A Somatopsychic-Relational Model for Growing an Emotionally Healthy, Sexually Open Body from the Ground Up


  • Elaine Tuccillo




Psychosexual development, sexuality, bioenergetics, parenting, relational child development


There is a foundation of relational elements upon which healthy adult sexuality is built. We have learned from Bioenergetic, Psychoanalytic and other developmental theorists that from birth on the child’s capacity to connect, to make contact, and to expand energetically into relationship grows in depth and in complexity; and that the child’s sexuality emerges developmentally along a path of increasing awareness of loving feeling, and somatic sensations and psychic perception of excitement and pleasure. This paper looks at the impact that the parent-child relationship can have toward the development of healthy, life-affirming, sexuality. Sexuality is at the core of the life force and it is organized by early relational events. Healthy sexuality has its origins in the complex nurturant attachment process and is formed in the mutual love and joy of the parent-child bond. There are key relational elements that characterize this bond that work synergistically to support healthy sexual development. They are: safety, love, acceptance and nurturance of the life force, admiration and adoration, and the positive parental model of relationship. Sexuality is an adventure, a journey that one must be equipped psychologically to take. These key elements are fundamental for the journey to be positive, constructive and life-affirming.

Author Biography

Elaine Tuccillo

Elaine Tuccillo, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist and CBT in private practice in New York City. She is an IIBA faculty member and a faculty member of the New York Society for Bioenergetic Analysis Psychotherapy Training Program.
063-085 36157


How to Cite

Tuccillo, E. (2022). A Somatopsychic-Relational Model for Growing an Emotionally Healthy, Sexually Open Body from the Ground Up. Bioenergetic Analysis, 16(1), 63–85. https://doi.org/10.30820/0743-4804-2006-16-63