A Look at Core Energetics and other Somatic Therapy Approaches

Aylee Walsh found this article I wrote a while back comparing Core Energetics with other Approaches,

The first part of this article is excerpted from an article by Karyne Wilner https://www.coreenergetics.org/about-core-energetics/articles/a-therapy-of-bodily-energy-and-consciousness/


“Differences exist between Core Energetics® and other schools of body psychotherapy, and between Core Energetics® and other spiritual schools of counseling. Examples include focusing, a method developed by Gendlin (1981), which requires clients to experience sensations in their bodies through deep concentration. This technique does not use movement to unblock energy. The Rubenfeld synergy method integrates Gestalt therapy and the Alexander method, emphasizing the identification of here-and-now feeling states and therapist manipulation of the client’s body (the client lies on a massage table), but it does not acknowledge or work with energy per se (Simon, 1997). The Hakomi school (Kurtz, 1990) recognizes sensations and currents in the body but fails to stress strong physical release unless it erupts spontaneously from the client. Hakomi practitioners are trained to be extremely accepting and nonjudgmental, so as not to elicit resistance. In contrast, Core Energetic therapists welcome resistance, using confrontational techniques to bring it to consciousness to release the strong emotion repressed behind it. Holotropic Breathwork (Grof & Grof, 1990), another body technique, emphasizes breathing to resolve spiritual emergencies. However, unlike Core Energetics, it is not based on a comprehensive model of personality, nor does it use the body to diagnose underlying problems. Holotropic practitioners generally work with energy in a group format, using a form of breathing, with music in the background, that produces a state similar to hyperventilation. Finally, spiritual schools such as Jungian psychology and pastoral counseling rarely emphasize action methods or focus on the body. Instead, they use strictly verbal interactions between therapists and clients, emphasizing dreams, thoughts, metaphors, allegories, values, principles, and myths.”



To Do A Common Thing Uncommonly Well

Rami receiving CEA two year diploma

Rami receiving CEA two year diploma

I love this poem by Rami, it reminds me of why we are all here, the lessons to be learned on planet earth. We learn them when we are humble, not when we are special. Picture of Rami receiving his two year diploma from the Core Energetics Academy.
Life is not Mundane

By Rami Nagel

Doing the laundry,
Washing the dishes,
Taking out the trash,
Driving your kids to school.
You hope that one day you will be recognized for what you do.
And you pray for the day when you finally will be seen for the song that you are.
And you wait.
And you wonder.
And you continue about your daily routines, looking forward to that exciting
Future while trying to move away from your unfulfilling past.
But nothing happens.
Is this all life is?
Is this all life has to offer?
And then one day you surrender and let go….
You accept that you
Are not just picking up the kids from school,
Are not just washing the dishes,
And you are not just doing the laundry.
As there is no longer any point to waiting for that magical event in the future
Where you can live, and where you can be free. Because you realize that you no
Longer need to wait to be recognized.
At that moment you stop holding back what wants to burst through you,
And you decide to forgive the past,
And you forget about the future
You let go of all that you strive to become
At last
You can drink from the nectar that the angels have been pouring into you.
And you remember that you are here to shine,
To live, and
To love.
In forgetting who you’ve become, you remember who you are.
You drive your beautiful angels to school,
You marvel at the laundry
And kneel before the sacred dishes.
And as the water pours out, it refreshes you and it reminds you, that life is not

What Is Body Reading?

This work comes from a long history in psychology. It started with Freud. His student Wilhelm Reich showed that you could understand and analyze the personality by looking at the body. My mentor, Dr. John Pierrakos, a student of Reich, passed on the technology of reading the body to me. You can look at a person and understand his or her personality dynamics, behavior, and potential of change. Not just for therapists, body reading can be used for jury selection, sales calls, persuasion, improved communications, and greater understanding between people.

When clients comes for therapy, we need to assess them, so that we can help them by identifying the underlying issues. Some therapists use paper and pencil tests and others the Rorschach ink blot test. Somatic therapists get their information directly from the body: posture, facial expression, muscles, and energy flow. When you tell people about themselves on the basis of what you see in their bodies, they are motivated to work on themselves. When the client hears his or her story and see it in his or her body, it motivates that person to change. For instance, if you know that you give up too easily, but someone else can see it too in your posture, that is a call to action.

