Basic Training (cont)
There is a whole spectrum of backgrounds for people who are practicing Conscious Breathwork today. Many of them are Licensed Psychotherapists, and use the activating effects of the breath to unlock emotions so that they can be processed and treated through some Psychological model of growth and development. Others, like Nina's friend Seth Bartlett, refer to Breathwork as "The Un-Therapy." Personally, I like that concept much better.
Actually, I am beginning to gravitate towards James Hillman's viewpoint, as expressed in his book: "100 Years of Psychotherapy, and We're Getting Worse!" I call attention to a powerful article, written by Cliff Bostock, in my section on this site that deals with Shadow Work. It would be worth your perusal at some point. There is a point at which "too much analysis causes paralysis." I am sure that those of us who have dropped a lot of bucks on Counselors can relate to that. However, it also bears mentioning that there are many powerful people out there who are doing a tremendous job, too.
In Washington, a person can register him/herself as a "Registered Counselor," and play Psychotherapist all he wants. The problem, of course---from the viewpoint of a more fully trained Therapist---is that many Registered Counselors may have just enough knowledge to make them dangerous. Therefore, for a Conscious Breathworker to invoke the name and conceptual models of "Psychotherapy" simply implies that he is a "poor man's Psychologist."
My friend Rob, another Rebirther from the training class, put it very succinctly. He said: "Sometimes, a person has to go out of his head to come to his senses!" Man, did that ever resonate! To me, this is the heart of what Rebirthing and Conscious Breathwork stands for.
Another context in which many people practice Conscious Breathwork involves becoming ordained as a minister. Under this model, any work with energy and bodies becomes a function of one's worship process (the "laying on of hands"), and is protected under our constitutional right to freedom of religion. And, indeed, I have been an ordained minister for several years, as a member of the Universal Life Church, based in Modesto, California. I also plan to become affiliated with the "S.H.E.E.'s Church" Congregation here in Washington at some point, as well.
Invoking the religious model can also be touchy, though it has seemed the most safe to me up to this point. Energy is so much more than mere religion, and there are people who would be instantly turned off to Breathwork if I alluded that it was connected to religion. Therefore, I also play down that aspect as well.
It seems to me that the job of a Breathworker is most aptly described as being a Personal Trainer (Coach) for Wellness, Growth, and Increased Awareness." In other words, I am becoming inclined to simply think of myself as a Personal Trainer in a life skill that is foundational for the expansion and growth of all of us today.
At times, my Rebirthing follows the focus of my role as a Trainer in the Intuitive Arts. At other times, my Licensure as a Massage Practitioner nicely supports my goal to help people move energy through their bodies utilizing the breath. In fact, I am now exploring whether or not I can justify a certain number of units of using breathwork as "Neuro-Muscular Re-Education," which is a valid Treatment Code for receiving Insurance Re-Imbursement under many health plans. More info will be passed onto you about that when I obtain it.
Indeed, Conscious Breathwork (Rebirthing), is a wonderful form of Stress Management, and Re-Training of the nerves and muscles for healthy and vital function. In fact, I know of few techniques that get as much done in as little time. Now all I have to do is figure out how to explain that to the mainline Health Care industry, and we'll be all set!
And so, we begin our journey. If you are local to Seattle and wish to explore Rebirthing with me, you can call the office for an appointment (425) 827-1452, or contact me by e-mail. My next Breathwork Research goal will be to explore the teachings and approaches of Stanislav Grof. Beyond that, there are many other forums for discussion and learning about the breath as well. I salute Peter Kane for the wonderful grounding of knowledge he has given me through his Basic Training program. He is, indeed, quite a guy!
Your comments and questions are, of course, very welcome!