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: 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.



It is the Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving and I think of the gifts I received earlier in the day. At 8 am, Jane, my massage therapist, worked on my pelvis, the psoas muscles in particular, bringing energy to places in my body where there had been only a trickle. When I arrived at my office I learned that Donna, my secretary, completed a difficult negotiation with an insurance company who had not been paying the contracted amount. Best of all, I received the gift of authenticity from four clients who dropped their masks and shared realistic concerns about the frustration of parenting, the chill of loneliness, the fear of dying, and a recent psychotic break followed by a dream of integration and healing. What an amazing day of receiving gifts from others!

As I was preparing food for the Thanksgiving dinner, I thought about a class I taught in New York City . One of the themes was “giving.” Atlunchtime I sent the students out into the street, 23rd Street and Park Avenue, with an assignment. In addition to getting lunch, they were told to give something of themselves to their fellow human beings, strangers who they met along the way. When the students returned from lunch, several said the assignment stumped them. Two of them confessed that they didn’t want to give anything of themselves to anyone. Others couldn’t figure out what to give. The last few said that they ended up giving money to beggars. I learned that day that the idea of giving to give, giving from one’s heart, and not out of obligation, or for a need to get something back, remained a difficult concept even for therapists in training.

Here are five points about giving. I am certain many of you could add other thoughts about giving as well.

#1 Giving to receive If a person gives in order to get, it’s manipulation. In contrast when a person gives from the higher self, that person has an amazing experience. True giving, without needing anything back, opens the energy centers and allows energy from the universe to flow into the body and fill the giver. Giving creates waves of vibratory forces which lead to an experience of pleasure and joy.

A Sister of Mercy I worked with in Philadelphia became a friend as well as client. She taught me more about “giving” than anyone. Although she had many complaints about the nuns she lived with, about her family of origin, and about her body, as she suffered from some serious ailments, in the middle of listing these sundry complaints, she would light up. She sparkled as she shared about the jobless or the homeless people who she found ways to help. Her face and body came alive with love. She looked like an old-fashioned Christmas tree with its candles aglow. The energy field around her became light and airy. My friend, the Sister of Mercy, taught me the true art of giving.

#2 Giving is Receiving   You can also give by receiving from another. Receiving can be an important form of giving. One of my students described this process, saying that someone who she did not know very well gave her a poster. By receiving it with grace and expressing her appreciation, the giver felt happy — and my student experienced the positive consequences of giving by simply receiving. This principle is utilized by therapists, who receive their clients, helping them feel heard, understood, and accepted, sometimes for the first time ever.

#3   Giving means being genuine, authentic, and real  Giving is saying what is true for you. It is being direct, even confrontational when necessary. Giving is letting the other know where you stand, even if it means telling someone you are not interested in them or no longer wish to spend time with them.

When I look at the relationships I value, they are those where I am honest and the other person is honest with me. I want to feel safe enough in my own skin to risk telling others the truth. When you look at the larger picture, giving is not simply about kindness, although that is certainly one aspect of it, but it is really about being in your truth.

#4 Giving is accompanying someone into the dark places Working with a patient who had a series of symptoms, mainly physical, accompanied by one obsessive thought, that occurred over and over again, I found giving can mean being a companion on a road that passes through some pretty dark places. This client’s thought involved a form of self-punishment. One day in session, he lay pillows down on the floor and told me that he wanted to release some stuff. He lay on top of the pillows and began to hit, kick, and scream. The screams were directed at his mother. He cursed her for negating him in every way possible, and then drawing him to her as if he were her little man. He screamed at her not to undress in front of him, that he did not want to see her without clothing, and that he was not her husband. When the session ended he was radiant. He turned to me and said, “I feel fine; I don’t need to analyze this” and then he left.   There was no action on my part other than being a witness. As this example indicates the giving is in the witnessing, and in the accompanying of another into his or her dark, forgotten place.

