Re-Approaching Nude Psychotherapy

Working nude on Naked Fridays

Working nude on Naked Fridays

In my retirement I wonder what it is that I could do that would be of service to others in a way that would ease suffering and enhance consciousness. It is the Buddhist in me as well as the therapist and educator that calls for me to do what I can to somehow make a positive difference. Since I have paid off my mortgage, as well as other debts and have a modest pension to take care of my needs, I began to wonder if I could make a critical difference in reshaping psychotherapy, by pushing the boundaries in order to perhaps arrive at an increased level of both self and collective consciousness.

I began to plan for my renewal with a plan. My focus was a re-designed approach to providing psychotherapy services, at least re-designed from how I practiced in the past. First off, calling myself a psychotherapist would have to go. I would call myself a life coach. I have to admit, that last idea came from a friend who is a Jungian analyst. I had the skills and more than enough training to re-approach people’s needs as a life coach. Perfect, the box of therapist, a self and collective set of practice boundaries had been dismantled. So what would I put into practice?

Obviously, I still needed to include depth psychology approaches if my work was to be truly about coaching someone about being fully in life. I knew that I had to include body work (Gestalt influences showing through here) as a means of dealing with a client’s stress levels and overall health. That put meditation and exercise as part of the approach to life coaching. I knew it was also important to bring active imagination into the process as a means of finding ways around a client’s defensive barriers so that he or she could finally learn what was making them be unhappy in their life and in their relationships. I needed to use every tool that I could find to break through the masks and disguises that hid the true self.

I wanted my work to be about transparency. I wanted truth and honesty to emerge and be the vital centre of our work together with the goal of a transparent self waiting for my clients. How can one reach self awareness if one doesn’t cultivate transparency? I wanted my work to be freeing, liberating for both myself and for those with whom I would work. It was this realisation that led me to consider Nude Psychology. I was quite familiar with the work of Paul Bindrim and a few others who pioneered nude psychology and was fascinated with the possibilities. That I was, myself, a naturist, added perhaps a deeper level of awareness to the potential for practice. There is no question, when it comes to honesty and transparency, nudity doesn’t allow for cover-ups. 

The bare, honest truth

The bare, honest truth

So the pieces are all there. It was now a simple matter of arranging the pieces to create a model that would work for both myself and my clients. The time is ripe if there is ever going to be a time. Nude yoga, nude meditation, nude beaches, nude cruises, nude flights to nude resorts, nude bike rides through major cities, nude protests, and the massive photographic work of Spencer Tunic who shows us a collective nudist world. It’s time for nude life coaching. With that decision made,

Sarah White - Naked Therapist

Sarah White – Naked Therapist

I found that I wasn’t going to be the first kid on the block to structure psychotherapy with nude psychology. Here is what I found along the way. Nadine Sabulsky – The Naked Life Coach, and Sarah White – The Naked Therapist. Neither of these use a model which I have in mind. Perhaps it would even be safe and honest to say that there is some validity to their practices, but I doubt that it has depth. If anything, perhaps nudity on the part of the therapist is more of a distraction than it is about having a client face his or her own issues that are getting in the way of living the life they envision for themselves.

10 thoughts on “Re-Approaching Nude Psychotherapy

  1. I agree with Urspo. The mind , the heart and the soul are not constrained by our skulls , our flesh , and our clothing . Being naked along with a therapist ? Or just one of you being nude ? This dramatically changes the relationship .


    • Yes, dramatic changes in the relationship indeed. Location is another key aspect to consider. There is a lot to examine and consider “before” one dares venture into this territory “if” one is to ever incorporate nudity in therapy.


  2. This puzzles me and have just read a bit about “self-disclosure” seems somehow related to that idea that the therapist could inspire the ability to be open in this context . Would it not shift the balance of power as it were and make the whole experience feel less professional . I want to believe , perhaps wrongly , that my therapist has something that I don’t – a skill , a strategy perhaps , at the very least a new perspective on my problems .


    • What has to change is the whole notion we have with regards to therapist and client and therapy. James Hillman wasn’t far off the mark when he stated: “We’ve Had a Hundred Years of Psychotherapy – And the World’s Getting Worse” a title of a book he published in 1992. He was a Jungian analyst that moved on to create what is called Archetypal Psychology, another form of depth psychology. Our systems don’t work. Jungian psychology isn’t about “fixing” but about understanding. All the “fix-it models – ALL of them – don’t work. Humans, modern man, wants instant fix, preferably through medication.

      Going back in time to shamans, medicine men, Egyptian magicians, and other “healers of the soul” we find that almost all of them did their work nude. It is the quality of the guide, not a dress code that made a difference. Now, we expect to see the certificates and appropriate dress code and appearance – beard (goatee preferable) and glasses de rigueur – and the client couch or easy chair to instill confidence that the man in front of you is the real thing.

      What works? Not much. What has worked? Do we try something new, different, old? Do we risk being outside of the norm like our predecessors in the profession of healing the soul? It’s not just another job like some doctor or lawyer or . . .


  3. I like your sense of humor . ” a goatee and and spectacles ” I’m all about breaking new ground but this a big ocean to cross . Reconciling the truth of what is or has been over time with what I still think of as academic . Somehow I can accept a naked Shaman offering me help , but a naked therapist with a Ph.D. hanging on his wall from Columbia ? But why not a naked Shaman with the Princeton degree .
    I have to be honest , when I looked up Paul Bindrin I felt that knowing he had credentials from Duke gave him more credibility for me personally .
    I’m not a therapist but I have worked with folks who are struggling with serious and perhaps not so serious mental health issues . I teach or otherwise instruct and inform individuals and families about mental illness from an essentially medical model ( as the brain is affected and symptoms reduced by medications ) , I also have the knowledge that these solutions only address the symptoms in the short term . Of course you already know this and it’s been an exhaustive discussion whatever you believe or model you are influenced by . No , I don’t believe we can fix a person but we can relieve suffering and offer guidance and support . I’m an advocate .
    I’ve been reading a wonderful book , Psychology without a Self , Mark Epstein , that draws some very interesting parallels between Freud’s original thought and the Eastern traditions of mysticism – and Buddist practice .
    I see that you quoted Pema Chodrum . When I get really agitated I think of her saying ” Stay ….Stay …. I have her CD here somewhere . Anyway , have you ever been to Omega , in New York ? She speaks there often as well as many other ‘enlightened’ folks . Tara Brach , a psycho-therapist is also some I admire .
    So as you have most likely have guessed by now , I love to ramble and rant and it’s not often one comes across such interesting topic as yours . Thanks


    • David – I love your rambling and your offerings in that rambling. That you have taken of yourself to share here in response to my words is a gift that I receive gratefully. I have never met Pema Chodron even though she is often in Canada where she spends much of her time in charge of a monastery in Nova Scotia. Thank you for the mention of other writers.


  4. Pingback: Re-Approaching Nude Psychotherapy | Nudie News

  5. I actually go to a psychologist for PTSD from military. He uses thought field therapy and heart action therapy. I have seen him for a few years and treat my symptoms with methods other than pharmacology regiments.

    He is fully aware of my nudism and supports me using g nudism also as a coping technique. I have enjoyed nude yoga, massage swaps and Reiko exchanges. Unfortunately our work in the office is textile, but wish could have same latatitudal freedom you are offering. I believe he and his wife who is a massage therapist enjoy nudism themselves in their home from what I hear in our discussions.


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