• Training
  • Overview of of Precision, Presence, and Change

Precision, Presence, and Change

In the Therapeutic Process

(The Foundation Training) 



Here is what you will learn:


  • The Seven Developmental Stages.
  • Boundary Formation and Support for Each Stage
  • Body-Reading for Each Stage
  • Characteristics, Themes, and Somatic Techniques to Address Therapeutic Challenges
  • How to Develop Resources that Promote Change
  • How all Attachments Styles form in the First Three Stages
  • Differences between Developmental Disruptions and Trauma
  • How both Defenses and Resources are Co-Created (Mutual Connection)

Training Format and Content:

This Bodynamic Training gives health professionals, psychotherapists and body-workers an in-depth introduction to Bodynamic Analysis. It  includes an overview of the seven developmental character types that can emerge. Somatic ego functions like boundaries, grounding, and centering will also be explored. Learning formats will include lectures, experiential exercises, discussions, demonstration sessions, supervised practice sessions, and group process You will learn how the key principles and basic tools of somatic Developmental Psychology can be integrated into your practice..


A New Map of Childhood Development:

The Bodynamic character structure system offers one of the most developed and innovative theories of personality dynamics to emerge from the field of somatic psychology. It gives practitioners a powerful new understanding with which to investigate mind-body experience. It includes:

  • A positive understanding of defenses and a language that supports self-worth, self-formation, and transformation.
  • A clear vision of healthy development.
  • A detailed coordination of somatic, psychological, and emotional developmental processes within character formation.

Principles that Underlie the Training:


  • Somatic and psychological development occurs in an interpersonal field.
  • Defenses and attachment styles are an attempt to solve the problem of how to be oneself irelationship with another. (Mutual Connection)
  • At different times in a child's life certain themes are the focus of the problem solving.
  • Change is facilitated in the present by developing new  resources, new skills and abilities.
  • New resources are both somatic and psychological. They are specific and are related to a  particular stage and issue that was derailed in childhood.

The Seven Stages include:


  • Existence (womb - 3 Mo.): where a basic imprint of one's right to exist and sense of being alive is formed, from womb life, birth and very early infancy.
  • Need (Birth - 18 Mo.): where the infant's experience of having core satisfaction of basic needs is established.
  • Autonomy (8 Mo. - 2 years, 6 Mo): The child begins to move out and explore the world through an explosion of psychomotor skills. An imprint of the child's impulses toward autonomy is formed.
  • Will (2 - 4 years): The child's task at this age is learning to focus, express and contain power in relationships and the world.
  • Love/Sexuality (3 - 6 years): Where the child learns to love in a romantic way and learns to integrate heart and sensual/sexual feelings.
  • Opinion Forming (5 - 8 years): The child learns to open up the world through thought, and learns to deal with rules, norms and culture.
  • Solidarity/Performance (7 - 12 years): Where the child finds a place in culture by learning how to be a member of groups and communities, and exploring competitive and leveling impulses. Also a time of acquiring and mastering appropriate skills.

The Three Character Positions - Early, Late and Healthy:


Bodynamics divides each stage into three positions: "Early", "Late", and "Healthy". Each of us has a core imprint of experience in every one of these seven stages. The imprint depends on the severity of the disruptions and their timing during the stage.                                                 


In the Early position, where the disruptions have been severe or early, the imprint is dominated by experiences that have led to a resigned stance with respect to the theme of that developmental stage.                                                                                        


In the Late position, where the disruptions have been less severe or later, the imprint is dominated by experiences that lead to an over-controlled, held-back stance.                                                                                            

In the Healthy position, where the Mutual Connection has been sufficient to overcome the disruptions, the imprint has been one that encouraged learning of the basic resources (skills) and tasks appropriate to that stage.


With three positions for each stage there are a total of 2187 possibilities, showing that the character model is not a limiting or pigeon-holing way of describing people.


By determining which position a client occupies in each of the seven stages, we rapidly create a powerful map that reveals overall patterns of resignation, rigidities, and health/resource. The fullness of this map gives depth, clarity, precision, direction, and richness to the therapy process.


This Training will give an overview of each of the seven character types: what happens within each stage developmentally, what experiences lead to the formation of Early, Late and Healthy character positions, and basic therapeutic approaches for each character and position.


Resourcing: A New Vision of Therapy:


The discovery that muscles respond to overwhelming stress by becoming resigned (called hypo-responsive in Bodynamic Analysis) has created a paradigm shift in somatic psychology. It changes the fundamental way that we understand and work with character structure issues. Prior to the discovery of hypo-response, the basic model of body approaches had to do with muscular armor or tension. This led to techniques that tended to break down structure. These are very useful for some clients, inappropriate for others, but missing crucial elements of therapy for many.


 Resourcing constitutes an important shift in how we think about clinical issues. It is an approach that awakens skills in the client by activating psychomotor processes that were given up or were never developed. Resourcing is a sophisticated and powerful method of building ego structure. It helps clients kindle their own develop-mental forces that move them toward health. This is particularly helpful for people who feel they miss basic skills in work, relationships, and in manifesting life goals.


Somatic Aspects of Ego Development: Participants in this training will learn the basic principles of resourcing and in particular, how to identify missing ego function and how to work with ego building techniques.


The material covered will include:

  • Boundary Formation
  • Containment
  • Stress Management
  • Cognitive Grasp
  • Centering
  • Grounding
  • Contact Abilities

Clinical principles introduced will include:

  • Waking specific levels of body awareness
  • Resourcing and waking ego capacity
  • Developmental "containment" - a process of holding a client in a specific age level/issue and creating a new imprint
  • Working with later structural issues before working with earlier ones
  • Distinguishing PTSD  trauma patterns from developmental disruptions.

For more information, contact:

Joel Isaacs, PhD

(310) 914-9414, Ext. 2# (voice mail)


For registration, CEU info, or credit card payment, contact:


The Bodynamic Institute USA

P.O. Box 1708, Novato, CA 94948

(415) 258-4805 (voice mail)


Graduate credit towards an advanced degree is available for this training. Contact Meriden University at www.MeridianUniversity.edu