1st Edition

Treating Psychosomatic Patients
In Search of a Transdisciplinary Framework for the Integration of Bodywork in Psychotherapy

ISBN 9780367342005
Published February 18, 2020 by Routledge
220 Pages

USD $38.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Treating Psychosomatic Patients: In Search of a Transdisciplinary Framework for the Integration of Bodywork in Psychotherapy offers a conceptual and therapeutic framework for all therapists who have to deal with the psychosomatic ‘conflicted’ body, as presented in anxiety and depression, stress and burn-out, medically unexplained symptoms and trauma.

The book introduces the transdisciplinary framework 'experiential bodywork' (EBW), drawing on theories and scientific findings drawn from clinical psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, psychotherapy and myofascial therapy. EBW provides a roadmap for a better understanding of the processes that underpin body psychotherapy and body-mind therapies. On a practical level, EBW challenges the therapist to marry the power of psychotherapeutic techniques with the richness of hands-on bodywork and hands-off movement expression. With the 'armoured' body as an entry point, patients learn to feel their body from within and listen to what it tells them. In the sharpness of this awareness they discover a freer way of speaking, moving and being present in the world.

Through EBW, Treating Psychosomatic Patients offers a transdisciplinary, scientifically based framework for the integration of bodywork in psychotherapy, ranging from psychosomatics to trauma, and will be of great interest to psychologists, psychotherapists and counsellors in a variety of settings. EBW also helps somatic therapists, such as physical therapists or osteopaths, to better understand the richness and layeredness of deep bodywork from different psychological, developmental and 'embodied' perspectives.

Table of Contents

- Introduction The psychosomatic landscape - Chapter 1 An integrated view on the psychosomatic patient - Chapter 2 The patient telling a story - Chapter 3 Contacting the body in therapy, possible or not? - Chapter 4 The tensed body - Chapter 5 The unconscious in Experiential Bodywork - Chapter 6 A developmental view at the psychosomatic body - Chapter 7 Experiential Bodywork, the practical side Chapter 8 Concluding remarks

View More



Joeri Calsius (PhD) is a clinical psychologist, body-oriented, psychodynamic psychotherapist, physical therapist and osteopath DO. In his private practice, Joeri works with patients suffering from psychosomatic and trauma-related problems from a transdisciplinary perspective. He is an academic lecturer, teaches post-graduate courses in a number of settings and is author of several peer-reviewed articles and book contributions on bodywork in psychosomatics and trauma.


'An expression of an important evolution in the way man and body are approached, this book encourages the reader to become acquainted with the new developments that Calsius describes well, both in theory and in practice. In this book, Calsius introduces more body-focused work and more scientific underpinning for that work. The fact that the link between the psyche and soma always remains paramount in the experiential focus of Calsius' work is certainly gratifying. A versatile book, which I can highly recommend to professionals and others who are interested in the fascinating theme of "bodywork".' Prof. Dr. Patrick Meurs, clinical psychologist and psychodynamic child and youth psychotherapist, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium; Director at the Sigmund Freud Institut Frankfurt, Germany

'Anyone in clinical practice will enjoy this book, regardless of their own theoretical or therapeutic background. It makes you think, and that's what a good book should do. Hopefully it also encourages a better, embodied, understanding of our patients. Because that is still the basis of any successful form of care.' Prof. Dr. Patrick Luyten, clinical psychologist and psychotherapist, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium; Research Department of Clinical, Educational, and Health Psychology, University College London, UK

'In this special work, the author grants a clear and inspiring insight into the psychosomatic body, the physical ailments that arise from unconscious processes and conflicts, and what experiential bodywork is and is not capable of. He combines philosophical, psychoanalytic, physiotherapeutic and neuroscientific insights in an overarching transdisciplinary framework. For this, he draws on the work of the American philosopher Ken Wilber, among others. The book provides numerous new insights and connections. Recommended for every psychotherapist who has to deal with the effects of traumas or medically unexplained symptoms, but also for physiotherapists and body-focused therapists. A book that has everything it takes to become a classic.' Dr. Nelleke Nicolai, author, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, private practice, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

'This book presents an interesting, yet entirely fresh, framework of thought that straddles the interface between mind and body. An excellent piece of work, clearly written, this book provides food for thought for all those who work with psychosomatic problems.' Prof. Dr. Stijn Vanheule, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst, Universithy of Ghent, Belgium

'The author of this book is one in a million, combining, as he does, both disciplines. This places him in a privileged position that allows him to create the much-needed bridge between body and mind. One of the great merits of the book is that it places psychosomatic complaints and care 'in the picture' and does not keep the discussion away from the reader. Another merit is that it both raises questions and provides a good and clearly substantiated view of the theories on which the framework used is based. The starting shot has now been given.' Prof. Dr. Michel Probst, physiotherapist and psychomotor therapist, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium