Mari-Luisa Becker is a Clinical Psychologist based in George (Wilderness), Garden Route in the Western Cape. She has been registered with the Health Professions Council (HPCSA – registration number PS0082368) as a psychologist since 2004.
Medical aid claims are sent directly to the medical aids.
The following services are offered
- Individual psychotherapy for adults
- TRE® for individuals, families or groups after exposure to trauma or a stressful event
- CranioSacral Therapy®/SomatoEmotional Release® for new born babies to adults
Life offered me a bouquet of training and individual growth. I’ll explain the process a bit, and elaborate on some of the body based therapies I was trained in. In the end it is all about entering a moment in time together, allowing the inner healer to guide the way.
Healing in motion
The beauty of healing is that there is no one rule, one form, one technique, or one approach. We are Body, Mind, Spirit, Soul, Heart, Experience, Expression… separate, but one.
We usually look for help because we experience some form of discomfort or curiosity. This discomfort can be emotional, physical, spiritual, or within relationships, one’s occupation, or path we walk on this planet. These discomforts are an expression of some aspect in us that is constricted, out of alignment with the self, out of balance or harmony, or some aspect that is calling for germination or growth.
Why the Body? We are Spirit Beings having a physical experience, therefore we cannot neglect this body. We are an expression of Spirit or Creation. When Body, Mind, Heart & Spirit are misaligned, we experience discomfort; which very much defines ‘the human experience’.
Emotions are physical sensations that we give names. A tight sensation on the stomach might be fear. Pain in the heart might be heartache. Emptiness in the chest might be loss. No experience can be separate from the body. When we are overwhelmed, the body might contract to the point that we don’t feel it anymore. Numbness kicks in.
Imagine breaking your leg. The body contracts in the area of injury to keep everything together. It is a protection of the self/the leg. The same happens in the rest of the body, whether it is from a physical, Spiritual or emotional threat or impact. If one senses danger, the psoas muscle (muscle structure that holds the hips together) contracts. This is to enable you to either run away, stand your ground and fight, or to curl up in a fetal position, protecting the soft spots/organs, if neither fleeing or fighting is possible. We might have other emotional responses with this, which lead to ‘contraction’ in or around certain muscles or organs. It is only when the brain gets the message that you are safe, that the body starts to release the contraction or on-hold energy.
For various reasons the bodily system might still hold on to the impact of many experiences. It might be that you didn’t have time, support, neurological maturity, or safety to process it yet. It might be that the life lesson has not integrated yet, or that the ‘teaching’ is still in motion. It might be that that life has pulled you far off your path up to now, and integration of the experience has not been possible… yet.
Motion indicates life. Everything in nature moves. Everything in our bodies moves. When this movement is restricted or on-hold due to contraction, it creates discomfort and dis-ease. Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit becomes ‘ill’. If you trap the flow of a river or stream, the stagnant water will have a buildup of toxins and dirt, possibly becoming murky, contaminated, or plain sick.
A few years ago I was standing at the tidal pool in Herold’s Bay, Garden Route, South Africa. Staring at the waves breaking on the beach, I could sense the feeling of peace completing each wave naturally. At the tidal pool a different picture showed itself. The waves would break onto the pool, run over the pool, break against the wall, and then make a new wave back into the tidal pool towards the ocean. It looked like ‘trapped’ waves. This is how life processes it’s experiences: Some waves are comfortable, easy or pleasurable experiences and can run its way through the body and our conscious awareness. Other experiences are painful, overwhelming, or highly uncomfortable and tend to get stuck in our body-field. These experiences are like the waves on the tidal pool – trapped, running back and forth inside us, creating havoc or discomfort. Some waves can lie dormant/unnoticed for years or decades until it is time to integrate the experience. It is then that it starts to make itself known. First it will whisper. If you don’t listen, it might start to talk to you. If still ignored, the shouting starts and intense dis-ease might present itself.
