TALF's 2019 Euro Tour Review
The Alexander Lowen Foundation’s 2019 European Tour was a very special and meaningful trip for us. We reconnected with good friends & met many new ones. We want to thank everyone who helped make this possible and appreciate each and everyone who took part in the events that spanned from Croatia, through Portugal, Italy, Israel, and Greece.
A special thank you goes to Vesna Krauth of O Tempora in Croatia,
Alessandra Callegari of Collage Counseling in Italy,
Tal Alon Mann and Nina Spiwak of the ILABP in Israel,
The Centre for Psychotherapy & Counseling "Wilhelm Reich" of Greece,
And to Efie Pyrgiannaki and Yaniv Gafner of The Alexander Lowen Foundation
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"The weekend with Fred was amazing!
On the first day, after some grounding exercises, he showed us some interesting videos on his father's work. He also explained the basics on energy and bioenergy, and presented the concept of the mind-body split...
On Sunday, the whole day was devoted to the individual experiential work and group exercises.
The lecture was brilliant too! The title was: Body -Mind Split, or The disconnection between thinking and feeling.
Frederic reminded us on different aspects of energy, stressing the particular aspect of fear. He also also pointed on the unrecognized role of the mind-body split in social dysfunction and the insanity of our times as well.
In one word: thank you Fred for such an exciting weekend!"
A special 3-day event that included lectures, workshops, and lectures sponsored by TALF and Collage Counseling
Tel Aviv, Israel
"We wanted to thank all the participants of the event. It was rich and unique. Mr. Frederic Lowen expanded our consciousness with an excellent workshop.
We also had the honor of screening the Israeli premier of the documentary film about Wilhelm Reich's life and work. And our panel discussion provided the depth and diversity of body psychotherapy in Israel.
The Israeli Association for Body Psychotherapy
A special event with Frederic Lowen and featuring the Greek premier screening of the documentary film "Love, Sex, and Work — the Life and Trials of Wilhelm Reich."
It was a pleasure to witness an audience of 400 people who came to watch the movie and the panel-discussion that followed. Both the speakers and the audience came from a big range of therapeutic background which made the conversation very interesting.
The event was organized by The Alexander Lowen Foundation & The Centre for Psychotherapy and Counseling "Wilhelm Reich" of Greece, sponsored by the Greek Association for Body Psychotherapy (PESOPS) and by the National Organization for Psychotherapy of Greece (NOPG). It was a wonderful cooperation.
The next day, the well-attended workshop about “The mind-body split” by Frederic Lowen took place. The attendants again had different backgrounds and were united under the Bioenergetics atmosphere created by Frederic Lowen.
A Personal Note from Frederic Lowen
The Lowen Foundation 2019 EuroTour was very successful and worthwhile, due to the efforts of my colleagues Yaniv Gafner and Efie Pyrgiannaki. It was a joy and pleasure to work with everyone who contributed to making the 2019 EuroTour such a success for all: participants and organizers.
In collaboration with O Tempora of Zagreb, Croatia; Collage Conseling of Milan, Italy; the Israeli Association of Body-Psychotherapy (ILABP); and the Centre for Psychotherapy & Counseling "Wilhelm Reich" of Greece , The Alexander Lowen Foundation (TALF) organized and conducted public lectures, workshops, presentations, and public screenings of the new Reich film Love, Work, and Knowledge: The Life and Trials of Wilhelm Reich.
Additionally, a short workshop Recognizing and Healing the Mind-Body Split was well attended at the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA) conference in Portugal.
Traveling in Europe is a pleasure. Especially for us Americans, it is an opportunity to eat well and enjoy the comparative leisure away from the greater stress, anxiety, and confusion that has become so characteristic in Trumpland (the former United States of America). For me, Europe, even with its challenges, offers a bit of sanity in contrast to the disconnections I observe in my country. It is no coincidence that body-psychotherapy and Bioenergetics is so much more valued in Europe.
