Workshops – SLOT IV

Saturday, 9th of September 17:00 – 18:30

MARIA OLGA (MARIELLA) SAKELLARIOU studied Sociology and Educational Sciences (Dipl. Soz.), holds a Postgraduate degree in Human Resource Management (MSc. HRMS) and a Postgraduate degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy (MSc.). She is a Biosynthesis Body psychotherapist and Trainer and pursues a dual professional pathway, as a Human Resources Specialist and HR Director (28 years) and a Body psychotherapist (13 years). Published BP research work on international peer reviewed journals. Chair of EABP Ethics Committee (2020 -).


Hall 191 Main Building

Somatic Countertransference (SCT) is a crucial component in our work. Interoceptive Body Awareness (IBA) informs SCT which impacts through its use Therapeutic Process and Alliance (TA). Empirical evidence is rare, mainly existing in the form of clinical vignettes or a limited number of qualitative studies. A quantitative research project (2019) assessed the relationship between IBA and SCT and their impact on TA, in a sample of Greek and International Body Psychotherapists. The study’s instruments included the “Multidimensional Assessment of Interoceptive Awareness” (MAIA), a cluster of variables measuring SCT and the “Working Alliance Inventory from the Therapists’ perspective” (WAI-S-T). The proposed presentation focuses on the formal and experiential presentation of results, outlining body psychotherapists’ professional profile and shedding light, through the lens of their subjective experience, on the patterns and dynamics of IBA, SCT & TA in the body psychotherapeutic practice. Findings confirm the crucial influence that SCT and IBA, as “universal” concepts, exert on TA, stating the existence of a significant prediction model of moderate strength, explaining as a whole 26.0 % of variance in TA. Furthermore, the Awareness of SCT experiences could be strongly predicted by IBA and three of its sub concepts, Attention Regulation (AR), Emotional Awareness (EA), Self-regulation (SR) explaining 26.4% (IBA model), 25% (AR model), 24% (EA model), 24% (SR model) of SCT variation respectively. The model containing therapists’ accepting attitude towards such experiences as independent variable strongly predicted with 31% variation in their awareness. Experience of SCT and the actual processing of related issues through a holistic embodied supervision had strong predictive capacity (39.7%) concerning their use in BP practice. Finally yet importantly, SCT acted as a significant predictor for the perception of TA as a whole and for its bond and task related aspects.

Martin Cholakov is an analytical body psychotherapist working in private practice in Sofia. He is a member of the Bulgarian NeoRaychian Psychotherapy Society as well as part of the teaching team of Bulgarian Institute of Body Psychotherapy. He also has an interest in Bioenergetic Analysis of Alexander Lowen and Stanley Kelman’s body psychotherapy approach known as “formative psychology, as well as an alive interest in the modern Raichian analysis of Genovino Ferri and Jungian Psychoanalysis.

From Identity to Individuation

Hall 41A Main Building

In this workshop we will dive into the process that takes us from the experience of identity into the field of individuation. In this transit, we often get lost or completely abandon this exploration to avoid unwanted affects. For the purpose of this exploration, I will attempt to present my understanding of how individuation should not be confined to the field of dialogue between therapist and client, however important this dialogue may be to the existential development of a person seeking advice or help. Individuation is a process of manifesting the uniquness that one can only mirror in oneself, rather than using others as mirrors to reflect identical contents back to oneself and how our body is affected in this process. For this process we need life itself, we need the inevitability to suffer and embody it to the end, we need the ability to bear guilt, to fail and start from the beginning again. We need experience in all its manifestation, and as an integral and most important part in our exploration, we will find out through our bodies, opening space for experiences and sensations that will allow us to connect with affects in a protected environment. It seems as though suffering in groups is less suffering, and perhaps this is why we are so attached and feel more secure in our sense of identity. Since change always begins with the individual and not from the group – seeking, understanding, integrating and manifesting unconscious contents and passages appears to be a solitary process that can take us into the space of the “other” with an understanding of a different kind, a kind that have a quality that allows seeing differences without judgment. And so we no longer behave like the person who fears the unknown. And if we assume that we are all in some way manifesting first principles that we have validated in time and space (ontogenesis), it means that differences are not generated by first principles, but they are manifestations of them.

