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Efficacy of Bioenergetic Therapies and Stability of the Therapeutic Result: A Retrospective Investigation [DE, EN]

  • Author: Christa D.Ventling, Urs Gerhard
  • Date - Year (yyyy): 2000
  • Language(s): English, German

Original title: Zur Wirksamkeit bioenergetischer Psychotherapien und Stabilität des Therapieresultats: Eine retrospektive Untersuchung.

Authors: Christa D.Ventling and Urs Gerhard

In: Psychotherapeut 45, 230–236 (2000).

This report is a retrospective investigation of the efficacy of bioenergetic therapies given to adults in a private practice setting and also a study of the stability of the therapeutic result achieved. In the spring of 1997 a total of 16 bioenergetic therapists (6 of them medical doctors and 10 psychologists), all CBTs of the Swiss Society of Bioenergetic Therapists (SGBAT), provided upon request a number of data on 319 patients who had terminated their therapies after a minimum of 20 sessions 6 months to 6 years earlier. The data included among others age, sex, hours of therapy, main character structure according to Lowen and ICD-10 diagnosis. A self-evaluating questionnaire was then constructed, to be answered anonymously, and sent to these 319 patients in late summer 1997; 290 of them could be reached and 149 (49%) answered and returned the questionnaire. It contained questions related to the psychic and physical condition, to interpersonal and psychosomatic problems, and to the effect of body work on physical consciousness, cognitive insights and changes of the quality of life.

The same questions had to be answered retrospectively for three time points: e.g. for the beginning of the therapy, for the end of the therapy and for the present time, e.g. the time of inquiry. Thus a comparative evaluation of the answers of the first two time points allowed conclusions as to the efficacy of the therapy, while a comparison of the last two time points provided insight into the stability of the therapeutic result. Regarding the efficacy of bioenergetic therapies, the statistical analysis of the returned questionnaires showed significant positive changes in all areas questioned. Bioenergetic body work was judged important and indispensable by about half of the patients. Regarding the stability of the therapeutic result, 107 patients indicated a stable or even improved therapeutic result at the time of questioning (which was 6 months to 6 years after having terminated the therapy). Of the 35 patients who since termination of the bioenergetic therapy had chosen to undergo further therapy, 16 of them elected again a body-orientated psychotherapy, of which 8 chose again a bioenergetic therapy but with a therapist of the opposite sex than the original therapist.


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