The blossom method: development of a somatic psychotherapy model, its use in clinical and everyday settings: a heuristic, reflexive inquiry

Sabel, Vivien Louise (2019) The blossom method: development of a somatic psychotherapy model, its use in clinical and everyday settings: a heuristic, reflexive inquiry. [Doctorate by Public Works]

PDF - Final accepted version (with author's formatting)
Download (3MB) | Preview


The Public Works considered for this submission include The Blossom Method Model, a parenting book on this approach, and a therapeutic children’s book. The submission includes a detailed, heuristic and reflexive account of the life experiences, clinical and linguistic training, and influences which have contributed to these works, and considers the impact the works have made to the field of psychotherapy.

Originally, The Blossom Method was developed with a focus upon non-verbal communication between parent and infant, using an integrative, relational approach with a particular emphasis on visual, kinaesthetic, gestural, sensorimotor communication. The model’s key components and the theoretical framework that it provides can be considered for use in psychotherapy training and practice.

In this account the submission reflects upon the author’s formative years and the experience of being raised by a profoundly deaf, non-signing mother. It is recognised that parent-child communication and connectivity has been complex for the author, which influenced their decision to study linguistics and undertake immersion training as a sign language interpreter with a university, developing fluency in both BSL and English. The context statement explores the author’s leadership role in a charitable organisation; the various professional and personal challenges which led to psychotherapy training; the experience of infant loss; and motherhood which provided an opportunity to experiment with non-verbal communication and promote connection with the author’s daughter, Blossom. The model has been developed through heuristic learning, reflexive study and anecdotal research undertaken with parents and their infants, and it brings together linguistic training and therapeutic experience. The concepts of the model have been disseminated internationally through a popular parenting book, which has led to further research, speaking engagements, article writing, course content writing, and an involvement in training and developing a practice with parents and their infants, both Deaf and hearing.

The submission provides the model explanation initially published in the book and discusses the theoretical influences which form the content for the Public Works.

During the course of writing this submission, a particular feature in relation to influence and impact emerged, as the author noted that recognition reach has been achieved through the careful use of social media platforms. This has resulted in the author reaching international audiences in India, Australia, South Korea and South America.

Although the model is perhaps not distinctly a ‘new’ approach to psychotherapy, the considerations and findings in relation to the ‘language of infants’ provide a platform for additional research in the field of infant somatic narratives. Furthermore, there is a distinctive synthesis of personal background, linguistic training, professional knowledge and expertise as a psychotherapist with both Deaf and non-deaf adults, children and infants.

Item Type: Doctorate by Public Works
Keywords (uncontrolled): Observe, mirror, respond, contemporary, model, method, infant, child, maternal, paternal, caregiver, parent, mother, father, relationship, deaf, disability, access, mental health, connectivity, attunement, misattunements, social model, medical model, communication, contact, perinatal, sensorimotor, somatic, embodied, psychotherapy, The Blossom Method (TBM), The Blossom Method Model (TBMM), BSL (British Sign Language), Sign Supported English (SSE), body, language, research, reflexive, heuristic, narrative.
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology
B. > Theses
C. Collaborative Partners > Metanoia Institute
Item ID: 27632
Depositing User: Brigitte Joerg
Date Deposited: 24 Sep 2019 10:16
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 18:58

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.