Interview with Massimo Soldati on Postural Integration

Interview with Massimo Soldati on Postural Integration

We interviewed Massimo Soldati, psychotherapist and teacher of the method known as Postural Integration, developed from the mind (and the motor center) of the great character who was Jack Painter

Interview with Massimo Soldati on Postural Integration

Massimo Soldati has developed his own approach to psychotherapy in a transpersonal key which he has exposed in various articles and in the essays “Body and Change” (New Techniques) and “Developing the Potential” (Franco Angeli). 

President of the Association of Transpersonal Postural Integration , Soldati is also a teacher of Body Reading Technique at the Advanced School of Psychotherapy Training in Cremona and was a teacher at the Naturopathy Course of the Institute of Natural Medicine in Urbino. He teaches IPT courses in Milan and Belgium. 


Jack Painter had explored different approaches including Zen, Yoga, Gestalt (with Fritz Perls and Marty Fromm), Rolfing (with Bill Williams), Reichian therapy (with Raffale Estrada Villa). All this before structuring Postural Integration. Is the echo of these practices found in the method?  

All these practices have contributed, together with others, to building the Postural Integration (PI) building , which has the particularity of being a technique with many aspects and with a high level of synergy and integration between its constituents . This gives it effectiveness and the ability to adapt to various application contexts.

Perhaps for this reason it is more alive than ever and spread all over the world: Transformation of The Self With Bodymind Integration , which celebrates the work of Jack Painter , has just been published in Germany by ICPIT, the international board of qualified instructors. and the vital cultural movement that originated from him. The essay was written with contributions from trainers active in 10 different countries and three continents.   


In your own words or metaphors, how would you explain the body’s self-healing process to an adult?  

Our whole culture is based on doing, on the development of recognition and control processes . This has made us effective, but prisoners, as Don Juan of Castaneda would say, of the island of the Tonal, that is, of our pragmatic mind and all its socially shared procedures.

Self-healing begins when one learns not to do , that is, to leave the biological and mental processes free to self-regulate and open up to different configurations of reality , to different universes that are present and are brought into action, similar to what happens in the collapse of function. quantum waveform. For this reason self-healing cannot be well understood through the categories of classical Western therapies. The study of C. Hirschberg and B. O ‘Regan  Spontaneous Remission is very documented and illuminating in this regard . 


In the previous question I specified “to an adult” not by chance. Is disenchantment with one’s potential something that is easy to grasp with age?  

All psychology and body psychotherapy in particular, starting with Reich, teach us that adapting to the world of adults is a very demanding job for every little man or woman , which leaves traces in his psychosome and in the quality of his future life. . Over the years, the tendency is to remain within the ambit of acquired behaviors until the boundaries are completely narrowed.

However, technologies and knowledge are being born that help to reverse this process and above all people who decide to apply themselves to a constant development of their skills , maintaining the ability to observe themselves and grow (within the limits of the natural aging process) throughout the life. This new group of people is constantly increasing. 


Do you feel you have two souls, that of the psychologist and that of the bodyworker or do you think the two things have found their point of union within you over the years of work? 

My years of experience in the two fields led me to the belief that there is no separation between mind and body and that too high fences between bodies of knowledge and professions are given by intellectual weakness, interest or fear.

The evolutionary trend that will also affect our country is that of moving towards an integral conception of the sciences , in which there is no confusion and carelessness of a certain naive holism, nor the rigidity of classical science, but boundaries are well drawn between the disciplines and at the same time recognized their indisputable interaction. This will lead to new application models and also to new professions.


When we talk about psychotherapy in a transpersonal key, what do we mean?

Classical psychotherapy examines only a part of the human being, that relating to the functioning of the ego. Transpersonal thinking recognizes that the ego is an incomplete formation , and often also a prison, as is shown by more and more people who live twice, that is, they face a total restructuring of themselves in the course of their life, facing a process of death and rebirth .

A transpersonal psychotherapy favors the completeness of the self and addresses the pathologies connected to the transition towards it. It also takes into account in an experiential way parts of consciousness that had not yet been sufficiently explored, the pre and perinatal unconscious for example, the collective unconscious, or the altered states of consciousness, or the holotropic states , that is, which tend towards the consciousness unity of the person, such as meditation .  


For Painter, the work approach had to be closely related to a form of self-exploration, a self-learning process that takes place in the client himself. Did the method acquire a more psychotherapeutic orientation after the death of its creator by virtue of the training in this area of ​​those who carried out the method? 

Jack created Postural Integration as a form of self-exploration and self-learning , he was too generous, liberal and passionate a person not to want to bring such an effective method of empowerment to as many people as possible. He has also always been very respectful of the autonomy of the individual and believed that everyone should be helped to help themselves by taking responsibility and mastering their own life experience.

Despite this approach, or perhaps precisely for this reason, over the years many psychotherapists animated by a spirit of research have approached IP and their very presence has created a bit of confusion between self-development methods and nascent therapeutic methods. To clarify, it was Jack who, together with a group of psychotherapists, favored the birth of Postural Integration Psychotherapy alongside the PI , a form of body psychotherapy that received the prestigious three golden stars award   from the European Association for Psychotherapy .


Painter was very aware of the power of energy released by tantric practice. After studying with Willem Poppeliers, he developed a system known as Pelvic-Heart Integration and took it around Europe, between Italy, Austria and Belgium. Traces of this attention to the essential energy of intimate and profound union remain even today in postural integration or are they two works of a different nature? 

In PI there is obviously attention to energy and sexuality , as essential parts of man, which must be known and integrated with simplicity and naturalness . Within the path of PI it is possible to get in touch with the deep and intimate energy that is awakened in tantric practices.

The Heart-Pelvis Integration consists of an advanced and specialized path, which due to its delicacy and specificity is not treated within the training.


In Italy the word bodymind worker means little. The roles and the working structures themselves do not yet seem to have overcome the dualism. Italy is not ready or the perspective is really different and therefore maybe it never will be?

Never say never . In Italy there are many good professionals who try to bring novelty and culture , struggling much more than in more civilly advanced nations, and also a good number of mentally open people who seek natural disciplines .

Unfortunately, a true liberal revolution has not yet been made in our country, which frees us from corporatism and the legal, bureaucratic and ideological shackles characteristic of a Peppone and Don Camillo mentality. If there were greater mental freedom, the universities themselves would open up and become true centers of culture, training and development. 


Wanting to search for what Raimon Panikkar would define as “homeomorphic equivalent”, could it be said that postural integration leads to a psychophysical harmony that we could lead back to the dynamic state of complementarity between Yin and Yang, in terms of Taoist philosophy?

Yes. The purpose of IP is to favor the integration of parts and levels , it is therefore what Wilber defines an Integral Transformative Practice, in doing this it appeals to the principle of harmony between opposing forces , which are reached spontaneously by putting motion the eternal wheel of ying and yang. 

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