Science and Research – applied to Body Psychotherapy
There are two main different types of science: ‘natural’ science and ‘social’ science; we can define science and research as relying on systematized knowledge and processes for gathering knowledge (study or research) – rather than just relying ‘opinions’ or ‘belief systems’. Scientific research relies on the application of the ‘scientific method’ (e.g. qualitative and quantitative research), both systematically looking at phenomena and drawing out descriptions, understanding, explanations and then possibly conclusions.
Some research is more ‘internally centered’ and is intended to develop a deeper understanding within the field of Body Psychotherapy – this can include research like case studies; some research is more externally oriented, like outcome research, and is intended to develop a wider acceptance of the field of Body Psychotherapy.
From Theory to Research
Body Psychotherapy praxis relies on and has been developed according to a specific scientific background, including systematic clinical observation/knowledge, findings from different fields of human and natural sciences and empirical studies. Specific theoretical backgrounds, relevant for Body Psychotherapy practice and development – include: developmental psychology, embodied cognitive sciences, affective neuroscience, movement sciences, phenomenology of body experiences / body image research and ethological research (non-verbal communication) as well as body memory systems.
Four Main Areas for Research
There seem to be four main areas relevant for the field of Body Psychotherapy, not mutually exclusive and all serve different purposes, that might help us structure and define possible projects:
- Studies about specific body-oriented psychotherapeutic processes and techniques involved in Body Psychotherapy (e.g. ‘grounding’ or ‘mindfulness’ or ‘touch’ or ‘character armor’);
- Research into the special aspects of the Body-Psychotherapy therapeutic relationship (e.g. embodied psychotherapist, somatic resonance, etc.);
- Specific research studies in Body Psychotherapy (e.g. outcome studies; case studies, field studies, comparative studies, etc.);
- Research in relevant and related (ancillary) fields that have a connection to the theory and practice of Body Psychotherapy (e.g. attachment theory, developmental psychology, movement sciences, neuroscience, endocrinology, psychophysiology, etc.).
We may choose to foster or promote one or other of these areas.