An investigation into the application and processes of manualised group body psychotherapy for depressive disorder in a clinical trial.


Abstract. Background: Body-oriented psychological therapy (BOPT) has been described as effective in addressing depressive symptoms. There is, however, a paucity of research into the processes leading to change and the actual experience of the patients and the therapist in delivering BOPT interventions.
Method: Secondary qualitative analysis of data obtained within an exploratory randomised controlled trial of manualised body psychotherapy (BPT) for patients with chronic depression, analysing qualitative aspects of change processes during therapy, was conducted. Results: At the beginning of therapy, most patients presented with a restricted, emotionally dissociated and inwardly directed range of expressive behaviours, associated with isolation of emotions from self-awareness. Clinically relevant changes in body postures and gestures were associated with feelings of empowerment; connecting repressed anger with feelings of sadness appears to have resulted in enhanced levels of self-confidence and improvements of depressed mood. Body satisfaction scores improved slightly. Conclusion: Patients with chronic depression may benefit from specific BPT interventions. These interventions appear to be particularly effective in assisting patients to identify and express a wide range of feelings.

Research Collaborators​
Röhricht, F.