I drafted a paper in the Spring of 2018 as part of my work to complete my comprehensive examinations in the doctoral program in Human Sexuality, Policy Leadership, at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS).
It is an attempt at examining Celebrating the Body Erotic for Men, an embodied, experiential, transformational workshop exploring the power of eros in life, through a lens of somatic psychology and body psychotherapy. The workshop is offered by the Body Electric School. An excellent introduction to the workshop is available on YouTube.
Here is the abstract:
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Men: A Theoretical Analysis of the Potential Therapeutic Value of a Structured Somatic Group Interaction
Andrés Cordero, Jr.
California Institute of Integral Studies
The Body Electric School has offered an introductory experiential two-day workshop for exploring sexuality and spirituality, Celebrating the Body Erotic for Men, since 1984. After more than thirty years, the workshop continues to attract gay men to workshop locations across the United States and in select international locations. Anecdotally, many of these men claim to attend the workshop to seek alternative approaches in confronting life challenges1. Some of these challenges include issues in coping with societal stigma, body dysmorphic disorder, various forms of anxiety disorder, addictions, depressive disorders, or other psychological difficulties. Anecdotal evidence collected by the school suggests some participants find considerable value in addressing these challenges when they participate in the workshop2. In this paper, I consider the potential therapeutic benefits that the workshop may offer to some gay men. I explore some practices included in workshop sequences including their theoretical foundations, through the work of Michel Foucault, Wilhelm Reich, Stanislav Grof, and others. I conclude by outlining observations about research that could further demonstrate the value of the workshop for gay men challenged with psychological and circumstantial issues.
Keywords: The Body Electric School, Celebrating the Body Erotic for Men, Joseph Kramer, Rebirthing, Reichian therapy, gay men, mental health, somatic psychology, body psychotherapy, Michel Foucault, Wilhelm Reich, Stanislav Grof
Plans for future publication
My intention is to revise this article with the goal of submitting it to academic journals for publication.
If you are interested in accessing this work for your personal, evaluative purposes only, I welcome your input and feedback, as this work will substantially inform my dissertation, which will take form in the summer and fall of 2018.
I thank you for honoring my request to keep this draft for your own personal purposes.
Please send your request to review this work to:
Andres Cordero, Jr.
Ph.D. Student, Human Sexuality, Policy Leadership
California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS)