FORUM Meetings and Symposia

FORUM Meetings

FORUM meetings are held once a year over a Friday – Sunday, hosted by one of the FORUM organisations.


24-26 April 2020
Frankfurt, Germany
Host: Zentrum für Integrative Körperpsychotherapie & Humanistische Psychologie

9-11 April 2021
Joint Meeting of FORUM and COUNCIL
Pristina, Kosovo
Host: Kosovo Association for Body Psychotherapy (KABP NOKTA)

FORUM members are required:

  • To send a delegate to the FORUM meeting, or if this is not possible, to send an apology for absence. Members who have not attended for a year, nor sent apologies, are contacted and asked to rectify the situation. Continued non-attendance or non-payment of fees after two years results in the organisation forfeiting their FORUM membership, and also thereby any FORUM and EABP accreditation of their training, or endorsement of their professional activities.
  • To attend one meeting in each calendar year.

The FORUM meetings decide upon issues relating to the training and accreditation of body psychotherapy training institutes. Topics that are discussed at the meetings include membership matters, the implementation of EABP Training Standards, accreditation procedures, relationships with the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP) and National organisations (NUO/NAO), codes of ethics, research programmes in body psychotherapy, continuing professional education, eventual joint projects in the future and refining any relevant regulations.

The FORUM elects its own Executive Committee (FEC), one of whom is a full voting member of the EABP Board. S/he represents the interests of the FORUM there and informs the FORUM about issues that affect it. The EABP General Assembly ratifies this nomination to the EABP Board.

Currently, there are two members of the FEC: Alessandro Fanuli, Chair & representative to the Board, and Luisa Barbato.

The FORUM also sends an independent representative to meetings of the EAP.

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FORUM Finances

The EABP Treasurer maintains FORUM income and costs separately from EABP central funds and presents accounts and budgets to the FORUM annually.

Meeting costs, circulation of minutes, payment for printing of FORUM booklets and information, postage and secretariat costs and small contributions to other EABP costs (website, Training Standards Committee) directly relating to the FORUM are paid for by FORUM membership fees.

Decisions about other expenditure from FORUM fees are a matter for the FORUM meetings, and subject to a vote.

The FORUM membership fees do not include travel, accommodation and meals for participants. Only the FORUM Secretary is compensated for attending the meetings. Arrangements are usually made to keep these costs as low as possible.

FORUM Voting Procedure

All fully paid-up member organisations of the FORUM have one vote at FORUM meetings, which they may also assign to another organisation’s representative (proxy voting).

Professional Associations do not have a vote on the accreditation and re-accreditation of Training Institutes.

Motions or resolutions passed by a simple majority vote at these FORUM meetings are taken directly to the Board of EABP, which is advised to take cognisance of these opinions and to respond suitably by the next FORUM meeting.

FORUM Symposia

In the first six years of the FORUM’s existence the participants developed a greater openness to each other and a wish to share how each works and what theories lie behind the many different approaches and viewpoints.

For this reason the political and organizational meetings were expanded from two to three days and, from 2017, between one and two days are dedicated to showing, presenting, sharing and dialoguing about different methods and approaches.

Two or three institutes present their work followed by discussion on theory and method, providing excellent opportunities for in-depth professional exchange. As institutes come from many European countries, their teachers have very varied backgrounds, languages and cultures, and combined with different body psychotherapy modalities, this often brings quite opposing views. However there is an atmosphere of inquiry, a vigorous exchange of theory and methodology and the institutes are slowly become familiar with each other’s approaches and are moving towards more common ground.

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Recent Symposium Presentations

2017 Athens

The hosts, PESOPS, led a lively and energising music workshop for the Joint Meeting of Forum and Council. Forum members and guests discussed ‘Supervision – How it is Approached in Different TI’.

2017 Frankfurt

Ilse Schmidt Zimmermann & Gustl Marlock Zentrum für Integrative Körperpsychotherapie & Humanistische Psychologie, Frankfurt, Germany
Presentation about Stanley Keleman methodology.

Gustl talked about the Handbook of Body Psychotherapy and Unitive Body Psychotherapy. The most important thing in Unitive BP is re-connecting what has been lost/repressed, rather than just letting it out. It has to be re-assimilated. There is no strong emphasis on a sense of self. Meanings behind bodily manifestations etc unfold, rather than putting a meaning on something. Ilse talked about Formative Psychology. In states of arousal, such as anger, you can use their “assembling” technique to disorganize this state, quickly, and be open and spacious and be able to continue again. When you work, subtly, with this, you can feel yourself re-organising. Ilse showed a filmed demonstration of this technique of Voluntary Muscular Cortical Effort.

Michel Heller gave another workshop on Ethics with much discussion amongst Forum members. The Ethics Committee wants an ongoing contact with Forum members to discuss and help with the ethics of training. The three main topics of discussion were:

How are you going to teach, so there is an automatic, explicit understanding of what is ethical and not ethical?

Sexuality – There is a history of sexual relations between therapists and patients. Body Psychotherapy is perceived as having more occurrences of this, because of touch, but actually, it is less than other modalities, probably because touch is out in the open.

How can you spot people who should never be therapists?

Siegmar Gerken, Institute of Core Evolution, Essen, Germany
Presentation of some of the scientific evidence for the benefits of Core Evolution work, plus an experiential workshop on the pulsation of one’s life.

