Bloch Healing in Comparison to Other Therapies
The Therapeutic Context of Bloch Healing
I am often asked how BH compares with other therapies that use psychotherapy or ‘bodywork’, or with those that combine them. Where is BH placed on this spectrum?
Is BH a form of psychotherapy?
Although developing out of different experiences and skills, the theoretical principles and therapeutic goals of BH are broadly similar to Carl Rogers’ later statements on the principles of Health and Healing in person-centred psychotherapy, but with communication between Healer and Client occurring primarily through the medium of a subtle and sensitive touch, rather than through speech.
Is BH a form of ‘bodywork’?
Although BH employs ‘hands-on’ work, it is different in principle to any type of bodywork that includes any direct therapeutic goal apart from a Meeting between therapist and client. These include therapies in which the healing is said to be caused by any mechanical aspect of the therapy, such as massage, ‘deep tissue work’, or on the adjustment or manipulation of ‘myofascia’, etc, or else on exercises such as ‘body awareness’ methods and breathing techniques. Changes to these structures frequently do occur in BH, but only as a result of Healing.
Is BH best described as psychotherapy or 'bodywork'?
Since both body and mind occupy the same space in a person and are ultimately inseparable, it might be said that any therapy, whether it be of a primarily 'psychological' or 'physiological' modality, is neither completely the one or the other, but rather "psycho-physical", and this is certainly true of BH.
These are some of the other questions that I am often asked about BH in comparison to other therapies:
What is unique about BH?
BH is unique in its combination of understandings and skills. These comprise principles of Healing based upon the quality of the Client-Healer relationship alone, together with a ‘hands-on’ practice based upon a sensitive and subtle touch, including the ability to feel the nature of the person with the hands, without the need to do anything physically to the Client in order that Healing may take place.
What are the special advantages of BH?
Compared with relational person-centred psychotherapy, the use of the modality of touch may confer certain advantages. These include the immediacy and power of touch as a means of communication, the sensitivity of the Healer to the physical nature of the Client, and a suitability for certain groups of Clients for whom talk therapy may be difficult or impossible. For more on the advantages, as well as some of the potential limitations of touch in therapy, see ‘The Advantages of Physical Touch’.
Does Healing (as you define the word) sometimes occur in therapies that have only healing (in the common meaning) as their goal?
It is possible for almost any therapy to be Healing, whatever its stated goals, if a Meeting takes place between therapist and client. And this chiefly depends on the qualities of the individual therapist, and on the relationship that they are able to establish with their client in the therapeutic setting. (see ‘What is a Healing Therapy?’)