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The Grinberg Method is described as "a structured way of teaching through the body". It focuses on body attention, perception and the individual's direct personal experience. The goal is for people to learn to be attentive to themselves and their surroundings, and stop automatic limiting habits in order to increase their ability to recuperate, attain personal goals and well-being. The method was developed in the early 1980s by Avi Grinberg.
The Grinberg Method was developed by Avi Grinberg, who claimed that people lacked the ability to use their natural capacity for self-healing and to prevent conditions that diminish their quality of life. He described his observations and reasoning in the book Fear, Pain and Some Other Friends.
Concepts of the method
Shifting attention from mind to body
His method focuses on body attention based on the view that life is experienced by the body - people's thoughts, actions, feelings and sensations are all expressed in and through the body. Body attention, on his view, is non-verbal and is the experience itself. According to his method, uninterrupted, the body will display the natural, inherent inclination to take care of itself, heal, adapt to an ever-changing reality, develop and be fulfilled, thus constantly aiming to reach closer to a state of well-being.
Stopping patterns of behavior
The methodology consists of noticing and clarifying what is happening routinely and "then having the willingness and ability to stop it". The method focuses on a recurring reaction and pattern of behavior of the individual in relation to a routine situation which one wants to alter, maintaining that what a person can really control and be responsible for, is his own reaction. Stopping is a physical act done with body attention, will and choice, to discontinue the part of the experience that one can perceive and control. For example: a person is scared while studying for an exam and reacts with shallow breathing, contracting the shoulders and diaphragm, locking the knees, becoming worried, and disliking situation. By paying attention to one's body and learning to purposefully reproduce and to stop all these behavior, "...the person can choose to refuse the reaction, relax the shoulders and diaphragm, unlock the knees, breathe differently and stop judging and blaming". Letting the body work is a term used to describe the act of allowing the body to function more freely and rebalance itself.
According to Grinberg, to continue habits automatically is to repeat history, not to perceive reality directly now but rather through filters of the inner-world that include past conclusions and beliefs, old fear and pain, recurring moods etc. The idea of an unresolved or "open" issue actually refers to a state of past imbalance that was never corrected, and which resurfaces repeatedly, as an "open-ended gestalt. Relating to personal history through the body is focused on stopping behaviors that are not relevant to one's present life.
According to the method, fear is a natural protection mechanism, an integral capacity that enables recognition of potential threat. Fear triggers various physical responses that alert, energize and enable quick and relevant action in a dangerous situation. While fear appears at the moment danger arises, human beings can anticipate a fearful event that might happen and trigger a similar response although nothing dangerous is happening.
Grinberg views pain as a major part of the human condition. He claims even though pain is a natural part of life, the body can accommodate and transform it. People often do not know how to let the body deal with pain, consequently it generates fear and efforts to avoid it. Practicing the methodology is intended to teach people to gain control and stop trying to avoid the pain, to be fully attentive to their body and experience of it. When this occurs, energy is freed to deal with the pain and related sensations, giving the body an opportunity to mend and heal. This can be applied to any form of pain or discomfort, and regular focused practice can develop more confidence and courage to cope in painful circumstances.
To qualify as a Grinberg Method practitioner, students complete a three years program of at least 990 academic hours of study and training. To advance to the second and third year of studies, students have to pass a supervision meeting with a Licensed Teacher, for which they get a certificate for their learning stage (Practitioner Level 1 and 2). At the end of their third year, students demonstrate their work with clients in two supervised meetings, submit two training programs and complete the graduation requirements as set by the Supervisory Academic Board of the Grinberg Method. Following satisfactory fulfillment of these conditions, they receive a Diploma of Qualified Practitioner, and can join the International Association of Grinberg Method Practitioners (IAGMP) and continue to post-graduate advanced courses.
In 2012 Danièle Muller, President of the Swiss Association for the Defense of the Family and the Individual (ASDFI), a conservative catholic association, claimed to have received testimonials from people who have completed the training to become Grinberg trainers. According to Muller, they say that the leaders of the method intervened in their private lives, they drift from their friends and their families, investing their time and money "in promoting the method." A psychiatrist who deals with the treatment of victims of cults claims to have worked with several former members and according to her they told that at Grinberg this is what is taught: "Your body knows a truth about yourself that your head ignores, and me, the therapist, masseur, I will tell you what your body feels". For the psychiatrist there is no possibility to keep a safe distance between the patient and the therapist.
- Grinberg, Avi. "About the Grinberg Method". International Association of GM Practitioners. Retrieved 2 May 2014.
- Afra, Orit (2011-06-28). "Mind, body and sole". Jewish Journal. Retrieved 2012-09-13.
- "About the founder". Grinberg Method.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "The body gets specific emphasis because it is seen as the place and medium of all experience. The human being is anchored in the body and is in fact identical with it. Any experience is inseparable from the body, any mental or emotional process has physical correlates...". Viermann, Birte (2003). Evaluation of treatments for the Neck and Shoulders according to the Grinberg Method - Effects of a Body-Oriented Method with a Pedagogic Approach. University of Bielfeld, Germany. p. 35.
- Grinberg, Avi (1994). Fear, Pain and some other friends. Hod Hasharon: Astrolog. p. 16.
- Lowen, M.D., Alexander (1980). Fear of Life - A Therapy for Being. USA: Bioenergetics Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-9743737-0-2.
- "Basic concepts". Grinberg Method.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "I remind my clients...to go back to their breathing, because it raises their level of energy and allows them to feel their bodies more". It's possible then that clients might start to cry or to tremble. "This is the language of the body when it is allowed to speak. Then the body is able to arrange itself with all the new energy" explains the Grinberg teacher". Hauner, Philipp. "Die Grinberg-Methode. Massage für die Seele ("Massage for the Soul")". Der Tagesspiegel. Retrieved 24 June 2012.(translation: Emily Poel)
- Grinberg, Avi (1993). Foot Analysis. The Foot Path to Self-discovery. York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser. pp. 320, 6. ISBN 978-0877287803.
- "Therapy cannot eradicate the past. It deals with the past in terms of its effect on the present". Lowen,1980, p. 106
- Layton, Julia. "Why Do We Fear?". How Fear Works. Retrieved 27.09.12. Check date values in:
- Flowers, Alison. "Fearing fear perpetuates fear, psychologist says". Medill Reports -Chicago. Medill school. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
- Reid, Natasha (8/5/2007). "The stress buster". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 September 2012. Check date values in:
- "Fear in the Grinberg Method". Deutschen Welle radio show in English. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Transforming Pain" (PDF). Grinberg Method.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Online personal lesson of working with pain". Youtube. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Pain in the Grinberg Method". Deutschen Welle radio show in English. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Who we are". Grinberg Method.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Professional Studies". Grinberg Method.com. Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Union Nationale des Associations de Défense des Familles et de l'individu Victimes de Sectes". UNADFI (copy of article from Radio Television Suisse, 3 June 2012).
- "Massages polémiques, faits divers fascinant, l'argent des concerts". Radio Télévision Suisse (Swiss national television) 03 juin 2012.
- Grinberg, Avi, Holistic Reflexology (1989) HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0722516126
- Grinberg, Avi, Foot Analysis. The Foot Path to Self-discovery (1993) Samuel Weiser, ISBN 0877287805
- Grinberg, Avi, Fear, Pain and Some Other Friends (1994) Astrolog (Hod Hasharon, Israel)