations, and rigid belief systems take over. The will, which is initially used to initiate activity, is also affected by energetic dysfunction. The will can be used too much in an attempt to control others, or it may become too little, leading to passive and submissive behavior. A balanced will is the result of a healthy energy flow and leads to assertive behavior without destroying the power of others and the integration of the male and female forces within the individual. Ultimately, the highest level, that of spirituality penetrates the whole being with love and energy. People who are cut off from their spiritual centers live too much in the material sphere. Those with too much spirituality can lose their sense of reality and refrain from living in a healthy way.
What is striking about both the work of Jack Painter, PhD and that of John Pierrakos, MD is how dynamic, and indeed lively, psychotherapy and holistic body work can be. Many parameters of traditional therapy are stretched in their work. For example, the therapist can move from a calm and receptive way to a challenging and evocative way. Clients may be asked to move their bodies in ways that allow them to feel sadness, anger, strength, pleasure, compassion, and a range of other possibilities. In these sessions (whether they are Core-Energetics®, Postural Integration®, Energetic Integration® or Pelvic-Heart Integration®), the therapist can make deep eye contact as he encourages the client to face his / her fear, actually move through it, using the therapist's supportive presence. Or, the client may refuse to take responsibility for his / her suffering. Instead of just talking about the resistance, the therapist will encourage him / her to fully express the resistance, to urge him to shout eg: "I do not want to grow up! »Or« I never give it to you! » The therapist encourages the client to loudly and forcefully express these hidden sentiments in normal circumstances. From an energetic perspective, the client's goal is physiological armor (the psychosomatic resistance to feeling that he invariably avoids in everyday life) with the aim of opening up to the positive life energy that lies behind this resistance.
In addition to these people, ALBERT PESSO (1929- 2016) is a direct teacher from whom I have learned a lot.
AL PESSO is, together with his wife Diane Boyden-Pesso (see photo), the creator of Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor (PBSP), a highly respected interactive technique that helps clients build new memories to compensate for emotional deficits in the past. He is widely accepted as one of the great living masters of body-based psychotherapy and received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) in 2012. Since "Pesso-therapy" is a psychomotor therapy, I started exploring this way of therapy around 1986. I owe Pesso a lot in my theory and practice of today.
Other direct teachers of mine are: Myron Sharaf, Ph.D., Stanislav Grof M.D., Chuck Kelley, Ph.D., Stanley Keleman, Ph.D., Stuart Black, ....
And in the Shamanic route: Archie Fire Lame Deer, Wallace Black Elk, Sun Bear, amongst others.