The Breath in Psychotherapy: Neuroscience and Ancient Practices

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The Breath as the Bridge between Science, Psychotherapy and Spirituality

CPD Workshop with Claudia Businaro - Therapist training

Saturday, 26th September 2020 - 10:00 - 17:00 - Online

This workshop will provide evidence of the connection between neuroscience, psychotherapy and ancient breathing practices, and will address how specific voluntary breathing techniques can be of invaluable support in the treatment of mental health patients.

We will look at the interconnection between emotional life and breathing patterns. The inextricable connection between the mind and the body is well known in Yogic practices and Pranayama (Yogic breathing), but only relatively recently the Western world is turning its gaze toward the breath as a relevant tool in the treatment of serious mental health disorders, such as PTSD, OCD, BPD, anxiety disorders and depression.

Who is this workshop for?

Are you a mental health professional who is working with complex psychological issues, often resulting from childhood trauma?

The difficulty in treating chronic symptoms and dysfunctional behaviours, such as depression and addiction, often results in the common belief that psychiatric drugs are unavoidable.

If you are interested in scientifically sound alternatives to psychoactive medication, join us to explore other effective and practical ways to improve your capacity to relate to complex clients.

Purpose of the workshop

The workshop will evidence the connection between neuroscience, psychotherapy and ancient breathing practices, and will address how specific voluntary breathing techniques can be of invaluable support in the treatment of mental health patients.

This workshop will give an overview of the latest neuroscientific research on the efficacy of breath-work in trauma work. It will create a bridge between current neuroscience and ancient wisdom and it will give mental health practitioners simple tools to support clients suffering from various conditions, such as chronic anxiety, depression, OCD, PTSD.

The potential benefits of using breath-work in therapeutic settings are numerous:

1. The breath is free, always available, it does not have side-effects; it is democratic.

2. Using the breath therapeutically allows the patient to reach what talking therapy often cannot reach: the traumatised automatic response of flight, fight or freeze.

3. Using the breath therapeutically does not interfere with the chemical functioning of the brain, unlike psychoactive drugs which, although sometimes necessary, can result in known and harmful side-effects and can interfere with the efficacy of psychological interventions.

What to expect

This workshop will include:

● Breathing exercises

● Guided imagery

● Drawing (please make sure you have writing and drawing materials to hand)

Neuroscientists are discovering how voluntarily regulated breathing practices (VRBPs) significantly improve symptoms of anxiety disorders, trauma disorders, depressive disorders and insomnia, by modifying the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, usually accessible only through psychoactive drugs.

We will use specific breathing techniques which can directly ameliorate patients wellbeing and can also facilitate psychotherapeutic interventions by reducing anxiety and promoting trust versus defensiveness.

Learning outcomes

Participants will gain an understanding of the neurological functioning of the fight-flight-freeze response and will learn how to use breathing techniques in support of therapeutic work with psychological trauma.

Our approach

Psychosynthesis is a non-pathologising psychospiritual theory and practice for self-development. It brings us into contact with the life journey to wellbeing, meaning and wholeness and can often hold deep significance for complex clients.

The workshop follows the psychosynthesis understanding that human beings have the internal tools (intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical) to overcome most situations.

Ticket price

At the Trust we appreciate that each person has their own unique situation – including financial especially during the current COVID challenge – so we invite you to select the price point that feels like it represents a fair contribution for attending this event.

There are three options to choose from when purchasing tickets: £50, £100 or £150.


Claudia Businaro is a UKCP accredited psychotherapist. She works in private practice, teaches transpersonal psychotherapy to MSc students at Warwick University and is a study and academic tutor at The Psychosynthesis Trust in London.

She is also the clinical supervisor in an addiction treatment centre.

Claudia has been interested in spirituality for over 20 years. Before doing an MA in psychotherapy, she studied western philosophy at Rome University and completed an MA in Indian religions in London. She studied Sanskrit and Yoga philosophy in India and she is currently working on a doctorate on the therapeutic use of breath-work.

CPD Embedding Professional Practice at the Psychosynthesis Trust

The Psychosynthesis Trust is a leading training organisation in psychosynthesis, offering transformative learning experiences (personal development courses  and professional training) and psychotherapy and counselling to those who wish to learn more about themselves personally and/or explore their options professionally. 

Our CPD training is an opportunity to deepen your knowledge, therapy practice and your connection with others in the field. All events will provide CPD hours to support professional learning.

We deeply value the importance of mindful boundaries between practitioners and clients in this sector. To ensure those boundaries are held as you see fit, where appropriate, please check with your colleagues and or clients who may also consider attending this event.