Core Energetics is a therapeutic approach designed to assist the individual in reaching their full potential for fulfilment, pleasure, and personal power. Its chief purpose is to integrate all the aspects of the being, enabling the individual to release repressed emotions, and furthermore, allowing access to the patient’s past and present issues. Developed by psychiatrist John Pierrakos MD, this system of personal growth and healing helps the individual uncover their core reality, which in turn aids the release of defensive patterns, and encourages his/her true nature to resurface.
In the 1940s, with the help of Wilhelm Reich, Pierrakos began to set forth the foundations of Core Energetics. Reich had been an associate of Freud, and was heavily influenced by his work. Nonetheless, unlike his mentor, Reich chose to lay as much focus on the body as Freud did the mind. Reich believed that repressed emotions led to energetic blockages within the body, and in turn these blockages created chronic muscular tension and armouring. In the 1950s, along with Alexander Lowen, Reich and Pierrakos co-founded Bio-energetics therapy. This approach combined contact with the patient’s body in order to release muscle tensions, and basic exercises and positions. Two decades later, however, Pierrakos left the Bio-energetics School, as he felt that it lacked in terms of philosophy, and began to further develop Core Energetics that encompassed the spiritual development of human being as well as the psychological and physiological.
Core Energetics is an effective approach to releasing emotional or energetic blockages. It aims to help patients resolve their conflicts and struggles more effectively, and aids them in rediscovering emotional truths and core qualities that allow for the attainment of personal fulfilment.
This innovative therapy is usually offered in individual or group sessions, led by a Core Energetic practitioner. In these sessions patients are taught to move their bodies in particular ways so that they may experience a deeper self awareness, and a release from repressed emotions such as fear, dependence, anger, and love. Moreover, these sessions teach the patients how to inhabit their bodies more wholly and to live more openly.
An important concept which underlies Core Energetic is Spirituality, the connection between the being and the essential, true self: the Core. Core Energetic practitioners believe that the deeper this connection is, the deeper an individual’s contact is with their spirit, others, the world and the Cosmos. Furthermore, they believe that spirituality is essential in the self discovery of creativity, joy, love and the greater purpose of life.
The Mask is another important concept. In Core Energetics it is understood that as children, human beings are constantly being taught how to act and behave. This creates repression of one’s true self, and in reaction a mask is created, which the individual uses when faced with people he/she loves and depends on.
This mask conceals both the Higher Self and the Lower Self, two other fundamental concepts in Core Energetics. The Higher Self is our Core, that authentic spiritual reality which is the source of one’s energy and consciousness. In contrast the Lower Self is an individual’s destructive energy directed at themselves and at those who have prevented their true and free expression.
Sessions in Core Energetics run for approximately one to two hours, and each session consists of four phases. The first is to Penetrate the Mask, through which the Mask is identified and the pain of being false is acknowledged. The second phase is to Release the Lower Self, and in this phase the present is connected with the past and the integration of unresolved issues and ‘charge’ held in the Lower Self takes place. In the third phase, Centre in the Higher Self, the individual is encouraged to reach for the creativity and love within themselves through greater connection with the Higher Self. And in the fourth phase, Uncover the Life Plan, the individual is taught how to act upon the Core’s impulse so as to actualize his/her life task.
The benefits of Core Energetics are many. By working with energy the individual will potentially discover that he/she has become more spontaneous, conscious, and self-aware. Moreover, the Core Energetic experience will help the individual to reclaim the passion, wonder, and spontaneity that they possessed as a child, whilst simultaneously encouraging them to evolve into creative, self-responsible, and empathic adults.