Reichian Therapy and Bioenergetics
         and their Developmental Extension into                                           Bodywork

                 As practiced by Nicholas Evan O'Connor  Dip PHINZ


                          The art of movement from the source





4-Personal History-Nicholas O'Connor

My original training to become a Psychotherapist was with the Psychotherapists and Hypnotherapists Institute of NewZealand (PHINZ) which I completed  in 1981. 

After attending a lecture and Bodywork demonstration by Auckland Reichian Therapist Ken Busch, I decided to dedicate my life to furthering my understanding and awareness of the body in this way.

I became his client for 4 1/2 years and during that time resolved many issues that the normal Psychology I had been trained in, had failed to help or enlighten me on.

My own experience as a client in Bodywork proved to me beyond doubt, that the body knows all there is to know about itself and that given the right opportunity will heal any emotional problem in the best way for itself. You don't have to think on how to heal a problem, you don't need to learn any new patterns or practice any exercises. Work that is most important for the body in that moment of time, is completed in each session and there is only adjustment to the new feeling of self to get used to in between session times.   

By working at two levels at once, in a feeling way with the body and bringing the importance of feelings into intellectual  awareness, deep reaching changes automatically occur that are impossible to achieve in any other way. These changes to the body state, readjust the whole being to a point that is past holding itself back and the awareness gained frees the mind up to do what it was originally designed to do. If the mind does not have to continuously work at unloading the body state of old angers, hurts and rejections,  it is then able to think clearly and as an extension of a knowing and balanced body state.

The purpose of Bodywork is to release bound energy through spontaneous movement and feeling expression. By working with the client to  extend these movements out to the maximum they will go to, personal boundaries and limitations are also extended. These are movements that are past thinking. It is important the mind stays aware during the process and the work is centred around expression that releases energy, then understanding the scope of what has been performed, in a feeling way and how that relates to the way life is being lived by that individual.

Bodywork has the effect of loosening up the whole system including the mind and as the blocked energy is released, self awareness, self confidence and feelings of self worth develop. Your feeling life widens and your relationships deepen, the living of life  becomes a rewarding experience. As the body unloads it's bound energy this frees the whole system up and enables other levels to be worked on at the appropriate time. 

Bodywork is not a set of exercises that can be learned, it must be experienced with, and in the presence of another person who has been through and understands the process and who can direct body movements into their most extreme extension in a feeling way.

Some of the problems that I experienced as a child and young adult that were completely healed through the combination of Reichian Therapy, Bioenergetics and Bodywork are listed below. No change occurred to any of the problems with normal Psychology based therapy, which I endured weekly for 3 1/2 years.

Tinnitus - Shortness of breath - Nervous Tension and Stress - dizziness - Skin Rashes - Achne - Headaches - Grinding Teeth - Fear of Closeness - Fear of open Spaces/Agoraphobia - Fear of Enclosed Spaces/Claustrophobia - Fear of Heights - Lack of Feeling - Intense and deep seated Anger - Premature Ejaculation and Sexual Dysfuntion - Peer Identification - Lack of Self Expression - Serious Relationship Problems - Emotional Dependancy - Lack of Self Worth - Inability to Concentrate

From the first session in Bioenergetic Bodywork I noticed change in how I felt, the body felt lighter and I could see that my feelings had worth. In subsiquent sessions, without working on particular problems, they started to go. Later in the course of therapy, I would be thinking back on how I used to be and realised that I didn't feel threatened any more when I was close to someone, or, that I enjoyed going out into the world,  or that small rooms and lifts didn't worry me at all, my fear of heights had dissapeared, relationship problems started to be understandable and fixable, I felt separate from others and was able to express myself more fully. My anger dissapeared and I stopped grinding my teeth. One by one, the life long problems, resolved themselves.

I find that this is the way it works with my own clients. Whatever problems are identified as interfering with the ability to live a full and satisfying life are not actually the problem, they are the result of the problem. The problem is in the way that the body has been restricted in it's movements and expressions. So working with and on the body and pointing the client in a direction that releases energy bound in the cellular structure and then getting the mind to understand what the binding relates to and how it restricts expression,  brings about deep and lasting change. Then problems seem to dissapear without there being any concentration on them. 

This is work that is past thinking so the process cannot be worked out intellectually, it must be felt. The mind is at the end of the body and it's primary function is as an organ of understanding. It is after the body not before it, it is a receiver of information and an assessor of correct action, providing it has the right information. When the body state is open and the mind is open to the feelings of the body,  your feelings tell you about what is going on in your immediate environment.  Your bodies primary concerns are first for safety and secondly for satisfaction. Social conditioning interfers with this process at it's base by expecting that we act according to what is expected by others.   

If this page interests you and you wish to read on more specific problem areas, click on any of the segments below and it will take you to the relevant section. There are ways of contacting me if you desire, costs involved in therapy sessions and other relevant information are listed in each section.

All of the best to you

Nicholas O'Connor.

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Last modified: August 15, 2004