#5 Giving is releasing negative energy When a person confronts his or her own rage, anger, hatred, fear, terror, and the myriad of forms these emotions take and releases these feelings through body work that is nonthreatening to others — that person is giving. The person is giving some aspect of her essence. By being honest about negative feelings, one achieves the freedom to be oneself. By expressing and confronting these inner horrors one frees oneself of shame and guilt. At times, expression of negative thoughts and feelings, if not directed at a specific person, can be the greatest gift of all.

#6 Precious memories of giving My Aunt Miriam was a giving person. When I would visit her as a child, she had activities planned for me to engage in. She let me play dress-up in her sexy nightgowns, she bought me pretty clothes, she taught me how to sell shoes in her store, and she gave me the confidence that I could and would succeed. As an adult I realize that Aunt Miriam is not as unique as I imagined. There are many giving people, like my Aunt Miriam on the planet at any given time. If you are reading this, you will think of someone you know who has given in a special way that will never be forgotten.

Never lose sight of the beauty of giving. It surrounds you. And here is the greatest challenge: to be genuine, to receive from others and express appreciation, to give from your heart, with no thought of getting back?,



Love, Sex & Eros, Pitfalls & Pleasures


The ideal love relationship is one in which love, sex, and eros are united. However, in most relationships only one or two of these conditions are present, but not the third. 1) You might have a lot of sex and no deep abiding feelings or commitment to the other; 2)  you could have deep feelings and no sex; 3) or there might be a lot of eros (romance) but nothing else, so that your relationships remain platonic. 4) Finally, some couples have friendship and sex, without romance or excitement, and end up looking for excitement outside of the relationship.

Affairs occur because some people defend themselves against feeling pain or being hurt in a love relationship by separating their heart feelings from their sexual feelings. A rejection or abandonment may have occurred in childhood. For instance if little Patty at age 5 had a crush on her dad and he pushed her away due to his embarrassment about having sexual feelings toward her, she may have experienced rejection. Consequentially, when Patty grew up separated her heart feelings from her pelvis. Therefore as an adult she has sex with men she does not care about and deep caring friendships with other men with whom she has no chemistry. Similarly little Louis could have fetl attracted to and then rejected by his mother. One moment she hugged him and told him what a delightful little boy he was and in the next she shooed him out of her bedroom so she could nap. Like Patty, Louis will split off his sexual and love feelings when he becomes an adult.


Similar to romance or infatuation Eros is short lived. However it leads you out of stagnation and gives you an idea of how good it feels to be close to another person. Eros can hit with the force of Cupid’s arrow. Fueled by chemistry it unites two people. However, in our culture Eros is confused with love.

Some people fear Eros. They are afraid of the loneliness or sadness that may follow if it dies. Therefore they avoid romance. Others who are on a quest for love and romance seek it out. It provides excitement without the hard work that goes along with love.

Eros fizzles out when you cannot move to the next step and make a commitment to love the other. You may only want to move from emotional high to emotional high. When the high fades, you prefer to find someone else and move onto another adventure. On the other hand, Eros may end as soon as negative aspects of the other’s personality appear or when you think you know all there is to know about the other. Without curiosity or when sharing with each other stops, the relationship becomes unexciting.


Love combines feelings, intelligence, the body, and spirit. Love is a powerful force involving the total being. Love is active. It is more than saying words like “I love you” although the words are important. Love is a commitment expressed through intention and behavior.

Some people fear Love, because the mind says, “If I love, I will be taken advantage of, I will be hurt”. You may remember hurts from past relationships and use them to talk yourself out of risking opening the heart again.

Once you get past the fear of making the commitment, the act of giving and receiving love will lead to a state of inner and outer health and excitement.

Healthy Love depends on  loving yourself — first, because true loving involves feelings of self-worth and self-esteem. Also being conscious of your negative traits, such as laziness or stubbornness, is important; Otherwise you may use them to aggravate your partner or you may project them out onto the other. Finally, you must get past the belief that you don’t deserve Love.