When I first started to assess the body, I was afraid to ask clients to undress, so I tried to look at them with their clothing on. However, when I got past my shyness and asked people to change into workout clothes, I could see changes in their skin color and body weight, I could see scars and tattoos. I was able to give a truer analysis. Clothes make it hard to see the more vulnerable parts of the body.

A lot of people say: “Well this is my body. It is just the way I am. I can’t do anything about it; this is me.” This is not true; research from the field of genetics and epigenetics shows an interplay between events and circumstances in a person’s life and one’s genetic heritage. For instance, posture is affected by lots of things: emotional trauma, angry parents, children raised in fear, lack of food, humility, and testosterone. When I look at posture, it tells me about the life wound. For instance the shoulders may roll forward to protect the heart or to help carry the burdens of life that weigh the person down. Your shoulders may have a certain width due to genetics, but how they are positioned, whether they sag, are raised up around the neck, are injured, hunch forward, or thrust back, is determined by life events.

I try not to overwhelm the person whose body I am assessing with information. I don’t want to keep secrets from them. So I only hold back what I consider superficial and I tell them the important things. Because people can handle only so much information, I share what I want someone to think about and work on. Body readings show parts of the personality that are unknown to the person being read. That the body tells their life story and that someone else can see it too, is very meaningful to them. Bodies show what people have experienced so far in life, where they have been, their past histories. Reich wrote that the body holds the frozen history of the person, that life wounds are frozen or fixed in the body, and that what a child has experienced even in the womb can be seen in the body years later. The body tells your life story. I suggest that the body will also expose your future and you can change it to attain a better future if you are so minded.

Karyne Wilner, PsyD 4/25/2018



Why I Became a Holistic, Body Therapist

Why did I leave talk therapy to do something different.  I was a humanistic therapist applying the work of Rogers, Perls, Gendlin, Erikson, even Ellis, in my practice. The experiential nature of the work invited me to be myself versus wearing the pro forma blank mask.

Then I met John Pierrakos, MD. at a Humanistic Psychology Conference. Everything turned rightside up for me and got even better. By looking at the body, I achieved a quick, dead on, ability to assess a person’s personality and behavior.

I didn’t throw out my DSM, but used this information to support traditional diagnoses and to question them. Body therapy techniques and exercises transformed my life, helping me love again, move my career in a new direction, finish my doctorate, adopt a child, and do all the things I secretly wanted to do.

If these tools worked for me, what would they do for my clients? So I changed my practice, not totally, but enough to help my clients find their core, move into their bodies, and way from the mind that led them to fear and self-judgment.

The bottom line —  I believe talk therapists and traditional therapists need to integrate the body and the transpersonal into their practice. Reasons:  boredom sets in; clients don’t change;  you experience less pleasure; your own life feels stuck; and when you want to help your clients experience pleasure, be in their truth, and open their hearts.

Warmly, Karyne

Rid Your Relationship of Cruelty

Love is the ultimate goal. Relationships can  be difficult if partners develop weapons to use against each other. Sometime stereotypes prevail. Men are supposed to be strong and women are seen as emotional and sensitive. Disappointment follows if men appear weak or emotional and women powerful and distant. People enter relationships burdened with issues: distrust, anger, hostility, passivity. They believe love is dangerous. Unconsciously they bring cruel behaviors and attitudes into the relationship, either by being passive and enduring cruelty or by being active and inflicting cruelty.

Behind the weapons lives an intense need to distance oneself driven by fear of life, fear of death, and fear of pleasure. So instead of respecting the life force–the core–and living in peace, without conflict, guided by the intelligence of the heart, they fall victim to their own fear, the negative energy that darkens their doorstep. Restructuring can only take place with self-care, sleep and healthy nourishment, love, and meditation or prayer. The two people must use both their outer and inner wills to correct their bad behavior, distinguish right from wrong, and embrace mutuality rather than running from it. They must choose the love force to overcome negativity.

