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Training Program

The Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis Professional Training Program provides in-depth training in the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis following the guidelines and curriculum of the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IIBA). The training includes both didactic and experiential teaching methods, along with relevant readings, discussions, and extensive group work. Trainees who successfully complete the full training program are eligible to apply to become Certified Bioenergetic Therapists through the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis.

In addition to the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis, the training focuses on personal growth. Understanding how our history shaped our present, how our character structure evolved, and how we can decrease our fears and energetic blocks, we can move toward being the therapists we strive to be. Ultimately, as Bioenergetic therapists, our bodily experience and our personal development guide our work. Thus, we place a strong emphasis on individual Bioenergetic therapy for trainees, both in the group and with their personal therapist.

Applications now being accepted for 2024 – 2025.

The Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis partners with the Atlantic Canada Society for Bioenergetic Analysis to offer training in the theory and practice of Bioenergetic Analysis. The training is carried out in a small group and fosters both personal and professional development. The training is open to mental health therapists, other professionals, and individuals seeking personal growth. We welcome your interest and application!

The training is open to mental health therapists, other professionals, and individuals seeking personal growth. Licensure in a mental health field (i.e. Counseling, Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy, or Social Work) is required for certification as a bioenergetic therapist. 

Training dates for 2024/2025:

Oct 17 – 20, 2024 at Alnoba, in Kensington, NH

Dec 5 – 8, 2024 at Alnoba, in Kensington, NH

Jan 17 – 19, 2025 online

March 7 – 9, 2025 online

April 24 – 27, 2025 at Alnoba, in Kensington, NH

June 4 – 8, 2025 at Essex Woods Meeting & Retreat Center, MA

In-person weekends meet Thursday am – Sunday midday.
Online weekends meet Friday pm, Sat and Sun @~5 hours.

Generally, one online additional meeting in triads is scheduled between full group meetings.

We will apply for CEs for Social Workers and LMHCs (for some of the training weekends).

For more information about bioenergetic analysis or about bioenergetic training, look here:

Apply Now

At the Essex Woods Meeting & Retreat April, 2023


Some of the training group members Fall, 2023 at Alnoba


Some of the training group members, Fall, 2022


Celebrating graduation in New Brunswick, Canada; June, 2022


At Essex Woods, April, 2022


Some of the training group members spring, 2019


Training Program Overview

The complete Bioenergetic Training Program consists of 4 years of training with 4 in-person training weekends (4 days per weekend) and 2 online training weekends (2 1/2 days per weekend) each year. In the first 2 years of training, students focus both on personal growth and learning basic bioenergetic concepts. The training provides a combination of experiential and didactic teaching methods. Students learn how their personal history impacts their present life and their character structure.
The third and fourth years of training involve a clinical focus devoted to studying various aspects of the therapeutic process from a bioenergetic perspective. Students are required to be both therapists and clients within the group under close supervision. In the third year this work generally happens in rotating dyads. In the fourth year, the therapist-client pair generally stay together for the entire year, deepening the process of applying bioenergetic concepts and techniques to clinical work.
Related readings are assigned and discussed in each training weekend. Readings are selected from Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, Philip Helfaer, the Journals of the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis, and related books and journals.
training image begin msba
  • Fundamentals of Bioenergetic Therapy

    • Introduction to basic concepts of Bioenergetic Analysis, including energetic functions of the body, character, containment and expression, grounding and breathing
    • Overview of developmental process, trauma, deficits and conflicts from a body-oriented/Bioenergetic perspective
    • Summary of the historical basis of Bioenergetic Analysis, including the work of Freud, Reich and Lowen
    • Study of stress, emotion, blocks, pain, pleasure, depression and anxiety from a Bioenergetic point of view
  • What to Expect

    • Body based techniques for understanding and treating trauma, including acute trauma, chronic relational trauma and developmental trauma, from a Bioenergetic perspective
    • Direct experience of an interactive, engaging modality of psychotherapy to help clients become more present in their bodies and more able to fully enjoy their lives
    • An opportunity to cultivate your own embodied vitality as part of an experiential personal growth training experience
    • Access to cutting edge body-oriented psychotherapy. For more information go to the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy website at:
    • Local and International professional Bioenergetic communities which include regular conferences and trainings held in MA, the US and throughout the world. For a link to the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis, visit
  • Topics Covered in the Training Program