CELÂL ELDENIZ Therapist • Voice and Acting Coach. Following studies in Science and Art in Turkey, USA and Greece, Eldeniz pursued a career in three areas: Drama, Music and Psychology through directing, writing, acting coaching, singing coaching and consulting individuals. He teaches university courses on Performance, Psychology of Music and Music History.


Hall 277 Main Building

The diagram “genderbread person” is widely used to distinguish several terms and facts in gender studies as well as to uncover the presumptions of individuals on such aspects of a person.

In this workshop, participants discover different aspects of the identity such as sexual identity, anatomical sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, attraction.

The workshop has two sections: In the first section, there is a general introduction of the terms related to the topic and also an exercise carried out in groups. In the second section, there is a discussion on the somatic perspective of the terms in question based on literature review.

Alex Vachev is a published writer, translator, educator, a performing artist, choreographer and stage director. He has vast professional experience in multicultural environments across Europe, North America and Asia. In recent years, he has been developing workshops and practices, involving arts and dance as therapeutic tools, while studying at the Bulgarian Institute for Analytical Body Psychotherapy.

A Body in Motion

Hall 13 Faculty of Journalism

As a well-balanced and profound collaboration of body and soul, dance is the supreme form of self expression. And while a sense of self and identity may vary and transform greatly, and especially so in turbulent times, our bodies remain the constant we can rely on to not only keep us grounded but to provide a somatic outlet for the emotional burden stored within.

Dance is one of the sharpest tools in our arsenal of therapeutic methods. Aimed at deconstructing an “armor” of muscle blockages while integrating a conscious understanding of how those come to be in the first place, it facilitates the journey of personal growth and is an essential part in one’s reconstruction into a healthy being. 

Drawing wisdom from my personal struggles during the last few years, and knowledge from the Neoreichian School of Analytical Body Psychotherapy, I have created this workshop, combing various practices into a complete somatic experience. Throughout this process my focus has been aimed at delivering the state of unity between body, soul and mind, so very needed in times when external crises invade our lives. 

Michael Sommer – I have worked as clinical psychologist within the psychiatric field in the Copenhagen (Denmark) area in all my working years (1970-2007) and after this I continued my psychiatric work in Northern Norway until 2018 in a samic institution. I am also a certified Bioenergetic Analyst (1984).


Hall 14 Faculty of Journalism

I will focus on the concept Identity closely connected to my practical and professional identity in a retro-perspective context.

Concepts and terminology are drawn from social psychology, social anthropology and continued therapeutic training in treatment of psychiatric patients. I have used individual therapy, group and family therapy with drug addicts and persons with individual and social problems. Staff supervision have been an importer part of my work.

Concretely I will describe my work as a trade that is practiced through the use of tools, models and organisation of work processes. Practice include being taught by co-workers and mentors.

It is a conscious choice to say that identity include the experience of something unknown within one self, and that the same is true for the people we meet in the clinical work. We cannot talk directly about the unknown, but probably indirectly. Or by using professional and concrete perspective.

Dr. Vita Heinrich-Clauer,Dipl. Psych., CBT, International Trainer (IIBA Faculty), has been working in her own practice in Osnabrück since 1989. Trainer activities in Germany, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, New Zealand, Scandinavia, Croatia. In former life active in research and teaching at the University of Osnabrück (Psychological Diagnostics and Developmental Psychology). Author and editor of the “Handbook of Bioenergetic Analysis”, which has now been published in 6 European languages (2008 German, 2011 English).

Voice – an energetic „door opener” and access to the Self

Hall 16 Faculty of Journalism

In contrast to many approaches of verbal-oriented psychotherapy and body-oriented methods, in Bioenergetic Analysis we have unique concepts with which we work. The concepts of “grounding”, “vibration” and “vocal expression”.

W. Reich and A. Lowen were the first to emphasize the extraordinary importance of working with breathing and voice in the therapeutic process. In the meantime we refer in explanation and application of bioenergetic voice work to the increase of knowledge in neurophysiological research (Polyvagal theory, Porges). We now know – thanks to imaging techniques – more about the physiological, anatomical and functional prerequisites for experiencing security in motoric-vocal self-expression and in relationship.

