Creating A Healing Space

by Donald Marmara, Somatic Psychotherapist, creator of Core Development, Artarmon, Sydney.

Core Development works with somatic process, which acknowledges the unity of mind, body, emotions and spirit. It draws on the principles and understanding of somatic psychotherapy, structural dynamics, and Donald’s own personal therapy and life experience. It is a learning not a clinical process.

Core Development is a creative learning process.  It involves learning how we can realize our full potential as human beings. It is more about our quality of being than about doing.

All deep healing is self-healing and all methods of healing are effective insofar as they help create a healing space ie. the conditions necessary for our own self-healing mechanisms to work.

Many of us grow up being told what is right and wrong by other people. We have had little if any opportunity to find out the truth for ourselves.  Core Development believes that, in order to find the truth, we have to be allowed to learn from our own experience.

Many of us have been conditioned to believe that it is wrong and dangerous to be ourselves.  This conditioning,  our fear of life,  is maintained by chronic contractions of our muscles, organs and energy fields.

It is usually necessary to work on different levels and sometimes necessary to work directly with the body, in order to enable us to change our belief system, release our fears and allow our biological life-energy to flow and make us whole again.

Core Development works with the creative process not with pathology.  We do not look for what is wrong in order to put it right.  On the contrary we ask:

“How can we make contact without getting caught up in defences and blocks?” (tensions and blocks are dealt with as they occur, we do not need to look for them).

How can we create more aliveness, greater authenticity, and the ability and freedom to follow our excitement instead of being trapped and driven by our fears and defences?”

“How can we learn to distinguish between what we truly want, and will therefore bring us satisfaction and fulfillment, and what we think we want or should want, which only leads us to more dissatisfaction and self-doubt?”

“What is trying to emerge and what is getting in the way?”

All too often in our society, instead of providing the most nourishing, stimulating and supportive environment for people to grow and develop into healthy adults, we assume that we need to tell them how to grow and what to become.

This is rather like assuming that we need to teach an apple seed how to grow and what to grow into.   As a result of this unfortunate misunderstanding, many of us grow up rather like apple trees that are expected to produce oranges.

Then we feel that something is wrong with us and of course it is – instead of being supported in being who and what we are, we are trying to become something other than what we are meant to be.

Can you imagine an apple tree going into therapy feeling such a failure because it is unable to produce good oranges? Think about this:  how many of us are actually doing this today?

Core Development  draws on a number of techniques.  These may include, as and when appropriate, neo-reichian and biodynamic  bodywork, movement, massage, emotional expression and communication, meditation, play, gestalt structures and talking. As everyone is unique, the methods used will vary according to each person’s specific needs.

Neo-reichian bodywork works primarily with breathing and pulsation to help us rediscover a natural balance between taking in and giving out, between containment and release.

Biodynamic bodywork seeks to discover the quality of movement and contact that we need at that particular time.

Core Development is a system of unlearning and re-education and not a clinical method.