Psychology, Professional

Date of Paper/Work

Summer 8-17-2020

Degree Name

Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.)

Type of Paper/Work



Salina Renninger, Consuelo Cavalieri


A rapidly growing area of interdisciplinary research provides compelling evidence regarding the importance of taking a holistic and phenomenological view of human well-being, psychopathology, and psychological treatments. And yet, the system within which psychotherapeutic treatment takes place has historically promoted a dualistic approach that often emphasizes cognitive processes in psychological well-being (Shaw, 2003). Despite this, body based approaches to psychotherapy have experienced rapid growth in recent years as patients and practitioners find these treatments to be effective for treating a wide-range of concerns, especially those related to trauma. Graduate training programs could better equip psychologists by offering course work that specifically teaches mind-body concepts through an embodied pedagogy, so that the next generation of psychologists can further develop, evaluate, and implement body-mind approaches to psychological research, case conceptualization, treatment modalities, and overall health promotion. More specifically, concepts such as interoception, or how a person receives, accesses, and integrates visceral signals from within the body (Khalsa et al., 2017), and embodied cognition, the theory that dynamic changes in bodily physiology influence perceptual, affective, and cognitive processes (Critchley & Garfinkel, 2018; Barsalou, 2008), should be explored to help to explain important processes that underlie psychological functioning, including self-awareness, decision-making, emotion regulation, empathy, and self-care.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.