Love fails when the attraction for the other person is not really for the other person, but for an image in your mind’s eye. If this occurs you are still looking for the perfect parent that you never had. So you therefore abandon one after another love partner who falls short of the image in your mind.

Love grows strong when you accept your partner and give your partner space. If you have been preprogrammed to expect to be hurt in a relationship, try to give the other person the benefit of the doubt. View the person with warmth and trust. For the other to be real, you must see the positive as well as the negative.

To Love, you must be able to stand some frustration and pain without feeling cheated. There will be pain, but it is worth it.


People who are attracted sexually are like positive and negative poles of a magnet – they are pulled together – they want to connect with each other. Sex is the physical yearning of two people to know each other – to find each other.

If 2 people are fused mentally, physically, and emotionally, that is, they share on all levels – a new reality will arise – a spiritual reality leading to a deep and abiding love. If the attraction exists only on the physical level, it will fizzle out.

In a true adult sexual relationship, there is mutual giving and receiving, both partners give, nurture, receive, take in, give out, and exchange feelings.

If the infant who lives within you is unfulfilled, and still looking for the totally nurturing mother, you may be passive in sex, therefore, waiting to be served. Therefore a mutual sexual experience cannot occur and both of you may end up frustrated.

To have a deep sexual and love relationship, you and your partner must be compatible on a mental level. This means you must be able to understand each other and share common interests. You could have good sex, but if you lack the ability to communicate and share, the relationship will hit a wall.

The sexual experience represents the personality. The power hungry person will try to dominate in sex, a passive person will be passive, someone stingy at work will withhold in sex, and a person who is cruel to his employees will be cruel in bed. Whatever problems are in your personality will come out in sex. On the other hand, sexuality can also express the beauty that exists within you. For example, the tenderness, gentleness, and caring that appears in your life will appear in sex.

If you separate sexual desire from affection, the sex is often followed by guilt. For some people, the guilt is unconscious – but it is there – in addition, the relationship usually disintegrates as the sex becomes flat.


To conclude, an ideal relationship unites Sex, Love and Eros. The excitement of Eros bridges you with another. With self love, and the intention to commit, accept, and value the other, you will transform Eros into Love — by giving, receiving, sharing, revealing, and accepting without judgment. Love means receiving the other’s negative actions, if they are not abusive. Love means believing: “When you hurt me, I won’t judge you, because I know you love me.” In love you are provided with the opportunity to bask in the warmth that comes from living authentically. Only then can two selves unite as one.




Fairy Tale: Losing One’s Authentic Self

A soul named Lila came to earth embodied as a beautiful infant girl.
Lila’s body comprised two energy systems, the high speed vibrational system of the soul or higher self, and the low speed, biophysical system, including the fight or flight response, of the human organism. The second system had been designed to protect the human body from threats.
The Earth parents loved their delightful daughter, but were not pleased when she cried and screamed. Once during a temper tantram, she told her mother “I hate you.” Both parents were deeply offended by this behavior. Little girls should be “sugar and spice and everything nice.” Not wanting to be judged as bad parents if anyone heard that their child acted out, they called the witch patrol. This group of seven witches worked to rid Earth children of base, shameful, and disgusting “lower self” behaviors. The witches used methods of shaming and punishing that caused the beautiful little girl to bury her anger so deep within herself that no-one would ever know it existed. By suppressing her negativity within the muscles and organs of her body, she suppressed her “higher self ” energy at well. Now she would no longer be considered an angry child, but some of her special and unique gifts disappeared too. Lila did not notice the absence of her true self. When she thought about her old behavior, such as telling her mother she hated her, she felt ashamed. Over time, she forgot that she ever had negative feelings. The witch patrol had done their job well.
Since Earth is a fairly dangerous planet, Lila no longer felt safe. Her fierce anger was gone Therefore, she created protective armor, called the ego mask, a method her parents would not reject, as they wore ego-masks themselves. The ego-mask hid the true self so that it would not be hurt and it created a false, distorted version of Lila’s real self, so that no-one would ever have access to the real Lila again.
After a while Lila, like all the others on the planet, forgot that the self she created for protection was false. She believed her mask image, thinking “this is who I am.” However, when Lila became a woman, she sensed that something was wrong. She never fully felt herself, and she never felt totally alive. She suffered from a lack of confidence and low self-esteem, even though she did very well in school and won many awards. After she separated from her third husband, she said “I cannot live this way anymore.” At that point, and for the first time ever, she turned to prayer and asked for guidance.
An angel heard her prayer and came to help her. But at first the help did not feel like help. “Who is this cruel angel who is telling me that I am not real, that I have denied my feelings, cut off my anger and my fear, and lived in a state of arrogance and false perfection”, asked Lila? The angel was very patient and helped Lila find the parts of herself she repressed as a young child. Together the angel and Lila collaborated to undo the work of the witch patrol. Once she could face her rage and her terror and free up the energy associated with these emotions, releasing it from the taut muscles of her body, Lila began to feel like her true self. The angel helped her to tear off the ego mask, to release and transform the stuck “lower self” emotions, and to experience her heart. Now Lila helps other Earthlings to reclaim their true selves, her angel visits her often, and she has joy and fulfillment in her life.


