Recent decades have seen a proliferation of ‘new’ therapies or
‘approaches’ to therapy. The reader would therefore be forgiven that the
use of the definite article in the title of this article – ‘THE New
Therapy’ – suggests a grandiose claim to present yet another new form of
therapy, but one superior to all. Is not such an article, with its
implicit claim, not immediately suspect in itself? Not if we consider
that every time ‘a’ new form of therapy is named a new terminological
adjective is attached to the noun ‘therapy’. Adjectives such as
‘psychodynamic’, ‘cognitive’, ‘body-oriented’ or ‘somatic’ do of course
serve the obvious purpose of distinguishing and ‘branding’ different
forms of therapy, as well as helping to place them in a particular
historic tradition or framework of thought, whether psychoanalysis or
cognitive science. And yet the very adjectives applied to the noun
‘therapy’ may also prevent us from properly considering the assumptions
on which our understanding of therapy as such is founded. It is a
different matter to compare and contrast two or more forms of therapy
and to ask the more fundamental question - what is ‘therapy’? All
understandable suspicions notwithstanding, let the reader be in no
doubt. This article is not intended to make grandiose claims for
‘a’ new form of therapy (and to position it in the ‘market’ of existing
therapies by branding it with a new and exotic name). And yet through
the definite article in its title it does indeed lay claim to
outlining the foundations of an entirely new understanding of ‘therapy’
as such, one with profound implications not only for the practice of
psycho-therapy but ‘therapy’ in its most general sense, including
medical and psychiatric ‘therapies’.
The New Therapy
Introduction to Inner Bodywork
Behind your thoughts
and feelings, my brother, there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage -
whose name is Self.
In your body he dwells. He is your body.
You’re concerned about the
body, but you never get to BE the body … you never relate to being the
body, or experiencing the body directly,
but only in the form of
perception and the conceptual process added.
Adi Da Samraj
The body is an
order to properly understand the practices and experiences of
inner-bodily sensing, resonance and response that lies
at the heart of The New Therapy, the single-most important
question any counsellor, psychotherapist or health professional can ask
themselves is: "How could I practice counselling, therapy, healing,
medicine or psychiatry without either talk or touch, words or bodily
contact of any form?" That is not to say that The New Therapy
is conducted entirely in this fashion – but its foundation is the
recognition that our innermost feeling awareness of self and other is
something that communicates directly and wordlessly through the language
that is the body. In this way The New Therapy embodies
the most primordial understanding of 'psychology' possible – not as one
or other form of scientific or therapeutic discourse ‘about’ the psyche,
but rather as the silently embodied speech or 'logos' of the
psyche – its word 'become flesh'. As 'Inner Bodywork' it is
based on the principle that the human body as a whole is both an
inner sense organ of the soul and its outer sensory
image - thus serving as the potential medium for a profoundly
rich, highly differentiated, and intrinsically healing form of
silent soul-to-soul communication. The function of both
conceptual theory and verbal communication in The New Therapy
is not to replace the silent inner speech or logos of
the soul or psyche itself - but rather to reflect and deepen
our felt bodily awareness of it.
The New Therapy is a fundamental
reorientation of both psychotherapy and somatic medicine. Its basis is
the therapist’s capacity to directly sense and resonate with a client’s
immediate sensual and bodily experience of psychological dis-ease.
The New Yoga is a multi-dimensional yoga of the ‘inner body’ – the
subjective, inwardly sensed or felt body. As such it is also a
therapeutic yoga, providing a new foundation for both psychotherapy
training and practice.
The New Therapy differentiates itself from other forms of
‘somatic’, ‘body-' or ‘bodywork therapy’ by clearly distinguishing the
individual’s physical body from their own inwardly sensed or
felt body, recognising the latter as an independent ‘inner body’ in
its own right. It can therefore be regarded as a form of ‘inner
bodywork’ in the most literal sense – the use of the therapist’s own
inner body to sense, resonate with and transform a client’s own inwardly
felt body and inner-bodily sense of self.
The New Therapy as Inner Bodywork
The New Therapy
switches the whole focus of psychotherapy from the individual’s cognitive or
emotional experience of subjective states to their immediate sensual
and bodily experience of such states – exploring the felt
qualities of lightness or heaviness, brightness or darkness, warmth or
coolness, solidity or brittleness, expansiveness or contractedness, that
make up the individual’s inwardly sensed or subjective body – their
psychical or soul body in the most literal sense.
