About Core Process Psychotherapy
Core Process psychotherapy is a body-centred psycho-spiritual psychotherapy. It is also sometimes referred to as an awareness-based, mindfulness-based, transpersonal or contemplative psychotherapy.
It has been taught at the Karuna Institute for more than thirty years, and the training takes 7 to 10 years of study and practice to complete. The Karuna Institute is one of the founding members of the UKCP, and sits within the humanistic and integrative psychotherapy tradition.
I first visited the institute, located high on Dartmoor, in May 1997. They have produced an excellent short film about Core Process psychotherapy, and you may also enjoy this brief summary of the aims of this approach.
Core Process Psychotherapy brings together the richness of western psychology's skills, knowledge & understanding with the insights of eastern psychology, particularly Buddhist psychology, into the healing power of awareness. It emphasises the basic goodness and clarity, the resilience and balance that lie within us all, however hidden or buried these may sometimes seem.
In the Core Process approach, we bring awareness to our immediate experience, to our subtle inner processes, our sensations, feelings, thoughts and beliefs, our concerns and life experiences, and we include how these are all being expressed in or through our body.
So the Core Process approach helps us to explore our life, relationships and experiences, with curiosity, interest and openness. We are welcome to bring the whole of ourselves to this approach. No part of us need be left out or excluded.
Living in your body
An important strand of my work is helping you to land and live more fully in your body.
For most of us, our mind and awareness are split off, far away from our bodies. We are busy thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, about bills or work or home.
But it is in and with and through our bodies that we actually live; this is how we touch and relate to others, how we see and feel.
So becoming more present and aware in our body, more 'at home' in our body, is important if we are to enjoy and appreciate the good moments in our lives more fully.
It is also necessary if we are to deal with all that is difficult, confusing or painful for us, since stress and trauma tend to split our presence of mind away from our body. Fortunately, with care, time, attention and skill, this split can be healed.
Recent research confirms this insight, that embodiment (which is bringing our awareness, presence & sensitivity back into our body) helps us feel happier and more content, and is necessary if we are to resolve our stresses and our trauma. Focusing and the felt sense, described as "a process for helping your mind listen to the wisdom of your body", is a good place to start learning about this.