Retrospect and Prospect

International Journal of Biosynthesis -

  • Pre- and Perinatal Psychology
  • Somatic and Depth Pychological Psychotherapy
  • Somatic Therapy
  • Transpersonal Psychology

by David Boadella

We are delighted to provide you with a brief summary of the main features of Energy & Character on the thirtieth anniversary of the publication:




1. Energy & Character was founded in 1970 as a Biosynthesis+) journal. It is now the best known body psychotherapy journal in the world, and the second longest established in its field.



2. Energy & Character has been edited by myself as founding editor, with co-editor assistance during the early 1980s from Steve King in England, and between 1994 and 1998 from Andreas Wehowsky in Germany.

3. Energy & Character was formerly produced by Abbotsbury Publications, a publishing house I founded in England. The journal was the publication of the former Centre for Biosynthesis, based in London. Today the journal is the publication of the "International Institute for Biosynthesis IIBS"++) (Switzerland), where it has been published since the beginning of 1999. The IIBS has around 20 affiliated national or regional institutes for Biosynthesis and training, its own training team (co-trainers, assistant trainers, and guest lecturers), and its own advisory team of consultants.


4. Thanks to its easily understandable style, the journal has been successful where many other more ambitious, high-profile journals ceased publishing after only a few years. In total, we have published more than 100 issues, with well over 10 000 pages of detailed and relevant information. This has included over 800 articles, 310 book reviews and bibliographic features, over 90 congress reports, psychopolitical reports, and other specialised articles on significant body psychotherapy events.



5. Energy & Character has a small, exclusive but highly professional readership consisting of around 650 dedicated subscribers.

6. Around 100 universities, institutional and professional libraries in many parts of the world receive the journal, which is sent to subscribers in about 40 countries worldwide.


7. Over 300 authors have now written for Energy & Character, around one third of whom have been women. This is a very good percentage compared with the gender ratio of most publications.



8. The authors writing for Energy & Character have included the founders of most body psychotherapy schools, including Alexander Lowen, John Pierrakos, Gerda Boyesen, Malcolm Brown, Charles Kelley, Eva Reich and Lillemor Johnson, as well as the first generation of vegetotherapists such as Ola Raknes and Tage Philipson.

9. Editions of Energy & Character in other languages have been authorised by me in the following countries:

Germany: Bernhard Maul was co-editor from 1990 -1998. During this period, 18 issues were published. Since the beginning of 1999 the journal is published by the IIBS in Switzerland with a  broader editorial concept.

Brazil: with co-editor Rubens Kignel. Three issues have been published since 1997.

Czech Republic: with co-editor Oldrich Tegze. One issue was published in 1997.

Russia: a Russian edition, edited by co-editors Vladimir Baskakov and Galina Chentsova, was published in 1999.

Japan: a Japanese edition, edited by Fumiko Kuninaga, is under discussion.


10. A bibliography of the first twenty years of Energy & Character, in English, has been published in two volumes totalling 130 pages, itemising the contents. The editor is David Major.



11. Dr. Silvia Specht Boadella has been co-publisher and co-editor of Energy & Character since the beginning of 1999. Gisela Wallbruch has taken on the editorship of Energie & Charakter (German), as well as the function of Managing Editor for Energy & Character.

12. During the past thirty years, Energy & Character has been dedicated to the following themes and more:

a) Prenatal and perinatal psychology with an emphasis on dynamic embryology: In this subject, we concentrate on the roots of our somatic formation and the origins of our psychobiological development.

b) Psychotherapy based on somatic origins and depth psychology: Energy & Character has always welcomed many articles from a variety of psychotherapy schools. There is a tradition dating back over many years within body psychotherapy that is founded on depth psychology. Body psychotherapists including Pierre Janet, Paul Schilder, Wilhelm Reich, Otto Rank etc. formed this tradition, upon which Biosynthesis is also based. The psychosomatic branch of psychology etc. is also important in this context.

c) Somatic therapy and complementary medicine also play a role in Energy & Character in conjunction with body psychotherapy: In this context we are concerned with a broad spectrum of body-orientated methods, including types of breathing therapy, motion therapy, treatment techniques etc.

d) Social psychology and political aspects: Energy & Character also deals with sociological and psychopolitical aspects of health, education, sexuality and ecology.

e) Bio-spirituality and transpersonal psychology: We use the term "bio-spirituality" to mean spirituality that has its roots in the body as well as in the reality of day-to-day life. Transpersonal psychology picks up on a legacy of Eastern and Western traditions that is thousands of years old. The broad field of "energy & consciousness" has developed into one of the most productive and interesting areas of research, particularly within the past decade. In this field, healers, medical doctors and other researchers have united to establish new evidence and new paradigms relating to the expanding area of consciousness that incorporate the physiological effects of meditation and the perception fields of contemplative psychology.

In this context, we would like to extend a sincere welcome to the authors from all different schools of psychotherapy, who bring with them qualified contributions to this broad spectrum of themes.


13. Well-known national and international entities from a variety of schools of (body) psychotherapy deserve our thanks for agreeing to become members of the "International Editorial Advisory Board" of Energy & Character, which provides the quality of Energy & Character with added depth. This Advisory Board will provide the publishers as well as the editors of the journal with constant advice and support.

Currently the members of the International Editorial Advisory Board are as follows:

  • Maarten Alberse, France/Germany
  • Dr. phil. Liliana Acero, Argentina
  • Vladimir Baskakov, Russia
  • Marianne Bentzen, Denmark
  • Galina Chentsova, Russia
  • Will Davis, France
  • Dr. phil. George Downing, France
  • Dr. phil. Esther Frankel, Portugal/Brazil
  • Dr. phil. Ulfried Geuter, Germany
  • Dr. phil. Michael Heller, Switzerland
  • Mag. Barbara Jakel, Austria
  • Rubens Kignel, Brazil
  • Dr. Hans Krens, Netherlands
  • Fumiko Kuninaga, Japan
  • Heiko Lassek (medical doctor), Germany
  • Dr. phil. Peter Levine, USA
  • Dr. med. Jerome Liss, Italy
  • Dr. phil. Jacek Santorski, Poland
  • Ulrich Sollmann, Germany
  • Clover Southwell, Great Britain
  • Dr. phil. Oldrich Tegze, Czech Republic
  • Dr. phil. Ole Vedfeldt, Denmark
  • Dr. phil. Susanna Volosin, Spain



14. In the year 2000, Peter Freudl of Hamburg has published a bibliography of the first 30 years of Energy & Character and Energie & Charakter - i.e. the English and German editions. This will constitute volume II of the "Archive of Body Psychotherapy".

The bibliografy can be ordered directly by the publisher:
Peter Freudl (Dipl. Psych.)
Holunderstraße 1
D-25337 Elmshorn
Tel. +49 (0)4121 / 78473
Fax +49 (0)4121 / 750578

15. Managing Editor
Gisela Wallbruch (born 1946) is the managing director of giw mbH (based in Essen and Munich), which is a Public and Press Relations Agency with specialist emphasis on art, architecture, design, psychology, information processing and (tele)communication. She has scientific training in mathematics, pipe network analysis, systems analysis. She has been self-employed for more than 20 years; she works in conjunction with the financial, daily and trade press in an editorial capacity. She is the member of a European public relations network (EuroPR), member of the C.G.Jung society in Cologne, and has trained as a dream consultant. 2002: completion of a five-year training course at the International Institute for Biosynthesis IIBS in Heiden, Switzerland.

© IIBS  May 2002
All rights reserved. Print (also in extracts) only with approval of the IIBS.