Free vocal expression creates access to emotions, releases held emotions, can reveal inner truths (authenticity), can energize our bodies, tone, set boundaries, increase self-efficacy, reduce pain, integrate – move and touch others.

We are more likely to find true self-expression through tones than through speech, which is left-hemispherically controlled.

Here the tongue as a communicative organ is of great importance in bioenergetic work with negativity.

Dana Tuler Education: program of Body mind psychotherapy Reidman collage, Israel (Five year) Art: for the last 20 years i studied many different courses of art For the last 9 years in capturing the process of healing through art (poems and visual art). Currently in the process of publishing her first book – “Sketches of Inspiration for the healing Process.”

Poetry reading – The Creative Body-Mind processes of the self’s healing journey

Hall 40 Main Building

The workshop would include three parts:

  1. Introduction to my work: “inspiration for healing” which focus on healing journeys creative process through poetry and images.
  2. Poetry reading circle – The participants are invited to active listening while I am reading as a source of inspiration. The subjects of the poems are dealing with three axes: a. Movement / Non movement b. Space: Silence, Sound and Resonance c. Construction and Reconstruction of the Self parts. In the working process, the participant will reflect and draw/ meditate/ move/ write.
  3. Closing circle: sharing, exhibiting, Q&A and discussion.

The participates are invited to bring sketchbook and colours.

Aleksandra Despotova (Sascha) has gained professional qualifications in hypnosis, regression therapy, hatha yoga and pregnancy yoga. Since 2019 she is studying in the Bulgarian Institute for Neoreichian Analytical Psychotherapy, furthering her understanding of how emotional patterns can find expression in the body. In her practice, Sascha enjoys using various forms of art as a soft and playful way of connecting with the subconscious, thereby easing the process of exploration and change.


Hall 15 Faculty of Journalism

The creation of life from clay is a miraculous birth theme that appears throughout world religions and mythologies. In this line of thought, if you were the God creating You from clay, what would you choose to instill in your Creation? In this experiential workshop you will have an opportunity to slow down, almost stop time and immerse yourself in the tactile exploration of your body and the identity that currently lives within. How well do I know the shape of me? Do I have any favourite parts? If each of them could have a voice, what story would it tell me? Is there a message it needs to share with me? And old emotion that it needs to express? Or maybe some kind of a gap that it needs me to fill? We will start with some grounding and embodiment practices which will help to bring your awareness right back to your present experience. This will also be an exploration journey discovering the shapes and functions of our physical body, as well as the hidden sensations, beliefs and attitudes that may live in each little corner and curve. We will then use clay to model a representation of our bodies, express what lives within and perhaps also instill some new beliefs and attitudes towards ourselves. While some may be worried about their artistic skills, this workshop will be mainly done in the dark. Each participant will be blindfolded with a sleeping mask, which will enable us to soften our analytical (and sometimes judgmental) mind and to heighten our perception of touch: both through the hands doing the exploration, as well as the body parts being explored.

Jeanne Denney is a somatic psychotherapist, teacher, hospice worker and founder of the School of Unusual Life Learning (SoULL).She is the author of The Effects of Compassionate Presence on the Dying and a founding contributor to the Art of Dying Institute in New YorkHer work includes many years sitting at bedside with the elderly and dying, with children in their growth, and with clients in their life changes. From these perspectives, Jeanne offers pioneering ideas to somatic psychology, teaching people to fearlessly embrace a life which includes aging, dying, change and nature.

Finding Patterns in the Moving Arc of Life: A Theory of Change in Body and Consciousness through the Life span (and After)

Hall 17 Faculty of Journalism

Body Psychotherapy has had many focuses in its history (sex, birth, trauma, mindfulness, neuroscience). Yet the elephant in the room of the western psyche and our field is the fact that our bodies age, get ill and die. Our field has not given these primal changes any theoretical treatment to now. In reality these humble human processes are overflowing with life. When we look at the body with clear eyes, it shows us patterns of continuous change in body, energy and consciousness that are essential for vitality and connection.

In this workshop I will help you experience how denial of aging and dying lives in the body. I will argue that it is at the root of radical disconnection, insecure identity formation and the depletion of life itself. We will take one step out of the trance of invincibility, and one toward our hearts, our deeper identity and each other.