What is IBP?
Integrative Body Psychotherapy (IBP) aims to treat the whole person: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. It’s a type of mind-body medicine that integrates many complementary approaches to mental health and human evolution, including Psychoanalysis, Object relations therapy, Gestalt therapy, Reichian therapy, Self psychology, Bioenergetics, Feldrekrias, Transpersonal psychology as well as Eastern philosophies and practices (e.g., yoga, meditation, acupuncture, etc.). Combining aspects of these different methodologies makes IBP feel familiar yet produces unique and often powerful results. It can lead to transformative experiences that aren’t possible when the individual source components are used in isolation. IBP is appreciated for its efficiency, simplicity and non-invasive approach.

Where is IBP available?
IBP is a recognized somatic-based psychotherapy in Canada, which requires therapeutic modalities to be approved and certified by government and professional bodies before it can be offered to the public. It was founded in California by Jack Rosenberg and is now practiced throughout parts of Europe, Canada and the United States. At Brio, Dr. Vanessa eagerly integrates IBP philosophy and techniques into her naturopathic practice and offers counselling through an IBP lens.

The importance of breathing in strengthening the mind-body connection
Energetic breath work (I recommend watching this video: https://yourbriohealth.ca/therapeutic-breathing-for-relaxation-and-energy/ for a better understanding) is used to bring aliveness and wellbeing to the body, and the sense of Self lodged inside. Without knowing it, many of us are held back by energetic blockages and muscular holding patterns that started accumulating at birth. These postures are tied to self-limiting beliefs that affect how we relate to ourselves, others, and the world. Breathing allows the body to shift into a parasympathetic state, which is necessary for basic restorative functions like resting and digesting but also healing of the essential Self (soul). We tend to spend the majority of our lives in a sympathetic dominant state feeling frightened, like we have to fight or flee, and worrying that we may freeze. Thus, most of us don’t breathe properly on a regular basis. Constantly responding to alarms leaves us fragmented, without a cohesive sense of identity. The natural state of the Self is one of harmony; the breath supports integration of our mind, body, and spirit.

How do I become more self-aware / mindful?
Mindfulness starts with increasing awareness of sensations in the body and breath (what are you feeling and where?) and connecting them to our emotional feelings and past or current life events. Only when we address deep-seated personal and intergenerational injuries and earthquake events (that steer our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours) can we truly grow inside. To alter maladaptive responses, we must work with the body. An IBP therapist can provide the framework and hands-on assistance for your self-development journey.

The ultimate goal of IBP is to help people sustain an integrated state of their essential Self, in the face of daily interruptions that challenge our boundaries and trigger false beliefs about ourselves. It provides a much more hopeful and exciting lens with which to view the world.

In health,
Dr. Vanessa