Postural Integration

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Postural Integration is a process-oriented body-based therapy originally developed in the late 1960s by Jack Painter[1] (1933–2010) in California, US, after exploration in the fields of humanistic psychology and the human potential movement.[2] The method aims to support personal change and self development.[3][4] [5]


During his time as Professor of Philosophy at the University of Miami, Painter became interested in working with the body and personally explored many different approaches – massage, acupuncture, Zen, yoga, the work of Ida Rolf and her Rolfing method,[6] Gestalt therapy developed by Fritz Perls, and the theories of Wilhelm Reich in the form of Vegetotherapy.[7]

By the seventies he was calling his form of holistic bodymind bodywork 'Postural Integration'.[8][9] In the eighties and nineties Painter then went on to develop two further methods, Energetic Integration[10] and Pelvic-Heart Integration.

In practise[edit]

In the course of a twelve-session series[11] modeled loosely on Rolfing Structural Integration, the Postural Integration process integrates Gestalt therapy with bodywork,[6] as well as breath work, fine energy work and elements from the Five Phases system.[12] The initial seven sessions address specific body areas and focus on releasing defensive armoring habits, characterized as "letting go of the old self".[11] During sessions, spontaneous emotional expression is encouraged. Additional tools include drama therapy, attention to body language[13] and self-awareness.[6]

Since Postural Integration has elements of both psychotherapy and bodywork, some practitioners focus more on the therapy aspect while others use it primarily as a form of bodywork with psychotherapy-based awareness and insights.[6]

Postural Integration is taught and practised mainly in Europe, and also in US, Mexico and South Africa. Postural Integration trainings are organized by the International Council of PsychoCorporal (Bodymind) Integration Trainers (ICPIT).

In the 1990s Postural Integrational Psychotherapy (PIP) developed in Europe out of Postural Integration with the inclusion of Jungian psychology, and was validated.[14] by the European Association for Body Psychotherapy as a method of Body psychotherapy.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ziehl, Silke: Recalling Jack Painter
  2. ^ Erken, Rita and Schlage, Bernhard: Editors: Transformation of the Self with Bodymind Integration
    Postural Integration – Energetic Integration – Psychotherapeutic Postural Integration;
    Articles by 14 international authors; Hubert W. Holzinger Verlag, Berlin (2012) ISBN 978-3-926396-67-9
  3. ^ 1985_.pdf Painter, Jack: Postural Integration, Transformation of the Whole Self (1985)
  4. ^ Painter, Jack: Deep Bodywork and Personal Development: Harmonizing Our Bodies, Emotions, and Thoughts; Bodymind Books, Mill Valley, Calif., ISBN 0938405012 (1986)
  5. ^ Painter, Jack: Technical Manual of Deep Wholistic Bodywork, Postural Integration; published by
    The International Centre for Release and Integration, Mill Valley, Calif. US (1984) (2nd edit. 1990)
  6. ^ a b c d Ben-Shahar, Asaf Rolef: Touching the Relational Edge; Body Psychotherapy A Roadmap to Body Psychotherapy modalities,
    \PI defined: pp.43-44, Karnac Books Ltd., London (2014) ISBN 978-1-7822009-4-9
  7. ^ Cascone, Raffaele in: Erken & Schlage: Editors: Transformation of the Self ; Biology, psychotherapy & somatic ecology p.68.
  8. ^ Keleman, Stanley: Your Body speaks its Mind, Center Press (US) (1989) ISBN 978-0934320016
  9. ^ Erken, Rita and Schlage, Bernhard: Editors: Transformation of the Self with Bodymind Integration
  10. ^ Energetic Integration
  11. ^ a b Knaster, Mirka (1996). Discovering the Body's Wisdom: A Comprehensive Guide to More Than Fifty Mind-Body Practices. Bantam. pp. 205–6. ISBN 9780307575500. 
  12. ^ Painter, Jack: Technical Manual of Deep Wholistic Bodywork (1984), 'Five Element Associations' pp.54-57
  13. ^ Ben-Shahar, Asaf Rolef: Ch.VII The Language of the Body pp.151-187
  14. ^ Young, Courtenay. "Body-Psychotherapy in Europe: the EABP & the EAP" (PDF). p. 3. Retrieved 1 August 2014. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Rosenberg, Jack Lee: Body, Self and Soul: Sustaining Integration, Humanics (1985), (1989) and Integrative Body Psychotherapy
  • Keleman, Stanley: Somatic Reality, Center Press (US) (1982) ISBN 978-0-934320-05-4
  • Keleman, Stanley: Emotional Anatomy, Center Press (US) (1989) ISBN 978-0-934320-10-8
  • Rossi, Ernest Laurence: The Psychobiology of Mind-Body Healing: New Concepts of Therapeutic Hypnosis, W. W. Norton (1993)
  • Heckler, Richard Strozzi: The Anatomy of Change; East/West Approaches to Body Mind Therapy, Shambala (1984), (1993)
  • Levine, Peter A.: Waking the Tiger – Healing Trauma, North Atlantic Books (1997)
  • Pert, Candace B.: Molecules of Emotions, Simon & Schuster (1998)
  • Johnson, Don & Grand, Ian J.: The Body in Psychotherapy, North Atlantic Books (1998)
  • Juhan, Deane: Job’s Body A Handbook for Bodywork, updated (1987), (1998)
  • Damasio, Antonio R.: The Feeling of What Happens, Vintage (2000)
  • Rosenberg Marshall B.: Nonviolent Communication – A Language of Life, Puddle Dancer Press (2003)
  • Goleman, Daniel: Destructive Emotions, Dialog with the Dalai Lama, Bantam Books (2004)
  • Hartley, Linda: Somatic Psychology: Body, Mind and Meaning, Whurr (2004)
  • Field, Marlena.: Body-Centered Coaching, Body Mind Spirit (2005)
  • Soldati, Massimo: Corpo e Cambiamento. Integrazione posturale, rebirthing, bioenergetica, floriterapia e le più avanzate tecniche a mediazione corporea
    ed energetica per attivare una vera e profonda trasformazione interiore
    , Tecniche Nuove (2007), ISBN 9788848110402
  • Marcher, Lisbeth & Fich, Sonya: Founders of Bodynamic Analysis; Body Encyclopaedia: A Guide to the Psychological Functions of the Muscular System, North Atlantic Books, Berkeley, Calif., (2010), ISBN 978-1-55643-940-7
  • Pulciani, James: Holistic Bodywork: Blending Modern and Ancient Bodywork Principles 448 pages, Prentice Hall (2011), ISBN 0135138957

External links[edit]