Portugal group 2


Portugal group 2

Student’s Project

In psychomotor therapy (PMT), it is common for the clients’ problems and complains to

be connected with stress or anxiety. There are several ways to help people dealing with those

problems, such as suggest or teach them how to relax or to occupy their free time with

physical activity or any other hobby.

One of the Danish’s approaches is focused on searching for an optimal tension,

making a connection with under tensed muscles and looking for body’s energy resources.

There are two main ways to achieve this optimal tension, based on awareness of the hypotension

in the muscles and how activities should be precisely dosed and how much the

muscles are present, and the energy and strength that they need to do the tasks and how

much they can build up. It is also very important to be aware of the body’s physical, emotional

and social resources, trying to focus first in the under tensed muscles.

Optimal tension is the tension that is needed to react in the most suitable way, in every

situation. This tension may be related with physical and psychological situations. Without this

optimal tension, people wouldn’t be able to react to unexpected situations and this falls would

remain in their bodies and minds, since the begging of their life. This optimal tension refers to

people using the right power and energy, required by the situation, not more or less, and to be

able to repair them after a physical or psychological effort.

Muscles can be a reflection of people’s mind and they can be hyper tensed, hypo

tensed or act in a vegetative way. The unbalance tensions can become an unsolved conflict,

in the person’s mind, and most of them are establish in the childhood, defining some of their


Lillemor Johnsen is one of the important contributions for the method’s background.

She had done a lot of experiences which showed her that people got more diseased when she

only treated hyper tensed muscles. Then, she discovered that the muscles of the body could

also be hypo tensed and the treatment of those is received by the patients with a very positive

attitude and with a lot of benefits.

The hypo tense muscles contain the resources of the body and people should develop

those resources before trying to defend them from the hyper tensed. She also founded how to

balance the tension of the body.

According to the Danish perspective, one unbalanced body has less energy than a

balanced one and the person who has it has less probability to act out, in different situations.

The unbalanced muscles represent different ways to react like fight and defense or giving up.

This type of reactions can be felt in the consistency of the muscles.

The areas that give up working do not demand attention, compared with the ones which

are always working. That is why it’s very easy to ignore and overlook the signs send from

Ana Sesinando, Anabela Santos, Bárbara Almeida, Inês Morais


those areas while they are working in absence and teach people how to relax doesn’t change

that dynamic, because you only work with the hyper tensed muscles.

The chosen method teaches people how to use their resources and it is a resource

orientated skills training support, focus in the development and apply of concepts like

flexibility, centering, boundaries, containment, orientation and ability to regulate the contact

and the concrete sensing of the body, maintaining a focus on themselves.

Basic skills that are weakened because of their hypo response require a behavior’s

modification. People have to learn how to tolerate and maintain their level of presence in the

situation/activities and how to dose the muscle’s capacity to build up instead of achieve the

exhaustion. The skills to deal with stress begins with the acceptance of their inner capacities,

regulating both the need for rest and for creating, building and maintaining a certain level of

energy and presence of those muscles.

The activities and situations created to work this skills have also to be precisely dosed

and respecting the capacities of the muscles.

The main aim of changing the focus to the hypo tension in the body is to find personal

resources and new ways of acting out in a physical, psychological and emotional manner.

On the other hand, there are many ways of dealing with stress and anxiety, in Portugal.

Relaxation is the area more used to achieve the goals and deal with this kind of

problems. One of the methods of this area is Creative Relaxation, which goal is to reduce the

emotional and physical negative feelings, allowing people to release the tension and

reestablish the energy and calm. This method uses different types of corporal language, like

words, movements, the exploration of the five senses, through the smells, touch, and a lot of

relaxation and breathing techniques. It also uses a lot dancing, music and physical exercise.

There are a lot of benefits beside the reduction of stress and tiredness, such as the

relieve of pain and tension, the promotion of sleep’s quality and the personal relationships and

well-being feeling. One of the major principles is the importance for people to now their own

body and its interaction with the environment and be able to create an environment where

most of the people suits then.

Looking at these two different approaches, it is possible to conclude that, although they

have the same goals, the action is focused in different body and muscle aspects.

In Portugal, the relaxation method is very attentive in the localization and release of the

tensed areas, acting in the concrete problem. The more people let tension go, the more

stabled and balanced the body will become and the more correct will be the answer of the

body to daily situations. This method also helps to reduce the stress by dealing with the

causes of this same problem.

