Letter from the Editor

Bioenergetic Analysis • The Clinical Journal of the IIBA, 2022 (32), 7–9

https://doi.org/10.30820/0743-4804-2022-32-7 CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 www.bioenergetic-analysis.com

Dear Colleagues of the Bioenergetic Community

Here we are with the second volume of our Journal in the times of the Covid-19 pandemic. Considering that we have been living in the midst of so many restrictions, every opportunity for us all to be in contact must be taken! This was the case of the 26th International Conference of Bioenergetic Analysis “From Isolation to Connection”, which happened October 15–17, 2021, in an online format and organized by our members in Brazil. At the time we called this event a “Pre-Conference” because it was intended to be a forerunner of a “real” conference in 2022 where people could meet in person – if Covid allows us! Maybe because this opportunity was so “rare” and precious, we had a large audience exchanging theoretical points of view, experiential workshops and group discussions – all of us aware of the importance of being together! Thus, in thinking about our colleagues who were not able to be present, the Editorial Team thought how important it would be to share some Conference material as a way of all of our members being together and connecting.

From the Conference Panels, we have Maria Cristina Francisco and Thomas Heinrich who look at “Pluralities” and all the diverse cultural, racial, and sexual realities of the human family and the prejudices people face; then we have Panel discussions at the Conference about themes vital for us as bioenergetic therapists: Louise Fréchette, Vincentia Schroeter and Susan Kanor examine “The Strength of Bioenergetics”; then Guy Tonella reminds us that emotional regulation is at the heart of individual and social homeostasis, and also is at the very centre of our bioenergetic methodology.

We have Helen Resneck-Sannes’ Keynote talking about the need for sensitivity to the isolation and traumas experienced by ‘the Other’ in order to establish healthy connections. And lastly, we have Scott Baum discussing the difficulty for psychotherapists when dealing with borderline or psychotic conditions – where the very possibility of connection has been seriously damaged by early relational trauma.

Augmenting this Conference content, we present other papers focusing on important perspectives in our thinking and practice of Bioenergetics. Garry Cockburn’s paper examines the physical dynamics of primitive states that are manifesting more frequently in our clinical practice in these troubled times. Diana Guest and Jan Parker discuss touch as a therapeutic intervention, its ethical use, and how important it is to educate therapists and undertake research in this matter. Christoph Helferich in his article talks about the eternal dilemma when it comes to describe a human being – body, mind, ego, soul – always divided! And he brings a case in which he uses a special technique of touching with the patient. Finally, we have Guy Tonella presenting his ESMER model, showing the structural development of the Self with its five functions, and all the complexities involved.

Sadly, in the midst of this thrilling content, this Edition of the Journal also recognizes that we lost an incredible psychotherapist and a brilliant master who will be sorely missed – Bennett Shapiro left us November 14, 2021. To honor him, three of our colleagues who knew him well from each of the Regions of the IIBA, Odila Weigand, Vita Heinrich-Clauer, and Garry Cockburn, pay tribute through beautiful eulogies!

And just at the moment of submitting the manuscript of the Journal to the Publisher, we received word that we have also lost another of our brilliant original forebears. Eleanor Greenlee of San Francisco died on 13 January 2022. As Michael Conant wrote, “Eleanor’s enthusiasm and dedication to Bioenergetics for five decades affected and inspired people all over the globe. She was one of the finest ambassadors we’ve ever had, full of knowledge and heart. She will be missed by me and many others who were fortunate enough to know her and her work.”

We would like to acknowledge the precious contributions of our colleagues: the Reviewers of the articles, Vincentia Schroeter, Odila Weigand, Leia Cardenuto, Garry Cockburn; and the Translators of the Abstracts, Claudia Ucros (French), Rosaria Filoni (Italian), Thomas Heinrich (German), Rebecca Liu Jianpu (Chinese), Angelina Samartova (Russian), Jaime Perez (Spanish), Maê Nascimento and Leia Cardenuto (Portuguese). Vincentia Schroeter has also contributed her artwork to our cover as she has for each edition since 2019, and for that we are most grateful. Her painting shows animals who are specialists in social connection, to reflect the theme of our 26th Conference in Brazil.

And finally, Bioenergetics is about energy, vitality and joy – and we try to be in this world according to its principles! I hope you enjoy the whole Journal, joining us in the movement toward new discoveries and developments of our body/analytical approach – Bioenergetics Analysis.

Maê Nascimento
January 2022