    • An overview of bioenergetic theory and techniques including grounding, muscle tension, energy in the body, emotional expression and containment, charge and discharge.
    • Character structure and attachment wounds
    • Transference and countertransference
    • The bioenergetic approach to addressing all types of trauma (including shock, developmental, and chronic relational trauma)
    • Sexuality
    • Body based techniques for addressing anxiety and fear
    • Depression from a body perspective
    • Reading the body
    • Energetic principles including the significance of breathing patterns and energetic blocks
    • Fostering self-acceptance, self-expression and self-possession
    • Working with boundaries – for yourself and with your clients
    • Exploring anger and its expression in safe and appropriate ways
    • Timing in introducing body oriented techniques
    • The significance of the healing relationship
    • Marketing yourself as a Bioenergetic Therapist
    • Polyvagal Theory and its applications to bioenergetic work
    • Working with resistance
    • The ethical use of touch in bioenergetic psychotherapy
    • An overview of the energetics of shame and guilt, along with body based techniques to facilitate freedom from these constrictions
  • Additional Topics Covered

    Other topics that may be included as time and trainer availability allows:

    • Treating addictions from a Bioenergetic perspective
    • Body based techniques for addressing other common complaints – such as sleep issues, eating and weight concerns, and physical issues such as headaches, dizziness, nausea
    • A body based approach to working with couples
    • Embodied dreamwork in the therapeutic setting
    • Inviting your client’s essence
  • Testimonials

    “I joined the bioenergetic training group because I wanted a support group to process my own emotional and psychological stuff with. I imagined only doing one year as I already work as a Somatic Sex Educator and bodyworker and didn’t think I needed another certification. Now that I am more than half way through my second year of Bioenergetics training, I am realizing how much more I am receiving from the experience.

    The group has become like a family to me, in some ways, closer than my family. We have shared our body sensations and feelings, emotions and stories with each other in a profound way that transforms and releases the holding patterns that keep us stuck in habitual patterns. I leave every training weekend with a renewed sense of aliveness and gratitude, inspired to dive back into my work with clients.

    I wish everyone could have the experience of a supportive and wise group of people with which to uplevel our emotional and relational skills while also embodying the wisdom we learn. There really is no other place in my life that I can imagine having this kind of transformation. I would tell anyone interested in fully living their best version of themselves to consider this training as a unique path towards self awareness within a group.”

    – Ailsa, Trainee from Atlantic Canada

    “I attended the five year bioenergetic training program in Massachusetts several years ago. Thank God I did. Not only did it help me recover personally from a painful divorce, as a family practice physician, it has become one of my most important treatment tools.

    Over 80 percent of my patients experience emotional or physical issues connected to repressed, suppressed or depressed emotions. If someone has back pain, for example, I almost invariably discover an emotional connection attached to the area. In addition to standard medical and osteopathic treatments I can offer an emotional release technique for their back to release the pain.

    For myself, the bioenergetic training program helped me release emotions I held in my body from childhood. I still use bioenergetic techniques and exercises regularly. The bioenergetic stool helps open my breathing. Grounding helps me stay connected with myself. I twist a towel or use a tennis racquet when I feel angry. I am grateful for bioenergetics!”

    Dr. Nicholas P, DO, Connecticut

    “I completed the 4-year Massachusetts/Atlantic Canada bioenergetics training program in June, 2022. I joined to restart a personal journey in bioenergetics that I had begun many years before, and I particularly wanted to do that work in a group environment. Group work had always been rather daunting for me, but had also proven to be very rewarding. Some in our group of trainees had similar goals to mine, while others were psychotherapists looking to expand their analytical skills and therapeutic techniques. The variety of backgrounds, stories, and experiences contributed greatly to the experience. 

