Alexander Lowen
Alexander Lowen

Go to...

What is Bioenergetic Analysis?

BA is a therapeutic method initially developed by Dr. Alexander Lowen from the work of Wilhelm Reich, a disciple and contemporary of Freud.Today BA is continuously evolving with the contribution of many experienced psychotherapists and with the permanent dialog with others psychological theories.

Wilhelm Reich

Wilhelm Reich

Sigmund Freud

Sigmund Freud

Any therapy is a process of connecting with oneself in which the relationship with the therapist is the most important factor for change. The procedure to deepen this knowledge is the analysis.

Every therapy must include a thorough patient history to discover the experiences that have shaped his personality and his determined conduct. Analysis of more traditional therapies is based primarily on verbal content, however people often find it very difficult to translate into words their emotions or to access memories meaningful to talk about them.

Although based on different skills and techniques, the most characteristic feature of BA is that deepens in what the body expresses and in what the body needs.

This interest in the body is fully justified:
  • 1) because the feelings and emotions (and also thoughts) are biological proceses which may be known in each individual, through noting how the body mobilizes. An example is what happens with the body when feeling any emotion.

  • 2) because the difficulties in connecting with feelings, desires and memories are linked to patterns of functioning of the body consisting in disminished motility and disminished perception of body segments or the whole body. For example, the reduction of thoracic breathing, which is higher the greater the force with which the person usually avoids to keep in contact with certain feelings.

  • 3) because relaxing muscle tension and widening the emotional expression facilitates the perception of movement and body segments "blocked" and so the person can better connect with this emotional content and memories that are essential to find themselves. As an everyday example: that temporary "openness" that happanes when you exercise, when dancing or when making love.

  • 4) because any change in behavior is accompanied by a corporal change, at least in the muscle tone level. As an example of brief effect: the change that is seen after changing position or a stretch. As an example of change over time you can thinks and see how your way (shape, character) has changed when maturing.


Like any school of psychotherapy with a long history, "bioenergetics" (short form of bioenergetics therapy or analysis) has established terms that are typical. Some of them are:

BIOENERGETIC ANALYSIS: because it incorporates to the therapy the observation of what happens in the body, ie how the person puts into play its vital energy, is what this form of analysis is called "bioenergy."

ENERGY : is the vehicle of the vital processes of a living organism. The more or less energy is deduced for the samples of "vitality" that gives a person (brightness of the eyes, skin color, mobility, heat, gestures, attitudes, etc.). The energy flows freely and unhindered when a person can is conscious of what is feeling and can express it.

CHARACTER: this is the pattern of physical and psychological functioning of each person.

BLOCKING: The physical and emotional areas which vitality are avoided is said to suffer from a blockage of energy.

ENRAIZAMIENTO: To be rooted is to be connected "energetic and sensorially" to our deepest feelings and emotions, while our legs make us feel the support on the ground (the physical reality that sustains us).

BASIC PRINCIPLES: BA evolving with new knowledge and inputs from other schools of therapy, but at the time, maintains the validity of some classical principles:

The person is a psychosomatic unity IN THE MIND AND BODY mutual influence: There is a unique functional identity. The psychological defenses correlates, somatically, with chronic muscle tension.

PSYCHOLOGICAL AND EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT: The psychological and emotional development is responsible of the way the person perceives itself in adulthood and how interacts with others. That is, experiences in childhood and adolescence explain our behavior and our current conflicts.

CHARACTERIAL ORGANIZATION: Psychological and somatic defenses make up the character of the person. The character is described as a complex constellation of psychological traits and somatic tensions that constitute a defensive and adaptive structure. The primary function of this defensive organization is to protect the child from a conflict between their basic psychological and emotional needs and responding to their environment. The character in the body takes the form of "armor" or muscular armor.

In the therapeutic relationship occurs "TRANSFERENCE": The transferce is the type of relationship among the client and therapist and is the power of change. Inside the transference the persons perceives, feels, thinks, acts, ... as they always do (consciously or unconsciously updates past conflicts). Transference is a "real relationship" from the beginning to the end of therapy. The "transference" is very valuable for therapy because it allows a person reexperiment absolutely transcendent moments, where the therapist come with professionalism, sensitivity, empathy and love, and returns the response in each experience that best helps to solve those behavior that make the patient fell sick or miserable.