The concept of the mind as a separate entity from the physical body took root in the 17th century under the influence of materialism, fully reducing our reality, which includes our thoughts, feelings and actions, to the material. At that time the science didn’t possess the technology that would enable further research of human body and mind, nor their mutual correlation. Nowadays we know that the mind dwells in the central nervous system, spread throughout our bodies and governed by the brain, and that the mind and the body are inseparable. Body-oriented psychotherapy focuses on establishing a functional relationship between the mind and the body, taking into consideration the complexity of this interaction and emphasizing the fact that the body reflects the entire personality. Many people are surprised by the fact that feelings are somatic experiences. There are many idiomatic expressions that indicate the somatic aspect of an experience. For example, we refer to our ability to ‘take a stand’, to ‘be all ears’, to ‘have a broken heart’, to ‘blow one's top’, to ‘take load off one’s chest’, etc. In body-oriented psychotherapy these are not merely idiomatic metaphors but real experiences manifested within the body. They are symbolic answers to an unconscious background of meaningful decisions we make for ourselves. Bearing this in mind, we can develop our self-consciousness and opt for a different behaviour in certain situations.
Depending on clients’ capacity and their consciousness of internal processes that affect them physically, emotionally and mentally, different techniques are used in order to determine patterns and consequences of these correlations. Including body into therapeutic process enables an active expression of feelings and frustrations and eventually emotional emancipation. Emotional emancipation thus creates a new positive experience that will eventually replace the old one and provide a new perspective on different problems and challenges in life, as well as a healthier approach to possible solutions.