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Training Program

The Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis Professional Training Program provides in-depth training in the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis following the guidelines and curriculum of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA). The training includes both didactic and experiential teaching methods, along with relevant readings, discussions, and extensive group work. Trainees who successfully complete the full training program are eligible to apply to become Certified Bioenergetic Therapists through the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis.

In addition to the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis, the training focuses on personal growth. Understanding how our history shaped our present, how our character structure evolved, and how we can decrease our fears and energetic blocks, we can move toward being the therapists we strive to be. Ultimately, as Bioenergetic therapists, our bodily experience and our personal development guide our work. Thus, we place a strong emphasis on individual Bioenergetic therapy for trainees, both in the group and with their personal therapist.

Bioenergetic Training Group accepting new members for 2021-2022

The Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis is partnering with the Atlantic Canada Society for Bioenergetic Analysis to offer in-depth training in the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis. The training is conducted in a small group process, which includes both didactic and experiential teaching methods. It includes extensive group work to foster both personal and professional growth for expanding self-awareness, self-acceptance and vitality. The training is open to therapists, other professionals and to those seeking personal growth. We welcome you!

Training dates for 2021-2022:

  • Introductory meeting for new trainees: ┬áSun, Sept 26, 1:00 – 3:00 Eastern Time on Zoom
  • Oct. 29 – 31 online
  • Dec. 3 – 5 online
  • Feb. 11 – 13 online
  • Mar. 3 – 6 Shilo Farm in Eliot, Maine
  • April 21 – 24, Essex Woods Conference Center & Retreat, Essex, MA
  • June 2 – 5,┬áCeltic Heart in Grand Pre, Nova Scotia (about an hour from Halifax)

The in person weekends (at Shilo Farm, Essex and Nova Scotia) are full days Thursday, Friday, Sat and 1/2 day on Sun. The online weekends are Friday evenings, and 5 hours on Sat and Sun.

Fees for 2021-2022:

  • $4250 if paid in full by Oct 1, plus IIBA dues of $51 and local society dues. 
  • OR: $2225 if paid in 2 installments, plus IIBA dues of $51 and local society dues. The first payment is due by Oct 1, the second is due by Feb 1.

The fees include: all meals at the Essex weekend and 1 lunch each of the other in person weekends, snacks and accommodations in a double, triple or quad room. There is a supplemental fee for a single room. Additional meals for the Shilo and Nova Scotia weekends are extra and are either shared among the group or on your own. 

For more information about bioenergetic analysis or about bioenergetic training, look here:

To apply:

To apply, please complete the application form along with an application fee of $200 by September 20, 2021.


Bioenergetic exercise classes in the community barn at Shilo Farm.


Some members of the 2019 – 2020 training group in the living room at Shilo Farm

Training Program Overview

The complete Bioenergetic Training Program consists of 4 years of training with 5 training weekends per year, 4 days per weekend. In the first 2 years of training, students focus both on personal growth and on learning basic Bioenergetic concepts. The training provides a combination of experiential and didactic teaching methods. Students are invited to learn about their own character structure, bodily experience and personal history.

The third and fourth years of training involve a clinical focus devoted to studying various aspects of the therapeutic process from a Bioenergetic perspective. Students are required to be both therapists and clients within the group under close supervision. In the third year this work generally happens in rotating dyads. In the fourth year, the therapist-client pair generally stay together for the entire year, deepening the process of learning Bioenergetic clinical work.

Appropriate readings are assigned for each training weekend and discussed during the training. Readings are included from Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, Philip Helfaer, from the Journals of the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis, and from related books and journals. The training is both experiential and didactic throughout the four years.

training image begin msba
  • Fundamentals of Bioenergetic Therapy

    • Introduction to basic concepts of Bioenergetic Analysis, including energetic functions of the body, character, containment and expression, grounding and breathing
    • Overview of developmental process, trauma, deficits and conflicts from a body-oriented/Bioenergetic perspective
    • Summary of the historical basis of Bioenergetic Analysis, including the work of Freud, Reich and Lowen
    • Study of stress, emotion, blocks, pain, pleasure, depression and anxiety from a Bioenergetic point of view
  • What to Expect

    • Body based techniques for understanding and treating trauma, including acute trauma, chronic relational trauma and developmental trauma, from a Bioenergetic perspective
    • Direct experience of an interactive, engaging modality of psychotherapy to help clients become more present in their bodies and more able to fully enjoy their lives
    • An opportunity to cultivate your own embodied vitality as part of an experiential personal growth training experience
    • Access to cutting edge body-oriented psychotherapy. For more information go to the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy website at:
    • Local and International professional Bioenergetic communities which include regular conferences and trainings held in MA, the US and throughout the world. For a link to the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis, visit
  • Topics Covered in the Training Program