Whereas the Danish’s method pays more attention to the non active muscles and the

ones which are less present in people’s lives. They believe that it’s the first step to relaxation

Ana Sesinando, Anabela Santos, Bárbara Almeida, Inês Morais


and allow people to act in the tensed ones then. These muscles are a source of energy and

strength and essential for the balanced acting of the human body at every moment.

Both methods enhance the knowing and feeling of the body as essentials to achieve a

better state of well-being with themselves and with the world. It was though that it will be very

rewarding to mix these two approaches, allowing to act in both sides, in the tension and non


Getting together these two sides give people a more complete intervention and the

possibility of an easier and quicker achievement of the goals. Another important reason is that

it is believed that it is benefic for people to first focused in other aspects beside the problem,

maintaining is mind far from the pain and tension. The receiving and building up of new and

pure energy enables a better action against the tensed muscles after.

Acting in the positive points instead of beginning focusing on the pain also allows

people to feel good and more confident about their capacities and gives them time to know

better their own bodies, limitations and qualities. The best and deeper knowledge of the body

is though as another vantage of the mixing of these methods.

The Teaching Program

Based in our own understanding, we think that the better way to show them the

Denmark method is by experiencing, so the teaching program will be develop through a

session, which exercises are followed.

1 st part: General Activation

The therapist suggests the clients to find a place in the room where they can feel

secure and comfortable. Then it is recommend that they use their body do built a space, for

this they should create first an image that they can visualize during the “construction”. A

soft music will start and they will be suggested to move by different records such as a

robot, in a fluid way, as a puppet, like having electric discharges and others that the clients

can propose. Afterwards, the patients should lie down and be aware of their bodies in a

way that they can understand which parts are tense or under tense.

2 nd part: Work on the under tense muscles

The clients are suggested to accept their tense muscles, because tension is a part of

life, is a part of their body, and that they should think instead in their under tense muscles,

to rely their attention in muscles that they have more difficulties in focused on. Then, they

should pick one of them and try to move it, to pick the little energy that still is on it and try to

built it up, and try to transfer that energy to the rest of the body, very slowly and in a way

that they can be conscious about the transformations in their bodies. With music with

different rhythms they will experience the energy growing in very different ways, from this

part of the exercise they will find out what is the best way for them to build up their energy.

Ana Sesinando, Anabela Santos, Bárbara Almeida, Inês Morais


3 rd part: Reflection

In the end of the session the clients will have the opportunity to choose from a range

of 3 different smells, textures and colored pens, which one they can best compare with in

that precise moment and why. Then with the 3 choices they will draw something which they

can feel connected with.

In the end, it will take place a group reflection where the important parts of the

connection between Denmark and Portugal methods will be discussed so we will be sure that

the Portuguese students can win too with this experience.

Group’s Opinion

First of all, we would like to point out that we consider that this intensive experience

really enrich ourselves, personal and also professionally.

Throughout the classes with teachers from different schools, with different backgrounds,

we deeply understood the origins of some methods that we are taught in our faculty, and how

same subjects are addressed in foreign countries.

The I.P. was a very important opportunity for us as students, because it allowed us to be

more open-minded and search for different methods and strategies. For this reason, as

psychomotor therapists, it gave us more baggage to find the best method for each person,

once we should always adapt the sessions to the client and not the opposite.

Our profession requires constant social contact, which means that these kinds of

activities are important to learn aspects from other cultures, costumes and priorities. We would

like to add that the I.P. was useful to improve our english, as long as we have the opportunity

to practice it every day with colleagues and teachers, and it’s also good for our formal


At last, we think it is important to state that we felt very welcoming, not just the Dutch

students but everyone is always ready to help us and interested to know more about us and

our education in Portugal. Another aspect that we want to highlight is the fact that the whole

group is very cohesive and connected very well.


Brantbjerg, M. H. (2009). Hyporesponse – the hidden challenge in coping with

stress. Denmark: Bodynamic .

Brantbjerg, M. H. (2009). Resource Oriented Skill Training as a Psychotherapeutic

Method. Denmark: Bodynamic .

Tubbs, I. (2004) Creative Relaxation in groupwork. Oxon: Speechmark.

Ana Sesinando, Anabela Santos, Bárbara Almeida, Inês Morais


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