We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Body-Oriented Pyschotherapy?

Dana Hinders
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGeek is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGeek, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The term "body-oriented psychotherapy" is used to refer to a practice that emphasizes reciprocal relationships within the body and mind. Body-oriented psychotherapy is a branch of psychotherapy that has origins in clinical psychology and the work of Wilhelm Reich, Pierre Janet, and Sigmund Freud. Body-oriented psychotherapists seek to help patients by encouraging and facilitating both internal self-regulation as well as the accurate perception of external reality.

Body-oriented psychotherapy is also known as body psychotherapy or somatic psychology. Areas of specialization within this broader field can include character analytic vegetotherapy, postural integration, biosynthesis, Rubenfeld synergy, unitive psychotherapy, Brennan healing science, and sensorimotor psychotherapy.

Body-oriented psychotherapy has been around in some form since the 1930s. However, body-oriented psychotherapists gained widespread recognition in the 1980s, as practitioners joined together to form professional associations relating to this type of psychotherapy, including associations of body psychotherapy in Europe and America. Scholarly journals discussing advances in the field of body-oriented psychotherapy include Energy & Character, The USABP Journal of Body Psychotherapy, and The Journal of Body, Dance & Movement in Psychotherapy.

According to the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP), body-oriented psychotherapists draw from research in biology, anthropology, ethology, neurophysiology, neuropsychology, developmental psychology, neonatology, and perinatal studies. They consider the field both a science and an art.

Body-oriented psychotherapy can be used to treat anxiety, depression, sexual difficulties, or relationship problems as well as troublesome physical concerns such as headaches or lower back pain. In a body-oriented psychotherapy session, patients talk about their problems just as you'd expect in any type of psychotherapy. However, they are also encouraged to become aware of their bodily sensations, emotions, and behaviors. Therapists often use touch, movement, and breathing exercises to assist in this goal. While the experience of having a therapist physically touch the patient can make some people feel nervous, practitioners are willing to make accommodations when necessary.

If you think you might benefit from body-oriented psychotherapy, USABP recommends keeping in mind "the five R's" - respect, rapport, responsiveness, readiness, and reputation – as you select a therapist that best fits your needs. If you choose someone who does not meet all of these criteria, you will likely feel too uncomfortable to truly benefit from this treatment approach. It is perfectly acceptable to schedule initial meetings with several different therapists before choosing someone to help you begin a more extensive treatment plan.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Dana Hinders
By Dana Hinders , Writer
With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to her work as a freelance writer. After discovering her passion for freelance writing following the birth of her son, Dana has been a vital part of the WiseGeek team. She also showcases her versatility by creating sales copy and content for e-courses and blogs.

Discussion Comments

By GreenWeaver — On Oct 02, 2011

@Sneakers41 - Recognizing the physical symptoms of anxiety really helps to reduce its power over the person. If you are aware of your racing heart and sweaty palms you can also take a moment to do deep breathing exercises in order to control your anxiety.

If every time you feel this negative sensation you take the time to relax and breathe deeply, you will eventually become more relaxed over time and realize that the worst case scenario that you have built up in your head is not real.

It is smart to think about the physical sensations that you feel because this way you can be in control of your emotions rather than have your emotions control you.

By sneakers41 — On Oct 02, 2011

Body-oriented psychotherapy can really help people with addictions.

The client can talk about the physical sensations that they feel when they crave the addiction which can help them deal with the addiction in a more constructive way.

The client can also be given shock therapy which is also a form of touching therapy. Whenever they think of the forbidden feeling the client is lightly shocked. This sensation over time will have the client associate the negative feelings with physical pain.

By Clickrick524 — On Jun 15, 2009

What would be an example of where a Therapist would be required to "Touch" a Patient?

Dana Hinders

Dana Hinders


With a B.A. in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa, Dana Hinders brings a strong foundation to...
Learn more
WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGeek, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.