When a relationship starts to fail, blame is often the culprit. They each say their unhappiness has been inflicted by the other. They believe themselves innocent victims. There may be a deliberate sabotage of the sexual  part of the relationship. Someone withholds or becomes too aggressive. The pleasure diminishes. One  person may initiate the negativity and the other may respond to it with  negativity. Victim versus hater.

At this point, they need to stop and separate from the negative beliefs, attitudes, behaviors and judgements poring forth from their fear-based brains and pay  attention to their conscious minds,  real selves, and true bodies. The body speaks the truth. When one listens only to one’s mind, one listen’s to fear. To listen to the heart brain and the gut brain is to know the truth. Rather than giving power to negative images, give power to heartfelt energy, pleasure, mutuality, and truth.

Three steps to take

  1. When your partner says something negative, do not respond with negativity, do not get defensive, and do not try to show why you are right?
  2.  Sit within the glow of your heart. Meditate on all that you love or have loved in the past about your partner, even if he or she is not acting that way at the moment.
  3.  Own your own fear of closeness and intimacy. You believe that if you can hate this person, you can run from the relationship and you will never be hurt again.

Thoughts of John Pierrakos M.D.  Expanded upon and written up by Karyne Wilner, PsyD

The Silence Of Forgiveness

We parked the car in the Munich airport this morning. After an 11-hour car trip through the Alps and four hours sleep in a German Pension, we boarded the plane for Berlin. (They will pick up the car after the training when they return to their summer home by the sea). Heidi told me the man sitting next to me on the plane was flirting, but I didn’t notice. Lost in deep meditation I wondered “why am I  here in Germany,” “why am I flying to Berlin?”—a place I viewed with horror as a child. Simply put, I am here about forgiveness. The first time I came to Berlin to teach, I felt hateful and angry. I felt like an outcast. I felt like I was being persecuted. When the class processed their work in German and no one translated for me, I experienced intense loneliness and rejection. The second time I came, the experience was somewhat better. I came to teach in a small village between Hamburg and Breman and because I love country and farmland, I found it tolerable. Also I talked a woman in the class about being Jewish, and that helped me to let go of my underlying hostility and fear.


This time being Jewish came up as soon as I came to Grafenhaun to teach. Laurenz, the director of the program, and I started to get to know each other in a deeper way and he asked me about my roots. I told him I was Jewish and he seemed surprised. He asked me if I needed to deal with this in class. He asked how I felt about being here in Germany. I told him I am happy to be here and I don’t need to deal with this in class. And that felt  true. And then as luck would have it…..


I often do a demonstration the first day of class. When I asked for a volunteer, Lois came up to the front to work with me. She told me that she has pain (chronic) in her solar plexus. When she started to work in that area of her body (deep breathing, kicking, etc) an intense yearning for the nurse who cared for her from birth till age two occurred. Soldiers came to Lois’s house and took the nurse away because she was Jewish. From then on, Lois was not allowed to broach the subject to her parents or mention the nurse by name. (The nurse survived the camps and Lois has seen her since). Needless to say, this experience touched me deeply and I then chose to share my Jewish heritage with the group. I applauded her courage and desire to work on the loss of a Jewish nanny. I felt relieved that she could release grief still held in her body, some fifty years later.


Earlier on the plane, I realized some anger and hate still resided in me. When I looked down below at the green fields, I saw them covered with blood. That feeling quickly changed to forgiveness and love. I am grateful to be here and to  have the opportunity to heal and to make a difference.


I also realize that I  need to take more time off when I return to the states, I will try to take the last week in August – to do errands, to think, to meditate, to write. I want to spend time in silence and in forgiveness. Not filling the space around me with words. Here in Europe I hear sounds. Since I don’t know the language—many of the sounds appear to lack substance or emotion. Silence offers tremendous knowing and wisdom.