The Inner Body – Key Insights of The New Therapy
It has had many names:
subtle body, energy body, etheric body, astral body, dreambody
etc. The key insight of The New Therapy is that the inner body is
not some ‘objective’ second body made up of biological cells or subtle
biological energies. Instead it is a subjective body with its own
innate bodily shape and tone, its own innate substantiality and sensual
qualities. It is not made up of subtle inner energies we can become
aware of but of sensual qualities of awareness – qualities
I term ‘qualia’ or ‘soul qualities’.
Important Questions for All Therapists
- How can we pass from an outer
perception of the outer human being to an inner
perception of the outer human being? For example, instead of
outwardly seeing an look on someone’s face or in their eyes,
being able to inwardly identify with that look - to feel it
from within with our own face and eyes.
- How can we pass from an outer
perception of the inner human being to an inner
perception of the inner human being. For example, how
can we pass from simply seeing from some outward signs that
someone is ‘sad’ to inwardly feeling their sadness in all its
particularity – the unique and nameless inner quality of their
sadness. Indeed how can we pass from outwardly seeing to
inwardly feeling any state of being another person may be in
– even without having words to describe or label what we see or
The answer to both
questions lies with the inner body – our felt and feeling body.
For it is with our inner body that we can transform outer perceptions
of others into inner proprioceptions of ourselves –
proprioceptions of ourselves that are in bodily resonance with the way
another person is proprioceiving themselves, the way they are feeling
their own states of being as inner-bodily states.
New Question for Therapists – and an Answer
In contrast to the idea of
therapy as either a ‘talking cure’ on the one hand, or a form of
bodywork, touch therapy or medical treatment on the other, this site
draws on several decades of profound experiential exploration of a
single question, a question which applies not only to
psychotherapists and counsellors but to ‘bodyworkers’, medical
practitioners, and health professionals of all sorts. The question is:
What would or could a
therapist do if they were bound by two basic rules – that they
could neither speak to nor touch their clients? In what
way could a therapist interact with and relate in a deeply therapeutic
way to a client or patient – and with deeply therapeutic benefits -
without either talk or touch, without either words
or physical contact or treatment?
This is ‘The New
Question’ that lies at the heart of ‘The New Therapy’. The suggestion is
not that therapists should give therapy entirely without words or
physical contact - only that without exploring this Question we fail to
ground ‘therapeutic’ communication in the hidden ‘telepathic’
foundations of all human communication. This ‘telepathic’
communication has nothing to with mental ‘thought transmission’ but
rather with the simple and automatic way in which each individual’s
bodily feeling awareness of themselves and others
communicates directly to others - and does so without Talk or
The answer to The New Question provided by The New Therapy – understood
as inner bodywork - lies not simply in increased attention to
so-called ‘non-verbal’ modes of communication or outer body
language. It lies instead in our innate capacity to directly sense the
inwardness of another person’s body – to feel their soul into our
body and our soul in theirs. The answer to The New Question provided by
The New Therapy is Transformative Resonation. For if we have
sufficient bodily self-awareness to resonate with the qualities
belonging to another person’s bodily sense of self we can also impart
new qualities to it and that transform that sense of self –
transform their ‘body identity’.
This in turn is the whole aim and meaning of therapeutic change
in The New Therapy - which is not simply that a client or patient can
say “I feel different”, but that in most tangible, bodily way
they feel a different “I”.
The Nature of ‘Body Language’
The clinical gaze
has the paradoxical ability to hear a language as soon as it perceives a
clinical gaze…all that is visible is expressible and that it is wholly
visible because it is wholly expressible.
Much use is made today of the term ‘body language’
- without ever questioning the deeper nature of either bodyhood or
language. People’s relation to the ‘body language’ of others can be as
superficial or deep, illiterate or literalistic, as their relation to
verbal language. The real danger lies in superficial translations of
body language into verbal language. If we look at someone and ‘see’ from
their posture or the look on their face that they are ‘angry’, we are in
effect reducing their body language to our own verbal language –
to an emotion that can be described and labelled in words. This type of
‘seeing’ is just what prevents people from feeling what another
person is saying through their body language.
