Frequently Asked Questions FAQ
What is IBMP?
Integrative Body Mind Psychotherapy™ is a modality that embraces the various emerging disciplines within the sciences and psychology. IBMP involves traditional one-on-one counselling, coaching and therapy, couples and group work. IBMP is constantly updating its body of knowledge as emerging scientific understanding is integrated into the work.
IBMP sources emerging knowledge from Neuroscience, Quantum Physics, Neurobiology, Cellular Biology, Trauma Science, Psychology, Body Psychotherapy, Sociology and classical science.
Authors of this information include Frameworks and Theories from Wilhelm Reich, Carl Jung, Alexander Lowen, Robert Johnson, Piaget, Bruce Lipton, Ken Wilber, John Pierrakos, Candace Pert, Louis Cozolino, Daniels Siegel, Pat Ogden, Peter Levine, Eriksson, Andrew Harvey and others.
IBMP accepts that spirit and spirituality are valid aspects of reality and human condition but IBMP does not promote any one ideology or system. We allow the client to ignore or explore that facet of the human condition in their own way.
Our work understands that the body is in fact the unconscious mind that is considered in classical psychology as only a mental factor. We accept and work with releasing blocked and negative trauma and emotions stored at the level of muscles, organs and cellular memory. We accept that the body can become diseased with mentally triggered unrest that medicine calls psychogenic illness and that emotionally generated unrest can likewise create what medicine calls psychosomatic illness.
IBMP successfully works with a person’s emotional and mental factors to create wellness in these aspects of a person, but also to resolve psychogenic and psychosomatic conditions where present.
What kind of commitment is required from a client?
Integrative Body Mind Psychotherapy requires bodily, emotional, mental and energetic engagement and commitment which is not a quick fix. Depending on the issue we are working on, and depending on the stage of therapy, the session may be “talking only”, or involve a cognitive, or emotionally expressive component.
Where the session involves emotional expression, or works with elevating unconscious material into conscious awareness for healing, at the end of a session you may feel like you have expressed and exerted yourself in a way that creates a relaxed tiredness just like after a workout at the gym.
During the session uncomfortable memories and emotions may come up. In addition your therapist may ask you to do some exercise every day or keep a daily journal. Real progress will come after several weeks or months of regular sessions. The therapist and client discuss and review progress on a regular basis.
What can I expect from a session?
No two therapy sessions are the same but a session might go something like this:
1. Discussion of the issue you wish to work on
2. The therapist may use techniques such as counselling, CBT, Voice Dialogue, Bodymind exercises, roller work or energetic charging if a session needs to bring emotions to the surface.
3. Client expresses the emotion physically and vocally where there is an emotional component to the work.
4. Integration and conclusion, where the therapist integrates the work with the client. The client is never left in the position of feeling unsafe or vulnerable.
Generally clients are seen for one hour either weekly or fortnightly and usually the session will be on the same day and at the same time each session.
Usually there would be an initial consultation followed by a trial period of about six sessions.
After this initial phase you can decide whether you wish to continue or not. Short term psychotherapy may last only a few months but for more in depth self discovery it is likely to last between 2 – 5 years.
How long does IBMP therapy usually last and what does it involve?
Each person is different, and their issues, needs and wants vary from therapy. Because of this it is difficult to answer such a question generically.
Normally once we have conducted the initial Confidential Client Interview and discussed the goals for therapy we will be able to start to map out a therapy plan and timeline for therapy.
Therapy can last for just a few sessions or for longer. It depends on the type of therapy, the nature of your problem as well as your goals for therapy. A client needs to consider their budget before making any commitments to therapy.
Ultimately, the client agrees an approach with the therapist and retains the choice and decision on how long they wish to work with a therapist. Research shows that 50% of the healing in therapy comes about from the positive relationship created in the therapy alliance between client and therapist, with the other 50% coming from specific techniques employed in therapy.
