My piece in the New York Times, Less Talk, More Therapy, has received a lot of attention, and I feel compelled to add and clarify some information.
First, I make the assertion that “being with Ann E. feels a little like being in psychotherapy.” This is due both to the nature of our conversations during sessions and the information she imparts. Our conversations emerge organically; often we talk about our pasts and our relationships. The fact that she’s a wise woman and a good listener make it feel “a little” like therapy. But make no mistake, she is a body worker.
The other “psychotherapy-like” aspect, to me, is that she discusses and demystifies how the body works as an organic entity in a way that I have never experienced through talking to doctors. She has a paradigm for understanding the body that she shares with me, the way my psychotherapists have instructed me about how my mind “works” – triggers, patterns, explanations for reactions. Again, this is her style – the way she does things. Most body workers I’ve been to (which, admittedly, are not vast in numbers) happen to be talkative. But not all of them have reminded me of being in psychotherapy. This is why I wrote about her for Couch.
I originally had included the type(s) of therapy Ann E. practices in the piece, but the editor and I believed that that information wasn’t germane to the story. Silly us. We had agreed that we didn’t want it to sound like I (or the Times) was somehow endorsing a particular type of therapy. The essay was meant to be a personal story, nothing more.
At the time, I had no idea there were so many people in so much pain.
Ann E. practices a combination of two types of therapy: Structural Integration (she calls it “soft Rolfing”) and Source Point Therapy (which is the technique she uses that engages the body’s energy, the one where her hand remains inches away from the body). Her teacher/mentor is located in New Mexico. Here is a link:
I have not spent a lot of time on the site, but I do know there’s a place that invites you to contact them to locate practitioners in your area. Rolfing seems easy enough to find anywhere in the world.
Another thing that was cut from the article that you might find useful is reading Dr. John Sarno’s book The Mindbody Prescription: Healing the Body, Healing the Pain (or really any book by him). This was probably my first introduction to the idea of real physical pain resulting from emotions. I offer this up because many people I know (myself included) have moved through a tremendous amount of longstanding physical pain simply from reading his book. It’s maybe a $20 investment, and fascinating stuff.
I wish I were able to provide contact information for Ann E., but she’s a solo practitioner who works from her house and the sheer volume of phone calls would take her down.
I hope some of this is helpful, and if you ended up here because you’re in pain, I hope that you’re able to find relief in your life. I’m quietly rooting for you.