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About Body-Focused Therapy (BFT)

In Body-Focused Therapy, an expanded form of cognitive-behavioral therapy, patients explore the three-way links among thoughts, emotions, and body organizing.  The concept of body organizing is central for BFT.  It means the second by second flow of how a person shapes and adjusts her or his body – e.g., posture, movement, breathing.  Although most body organizing occurs on a nonconscious level, an important part of it is accessible to consciousness.

A variety of techniques can help patients get more in touch with their body organizing.  They can be helped as well to find and explore positive modifications.  These positive modifications, an important source of new resources, are discovered by the patient within herself or himself.  They are not proposed by the therapist in a directive manner.

Included also in BFT are work with mentalization, as well as special techniques for trauma resolution.


BFT is done with both adults and children.  There are short-term and long-term versions. 

The short-term version of BFT is used primarily in mental health institutions.  The long-term version is used primarily in private practice.  It adds additional techniques with the body.  It adds also a more extensive attention to the therapeutic relationship.  It can include as well a form of non-interpretative, body-focused work with dreams.


Settings where BFT is currently used include psychiatric clinics, eating disorder clinics, substance abuse clinics, domestic violence programs, parent-infant therapy centers, support programs for parents who adopt, and autism treatment centers.

BFT can be easily combined with Video Intervention Therapy.  Many therapists choose to combine the two.

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