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Psychology of the Body

Today Only! Use Code PBUTTER to Save 30% on CE

12 CE Hours - E1004
4.45 out of 5 stars
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1,024 customer reviews
Psychology of the Body

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  • Text - 304 pages
  • Multiple-choice test - if you prefer to test online please select the "test online" option
  • Certificate upon completion - if you prefer to print your certificate at home instantly, please select the online option


As a massage therapist, bodyworker, somatic practitioner, or any type of manual therapist, you hold more than a client's physical body in your hands, you also contact a person's psychological and emotional dimensions.

For both bodywork students and practitioners, this course is designed to provide a greater understanding of the psychological issues that can arise from using touch in your therapy sessions. The corresponding course text, The Psychology of the Body, explores the connection between the body and the mind, how touch affects this connection, the client's emotional reaction and release, the profound dynamics of armoring, how to respond to the client in an appropriate manner and the underlying psychological factors that influence the massage therapist-client relationship and the outcome of your work.

In this course, you will:

  • identify the elements that characterize the body/mind connection and affect the shape of the body
  • understand and identify the phenomena of emotional release and how you can respond effectively and responsibly
  • discover ways for choosing methods and techniques that are both physically and psychologically suited for each client
  • gain a greater understanding of boundary issues concerning ethical behavior and learn how to use a therapeutic frame to maintain these essential boundaries
  • examine factors that may indicate when and how to refer to and collaborate with a counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist

Filling a gap in the knowledge base of the profession, this timely course addresses topics of great interest to massage therapists but for which little training is usually received or available.

Earn even more credits with the Psychology of the Body and Ethics Package.

Course Objectives

  1. Define the terms “paradox of healing” and “armoring” correctly describe how they apply to massage and bodywork situations.
  2. Identify the essential elements that characterize the bodymind connection and affect the shape of the body.
  3. Identify the essential elements in the nature of armoring and how it develops.
  4. Give at least 1 example of each of the following components of armoring: charge; grounding, bounding; tissue patterns and layers of the body.
  5. Define the terms disembodied; collapsed and compressed character structures.
  6. Describe the key elements in the relationship between armor and character.
  7. Describe the essential elements in the disembodied, collapsed and compressed character structures and identify examples of each.
  8. Identify an example of each of the 4 types of rigid character structures and a recommended therapeutic strategy for them.
  9. Identify an example of each of the following terms: generalized anxiety disorder; phobia; panic disorder; obsessive-compulsive disorder; PTSD; ADHD; addiction; eating disorder; somatoform disorder; mood disorder; psychosis; abuse, and uncontrollable anger or rage.
  10. List at least 5 recommended resources for additional information in the field of body psychology.
  11. Describe at least 1 key element in successful referrals and/or collaboration with mental health professionals.

Course Reviews

Melissa Potter

I am a Clinical Social Worker and I learned a phenomenal amount more in this book than I did in any single book I have ever read in undergraduate or graduate school. This course is full of fascinating information. There are an incredible amount of examples and case studies that illustrate every concept the writers describe. For anyone interested in psychology, you will not get a better description (and lots of great examples) of the defense mechanism, grounding and boundaries, archetypes, countertransference, transference, and so much more - as you will from this course. I am going to print this out and read it again and again because this book is a masterpiece of relevant, interesting, helpful, inspiring information that I want to know inside and out. I couldn't stop reading no matter how tired I got. I loved every paragraph of this book. It will exponentially increase the confidence you feel as a therapist. These writers are deeply knowledgable and clearly passionate about their subject!

Valerie Bower, LMT, NCTMB

As with the Ethics portion of this text, this is the most difficult continuing education course I have taken. A lot of very good information coming from a totally different perspective. After twenty-five years in practice it is important to learn new information. The text will be a very good resource to rely on in the future. Thank you.

Virginia Connors, LMT

I really enjoyed learning about all the types of problems that my clients could possible be holding within their bodies. This course enabled me to recognize the signs and symptoms of these disorders and how to proceed in helping them through the correct massage techniques.

Danette Mucaria, LMT, NCTMB

I believe this should be a required course, especially for massage therapists and providers working with patients or clients they have to 'touch.' I loved it. It took me a while to get through the book. And I still have more to read. It truly pulls it all together and embodies the work we do together with our clients and in collaboration with other providers.

Lily Woll, LMT

I think the body/mind connection has the most applicable affect on most people's physical ailments and that this course should be mandatory for all massage therapists. I found the course fascinating and very informative with lots of case studies which made it more true to life.

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Sharon Burch, MSN, RN, NCTMB

Sharon Burch, MSN, RN, NCTMB

Sharon Burch holds a Masters Degree in Nursing and has been practicing as a nurse since 1974. She is currently a Registered Nurse in the state of Arkansas. Additionally, Ms. Burch studied under many of today's leaders in massage therapy and bodywork during the 1980s, became Nationally Certified through the NCBTMB in 1993 and holds a professional membership with the AMTA.

As founder of Health Positive!, Ms. Burch has created over 60 home study nursing and massage continuing education programs, performed over 65 public, live educational presentations, has written two published books, served as a member on the NCBTMB Continuing Education committee and was a founding member of the National Association of Nurse Massage Therapists.

Sharon is an instructor on many of the Institute's programs and has authored and co-authored various ethics courses and additional titles such as Touch for the Seriously Ill, Stress Reduction Through Bodywork, Staying Well – Naturally, Cardiopulmonary Health and Illness, Chronic Pain Management, Marketing Massage in Four Easy Steps, Preventing Medical Errors, HIV Update for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers, Understanding HIV, Massage for Edema and more.

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