Alexander Lowen, M.D. (1910-2008)
Alexander Lowen, M.D. (December 23, 1910 – October 28, 2008) was an American psychotherapist and father of Bioenergetics. A student of Wilhelm Reich, he developed Bioenergetic Analysis with John Pierrakos, and founded the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA). His clinical work has led to insights that have become mainstays of modern psychiatric understanding and psychotherapeutic practice, and has inspired body-psychotherapy modalities, such as Somatic Experiencing (SE) and Biosynthesis.
Dr. Lowen's innovative approach views the body as an essential component of overall health and focuses on helping people reconnect with their bodies. He was the first psychotherapist to have patients stand on their feet and pioneered numerous exercises aimed at releasing chronic muscular tension and repressed emotions.
“Grounding, Breathing, and Vibration are the three basic Bioenergetic principles.” A person who doesn’t breathe deeply reduces the life of her/his body. If one doesn’t move freely, the life of the body is restricted. If one doesn’t feel fully, it narrows the life of one’s body. And if self-expression is constricted, the life of the body is limited. A person does not “have” a body, a person is a body.”
This strong conviction and Dr. Lowen’s passion to help people heal their mind-body split led to the creation of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA), which remains the leading training organization for Certified Bioenergetic Therapists, and now has over 1500 members and 54 training institutes worldwide. Sustaining and promoting Dr. Lowen’s therapeutic approach, Bioenergetic Analysis is now practiced not only in the United States, but also in Canada, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Israel, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, and other countries.
Dr. Lowen authored 15 books, which were translated to a dozen different languages. His books were well received and continue to be published worldwide. He also wrote numerous articles and other professional publications, and established the Journal for Bioenergetic Analysis, which gave him much satisfaction since it provides an ongoing forum for examining and furthering the ideas he pioneered.
When asked during an interview in 2004 what has given him the most meaning in life, he responded without hesitation, "feeling the pleasure and life of the body."
from Dr. Lowen's autobiography Honoring the Body, that capture some of the
major events in his life.