This collection of approximately twelve essays is a first to open the door for voices to emerge from African American, Indigenous, Latin American, and Asian embodiment traditions to impact Somatic theories and practices. In addition, the notion of "body" that underlies most of these currently available writings assumes a universal normality of structure and function that has come into question- such challenges appear in this collection from the viewpoints of neural, hormonal, and physiological diversities. The authors in this collection embody these differences and have developed their particular somatic practices out of direct awareness of them. In the narratives of this anthology, we find the seeds of new approaches to the transformation of the bodily roots of our social order- a healing of the recurrent traumas of the past, as well as of physical suffering and our very culture. These essays, on topics such as the autistic body-mind, the theme of how the human body is both shaped by and shapes contemporary society, and shaping somatic psychotherapy to be a trustworthy resource for healing within the African American community will help students and practitioners of somatics broaden the scope and efficiency of their therapeutic practices. It aims to open a more inclusive world of somatics with its audience of students and practitioners in psychotherapy and many forms of bodywork.
Don Hanlon Johnson is a professor of Somatics at the California Institute of Integral Studies; he founded the degree program there in 1983, the first of its kind. He is the author of Bone, Breath, and Gesture, Groundworks- Narratives of Embodiment, and The Body in Psychotherapy, among other books. He is a contributing editor of the professional journal Somatics and the director of the Somatics Research Center at CIIS, where there are several studies in process about the relevance of Somatic methods to major issues facing our society, including programs in rehabilitation and recovery, PTSD, and the education of parents for bonding with their children. He also directs the Somatic wing of the Esalen Institute.
"This is an extraordinary, brave, and important book, bringing together the wisdom of a diverse group of inspiring individuals who have worked in the field of somatics. It is also a book that will touch all those who read it." --Rev. Joan Jiko Halifax, Abbot, Upaya Zen Center "A well-orchestrated body of ideas, embodied in the psyche and narrative experiences of others across cultural ethnicities, at the intersections and across disciplines. Much for us to reflect upon." --Alan G. Vaughan, PhD, JD, Jungian analyst, C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, and core psychology faculty at Saybrook University
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