So why should we visit these past experiences? Definitely not to dwell on, get stuck in them again, over-identify with them, or roll around in the smelly mud. We go there to witness the unseen… The unseen experiences, emotions, pain, person, skills, characteristics, potentialities, gifts. To witness until the Spirit-Heart-Mind experience is fully integrated with the body, the vehicle that allows us this earthly expression.
Lying in silence and awe on the lawn of our family farm in the Northern Cape, SA, staring at the night sky, the stars taught me a lesson. Apparently, the stars we see, don’t exist anymore – They burned out long ago and new stars have formed. They are just so far away, that their light energy only reaches us now. The reality is, for us they still exist, because the light energy still exists. The same with past experiences; they exist until all its energy has been expressed. When we witness these past experiences, and allow their expression/allow the waves to complete their process, they can fully integrate into our awareness and bodies, dropping new skills, wisdom, knowing, and peace into our existence.
What does the Spirit have to do with this? Everything! If these Heart-Body experiences on planet are overwhelming, Spirit separates from parts of it as a sense of survival; shattering connection between Body, Mind, Heart, Spirit. This disconnection between parts of The Self creates the illusion of separation – separation from the full self, others, our Source/God. Healing and integration lead to the realization that we are One. It is when the wave realizes it is the ocean…
Our Mind is the witness; the one that makes up the story behind the experience. The one that tells or writes or understands. It records the legacy left behind; allowing others to evolve through our experiences.
The Heart? … where the Soul resides… The seat of the Soul. It allows Spirit to transform into Body. It shows the way. It is where everything begins and everything ends.
For three decades I’ve spent a significant amount of my time and energy into learning, exploring, healing, growing. I have ‘mastered’ one technique/approach after the other, always searching for something new or deeper or more encompassing. I have learned that there is no one thing, one technique, one approach, one truth.
I have been encouraged to develop my own approach. I am weary, as it can be a trap. Once I give it a name, it becomes a system… and I do not like getting stuck in systems. Nothing in my soul wants to build dam walls to slow the flow of life.
However, these techniques formed an important part of my path. The first part of my growth needed to come through the written word, as that was what I understood best. We create through words; it is the power of Creation. And as we write it down, those who don’t understand yet, can learn. But nobody can create through someone else’s words. We have to find our own words from within.
Once, deep in my own inner world, I saw a healing temple. It was huge and ancient and beautiful. It had pillars, a roof, protection, but no walls. I was on my way towards it; climbing the steps. Each step represented a degree, a technique, an approach that I mastered. The first three represented my degrees, up to a Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology. Then SHIP® (Spontaneous Healing Intra-systemic Process – www.ship.org.za ), CST® (CranioSacral Therapy – www.upledger.com ), SER® (Somato Emotional Release – www.upledger.com ), TRE® (Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises – www.traumaprevention.com & www.treforafrica.com ), Visceral Manipulation® & Neural Manipulation® (www.barralinstitute.com ), Quantum/Family Constellations, and many other less prominent steps. Some steps came through religious experiences. Most were my own life and healing experiences. Some were very brave steps I took in life.
I came to the realization that I can never say that I have mastered an approach, and then sit down on a step to claim it; my soul does not resonate with that. I wonder what I’ll experience when entering the ancient healing temple, but I do sense that it is formless…
So when I share some information or videos, know that it is just a glimpse into infinite potential…
TRE® – Tension and Trauma Releasing Exercises®
TRE® is based on research over the last few decades indicating that trauma, whether a single incident or developmental trauma, is a physical, emotional and spiritual experience. It changes, and often shatters, our perception of life on earth, other people and ourselves.
Dr David Berceli, international expert in the areas of trauma intervention and conflict resolution, developed this revolutionary technique. It is designed to help release the deep tension in the body during a traumatic experience or through chronic stress. “TRE® is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. The exercises safely activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance.”
