A Conversation with Alice Ladas
My interview with best-selling author and Bioenergetics pioneer Alice Kahn Ladas, Ed.D.:
“Who we are is demonstrated in what we look like, how we move, and what our expressions are.”
Part 1 – Dr. Ladas speaks about Alexander Lowen’s contributions to psychiatry, new awards for Body-psychotherapy research, women’s sexuality, and the way to bring Bioenergetics into the main-stream.
“I was always interested in women being able to own their own bodies and use their bodies the way they wanted”
Part 2 – Dr. Ladas explores her disagreements with Alexander Lowen, the women of Bioenergetics, and the evolution of the women’s movement.
“I work with words and I work with the body.”
Part 3 – Dr. Ladas concludes by speaking about nutrition, health, and integrating Bioenergetics with other modalities in therapy.
In this conversation, Dr. Ladas speaks about the development of Bioenergetics and the ways to bring Alexander Lowen’s ground-breaking work in psychobiology into the main-stream. With the affirmation of recent neuroscience findings, Dr. Ladas makes the case for new body-psychotherapy research.
Recognizing the importance of Alexander Lowen’s work, Dr. Ladas was instrumental in creating the Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis (IBA) in the 1950s, and facilitated the publishing of Dr. Lowen’s first book, The Physical Dynamics of Character Structure (Later published as The Language of the Body).
Despite her active role, Dr. Ladas had her disagreements with Dr. Lowen, and was never admitted as a faculty member of the Institute. The challenges that Dr. Ladas faced along the way reveal striking parallels with the emergence of the women’s movement of the 20th Century, reflecting some difficulties that continue to exist for women today.
Dr. Ladas is a mother, grandmother, a social worker, sex therapist, body-psychotherapist, and a licensed psychologist. She established Lamaze education in the U.S. And in 1982, she co-authored “The G Spot and Other Discoveries about Human Sexuality”, which became an international bestseller. She also wrote ‘Using Goals in Bioenergetic Analysis’, ‘Breastfeeding: The less Available Option’, and many other scientific and popular articles.
Dr. Ladas has been the chair of the Research Committee of the US Association for Body Psychotherapy (USABP) since 1999. In 2008, the USABP honored Dr. Ladas by naming its research award The Alice Kahn Ladas Research Award in honor of her tireless efforts to further Body Psychotherapy research.
In 2011, Dr. Ladas was the recipient of the Smith College Medal for her achievements in helping found the field of body-psychotherapy and recognizing that “thoughts, words, and attitudes take place within our bodies.”
This past October, at the 21st International Conference of the IIBA in San Diego, CA, Dr. Ladas gave a speech entitled ‘Back to Basics of Bioenergetics’, carrying her message of turning words into actions and the need for more body-psychotherapy research.
Dr. Ladas exemplifies the diverse nature of the Bioenergetics community. A vibrant and open community, which includes therapists, patients, and people from all walks of life. A community building on Alexander Lowen’s ideas and principles while incorporating new methods and approaches for therapy, bodywork, health and being in this world.
Today, Dr. Ladas continues to practice as a Somatic Psychologist in Santa Fe, New Mexico and New York City.
* Full feature at lowenfoundation.org