BodyMind: Goodbye to Dualism

Course materials are available as audio with transcripts.

Since the era of Descartes, harmful ideas about mind-body dualism have permeated Western culture. This mindset separates the body from the self, resulting in low somatic awareness and a sense of being disconnected from the sensual. The body holds memories, emotions, experiences, joys, pleasures, and pain. The intense effort many people put into not feeling in the body results in a host of psychological and physical problems, including depression, anxiety, obesity, and repression, among others.

This introductory level course is accessible for practitioners of all orientations and all levels of experience. It contains four audio interviews by the ever-thoughtful and kind Dr. David Van Nuys (transcripts provided). The first section, on Bodymind Healing, contains an interview with Dr. Michael Mayer. This interview introduces the listener to the concept of Bodymind, orienting the listener to the rest of the course. The second section, Healing Without Medication, contains an interview with somatic expert, Dr. Maggie Philips, on the role of the body in recovering from pain. She is heavily influenced by Dr. Peter Levine’s work on Somatic Experiencing.

The third section, The Brain, contains an interview with psychiatrist Dr. Robert Hedaya on treating brain imbalances without psychiatric medication, and an interview with fellow psychiatrist Dr. John Ratey on the exciting restorative opportunities of exercise for the brain. Additional resources and references are provided for further study, but they are not part of the course.

“You are not a mind being carried around by a body; you are a body that thinks.”
– Nick Walker, MA


  • Bodymind
    • Embracing the wholeness of being
    • Emphasis on the body
  • Freedom from Pain
    • A new definition of expert
    • Alternative approaches to treatment
    • Emotional components of physical pain
    • Trauma
  • Whole Psychiatry
    • The role of vitamins and minerals in brain function
    • How inflammation affects mood
  • Exercise and the Brain
    • How exercise impacts the brain
    • Exercise compared with psychiatric medication

Educational Objectives

  • Discuss the merits of a whole-system bodymind approach to psychological care.
  • Explain the downside to mind-body dualism as it relates to psychological care.
  • Report on the significance of exercise for brain function.
  • Critique traditional talk therapy for its limitations.
  • Utilize tools outlined in this course to treat clients.