Announcing New Training Format

The NY Society for Bioenergetic Analysis is developing a new structure for the formation process for psychotherapists wishing to develop expertise as bioenergetic therapists. While preserving the essential elements of the program as envisioned by our agreement with the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis, this new format will enable us to respond to the realities of the current professional environment.

One of the great strengths of training as we conduct it, in the NY Society and elsewhere in the professional communities of bioenergetic therapists, is that we teach using an experiential model. To do so we conduct the formal part of the training in workshop formats and we use our bodies as the material for learning a somatopsychic approach to psychotherapy process. While this method is used in other modalities(group psychotherapy is typically also taught this way), it is essential in our work because familiarity with somatic organization, structure, and process is not a part of everyday education and socialization in our social environment. This is distinct from learning about other aspects of human functioning, including interpersonal ways of relating and interacting.

Indeed, because of this central focus of the educational process, we have decided to return to all in-person teaching.

Because of this unique focus on somatopsychic data and its use in psychotherapy we need the data that only people’s bodies can provide. Therefore, we have needed groups large enough to provide a range of material related to the formative elements in somatopsychic organizations. Those include genetic dispositions, developmental forces, psychic and emotional compensations, and accommodations, and more. In order to sensitize candidates in the training program to a broad array of somatopsychic phenomena it is necessary to see, hear, feel, touch, a broad array of manifestations and representations of somatopsychic structures and dynamics.

However, in the current environment for postgraduate training in psychotherapy large groups (8-10 people) of suitable candidates are difficult to recruit. To solve this problem the organizing committee of the NY Society training program have decided to go in another direction. We have throughout our history offered small-group experiential workshops. These workshops were day-long events open to anyone who wanted an in-depth, personal, experiential encounter with active psychotherapy work using the bioenergetic method. These workshops drew people interested in deepening work they were already engaged in, people working in psychotherapy in another method wanting an encounter with this way of working, people considering entering a bioenergetic psychotherapy, and professionals interested in learning more about the bioenergetic approach to psychotherapeutic treatment.

In the course of a day’s work each person who attended would have the opportunity, if they availed themselves of it, to do an extended, personal piece of work with the leader of the workshop, who is an experienced bioenergetic therapist. We now intend to add to the function of these workshops the opportunity for candidates in training to participate in these workshops, which will be conducted by the faculty with whom they are studying in that semester. This will provide contact with a broad range of personality organizations and the somatopsychic manifestations of those organizations. That will provide material for study that will continue into the workshops designed only for the candidates, which will be conducted along the same lines as the instructional workshops we have always conducted as part of the training program.

The plan as now envisioned will be to conduct the usual eight training workshops per academic year. In the middle of each semester one weekend will be built around an experiential workshop which will be open to the public. The other twotraining workshops will be organized and conducted by the faculty teaching that semester. In between the semesters there will be a professional workshop conducted by the faculty of the NY Society, open to interested professionals, members of the bioenergetic community, and required for the candidates in training. There will be another scheduled at the end of the second semester, as well.

Our plan by making these changes to the program is to assure that we can continue to offer rigorous, high-quality, experientially based training in bioenergetic analysis to interested and qualified professional psychotherapists. The requirements for personal psychotherapy, a minimum of 150 hours, and clinical supervision, a minimum of 100 hours, remain unchanged.

We anticipate beginning a new group in the Fall of 2023. Applications are welcome now for that group.Please feel free to contact Dr. Scott Baum (212-665-3908; with any questions. To apply to the program please either contact him or complete the application that is on the website. Dates for the workshop will be posted soon.