Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

John Chitty: Polarity Therapist, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist and Psychotherapist

Academic journal article Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health

John Chitty: Polarity Therapist, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapist and Psychotherapist

Article excerpt

John Chitty is a polarity therapist, biodynamic craniosacral therapist and psychotherapist in Boulder, Colorado, USA. With Anna Chitty, he operates Colorado School of Energy Studies (www. energy school .com) offering trainings in these modalities and related subjects, since 1992. He is author of the new book, Dancing with Yin and Yang, as well as co-author of Energy Exercises (1988). The new book includes numerous sections with well-tested information relevant to providing gentle and effective support for babies and their families. Since 2008 he has taught a four-day seminar, "Working with Babies," to explain and demonstrate his approach.

Tell us about this book you've just written.

Dancing with Yin and Yang is an attempt to view psychotherapy in a new light, based on ancient wisdom traditions. My basis for the discussion is polarity therapy, my first modality in the health care field. In Dr. Stone's polarity books, psychotherapy is a major theme, comprising 30-40% of all his writing. Yet for some very good reasons, this part of polarity has been neglected. There are 15 or 16 books on polarity therapy by other authors, bodywork by far the majority, one on diet, one or two on exercise, but there is not much when it comes to counseling.

The reasons that polarity-based psychotherapy has been neglected include regulatory concerns that the people learning polarity may not have a scope of practice appropriate for psychotherapy. A second reason is about specialization, that the world is just getting more and more specialized whereas polarity is comprehensive and suitable for generalists. A true generalist is harder to find these days. Today, a client will see different practitioners for different specialty areas, but Dr. Stone was a generalist in the full sense of the word. He had eight different certifications including being a licensed midwife.

The 1970's lineage I came up in in polarity really emphasized mind, emotions, body as all one. As far as I know, I'm the last active teacher of polarity counseling from my lineage. The rest have retired or specialized in other topics. I always thought I would record my experience someday, but I didn't feel ready. But under these circumstances, being told in 2010 that I had stage 4 cancer, I figured well, I'll just go for it now even though I still didn't feel ready.

The book is about yin and yang, the ancient dualistic understanding of all nature, and the application of Randolph Stone's yin and yang understanding to psychotherapy. Yin and yang is the literal meaning of the word polarity. Polarity is a great, ancient, dualistic view of the world. The basis for polarity counseling is thoroughly documented in Stone's writing, and the applications are very effective.

In particular, the two-chair method made famous by Fritz Peris is a polarity process. The link was recognized in the early 1970s, especially by psychiatrist Robert Hall, who is now 80 years old. He leads Buddhist mindfulness retreats and he still uses the two-chair method. Robert Hall studied in person with Ida Rolf, Fritz Peris, and Randolph Stone in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He recognized that what Stone was describing theoretically, Peris was doing in his psychotherapy method. Peris took any situation and dualized it with an empty chair. In that empty chair, you can project just about anything. Switching to the other chair induces a pendulum-like movement of perspective. You can try it with anything: put something or someone else in the other chair and switch; you'll be amazed at what comes out.

We habitually live under one dominant perspective, whatever that is for us. But there's always a secondary perspective, in any situation. When we experience that secondary perspective in a body-centered, Somatic Experiencing® type of process, we are likely to find useful insights, changes, and new perspectives arising.

The effect is most interesting and effective with moms and their babies. …

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