    Ultimately, the training program became one of the richest experiences of my life. I grew as a person as I came to understand, and to accept, how my childhood shaped my development and the adult I’ve become. The program included an informative didactic component; however, its richness came from empirical, body-based learning with my peers. The sharing of feelings, stories, tears, and laughs built a sense of community that I had rarely experienced before. 

    In the latter part of the program, we had the opportunity to participate in therapist-client relationships with others in the program. Those experiences really touched me and further stimulated my interest in working as a therapist. To follow up on this, I’ve enrolled in a Master’s program in counselling and will be starting down that path in September 2022.”

    – Dan B., 2022 training program graduate, Atlantic Canada

    “When I trained as a bioenergetic therapist, my personal experiences took on new meaning.  In addition to focusing on my healing, I began to believe that I could help others to heal. There was a powerful alchemy in the training group. We were diverse: therapists, non-therapists, locals and people from far away, some with lots of bioenergetic experience and some with little.  The group created a space for working with interpersonal issues and family of origin material, and a powerful model for how conflict plus resolution deepens relating. Many years later, I am still in touch with many of the members of my training group.  When we connect, it is immediate and deep.

    Beyond providing lifetime connections, training gave me a comprehensive theory, rooted in body experience. This foundation for practice has served my work with a wide variety of client concerns, from shock and complex trauma, to workplace issues, to reproductive mental health. The somatic tools of bioenergetics provide immediate relief from symptoms while the longer-term work of reorganizing patterns goes on.”  

    -Leslie C, PhD, Certified Bioenergetic Therapist, ME

    – Sue S.

  • Fees

    Fees include all didactic instruction, group work, and sessions within the training weekends. Fees also include accommodations in shared rooms for in person weekends. Meals (total of 12 meals from Wednesday dinner to Sunday lunch) and space in a double room are included at the Essex Center for the June weekend. For the Alnoba weekends, lunch on Thursday is included. Other meals are on your own and usually prepared communally by participants. 

    Fees for 2023 – 24 are as follows. We anticipate they will be similar for 2024 – 2025.
    Total for the year is: $5150 if paid in full by Oct. 1 (OR $4,650 due Oct 1 if $500 deposit is paid in Sept.)
    OR, pay in 2 installments. The first payment of $2,800 is due Oct 1 (or $2,300 if $500 deposit if paid in Sept.). The second payment of $2,600 is due Feb. 1, 2024.

    In addition, trainees pay membership dues to the International Institute of Bioenergetic Analysis of ~$75/year plus dues to their local bioenergetic society. 

    To reserve your space in the group, complete the training application form online below AND send a deposit of $500 by Sept 10, 2024 by check written to: MSBA and mailed to: MSBA, PO Box 79026, Belmont MA 02479, or by credit card send via Paypal to: (We prefer payment by check to avoid Paypal fees.)

    We are pleased to have funds available to encourage new people to be trained as bioenergetic therapists. Partial scholarships are available based on financial need. If you qualify for a scholarship (new to bioenergetic training and with financial need) please send an email stating your request and 1 – 2 sentences about your need to:

    We prefer payment by check to reduce fees to Paypal. Please send a check written to MSBA and send to: MSBA, PO Box 79026, Belmont MA 02479.
    If you need to pay by credit card, you can pay via Paypal at this link.

    Canadian training participants please contact the ACSBA for info on paying fees in Canadian dollars to the Atlantic Canada society at: or check out their website at (The full payment in CAD is $6,940; with deposit of $670 due Sept 10, plus $6,270 due Oct. 1).

  • About Alnoba

    Alnoba is about 1 hour north of Boston, near Exit 1 in New Hampshire on Rte 95. It is accessible by bus from Boston’s Logan Airport,  Alnoba, meaning “human transformation” in Abenaki, consists of ~600 acres and includes ponds, walking trails, and art. The guiding principle of Alnoba: “Daring Leaders to Change the World” aligns with the mission of the bioenergetic training where we focus on deepening the connection with one’s body and mind within supportive community, as the foundation to changing the world. Further, we share the focus of Alnoba: “We believe that it is through deep personal reflection and connection to our humanity and the natural world that we access passion and purpose—transforming how we lead, live, love, build communities, and honor our planet.” To learn more about Alnoba, go to:


Susan Kanor, MA is an International Trainer for International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis, a Local Trainer for Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis, and a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist. She has been a Bioenergetic Therapist in private practice in Somerville, MA since 1986. Susan leads Bioenergetic workshops in the US and internationally. She is the coordinating trainer for the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis and leads Bioenergetic therapy groups and Bioenergetic exercise classes in the Boston area.

