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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 2022-2023

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 2022/2023 (~20 days total)

Oct. 19 – 23, onsite in Northern New England, location to be announced. 

Dec. 7 – 10, onsite in Northern New England, location to be announced

Jan. 20 – 22 online via Zoom

March 3 – 5 online via Zoom

April 13 – 16, in person at Essex Woods Conference and Retreat in Essex, MA

June 1 – 4, onsite in Northern New England, location to be announced

In-person weekends meet Thursday morning to Sunday midday.
Online weekends meet Friday evening, Sat ~6 hours, Sun ~ 6 hours.
Generally 1 additional meeting in small groups is required between sessions and is scheduled by participants.

We will apply for CEs for Social Workers and LMHCs (for some of the training weekends).

For more information about bioenergetic analysis or about bioenergetic training, look here:  http://bioenergetic-therapy.com/index.php/en/

Apply Now


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

 

 


Celebrating graduation in New Brunswick, Canada; June, 2022

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: www.usabp.org
    • 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 www.bioenergetic-therapy.com
  • Topics Covered in the Training Program

    • An overview of bioenergetic theory and techniques including grounding, muscle tension, energy in the body, emotional expression and containment, charge and discharge.
    • Character structure and attachment wounds
    • Transference and countertransference
    • The bioenergetic approach to addressing all types of trauma (including shock, developmental, and chronic relational trauma)
    • Sexuality
    • Body based techniques for addressing anxiety and fear
    • Depression from a body perspective
    • Reading the body
    • Energetic principles including the significance of breathing patterns and energetic blocks
    • 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
    • The significance of the healing relationship
    • Marketing yourself as a Bioenergetic Therapist
    • Polyvagal Theory and its applications to bioenergetic work
    • Working with resistance
    • The ethical use of touch in bioenergetic psychotherapy
    • An overview of the energetics of shame and guilt, along with body based techniques to facilitate freedom from these constrictions
  • Additional Topics Covered

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

    • Treating addictions from a Bioenergetic perspective
    • Body based techniques for addressing other common complaints – such as sleep issues, eating and weight concerns, and physical issues such as headaches, dizziness, nausea
    • 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

    “I attended the five year bioenergetic training program in Massachusetts several years ago. Thank God I did. Not only did it help me recover personally from a painful divorce, as a family practice physician, it has become one of my most important treatment tools.

    Over 80 percent of my patients experience emotional or physical issues connected to repressed, suppressed or depressed emotions. If someone has back pain, for example, I almost invariably discover an emotional connection attached to the area. In addition to standard medical and osteopathic treatments I can offer an emotional release technique for their back to release the pain.

    For myself, the bioenergetic training program helped me release emotions I held in my body from childhood. I still use bioenergetic techniques and exercises regularly. The bioenergetic stool helps open my breathing. Grounding helps me stay connected with myself. I twist a towel or use a tennis racquet when I feel angry. I am grateful for bioenergetics!”

    Dr. Nicholas P, DO, Connecticut

    “I completed the 4-year Massachusetts/Atlantic Canada bioenergetics training program in June, 2022. I joined to restart a personal journey in bioenergetics that I had begun many years before, and I particularly wanted to do that work in a group environment. Group work had always been rather daunting for me, but had also proven to be very rewarding. Some in our group of trainees had similar goals to mine, while others were psychotherapists looking to expand their analytical skills and therapeutic techniques. The variety of backgrounds, stories, and experiences contributed greatly to the experience. 

    Ultimately, the training program became one of the richest experiences of my life. I grew as a person as I came to understand, and to accept, how my childhood shaped my development and the adult I’ve become. The program included an informative didactic component; however, its richness came from empirical, body-based learning with my peers. The sharing of feelings, stories, tears, and laughs built a sense of community that I had rarely experienced before. 

    In the latter part of the program, we had the opportunity to participate in therapist-client relationships with others in the program. Those experiences really touched me and further stimulated my interest in working as a therapist. To follow up on this, I’ve enrolled in a Master’s program in counselling and will be starting down that path in September 2022.”

    – Dan B., 2022 training program graduate, Atlantic Canada

    “When I trained as a bioenergetic therapist, my personal experiences took on new meaning.  In addition to focusing on my healing, I began to believe that I could help others to heal. There was a powerful alchemy in the training group. We were diverse: therapists, non-therapists, locals and people from far away, some with lots of bioenergetic experience and some with little.  The group created a space for working with interpersonal issues and family of origin material, and a powerful model for how conflict plus resolution deepens relating. Many years later, I am still in touch with many of the members of my training group.  When we connect, it is immediate and deep.

    Beyond providing lifetime connections, training gave me a comprehensive theory, rooted in body experience. This foundation for practice has served my work with a wide variety of client concerns, from shock and complex trauma, to workplace issues, to reproductive mental health. The somatic tools of bioenergetics provide immediate relief from symptoms while the longer-term work of reorganizing patterns goes on.”  

    -Leslie C, PhD, Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, ME

    – Sue S.

  • Fees

    Fees for 2022 – 2023 include all didactic instruction, group work, and sessions within the training weekends. Fees also include accommodations in shared rooms for in person weekends. Meals (total of 12 meals from Wednesday dinner to Sunday lunch) and space in a double room are included at the Essex Center for the April weekend. 

    $4950 if paid in full by Oct. 1 (OR $4,450 due Oct 1 if $500 deposit is paid in Sept). 

    Or, pay in 2 payments. The first payment of $2,800 due Oct 1 (or $2,300 if $500 deposit is paid in Sept).
    The second payment of $2,400 is due Feb. 1.

    We are pleased to have funds available to encourage new people to be trained as bioenergetic therapists. Partial scholarships are available based on financial need. If you qualify for a scholarship (new to bioenergetic training and with financial need) please send an email stating your request and 1 – 2 sentences about your need to: [email protected].

    We prefer payment by check to reduce fees to Paypal. Please send a check written to MSBA and send to: MSBA, PO Box 79026, Belmont MA 02479.
    If you need to pay by credit card, you can pay via Paypal at this link.

    Canadian training participants, please make your payment in Canadian dollars (at the current conversion rate) via Interac e-Transfer to [email protected]. For any questions about this contact [email protected].

Trainers

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, CBT, has practiced as a bioenergetic therapy in Gloucester, MA for over 25 years. She trains bioenergetic therapists in Massachusetts, Florida and internationally. She leads workshops and speaks about a variety of topics related to bioenergetic therapy. She is the director of the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis. As an author Laurie publishes articles widely. She is currently writing a book about the bioenergetic approach to depression. Her website is: www.laurieure.com.

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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