In 1967, humanistic psychology and new views on personality development grew rapidly in London. Body psychotherapy, group meetings, various ways of artistic expression, psychotherapy groups and work on one’s personality flourished so brightly that it can be compared to the impressionist movement. A Norwegian student, Paul C. Boyesen, found himself in the middle of these developments. He had started his medical studies at the time but later he turned to filmmaking and made two feature films „Summer of Silence” and „A Doll’s House”.
Parallel to his creative attempts in filmmaking Paul C. Boyesen took interest in the method of body-oriented psychotherapy, namely the research of his mother Gerda Boyesen and Wilhelm Reich in this field.
W. Reich, a contemporary of S. Freud, left behind two main body-oriented branches of psychotherapy: the American School represented by Alexander Lowen and his followers, and the Norwegian School represented by Ola Raknes and Gerda Boyesen. Her input was the discovery that the psychotherapeutic effect originates in the parasympathetic phase of the neurovegetative cycle in a deep state of relaxation caused by the psycho therapist using particular methods.
In 1974, Paul C. Boyesen gave up his film career in favour of psychotherapy which he saw as door to human unconsciousness. Gradually he realised that human experience continues its life in images and it creates endless films in the depths of one’s personality.
In order to extend his theoretical knowledge and link it with his own experience, Paul C. Boyesen studied Jung’s analytical psychology, later underwent Lacan’s psychoanalysis and tried to find a connection between body psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. His work, initially based on the body’s neurovegetative regulation, further developed into a derivation of psychotherapy - Psycho Organic Analysis that combines elements of Boyesen’s original concepts, Freud’s psychoanalysis, Jung’s analytical psychology and Reich’s character analysis.
Since then Paul C. Boyesen has dedicated his life to Psycho Organic Analysis and professional training of psychotherapists.
Boyesen’s colleagues Yves Brault, Jacqueline Besson, Anne Fraisse, Éric Champ, Joelle Boyesen and Claudie Mothe have given their invaluable contribution to the theory and practice of Psycho Organic Analysis.
In Latvia, the Association of Psycho Organic Analysis was founded on December 18, 1996 by 11 young and dynamic people – students of Ecole Francaise d’Analyse Psycho-Organique (EFAPO) at the time. How did they end up there? Was it a coincidence?
In 1993, Latvia had regained its independence from the Soviet Union and started the construction of its sovereignty; it was a difficult period for many people in Latvia; they felt anxiety and uncertainty about their future. During the 50 years of the Soviet regime people had lost their roots, many families were destroyed. There was only one ideology and it was not directed towards the development of individual personality and inner freedom; there was only one clearly defined course – towards the Communism however most of the people did not really understand what it meant. It seemed that people had lost their inner self and have become identical – merely bolts in the huge Soviet machine.
Serious work on people’s inner world was necessary to change that, find the person’s inner self and true abilities and put them into effect.
We were lucky because Christine Zurcher visited Latvia. She was a representative of the psychotherapy branch called Psycho Organic Analysis (POA). In France, Christina had met some Latvians and took interest in Latvia. This school of therapy was the one that we were looking for and that turned out to be the right one. We can see it now after having studied it. Thus ties with the French School of Psycho Organic Analysis were established and continue.
In 1995, 11 students from Latvia arrived in France and started their studies along with other students representing a multitude of countries: France, Germany, Spain, Canada, Brazil, Lebanon, etc.
It was a crucial moment for us because we decided to continue our studies at EFAPO. An agreement on completion of full study course was reached with EFAPO. In the summer of 1998 Amanda Baltmugure, Anita Pīlēna, Armands Brants, Ginta Ratniece, Gunta Deģe, Indra Majore, Ieva Priedniece, Juris Batņa, Sandra Jirgena, Uldis Ābele and Vija Muižniece received their diplomas, certifying that they have completed a full study course and are psychotherapists of Psycho Organic Analysis.
The Psychotherapy Study Centre of the Latvian Psycho Organic Analysis Association was established for the next group of students to master POA. It was registered in December of 1999. Studies took place in co-operation with EFAPO lecturers from France. Subsequently eight of the psychotherapists of the first group were certified as teachers of POA. 20 students from the second group completed the course and some of them are practicing psychotherapists.
In 2004, the Baltic Centre of Psycho Organic Analysis was established and it continues the training in POA in co-operation with EFAPO. Armands Brants, the head of the Centre, as well as Anita Pīlēna and Ginta Ratniece are the teachers at the Centre at the moment. Currently two groups of students undergo the training.
On January 12, 2006, the Latvian Association of Psycho Organic Analysis was reregistered as the Psychotherapist Association of Psycho Organic Analysis of Latvia. Members of the Association are psychotherapists, certified by the Latvian Association of Psychotherapy; seven of them have the European Certificate of Psychotherapy (ECP). The Association is an active member of the Latvian Association of Psychotherapy as well as the European Association of Psycho Organic Analysis (EAPOA) and European Association of Psychotherapy (EPA).
The president of the association is elected in a general meeting. The first elected president was Ginta Ratniece who led the association from 1996 until 2000. Followed by Anita Pīlēna (2000-2004), Sandra Mihailova (2004-2007), Ervīns Alksnis (2007-2010) and Indra Tretjakova (2010-2012). The current president is Inta Poudžiunas since 2012.