Stanley Keleman — Original Thinker & Body Therapist

One of the most original thinkers in the field of Somatics (Body Therapy), Stanley Keleman has used his unique knowledge of the of the body’s functioning to help people grow, change, become unstuck, and transition from one life phase to the next. A pioneer, Keleman perceives the body, unmistakably, as the center of the self. Using Formative Psychology, the name for his brand of therapy, he teaches people to change their bodies so as to experience life more fully.

According to Keleman the body’s shapes changes over time due to nature and one’s voluntary effort to influence it. Bodies are inherited according to the rules of genetics, but immediately thereafter the innate structure changes due to the challenges and stressors of life. For instance, a five-year old responds to the yelling and screaming at the family dinner table by raising his shoulders in fear. So when this child grows up with shoulders locked and raised up around his neck, he cannot reach out to make contact. If he were then to seek help for relationship issues, a body therapist could help this young man learn new muscular approaches to life.

Keleman teaches individuals that they can participate in their own formative life process. By looking at their body shapes Keleman can provide workshop participants information about their life experiences, emotions, behavior, and belief systems. By educating people to use voluntary muscle movement to influence emotional and beliefs, he shows them how to turn their lives around.

Because body shapes have the ability to continually form and reform, one can have more than one somatic self. Each new shape represents another self wanting to be lived. People have the opportunity to form bodies appropriate for their age, work with the feelings and challenges of emerging shapes, and explore each unique individual identity as it emerges. The body process is the basis for how individuals form the self and their world view.

Stanley Keleman has been honored by both the European Body Psychotherapy Association and the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy and received an honorary doctorate degree from Saybrook University. By showing that the body is more than a series of innate reactions and that people can use voluntary muscle action to enhance their lives, Keleman teaches people to trust their bodies, to handle their emotions appropriately, and to have a better and richer connection to themselves.



The Ability to Love

Personal growth and development involve the heart and the ability to love. The word “Core” in my work, Core Energetics, refers to love and the heart. This may surprise you, but the heart is your spiritual and relationship center, not your brain. Your heart integrates your entire organism, providing pulsating energy streams that flow up into your head and down into your legs and feet. This energy flows through your body, just as your blood flows through the arteries and veins.

You control and direct your heart through your inner wisdom as well as your outer will, the part of your brain and nervous system that motivates and directs your actions. If you are willing to love another in an authentic way, you will take the risks that are necessary to create an atmosphere where love can flourish. That involves admitting that you are vulnerable, telling the truth, being authentic, dealing with anger, frustration and disappointment in a mature way, and preparing yourself to love another even when that person fails to meet your expectations.