Many clients prefer a long-term, broader and more in depth approach; whereas others look to having fewer sessions to work on a specific issue. Both approaches can then later allow for follow- up if and when it is needed.
How do I know if you are the right therapist for me?
Choosing the right therapist is an important responsibility as it will dictate the success of your choice to invest in your own healing and development. If you have never been in the position of choosing a therapist before then it can be daunting. IBMP will attempt to find the right therapist for you based upon your individual preferences and needs.
The most important consideration is can the therapist “walk their talk”. By this does the therapist model and have achieved healthy outcomes in their own life.
If you need relationship therapy then how successful has the therapist been in their own relationships? This will remain confidential and is often not divulged by the therapist but one can often check if they are married or in a committed relationship.
Check if they have a stable and healthy family, and are living my passion and life purpose in being involved in the healing arts by helping people with their suffering.
In terms of professional life check out their life experience. Are they fresh out of University with little life experience or have they lived and had their own challenges and experiences? Have they run businesses in the past or had solid careers in some discipline?
Check their experience with clients and what sort of clients. Experienced practitioners will have seen most human dynamics in therapy and worked with clients across the most pressing, puzzling and complicated sets of family and personal issues.
Do they show their own opinions and understanding of the work via articles, blogs and publications? I constantly update my knowledge, liaise with other professionals, research and write articles, blogs and posts, and have a deep abiding spiritual sense of self.
In identifying an appropriate therapist, we take into consideration what you are seeking to gain from therapy, what style of therapist would be most suitable for you, whether a male or female therapist is preferred, what fees you can afford, and what level of qualifications or experience is appropriate in the therapist for you.
We are confident that regardless of your issue we will be able to discuss it with you and find the right decision for you, whether that being to work with myself, or for you to be referred to another professional more suited to your circumstances. If your problem is not listed anywhere on the IBMP or Energetics Institute websites, please give us a call and discuss how we might help you.
Can I start therapy if I’m on medication for depression or anxiety (or other ailments)?
IBMP is not a modality that can prescribe any form of drug. This is not our domain.
We certainly work with people from a broad spectrum of backgrounds who for various reasons are on assorted medications. We liaise with medical professionals with the clients consent to understand this approach where required.
Mainstream medical research shows for numerous conditions that patients normally achieve better health outcomes where they adopt a psychotherapy program in conjunction with a medicated program, versus just solely relying on a medicated program alone.
If you have a goal to reduce and then get off your medication, counselling is the best way to maximise the potential to achieve that long term outcome. Medication may be required to stabilise and help a person to functionally cope with life and so this is prudent that this continue.
However medication may be suppressing or masking the behavioural symptoms of an issue such as depression or anxiety, but does not fix the original cause of the problem. If you were to cease such medication, then the depression or anxiety will return.
Working in conjunction with a therapist while you are lowering your dosage is the best and most effective way to safely go off your medication and at the same time eliminating the underlying issue such as depression or anxiety that made you go on medication in the first place. At IBMP we do an inventory of your current medication mix when we conduct the Confidential Client Interview.
We encourage you to advise your GP or medical professional as to when you feel better and stronger within yourself as a consequence of therapy to allow you and them to work out a weaning off program where appropriate.
Any other medication you might be taking for blood pressure or cholesterol will not be impacted by this work. If anything there are many health benefits associated with counselling and psychotherapy so you are likely to be healthier and more vital as a result.
How does what you do differ from normal counselling?
IBMP adopts and uses analytical techniques that inquire as to the origins of issues and the childhood and other dynamics that fostered the creation of issues in the first place. This approach will clarify the reasons why your problem arose in the first place which is something that the client is normally unaware of or remember as they may come from childhood dynamics.
The techniques IBMP use allow us to access this now subconscious information and resolve the issues where they started and as a result the symptoms (such as depression, anxiety or low self esteem) diminish. It is a goal of our therapy to bring a person as far into conscious awareness as possible via the learning, coaching, counselling and therapy aspects of our work.