Quantum / Family Constellations
This approach/technique was originally developed by German Bert Hellinger, who discovered that we can project a family field into a visible form in order to disentangle from family traumas or experiences. Over time Bert and many others developed this technique into a unique and powerful healing tool.
Just as the body/human energy field carries ALL memories and experiences, expressing itself on an interior or exterior plane, the family system carries all its experiences in a morphogenetic field. Even skills and wisdom are carried in this field, expressing itself through the genes.
Why the word ‘constellation’? Maybe because we are often dealing with the visible from the past, as stars are the visible form the past… A constellation is a group of stars that seem from earth to form a pattern, and is given a name. Experiences lead to certain patterns and relations in family systems. This is carried over from one generation to another.
When a family experiences something that is too overwhelming to see or feel, the energy of that experience is trapped like the waves in a tidal pool. These can be events like suicides, stillbirths and miscarriages, war, forced immigration, early or traumatic/unexpected deaths, loss of settlement like a farm or house, leading to huge disruption, crippling injuries, forced separation, murder, rape, and many more. These on-hold experiences act like black holes or magnets, affecting generations to come. I have found that even spiritual ‘gifts’ can be trapped within this morphogenetic field, unable to express itself into the next generation.
We become entangled with past family experiences:
- Out of love and loyalty for the family system;
- For subconscious security, because on a primal level it is the animal separated from the herd that stands in danger of being caught by predators; and/or
- We can learn many lessons and gain much wisdom through family experiences, without going through it ourselves.
Once we have integrated the lesson and are ready to express its wisdom, we are ready to disentangle from the unexpressed or uncompleted family experience.
A quantum constellation is done by opening up the subconscious information in a safe way, and then disentangle from it by seeing, and speaking into it in a non-judgmental, caring and respectful way; in the end choosing life and taking from it only what is yours and appropriate in your current expression of life.
CST® – CranioSacral Therapy®
The following techniques are integrated, where the body’s healing need is palpated and followed by the practitioner. In a psychology practice these techniques becomes especially valuable when emotional or physical discomfort has ‘no verbal cues’ and the body becomes the translator of the ‘story’.
CranioSacral Therapy (CST) “was pioneered and developed by osteopathic physician John E. Upledger following extensive scientific studies.
CST is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system – comprised of the membranes and cerebrospinal fluid that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord. Using a soft touch, practitioners release restrictions in the craniosacral system to improve the functioning of the central nervous system.
As it tends to complement and stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, CST is increasingly used as a preventive health measure for its ability to bolster resistance to disease, and is effective for a wide range of medical problems associated with pain and dysfunction”
SomatoEmotional Release (SER®) is a therapeutic process that uses and expands on the principles of CST® to help rid the mind and body of the residual effects of trauma. When indicated during the healing process, SER can be suggested to the client to facilitate movement into the healing site; often releasing tension and on-hold spontaneous healing reactions (SHIP® term); completing past overwhelming experiences.
Visceral Manipulation (VM), developed by French Osteopath Jean-Pierre Barral, is used to locate and solve problems throughout the body. It encourages your own natural mechanisms to improve the functioning of your organs, dissipate the negative effects of stress, enhance mobility of the musculoskeletal system through the connective tissue attachments, and influence general metabolism.
Gentle manipulation of the visceral support system can improve organ function. More importantly, strain can be taken out of the visceral support membranes as a highly effective way of treating musculoskeletal problems.
VM is important in practice due to the embodiment of trauma and emotions, especially in the organs. Creating movement into these on-hold viscera, often leads to a release and enhances the body’s ability to heal and grow.
Neural Manipulation (NM): “French Osteopath Alain Croibier collaborated with Jean-Pierre Barral to develop Neural Manipulation. A nerve only functions correctly when it is able to move feely within its surrounding structures. By understanding the detailed anatomy of the neural manipulation, one can clearly see the potential for pathological change when nerves are restricted.”