Nothing Changes Unless Change Happens in the Body

The Sword of Despair Two

Recently I got an email from a woman who’d been in talk therapy for 14 years, trying to deal with her traumatic childhood. Only recently, she began to make real progress in her healing. Why? Because she found a body worker skilled in releasing the trauma stored in the body. She wondered what I thought.

Here’s what I told her:

  • I learned from Dr. Eugene Gendlin (originator of Focusing) that nothing changes unless change happens in the body.
  • Talk therapy involves the left brain and will take you only so far.
  • Trauma lives in the right brain and requires therapy that changes the brain (which, after all, is part of the body.)
  • There are many different, effective treatments for trauma. It’s a matter of which one is available to you and which appeals to you.

Personally, I recommend that everyone learn to Focus and integrate Focusing with whatever other modality he/she prefers.

In my next blog post, I’ll talk about my views of what makes a good therapeutic match.


  1. Ben says:

    Does EMDR ‘count’ as a way to make changes happen in the body?


  2. EMDR is body-based. In fact, the more body-aware you are, the more you benefit from EMDR
    Francine Shapiro really likes Gendlin’s Focusing, which teaches us to access the unconscious through the body’s physical responses. For me, EMDR goes better if you know Focusing.
    Thanks for raising this question, Ben.

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