Maayan Gedaliya, Reidman International College – School of Body Psychotherapy, Tel-Aviv, Israel
Cancer – In View of Holistic and Body-Mind Psychotherapy The study measured Sleep Quality, Appetite and Sexual Desire before, during and after, once a week treatment, for four months. The Immune, Physical and Emotional systems increased, whilst Anxiety, Depression and Tiredness reduced. Of the risk factors, Stress is considered the most important. The ability to express emotions is very important. People have to feel free to talk about death, what happens after, belief etc.

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2016 Sofia

Michael Heller, from the Ethics Committee, repeated his Ethics workshop, at this Joint Forum and Council meeting. The workshop was, again, well received. He has also given the workshop at the University of Utrecht and is available for further bookings ().
Pages from Ethics – Michel Heller (extract, PDF).

2015 Lyon

Frederique Benoiton talked about her Biodynamic Therapy and Bio-release programme with elderly patients with dementia in a hospital with 120 patients. Dominique trains the nurse aides and medical staff to use a biodynamic approach.
She stressed the importance of knowing a patient’s life story and how a repetitive seemingly illogical behaviour may be caused by an unresolved life problem. An elderly man kept crawling out of bed during the night and lying under the table which upset the staff who continued to try to get him back into bed. Understanding the patient’s wartime experience led her into encouraging the staff to cover him up and look after him under the table. Another patient kept screaming all day. Frederique’s team worked to encourage her to scream and express what she needed to. She finally stopped screaming.

Dominique Gutierrez talked about her work giving Biodynamic psychotherapy with horses. She showed a beautiful film with two young children – one of them who couldn’t talk or walk and had no friends and was teased at school. The child blossomed and found that her schoolmates instead of avoiding her came to her for friendship. Dominique is making an application to work with one of the local prisons.

Michael Heller from the Ethics Committee gave an excellent presentation inspiring those present to think of Ethics as a way of life rather than as the application of rules of behaviour. This presentation has been a long time in the planning. The Ethics Committee continues to be concerned about ethical behaviour of members and stresses the lack of attention given to Ethics matters throughout the Association. He pointed out that Ethics should be an important subject on the Training curriculum of all Institutes.

2015 Athens

Ditte Marcher (Bodynamic International)
Presentation of a project for an association to support traumatised soldiers and their families. Workshop on body-psychotherapy treatment for trauma disorders in Bodynamics.

2014 Strasbourg

Claude Vaux, Eliane Fliegans (IFCC, Institut de Formation en Communication et Thérapie Psycho-Corporelle)
Workshop on Touching in Psychotherapeutic Postural Integration: theoretical concepts, teaching structure, relationship between the different stages, reading of the body and contact with the animal nature.

2013 Rome

Zaharina Savova, (IBPT Bulgaria): Research: Socio-economic Assessment of Treatment and Rehabilitation of Breast Cancer & Psychodynamic Aspects in the Development of Eating Disorders.
Gino Ferri  (SIAR, Italy): Supervision in Reichian Analysis on a case brought in by Madlen (IBPT)

2013 Tel Aviv

Luisa Barbato (SIAR, Italy): Reichian body language: the correlation between evolutionary phases, character traits and bodily levels

2012 Cambridge

Amir Leibman (Reidman College, Israel): The competency of body psychotherapy; Body psychotherapist Reichian and post-Reichian; Bioenergy, biosynthesis, biodynamic etc work with their unique approach. At the same time, all body psychotherapists have common ground with other modalities. In body psychotherapy we work mainly with contact, movement breathing, mindfulness and relationship. Each modality might emphasis different aspects but will integrate with all of the aspects.

2011 Seidenbuch

Elisabeth Grubenmannn, (IKP Zürich)

2010 Barcelona

Thomas Riepenhausen (Asas e Ra’zes, Portugal) and Charlotte van Molen (Nederlands Instituut voor Biodynamische Psychologie): Biodynamics
Genovino Ferri (SIAR, Italy) with translation from Luisa Barbato: The Scientific Model of SIAR

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Previous presentations included:

  • Jerome Liss (SIB, Italy): Vertical Brain Mechanisms for Understanding Conscious, Unconscious and Non-Conscious Knowledge. How Neuropysiological Maps Justify the Different Schools of Psychotherapy
  • Irit Peleg (Reidman College, Israel): Research study with some hospital patients.
  • Bettina Schroeter (Aus- und Fortbildungszentrum Transformative Koerperpsychotherapie, Germany): Death and Dying and how we deal with this in our body psychotherapy practice
  • Thomas Riepenhausen (Asas e Ra’zes, Portugal): Psychotherapy and the Spiritual Dimension 
  • Markku Valimakki (Finnish Institute of Character Analytic Vegetotherapy, Finland): Ethical guidelines on Touch
  • Bettina Schroeter (Aus- und Fortbildungszentrum Transformative Koerperpsychotherapie, Germany): What works really in our therapeutic work? Beyond the books, the advertising brochures etc., with all our decades of experience in therapeutic work and training … what do we still believe in, what are we disappointed at, tired of, resigned about?

Members find this an extremely important way of getting to know how the different institutes actually work, what they are ‘standing’ for specifically and what inspires and provokes the foundation of each institute. This is a way to expand our view about body psychotherapy, and to increase the understanding of and the respect for each other. It is greatly appreciated by all who participate.

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