    • Bioenergetic techniques
    • Character structure and childhood wounding
    • Transference and countertransference
    • Addressing trauma from a Bioenergetic perspective
    • Sexuality
    • Working with anxiety and fear
    • Depression from a body perspective
    • Reading the body
    • Energetic principles including grounding, breathing, energetic blocks, containment and expression
    • Fostering self-acceptance, self-expression and self-possession
    • Working with boundaries – for yourself and with your clients
    • Exploring anger and its expression in safe and appropriate ways
    • Timing in introducing body oriented techniques
    • Meeting your clients where they are
    • Marketing yourself as a Bioenergetic Therapist
  • Possible Topics Covered

    Other topics that may be included as time and trainer availability allows:

    • An overview of the energetics of shame and guilt, along with body based techniques to facilitate freedom from these constrictions
    • Treating addictions from a Bioenergetic perspective
    • Body based techniques for addressing other common complaints – sleep issues, eating and weight concerns, and common physical ailments
    • A body based approach to working with couples
    • Embodied dreamwork in the therapeutic setting
    • Inviting your client’s essence
  • Testimonials

    “I joined the bioenergetic training group because I wanted a support group to process my own emotional and psychological stuff with. I imagined only doing one year as I already work as a Somatic Sex Educator and bodyworker and didn’t think I needed another certification. Now that I am more than half way through my second year of Bioenergetics training, I am realizing how much more I am receiving from the experience.

    The group has become like a family to me, in some ways, closer than my family. We have shared our body sensations and feelings, emotions and stories with each other in a profound way that transforms and releases the holding patterns that keep us stuck in habitual patterns. I leave every training weekend with a renewed sense of aliveness and gratitude, inspired to dive back into my work with clients.

    I wish everyone could have the experience of a supportive and wise group of people with which to uplevel our emotional and relational skills while also embodying the wisdom we learn. There really is no other place in my life that I can imagine having this kind of transformation. I would tell anyone interested in fully living their best version of themselves to consider this training as a unique path towards self awareness within a group.”

    – Ailsa, Trainee from Atlantic Canada


Terry Hunt, EdD is a nationally known psychologist and Local Trainer with the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis, as well as a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist. He is a psychologist in private practice in Watertown, MA and the coauthor of Emotional Healing and Secrets to Tell: Secrets to Keep. In addition to practicing Bioenergetic Psychotherapy, he teaches at Omega Institute and Esalen Institute, among other places. He has expertise in family systems and addiction-related emotional trauma.

Susan Kanor, MA is an International Trainer for International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis, a Local Trainer for Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis, and a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist. She has been a Bioenergetic Therapist in private practice in Somerville, MA since 1986. Susan leads Bioenergetic workshops in the US and internationally. She is the coordinating trainer for the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis and leads Bioenergetic therapy groups and Bioenergetic exercise classes in the Boston area.

Laurie Ure, LICSW is an International Trainer for the Florida Society for Bioenergetic Analysis, a Local Trainer for the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis, and a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist. She has been a Bioenergetic Therapist in private practice in Gloucester, MA since 1999. Laurie leads Bioenergetic workshops and trains Bioenergetic therapists in the US and internationally. She consults, presents about Bioenergetic therapy at conferences, and leads Bioenergetic therapy groups and exercise classes locally.

Leslie Ann Costello, Ph.D., CBT is a psychologist, former university professor, and Local Trainer with the Atlantic Canada Society for Bioenergetic Analysis. She brings a developmental perspective, with training in infant and perinatal mental health, attachment, and child-parent psychotherapy in addition to her bioenergetic training. She offers workshops for therapists and clients in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. She is in private practice in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, where she specializes in perinatal mental health and trauma.

Stephanie Shelley, LISCW, is a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist who has worked with children, families, adults, and couples for thirty years. She is also certified in DDP (dyadic developmental psychotherapy) which is a psychotherapy based on attachment and developmental trauma theory. As a bioenergetic therapist, she is interested in helping adults increase their awareness of the somatic and emotional impact of early attachment injuries as a way to develop deeper relationships in their present day lives.

Peter Fernald, PhD, CBT was a trainer with the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis and a trainer with the MSBA for many years. We are sad to announce his death on March 29, 2021.

Training Program Application

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