Defensive Style in Bioenergetic Therapy
What it Means and Why it Matters
Keywords:defenses, defensive style, relational trauma, bioenergetics, contracted
AbstractThe concept of defensive style provides a rich addition to the understanding of our clients and the factors which inhibit their joy in life and satisfaction in relationships. Defensive style differs from character structure. But, like character structure, it can be viewed through observations of a client’s body in addition to memories of childhood relational experiences. This paper explores the lens of defensive style, explains how it differs from character structure, and includes bioenergetic methods to observe defensive style in a client. It includes the work of Len Carlino along with a diagnostic tool by Schroeter and Thomson. Case examples of using this understanding to help clients are sprinkled throughout. The paper ends with a tribute to Len Carlino, Ph.D, IIBA International Trainer, for his valuable reminder that working through defensive style and character structure require a life long commitment.
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