If you have trouble loving here are three exercises designed for you.
Two are physical because all kinds of muscular blocks interfere with heart pulsations. Your life force may have been diminished by the chest armor you used to protect yourself from being hurt. By releasing the chest block, you will participate in a transformative experience that will enhance your ability to love.
1) Working by yourself make fists and begin to punch the air in front of you. Punch love away. The punching both opens the chest armor and frees you to say “yes” to love. Few people can say “yes”, until they have first said “no.”
2) The second exercise involves reaching out, with first one arm and hand and then the other, grabbing love and bring it to your heart. Do this several times slowly, so you can feel what it means to bring energy to your heart.
3) Finally the last exercise calls for you to share something very personal, something that makes you feel vulnerable or ashamed with someone you care a lot about.
These 3 exercises will put you on the path toward love and enhance your ability to bring mature, meaningful love into your life.


How I Became A Psychotherapist

I remember sitting with a group of people at a workshop in Fairmount Park, in a house owned by the park, located in Philadelphia. In the early 1970’s. I had finished a master’s degree in education form the Urban Teacher Preparation Program at Syracuse University and had come to Philadelphia to work in an inner city environment. I found myself excited by the work I did in the schools bringing a humanistic perspective to inner city children. I harbored a desire to raise self-esteem as well as teach. The air smelled of spring and the windows were open. It was delicious. I looked at the facilitator who had a Gestalt Psychology background, and I had a strong inner jolt: “I want to be doing that.”
Certainly part of that jolt was ego, maybe part was envy, even jealousy, but the strongest part lived beyond words. It pulled up from my essence saying this is my life path, what I am meant to do, want I want to do.
John Pierrakos told me he felt the same thing when we first met. We stood in the Sheraton Hotel in Philadelphia 10 years later, 1983. He had just presented a seminar on body reading and bowled over by its content I went up to where he was standing to ask if I could study with him. Later he told me that he knew right then that we would work closely together in the future.
When I was 16, my English teacher asked my class to write autobiographies. I wrote that I planned to be a psychologist in the future. Although this was1964 and I had never met a psychologist, I knew it intuitively. It became my dream and I never wavered.
I began my BA degree at Carnegie Mellon with the intention of studying psychology as an undergraduate. But it did not come to pass. I knew what I wanted to study, I knew it in my heart, I knew that I wanted to help people be more authentic, true to themselves. I also knew that I could not bring myself to accept the behavioral curriculum advanced by the psychology department and their emphasis on Skinner. So I changed my major to literature and I have no regrets. Because Camus, Shakespeare, and Dostoyevsky taught me what I need to learn about life and people.



Here are some meanings of the word surrender.

To trust in one’s life processes,

To accept life situations as they are without trying to change them.

To be in the present moment.

To accept what is not in your control.

To be willing to be responsible, to accept guidance, teaching, pleasure, and to let go.

To experience the divine.

To release illusions.

To accept the truth.

To let go of fear and tension.

To experience all your feelings.

Each of us needs to surrender. Some of us need  to let go of the feeling that we don’t have the right to be here or to live fully. Others need to surrender to feelings and experiencing emotions. Those of us who have cut off from our bodies need to surrender to physical sensations, even those that are unpleasant or uncomfortable.

Some of us refuse support from others, being unwilling to feel out of control or helpless. We need to let go, accept the help, feel sexual, and experience pleasure. Some have to give up the illusion of being consumed by  others and the fantasy of complete freedom.

Many of us need to surrender to love, to express it, and to open our hearts. We may also need to surrender to heartbreak, to the experience of rejection, feeling abandoned, and feeling dependent.

Surrender feels like falling, with no visible means of support. We fear falling in love, even though we yearn for it. We fear fusion with another, even though we desire it.

We fear loss of self, death, falling asleep, the unknown, darkness, and involuntary acts.

To experience surrender and the fear of it, practice falling. Stand with your back facing a bed. Allow yourself to fall backwards. Don’t turn your head to see how you will fall. Let yourself down softly. Once you fall, don’t  get up immediately and go on to the next thing. Relax; Notice what you feel: anger, shame, pleasure?

Email me and let me know how you do with this exercise and the role surrender plays in your life.

Warmly, Karyne