Journey to Berlin to Teach Core Energetics, the 1990’s

After I make several phone calls to say goodbye, I board the plane. The aisle seat reserved for me on British Air does not exist. Instead I draw the second seat of four in the middle section of the Boeing 747. Sandwiched between two gentlemen, one American (who asks why I did not reserve an aisle seat), the other Austrian, I view a movie screen. My flight experience, a floating movie theatre. The American is friendly, attractive, and not wearing a wedding ring. He scores by storing my backpack in the crowded compartment above.

Ready for bed, my contacts out and my black leather shirt removed, I fall asleep in tights, T-shirt, and a floral thigh length robe, a piece of cheese between two slices of bread. Awakened twice, once for a salmon dinner and once for breakfast, I prepare to deplane. Ground control has another idea. Circling and circling, we land 30 minutes late. The bus that transfers me from Terminal 4 to Terminal 3 at Heathrow arrives in the nick of time of me for me to catch the United flight to Berlin. However, I am not allowed to board because my suitcase is still in transit. I am told to go back to Terminal 4 where I came from. When I refuse, the lady from United takes me over to a lady from British Air.

United: Its your fault she missed her flight. Your plane was late. What are you going to do about it?

British Air: Its not our responsibility. She was not booked all the way through on British Air

United: I thought you would say that. If it were us, we would give her a free ticket.

More barbs were exchanged. I offer to purchase a ticket. The cost is $200.00 for a one-way ticket. The ticket turns out to be first class, which I would not have purchased knowingly. My plane will not depart until 12:45. It is 10:30 pm Eastern time and 4:30 am British time. I see a duty free shop. I start to glow. My favorites await: Hermes scarves, Lladro figurines, Royal Daulton Mugs, Bally shoes, Yves St. Laurant purses. I select a wonderful bird sculpture for Saul’s birthday present. In my mind I convert pound to dollars. I go to pay.

Sales Clerk: Where is your boarding pass?

Me: Here.

Sales Clerk: But this plane has left.

Me: Well, I should have been on it. But I missed it.

Sales Clerk: You can’t use this boarding pass.

Me: Here is the ticket for my new flight.

Sales Clerk: That flight is from Terminal 1. This is Terminal 3. You can’t use it to buy this.

Me: Well, I guess I can’t buy this thing.

Sales Clerk: No you can’t. I don’t know why they tell you that you can shop here. They think they can get away with it.

Me: Nobody told me.

Sales Clerk: Oh.

I leave Terminal 3, walking a winding mile through olive colored walls. My ride to Terminal 1 on the transfer bus is peaceful. The only passenger, I read, think, and relax. Having received a new boarding pass from a handsome agent, I am directed to the security checkpoint. My knapsack fails the radar system and I am shuffled to one side, a security risk. A guard goes through my knapsack and I think he is looking for my knife. However, when he finds it, he opens it, closes it, and replaces it in my bag. Now, I am confused. What could I possibly be carrying? When the weapon comes to light, it is mace innocently attached to my key ring.

Guard: Gas is illegal in this country. It must be confiscated by the police.

Me: You can just have it.

Guard: No, we need the police.

Waiting patiently, I make myself a cracker and cheese sandwich, leftovers form the plane. A lady police-person arrives, pushes a paper in front of me to sign, and removes the mace in a plastic bag.

Moving to the lounge to await the Berlin flight, I am told to wait in the section for business travelers. My luxury ticket entitles me to comfortable tables and chairs and two long bars stocked with wine, champagne, juice, coffee, tea, biscuits, cookies, and fruit. I eat two chocolate cookies with my cup of tea and relax. When my flight is called, I sleep most of they way, with one interruption for a cold poached salmon meal. We arrive at 3:30 pm Berlin time, 7:30 am Eastern time. I feel relieved when my suitcase is unloaded. Customs moves quickly and soon I am on the sidewalk outside the airport. Bus 109 is recommended by my guidebook as the cheapest way to travel to the center of Western Berlin. It is waiting, and although the driver does not speak English, I pay and with his help decipher the correct bus stop.

I am here. Now what will I experience?

Next blog, My first Core Energetics Teaching Experience in Berlin


First Love

His big firm hand folded around my tiny, delicate hand. We walked together to the corner ice cream store.

