What is Bodynamic Analysis? – Historical Background.

Bodynamic Analysis is a body-oriented psychotherapy developed in Denmark since the late 1960’s. The system has been developed by a varied group of professionals, with the common trait of being psychomotor trainers educated at Afspændingspædagogisk Institut/Skolen for Kropsdynamik – a school for psychomotor training. Lisbeth Marcher was the initiator and leader in creating the system. Lennart Ollars, Ellen Ollars, Steen Jørgensen, Erik Jarlnæs, Marianne Bentzen, Sonja Fich, Ditte Marcher – and Merete Holm Brantbjerg – all made vital contributions to the system.

The specialties of Bodynamic Analysis are:

Muscles are percieved as vital components in social, emotional, cognitive and physical skills. This understanding is obtained through years of experience with training and therapeutic work based on muscle sensing. Studies on the connection between specific muscles and the emotional reaction triggered when muscles are activated through touch or movement was linked to knowledge of children’s psycho-motor development. This connection was later compiled and systematized in a differentiated character theory. The theory places – simply put – specific muscles in connection to specific age phases and existential developmental themes in children.

The psychosocial functions of muscle groups are moreover systematized in the description of ”11 Ego-functions”. Combined they describe the varied skills in coping with the world available at a persons’s disposal. Skills such as reaching out, pushing away, standing firm, holding yourself together, carrying yourself, being in contact from the heart, feeling attached, getting support, balancing, being present in your gender - and many, many more.

Ego-functions cross phases as developmental paths that are learnt and developed all through life. Connectedness and interpersonal skills – two of the Ego-functions - are for example not just learnt in the early fetal stage or as a two-year-old. You learn important aspects of the skill of connecting in every single developmental phase. This goes for every other Ego-function too.

The 11 Ego-functions are named: Connectedness, Positioning, Centering, Boundaries, Grounding, Social balances, Cognitive Skills, Gender Skills, Energy Management, Self Assertion and Interpersonal Skills.

As co-creator of Bodynamic Analysis I have my professional roots in this system. Today I see my work as part of a larger professional field, called Somatic Developmental Psychology.