We can look at a page of writing and see only
unintelligible signs on a page, listen to a person speaking and hear
only unintelligible sounds. This is an outer perception of the
outwardness of language. Alternatively we can see or hear ‘words’
with conventionalised literal senses – an outer perception of the
inwardness of language. But we can also read and hear what the
writer or speaker is saying to us through those words – or
through their body language. What communicates through the word
is nothing that can be neatly labelled or interpreted ‘in’ words, but
something essentially wordless – something we feel. It is with our
bodies that we feel meaning directly – both the inner meaning of
a person’s words and that of their ‘body language’. It is those felt
meanings that communicate ‘through’ the word (dia-logos) that
constitute the true depth of all ‘dialogue’. What communicates through a
person’s physical body language too, is nothing that we need translate
into psychological language – it is something we feel with our own
bodies in an immediate sensual way. The question is – with which
The Nature of the Inner Body – Key Questions
Which body is it with
which we feel the ‘brightness’ or ‘darkness’, ‘tone’ or ‘colour’ of our
Which body is it with which we feel ourselves as ‘heavier’ or ‘lighter’
without our physical weight changing by one gram.
Which body is it with which we feel closer or more distant to others
irrespective of physical distance?
Which body is it whose ‘heart’ can make us feel heartened or
disheartened, warm- or cold-hearted, heartache or loss of heart?
Which body is it with which we feel ‘warmer’ or ‘cooler’ to others
independently of our physical temperature, or sense another person’s
warmth or coolness of feeling?
Which body is it with which we can feel ‘uplifted’ or ‘carried away’,
‘sucked in’ or ‘trapped’, ‘stretched’ or ‘all over the place’, ‘open’ or
‘closed off’, ‘exploding’ or ‘imploding’ without our physical body
moving or changing shape?
Which body is it whose ‘skin’ we can feel more or less at home in, whose
boundary we can feel as ‘thick- or thin-skinned’, ‘open’ or
‘impervious’, ‘edgy’ or ‘irritable’, rigid, porous, overly filled out
and ‘fat’ or shrunk and contracted - without any change to our actual
skin surface or physical body size?
Which body is it whose inner tone can make us feel ‘dull’, ‘flat’ or
‘sharp’, and whose inner texture can make us feel ‘hollow’ or ‘empty’
inside, ‘shapeless’ or ‘spineless’, ‘solid’ or ‘airy’, ‘firm’ or
Which body is it in which people can feel fat even though they
are thin. Certainly not the physical body – the body as outwardly
perceived object. Rather it is the inwardly felt body –
the subjective body with which we feel ourselves and
others, the feeling body with which we come to truly know
ourselves and others. This feeling body is a ‘field body’ unbounded by
the flesh. Its only boundaries are the boundaries of our feeling
awareness of ourselves and others. It is our awareness body.
Inner Bodywork – Key Questions for The New Therapist
Is this person feeling their body right now?
How is this person feeling ‘in’ their body right now?
How much is this person feeling their body right now.
How much of their body is this person feeling right now?
How and where does this person feel the boundaries of their body?
Inner Bodywork – Key
Abilities of The New Therapist
To feel the body of the other as a sensory image of their soul.
To feel our own body as a whole as a sense organ of our soul.
To use whole-body awareness to directly sense the souls of others.
4. To sense and
resonate in a bodily way with those sensual qualities
of awareness that make up our own souls and
those of others.
Inner Bodywork - Key Principles of The New Therapy
soul or psyche is a free awareness field with its own innate
sensual qualities, its own innate bodily shape and tone
can only feel our self as a whole – our soul – to the
extent we feel our body as a whole, its outwardness, its
inwardness and the felt boundary that unites them.
body is nothing essentially biological, but a field-boundary of
identity and awareness - dividing what we feel as ‘me’ from all that we
feel as ‘not me’.
its very nature a boundary is itself nothing bounded, for it not
only divides but also unites what lies outside it with that which it
There are no boundaries to our identity or awareness of
being or to our bodyhood – except those that we create through our
The Many Aspects of The Inner Body
In both The New
Therapy and The New Yoga the inner body is understood in the
following multi-faceted ways.
The Inner Body is:
inwardly felt body or proprioceptive body.
body of pre-reflective feeling awareness.
feeling body – the body with which we feel ourselves, feel others
and feel the world around us.
phantom body - the body with which we feel phantom limbs and
sensations, bearing within the phantom form of every-body we have
been or been with.
field body - the felt bodily shape taken by the larger field or
feeld of our feeling awareness.
bodily field-boundary of awareness and identity, dividing what we
feel as ‘self’ from that which we feel as ‘not-self’.
foreknowing body – the body with which we ‘know’ what we wish to
say or do before saying or doing it.
pre-physical body – the body with which we pre-enact possible
actions and words before physically enacting them
trans-physical body unbounded by flesh - enabling us to embrace the
world in the larger feeld of our feeling awareness.
phonic body - made up of inner tones of feelings that are phonically
shaped in the same way as vocal tones
formative body – the body with which we give physical form to
inner feeling tones - embodying them as cell and organ tone, muscle and
morphic body – made up of “morphic fields” (Rupert Sheldrake).