I felt so safe.

My hand melted into his and I felt the protection of his bulk.

I didn’t want this walk to end. “This is ecstacy,” I thought.

The counter in the store stretched from wall to wall, its white formica gleaming.

My head rose no higher than the ice cream counter stools mounted into the floor with heavy silver screws.

Patting the soft red padding lovingly, I waited for his strong arms to pick me up,

noticing the powerful muscles hidden under his coat sleeves.

He lifted me at the waist and placed me gently on the red seat.

Once seated, I twisted and twirled, spinning first to the left and then to the right,

kicking my little legs in glee.

Fire in the Heart: For All Core Energetics Graduates (of any training)

         We, Charles Corley. MEd, and myself (Karyne Wilner, PsyD) are offering a new third year certificate program, through the Core Energetics Academy, which we co-direct.
* Some of you have graduated from my two year professional training
Some of you have graduated from 4 or 5 year programs at another training
Here is WHY
*Understand the necessity of keeping the body vital for cellular health.
*Strengthen your understanding of sexuality and the life force.
*Work on the socio-energetic- biologic level with neuropeptides, epigenetics, and neuroplasticity (what John always talked about)
* Revitalize your practice  *Market yourself
* Explore your own resistance to the work
* Understand the relationship between sexual energy and physical health.
* Learn techniques to enhance your sexual energy – the life force – in your body.
* Experience a higher energy pulsation.
*You get to visit  Rhode Island and enjoy the beaches
*You get a certificate at the end
When and Where and How much?
*Its not expensive
This training begins Saturday, October 21-22, 2017. The second weekend
is December 2-3, 2017– if you miss the first.
We meet 6 weekends over one year
Low Cost —- $1800.00
1005 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown/Newport, RI 02842
: Dr. Karyne Wilner is a licensed psychologist who practices in Rhode Island and Co-Director of the Core Energetics Academy. An adjunct instructor at Salve Regina University, she teaches Core Energetics to mental health professionals and students. In the past, she was Assistant Director of The Institute of Core Energetics, Associate Director of Core Energetics Australia, and Senior Director of Core Energetics in Brazil. Her current interest is writing about what the body communicates about the personality and its connection to sexuality and love.
Charles Corley, MEd, LMHC, has a full-time private practice as a
Core Energetics Therapist, working with individuals, couples and
families. He is a senior faculty member at the Institute of Core
Energetics and teaches internationally. He also has 27 years of
experience in facilitating groups in areas including substance abuse,
actor support, man’s and adolescents groups.
Register: Karynew@aol.com or 401-316-7041

The Biological Base of Anger

Research studies indicate that anger and fear are associated with health issues, particularly those related to the cardiovascular system. In general, anger and fear are normal, healthy emotions. Anxiety is a form of fear that usually precedes an event and it based on a person’s worst thoughts of what might happen. In actuality some anxiety allows people to perform better during speaking engagements or competitive events. So if it is not paralyzing or overly strong, anxiety can be considered helpful prior to a performance.
Anger can also serve people if it is not violent or aggressive. lt warns a person to respond appropriately in a dangerous situations and it motivates people to react to personal attacks or threats to their security. Anger also challenges individuals to make changes that allows them to achieve their goals. So insults that anger people may actually motivate them to prove the other wrong by engaging in new or different behaviors.
Anger results from the relationship between the limbic system, the center of emotions in the brain, the sympathetic nervous system [SNS], the nervous system that controls the fight, flight, or freeze response, and consciousness, the mechanisms that control how people think about or perceive an event. When the emotional brain receives information from the part of the brain that perceives an impending threat, it sends signals to the body using biochemicals called neurotransmitters. These chemicals communicate by telling the body to respond to the threat.
When the SNS gets the message it responds to this perception of danger by eliciting the “fight or flight” response and triggering the release of hormones, such as adrenaline and norepinephrine, into the bloodstream. This internal flood of hormones is experienced in the brain, labeled as anger, fear, or both, and interpreted in a manner that causes people to fight to protect their beliefs and their lives.