To the degree that you are conscious in your life is the degree to which you will feel in control and able to make conscious decisions for your life. It is for this reason that IBMP is so effective and our clients report a degree of resolution and heightened awareness and hope from their first session.
How is Counselling different from Psychology, Psychiatry or Psychotherapy ?
At different times in our lives we may need the assistance of a professional to help us resolve difficulties. We all encounter stressful and challenging life events such as relationship breakdown, family and work-related problems, illness or bereavement, to name a few. We may wish to review childhood events, to foster our self-esteem, or to develop skills to assist in daily living. If we want to seek help, how do we decide what is best for us?
During my years as a therapist I have noticed that many people are confused by the differences between the professions, the services they offer and their training and expertise.
To assist you in making an informed decision, we have outlined the professional skills and services offered by psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists and counsellors.
A counsellor can assist with a range of general problems such as stress, conflict, relationship difficulties, and work-related issues. A counsellor may also be of benefit in providing strategies and skills for daily living. Counselling is generally considered to be a shorter term treatment designed to manage a specific problem, situation or life change.
The majority of counsellors are experienced and qualified professionals who have undertaken a recognised course of training. Counselling training is offered by a wide variety of private organisations and universities in Australia.
The counselling profession is not regulated by law and anyone may call themselves a counsellor. It is recommended therefore that you choose a counsellor who can clearly demonstrate their training and experience or who is a member of a professional association such as PACFA (Psychotherapists and Counsellors Federation of Australia).
Psychotherapists can help individuals to explore problems of a deep-rooted nature that consistently disrupt their lives. Difficulties such as recurring depression, destructive relationship patterns, and the effects of childhood traumatic events may result in feelings of worthlessness, despair, or addictive behaviours. Psychotherapists support change and healing at a deep level.
Psychotherapy training is regarded as more in depth and is generally of longer duration than training for counselling. As well as extensive theoretical and experiential training, practitioners are required to undertake their own personal growth and therapeutic work.
Psychotherapy training is offered by private organisations and some universities. A wide range of psychotherapeutic modalities are taught in Australia. Some examples are Gestalt therapy, Hakomi Experiential psychotherapy, Psychoanalytic psychotherapy, Family therapy, Transpersonal psychotherapy, Somatic therapy and Psychodrama.
As with counselling, the psychotherapy profession is not regulated by law and anyone may call themselves a psychotherapist. The recommendations given for choosing a counsellor also apply to choosing a psychotherapist.
A psychologist will have a minimum of a four year university degree, followed by two years of supervision by a qualified and experienced psychologist to attain full registration.
Registration with the Psychologists Board is a legal requirement. Psychologists may also complete a further two years training at Masters level for specialisation in an area.
Psychologists have an emphasis on the empirical measures and reliable evidence of effective interventions. A degree in psychology has a strong experimental and research basis with a focus on statistical analysis, assessment and reporting, psychopathology and comparative systems of counselling and psychotherapy.
A psychiatrist is a qualified medical doctor who has studied six years of general medicine and then has not less than five years of training in psychiatric practice. Training for accreditation as a psychiatrist includes working under supervision in hospitals, community clinics and mental health services.
Psychiatrists tend to treat the more severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, and are trained and experienced in the prescribing of medications. Treatment methods may be a combination of the physical and psychological and include prescription of medications and hospital admission where deemed appropriate for investigation and treatment
What if I need help in between sessions?
We are always available in between sessions by phone or email. As part of the our service we offer my clients a free 5 minute call in times of crisis or when they need to debrief or if they need help out of some overwhelming feelings.
I will always respond as soon as I can but it may be up to 24 hours. Emails can be sent any time and we are contactable on the phone from 8 am to 8 pm 7 days a week.
Clients are not allowed to use the free check-in service as a replacement for attending therapy sessions.