These are not energy fields but field-patterns of awareness, each
of which configures its own perceptual world or patterned field of
shape-shifting or metamorphic body, capable of shifting shape
and tone in resonance with the bodies of others
metaphoric body – the body referred to by such apparently
metaphorical phrases as ‘thick-skinned’ or ‘thin-skinned’,
‘warm-hearted’ or ‘cold-blooded’, ‘bright’ or ‘dull’, ‘close’ or
The New Therapy and The New Yoga
The New Yoga is
an integral part of The New Therapy because it is the means by
which proprioceptive feeling awareness or ‘field awareness’ is
The New Yoga
offers a sequenced and graded progression of meditational practices
which begin with the cultivation of field-awareness and culminate in a
capacity for identification with the inwardly felt body and self of the
other. The sequence can be summarised as follows
exercises which enhance and expand our bodily sense of the
spaces of awareness between and around thoughts and emotions.
exercises which sensitise us to field-states and
field-qualities of awareness.
exercises which enlarge the field-spatiality of one’s
inner bodily awareness.
exercises which expand the field-spatiality of one’s outer
exercises which restore whole-body awareness
through ‘grounding’ in lower body awareness and ‘centering’ of awareness
and breathing in the abdomen
exercises in altering not only one’s focus of
awareness but its locus – moving it between different centres of
awareness in the spaces of one’s felt body.
exercises in feeling one’s entire body surface as an open
and porous field-boundary of awareness through which one can
breathe in and absorb one’s awareness of the body of the other.
exercises in feeling the unique sensual field-qualities of
another person’s awareness within the inner spaces of one’s own felt
body e.g. feeling the sensual field-qualities of their inner
‘head space’, ‘chest space’ or abdominal space with and within one’s own
head, chest and abdomen.
exercises that cultivate ‘embodied presence’ and enable
one to make fully embodied contact with others through whole-body
exercises that cultivate the ability to actively embody,
emanate and directly communicate or ‘transfer’ different field-qualities
of awareness to another.
exercises in altering the field-qualities of one’s own
awareness and thereby transforming one’s own bodily sense of self.
exercises in ‘transformative resonance’ - transforming
another person’s bodily sense of self through amplificatory resonance
with the field-qualities of their awareness and direct
field-transference of new and different qualities.
The Many Dimensions of The New Yoga
Inner awareness work - the new yoga of field-awareness
Inner mind work – the new yoga of inner body mindfulness
Inner identity work – the new yoga of bodily field-identity
Inner space work - the new yoga of spatial field-awareness
Inner time work – the new yoga of temporal field-awareness
Inner light work – the new yoga of inner light and darkness
Inner mood work – the new yoga of field-qualities of awareness
Inner colour work - the new yoga of field-colours of awareness
Inner music work – the new yoga of field-tonalities of awareness
breath work - the new yoga of awareness breathing
sound work - the new yoga of healing inner sounds
face work - the new yoga of the inner face
eye work - the new yoga of the inner gaze
voice work - the new yoga of the inner voice
touch work – the new yoga of inner touch
communication work – the new yoga of communication
sensory work – the new yoga of deep sensory experiencing
elemental work – the new yoga of elemental qualities
word work – the new yoga of felt bodily meaning
gesture work – the new yoga of inner gestures
healing work – the new yoga of soul-body sensing
tantric work – the new yoga of soul-body intercourse
dream work – the new yoga of soul-body journeying
Personal and Transpersonal Dimensions of Inner Bodywork
In The New
Therapy, the ‘unconscious’ is understood as bodily field
awareness as opposed to ordinary focal consciousness – consciousness
of a localised object, internal or external, on the part of a localised
subject or ego. No matter how many issues are thematised in
psychotherapy, no amount of focal awareness and insight can
substitute for direct field awareness of self and other. Such
inner-bodily field awareness - cultivated through The New Yoga -
is the only medium through which we can come to directly feel the
inwardness of another person - and experience that infinite
trans-personal awareness field that constitutes the divine source of our