Leslie Ann Costello, Ph.D., CBT is a psychologist, former university professor, and Local Trainer with the Atlantic Canada Society for Bioenergetic Analysis. She brings a developmental perspective, with training in infant and perinatal mental health, attachment, and child-parent psychotherapy in addition to her bioenergetic training. She offers workshops for therapists and clients in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. She is in private practice in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada, where she specializes in perinatal mental health and trauma.

Laurie Ure, LICSW, CBT, IIBA International Trainer, has practiced as a bioenergetic therapy in Gloucester, MA for over 25 years. She trains bioenergetic therapists in Massachusetts, Florida and internationally. She leads workshops and speaks about a variety of topics related to bioenergetic therapy. She is the director of the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis. As an author Laurie publishes articles widely. She is currently writing a book about the bioenergetic approach to depression. Her website is:

Adela Gorodzinsky, R.P M.Ed., CCC, TIRF, COSF practices as a bioenergetic therapist in Ontario, CA. She shares her passion about the body and the mind connection in her work with individuals, couples, and groups. Born in Mexico, she speaks Spanish, English and Hebrew fluently.  She takes life seriously while still enjoying a good joke. Adela is a Registered Psychotherapist, Certified Canadian Counsellor, Certified Traumatic Incident Reduction Facilitator, Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator, and a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist and Trainer from Canada.

Ann Coleman, LMSW-Clinical, CBT, practices as a certified bioenergetic therapist in Michigan. Ann facilitates workshops and process groups at conferences. As a lifelong learner she continues to study the latest research and theory in psychoanalysis, systems theory, attachment theory, nervous system and affect regulation, cognitive neuroscience, theories of Self and the mind-body, and social anthropology. She has developed and written about a practice method that combines Bioenergetic Analysis and Personality Organization.  Her website is:

Terry Hunt, EdD is a nationally known psychologist and Local Trainer with the Massachusetts Society for Bioenergetic Analysis. He recently retired from his practice of many years as a psychologist in Watertown, MA. 

William O’Donnell, PsyD, CBT, has been in private practice in the Philadelphia area for the last 15 years.  He left his first career as a research Biologist to pursue doctoral training in Clinical Psychology at Widener University, focusing on Psychodynamic Psychotherapy.  He completed Bioenergetic training through the Florida Society for Bioenergetic Analysis in 2008.  Bill has served as a Local Trainer in the Florida Society, and has conducted workshops and given presentations on the body in psychotherapy in the US, UK and Brazil.

Carol Melnick, BSC, MSW, RSW is a social worker/psychotherapist in private practice in Ontario and New Brunswick. She provides individual and group psychotherapy facilitating the healing of trauma and neglect, anxiety, depression, and relational struggles. Certified in Bioenergetic Analysis, Carol finds her “professional home” in bioenergetics because she experiences working with the body to be a “gateway” to the deepest form of personal and relational transformation. Carol is also EMDR/Flash Technique certified and Somatic Internal Family Systems informed.  

Stephanie Shelley, LISCW, is a Certified Bioenergetic Therapist who has worked with children, families, adults, and couples for thirty years. She is also certified in DDP (dyadic developmental psychotherapy) which is a psychotherapy based on attachment and developmental trauma theory. As a bioenergetic therapist, she is interested in helping adults increase their awareness of the somatic and emotional impact of early attachment injuries as a way to develop deeper relationships in their present day lives.

Peter Fernald, PhD, CBT was a trainer with the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis and a trainer with the MSBA for many years. We are sad to announce his death on March 29, 2021.

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