Non-verbal modes of knowing and communication
Psychophonetics is a methodology of experience awareness that applies body awareness, movement/gesture, visualisation and sounds, as extensions of the conversational counselling, by utilizing these non-verbal tools for accessing, exploring, expressing and for the communication of human experience, from the individual's own point of view.
Other non-verbal tools such as drawing, painting and clay are also used within these processes.
Psychophonetics psychotherapy is a phenomenological approach to human experience.
Summary of the four modes of knowing and communication
The sentient mode of knowing – the human sense-ability that receives and retains impressions from the outer and inner worlds. Every experience leaves an imprint on us, taken in through the bodily processes into the soul life where it continues to live.
Through the senses (Steiner describes 12 senses), we can rediscover and bring into conscious awareness at any point in time a particular experience and become aware of the psychological processes.
Some of the 12 senses are directed to outer perceptions, some to inner perceptions, and some to the perception of meaning.
These senses are more related to a general functioning of the body which overides organ division, for instance, like the sense of touch. Human sense-ability is capable of receiving and retaining impressions both from the outer and inner worlds.
Sense of Life (of well-being)
Sense of Balance
Sense of Movement
Sensing Meaning (In & Out)
Sense of Intonation
(of sound, word, speech)
Sense of Concept
(grasping the meaning of others' expressed words)
Sense of ‘I’
(sensing the presence of another human being)
The dynamics of experience can become observable and accessible for change and healing through body awareness, by focussing on the sensation in the body.
Every emotional experience can be traced to its origin by the vibrations in the subtle dynamics of the body and through the use of gesture/ movement which can directly express the sensations.
The kinaesthetic mode of knowing – the expression of experience through bodily gestures and movement. Every human experience can be expressed directly by most people and be understood.
Gesture and movement enhance the imaginative ability inherent in everyone, to create precise mental pictures which can reveal the inner psychosomatic dynamics being explored.
The human body is regarded as 'an instrument of meaning, enabling an inner being to live in an outer world' (Tagar). The body serves as a map for the psyche, through which we can consciously trace and observe our inner life.
The mental/pictorial mode of knowing – the formation of inner images that pictorially represent inner experiences. Every human experience can be transformed into and retained in pictorial representations. These can be recalled to the mind at will, to be explored, expressed visually and transformed.
Spontaneous visualisation arising from out of a gesture expressed and stepped out of, then becomes a powerful, reliable mode of knowing.
The mental/audible mode of knowing – is the echo of human experience through the sounding of the consonants and vowels of human speech.
Human experience lives in the form of vibrations within us and can be traced, accessed, released and enhanced by matching them with a sound or sound combinations which has a sympathetic resonance with them.
For example, a sensation of a headache, shoulder tightness, knotted stomach, pained neck, can all be sensed and expressed through clenching the fists, contorting the whole body and with the help of holding the breath, then releasing it with sounds that arise/found directly relating to the specific experience (egs. GGah, Pshh, Dah, Bah, FFah...).
Releasing makes it possible for the origin of these tensions to then be traced through the range of imaginative pictures that emerge, enabling exploration, encounter and release of deeper layers and patterns of response which cause the tensions.
Finally, inner needs can be accessed, acknowledged, taken care of and healed by providing, invoking or nurturing the inner qualities needed, and using movement and sounds that match the specific experience.
These practical tools become a way of self-care whereby experience becomes self-knowledge and problems become opportunities for personal growth, empowerment, healing, expression and transformation.
Tagar, Y. (1996). The healing power of expression with Philophonetics-Counselling. In I. Gawler (Ed.), The mind body connection (pp. 239-250). Yarra Junction, Australia: The Gawler Foundation.