Recommendations for Bottom-Up Vertical Development Efforts

Ryan Gottfredson

by Ryan Gottfredson

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woman doing yoga on a pier

If you are coming into this article blind, the bullet points below should provide some adequate context. If the bullet points make sense to you, feel free to jump down to the section titled “Recommendations for Bottom-Up Vertical Development Efforts.”

Recommendations for Bottom-Up Vertical Development Efforts

Bottom-up approaches are best facilitated by either a tool/resource or another person, generally a trained therapist. While we can engage in bottom-up efforts on our own, we will generally not get the full healing value from it without guidance and facilitation of a trained therapist.

There are three different forms of bottom-up vertical development efforts, and I present them in the order of least intense to most intense (although intensity can always be dialed up or down for each).

Body Scan Meditations

Body scan meditations that help you connect with your body and the sensations within it.

When I have done body scan meditations, I commonly will find that I am holding tension that I was not aware of (e.g., clenching my jaw or holding tightness in my shoulders or back).

resting man

An easy way to engage in body scan meditations is to use the Insight Timer app, and search for “body scan.”

Reminder: As with any meditation practice, we will never get a huge benefit from doing just one meditation. Meditation is the practice of exercising our mindfulness muscles. If we ever want to become “strong” in our mindfulness, we will need to “hit the gym” on a regular basis over time.

Body Connection Activities

People who do not have strong interoceptive abilities need to get in better touch with their bodies. To do this, therapist will commonly recommend body connection activities like yoga, Pilates, kickboxing, therapeutic massages, and horse care or horse-riding (e.g., equine therapy).

woman doing yoga on a pier

If engaged in intentionally, and with the guidance of a therapist, these activities can help strengthen our interoceptive abilities.

Bottom-Up Therapeutic Modalities

There are many different therapeutic modalities. Most are what might be classified at top-down approaches (e.g., cognitive behavioral therapy). But, there are some therapeutic modalities that take a bottom-up approach. I am still learning of the variety of these modalities, but there are two that I have found personally effective:

I have included videos if you want to learn more about these.

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