It is clearly illustrated by the attendance at body-psychotherapy conferences. The European Association of Body-Psychotherapy (EABP) 2016 Conference in Athens had almost 500 participants, including almost 300 from Greece, an economically challenged country of 11 million people. That same year only 115 people in the world's wealthiest country of 330 million attended the United States Association of Body-Psychotherapy (USABP) Conference.
It is no coincidence there is a relative lack of interest in body-psychotherapy in the US. Bioenergetics and body-psychotherapies deal with subjective feelings and physical sensations more effectively than object-oriented and talk therapies — that is, with mind and body, not just the mind and the mind's interpretation of the body. Americans have become pre-occupied with image, money, power, and commercial activity, all values of the mind's ego. In contrast, real feelings of anger, desperation, hurt, sadness, and emptiness are ignored or denied, despite the pervasiveness.
The unique escalation of random mass shootings is evidence of such a mind-body split, in which the ideas of the mind are disconnected from the feeling reality of the body. Without a suitable outlet for discharge, the energy of the anger explodes into the horrific acting out of random mass murder, often preceding suicide. It is clearly a result of the social context with its' fears and avoidance of feelings. The US is the worst in the world in this respect, in my opinion.
It is a pleasure to be in Europe because it is more people-friendly: it is not so expensive or difficult to eat well; generally, costs and choices are more reasonable, especially regarding healthcare, education, food, and transportation; and there is a lower level of stress, anxiety, and hyper-activity. It seems the most significant thing that is more expensive than in the US is gasoline and diesel fuel. Environmentally, the higher European costs of fossil fuels are less damaging than the low cost toxic fuels that are subsidized and deregulated in the US, increasingly so under reality TV star Donald Trump as President. Ironically, his attitude is "reality be damned!" It is the ultimate characteristic of the mind-body split.
The three themes: energy, fear of life, and the mind-body split were very resonant everywhere. Collaboration with local organizations was key to maximizing the visibility of Alexander Lowen's Bioenergetics, Wilhelm Reich, and body-psychotherapies.
In Croatia, O Tempora has been very effective in organizing educational programs and making Bioenergetics, body-psychotherapy, and somatic work available in Zagreb. The week-end featured a two-day Bioenergetics workshop, with a public lecture/presentation Saturday evening that filled the theater.
The Israeli Association for Body Psychotherapy (ILABP), was instrumental in organizing the 2-day conference that included an evening of Reich’s film screening with panel discussion and a well attended experiential workshop the following day.
Collage Counseling, a counseling and training group organized several events in Milan, Italy, including an experiential Bioenergetic workshop.
In Athens, the Centre for Psychotherapy & Counseling "Wilhelm Reich" Greece collaborated with TALF in Reich’s film screening and panel, and graciously shared their clinic for a presentation and an experiential workshop, as well as individual sessions. The screening event was sponsored by the Greek Association for Body Psychotherapy (PESOPS) and by the National Organization for Psychotherapy of Greece (NOPG).
In contrast to the US, Bioenergetics and body-psychotherapy in Greece has material recognition from mainstream local mental health practitioners. The panel following the Reich film in Athens included well-known clinicians and administrators from the psychiatric community. In fact, the screening of the Reich film in Athens holds the world-wide record for audience size at 400! Congratulations!
Everywhere I went, I was impressed with the interest, understanding, and appreciation people have throughout Europe for the Bioenergetic and body-psychotherapy work. When Israeli security cleared me to enter Israel, they asked the purpose of my trip. When I replied "psychotherapy" the officer said "Good. It is very much needed."
Bioenergetics has been called the world's best-kept secret. TALF seeks to raise the visibility on that secret and tell the story of Bioenergetics, and to demonstrate its' importance and value to the quality of individual, social, and political life.
Thank you to all participants and organizers for making this tour such a joyful and meaningful experience. We look forward to our next trips and invite your collaboration in our future endeavours.
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With much love and appreciation,