EVY: An Odyssey into Bodymind by Will & Evelyn Turner Schutz

EVY: An Odyssey into Bodymind

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Will Schutz, author of Joy and Here Comes Everybody (1972), is one of the ebullient and contentious dons of Esalen and of the human potential movement. Here, he and a woman who took his ""Bodymind"" workshop at Esalen tell in alternating, rapturous voices of her personal ""rebirth"" through a new therapeutic technique. Schutz's ""Bodymind"" combines ""rolfing""--a form of deep massage said to realign the body by releasing chronic tensions--and ""guided fantasy,"" a working-through of difficult emotions in spontaneous, dreamlike imagery. The book opens with a schematic and simplistic explication of Bodymind theory, which is an unsurprising variation on Reichian, Gestalt, Primal tenets. Roughly: the human being, a unity of body, mind, and emotion, ideally completes free-flowing ""energy cycles,"" but may be chronically blocked in childhood by fear of pain or rejection. This block will be expressed in the body by a chronic muscle tension. Rolfing releases the tension; the blocked emotion then comes out and is dealt with in guided daydream. Evy's story of her ten sessions follows this theory with a radiant inevitability that's just too good to be true. About two-thirds of the way through it becomes involving, as any story of inner journey and self-liberation will; and Schutz's honesty, his care not to dominate or interfere, is admirable. But the book is much too hasty and sketchy to make Evy's resurrection anything but a revivalistic testimonial and a foregone conclusion. We need a much deeper account of the person and of the obstacles that made her triumph difficult and meaningful.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1976
Publisher: Harper & Row