Resource-oriented skill training is a path toward supporting the development and integration of body, emotional and cognitive skills, by working with muscles connected to these skills by means of their motor function. This therapeutically oriented work with muscle sensing is primarily performed through activation of movement.
ROST contains work with the following categories of skills:
Meeting- and confrontation skills
Coping with emotions
Coping with high arousal states (both hyper- and hypoarousal)
The method focuses on building resources and coping capacity.
Through resource-oriented skilltraining you can
Focusing on specific muscle sensing is a central part of locating resources.
Experience shows that bodily training of skills expands a person’s ability to cope with everyday life and to contain both high and low arousal and thereby gain an ability to stay centered, present and able to act and to stay in resonance also under difficult circumstances. The more you practice for example centering, grounding and containing energy, the more these skills become accessible as automatic knowledge, available to you as a resource in a greater variety of situations in life.
Training these skills also lowers the risk for the client of being overwhelmed when encountering old traumatic memories in therapy. It becomes easier to access new experiences in the here and now instead of remaining locked in old patterns.
Clients and participants are encouraged to notice which exercises provide them with access to resources - for instance make them feel stronger, more whole or clear. This is a cognitive educational strategy, where the client or student has to make these choices for herself and the teacher or therapist in turn can offer support.
To work with specific body skills is a method that often raises hope in people. Even in complex lifesituations, in heavy psychological states the body is there holding the opportunity for resources to be contacted in grounded ways.
Individual ””dosing”” is an important principle in skill training. The same centering, grounding or contact exercise can for example be performed with varied physical power and intensity which enables and stimulates the individual to sense into what exact level of ”dosing” provides the most contact to something that can be felt as a resource.
Training precise individual dosing supports inner authority. You don't find the answer to what works for you through the exercise itself. To find that you need to sense yourself, find direction from within.
The degree of hyper or hypo-responsivness in the muscles (control or giving up) determines the level of ’”dosing”’ that gives a person the most constant contact to her psychosocial potential. The more giving up or hypo-responsiveness present in a muscle or body area, the lower dose required when performing the exercise to provide an opportunity for building up energy and presence in the given up area.
The hypo-responsive defence is easily overlooked, for that exact reason that it is difficult to feel. Knowledge and experience regarding this response pattern opens the possibility of stimulating the given up, distant areas in a person in a way that supports presence and ownership.
Experience shows that hypo and hyper-responsive defence strategies (giving up and control) cooperate. When given up areas - areas lacking energy - get attention and support to stay present, the tense controlling parts of the body begin to let go on their own.
This description illustrates a sophisticated understanding of how psychological defences and resources show in the human body, more precisely in the muscles. The terms hypo-, hyper- and balanced response leads to an understanding of the differentiated psychological reactions called forward when practicing specific muscle sensing.
The training entails methods both able to meet given up, ”dead” patterns (hypo-responsive), held back, armored patterns (hyper-responsive) and balanced, easily accessible resources (balanced response).
Differentiated muscle responses correspond with states in a person that need different levels of “dosing”, different personal encounters, to feel met and able to move towards opening up new neural networks, and thereby new patterns of experience.
Further information is available in the article: Muscular intelligence an introduction, available for download here in pdf format or the article, Resource-oriented skill training as a psychotherapeutic method, that is available for sale.
Another aspect of the method is consciousness about somatic resonance. I understand somatic resonance as a pivotal part of our contact ability in keeping with the thoughts in neuro-affective developmental psychology (see for instance Daniel Siegel & Mary Hartzell (2003): Parenting From Inside Out, Penguin.) Somatic resonance is both enriching and challenging in contact. Resonance helps to give us a sense of deep connectedness and at the same time resonance exceeds the boundaries of the personality. I find this duality in our contact ability deeply interesting. On the one hand we gain a profound sensory ability being connected to our surrounding world and on the other hand an ability to experience and define ourselves as separate individuals. I am engaged in the skills supporting the management of both of these aspects, so they can support us in contact with ourselves and the world around us.