In this era of failing leadership, how can practitioners guide their patients/clients with integrity and genuine care while also not succumbing to current fades and trends that on the surface appear pro-the-people, yet underneath are causing more harm than good? Understanding how embodied leadership—leadership that reflects the culmination of who we are rather than just leading from idealized concepts—impacts a client/patient relationship is crucial to the success of any applied modality when it comes to support real, positive, lasting transformation.
What is embodied leadership in a professional therapeutic setting? Embodied leadership is something subtle, something we cannot edit or concoct. Essentially, it’s who we really are underneath the facade of our own personality, projections, and ideals. It’s something unavoidable and inherent. This means that if we tell someone to not eat sugar yet we are still eating sugar, they won’t really hear our words, they will feel our habit of eating sugar which will only continue to encourage them to do the same and they will fail at the task we assign to them.
Another intriguing facet that is often overlooked and underrated when it comes to the impact of a leadership role is something known as limbic resonance. Limbic resonance is the culmination of everything we have experienced, believe, feel and do. It’s essential WHO we are. This WHO has presence. This presence has impact significant enough to re-imprint a client/patient’s nervous system. It works because it’s how all mammals learn: through the non-verbal embodied knowing that gets passed on from mother or guardian to an infant/child. This capacity continues into adult life, even more so when we are in positions of authority.
Because who we are carries significant impact, our ability to both walk our talk (being congruent with our internal beliefs and our external expression and actions) and our ability to regulate our own felt-states (adjusting our nervous system so that we are intentionally down-regulated) must be considered non-negotiable professional skills. The problem resides in how professionals are trained, which is predominantly with the focus on facts/content and very little on the embodiment of the practitioner. The solution is to support professionals to understand their impact as well as giving them important foundational frameworks which support the accentuation and evolution of their embodiment.
As the tides change and the world crisis demands embodied leadership as the way forward, only those with this understanding will be able to crystalize the change we all wish to see. Anything less will simply be a repeat of what has already been done, which leads to where we already find ourselves. To learn more on embodied leadership, visit our innovative professional development program: The Embodied PsychoSexual Method.