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Bioenergetics Therapy Schools and Careers

All About Bioenergetics Certification, Schools and Careers

therapist pressing hands on patient back
woman places healing hands on patients back

Graduates of bioenergetic therapy school are trained in the complementary therapy bioenergetics, which improves health, wellness and energy and reduces tension using a combination of psychotherapeutic and bodywork techniques.

Bioenergetic therapy arose from the psychoanalytic tradition through Wilhelm Reich. However, it was one of Reich’s students, Alexander Lowen, who fully developed this method of therapy.

Practitioners of bioenergetic therapy aim to heal the stress that builds up in the body—muscle tension, postural problems, and breathing inhibitions—due to mental and emotional traumas and other past experiences.

Career Overview

The techniques used by bioenergetic school graduates are wide-ranging and include “talk therapy,” deep breathing relaxation methods, gentle movements or exercise, and massage.

Bioenergetic certification can be useful in a number of careers, including alternative medicine, nursing, counseling, social work, massage therapy, and psychotherapy.

Schools and Education

What You’ll Study in Bioenergetic School

Bioenergetic degree and certification programs include two phases of training. The pre-clinical phase involves close study of the theoretical aspects of bioenergetics, including readings by Reich, Lowen and other authorities. During the clinical phase, you’ll study therapeutic and analytical techniques in bioenergetics, and you’ll begin clinical work with individual clients or groups on a supervised basis.

Average Bioenergetic School Length of Study

Bioenergetic school usually takes four to six years. Besides formal training and coursework, a diploma or certification in bioenergetics includes 150 hours of personal bioenergetic therapy and at least 50 hours of supervised practice. Some bioenergetics programs require you to hold a degree in a medical or mental health field.

Average Bioenergetic School Tuition

Unless your bioenergetic training is included as part of the curriculum for a general psychotherapy or nursing program, expect to pay a reasonably high tuition—many bioenergetic certification programs are offered through private institutions or bioenergetics societies.

A full certification program may cost anywhere from $12,000 to $23,000, depending on the school. However, many of these programs offer financial aid.

Bioenergetic Certification

Reputable bioenergetic certification programs generally adhere to the curriculum standards advocated by the International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis, which was founded by Dr. Alexander Lowen himself.

Certification requires you to complete the two phases of training described above, as well as your own personal therapy and supervised practice as a trainee.

In order to practice bioenergetic therapy in your profession as a psychotherapist, counselor, or other healing practitioner, you’ll need to adhere to state laws regarding licensure for that profession.

Bioenergetics Salary

Salaries in the bioenergetics field depend on your exact job title and whether you work at a hospital, clinic or wellness center. Here are median salaries that massage therapy school graduates might pursue:

Massage Therapists

National data

Median Salary: $46,910

Projected job growth: 32.2%

10th Percentile: $24,450

25th Percentile: $34,770

75th Percentile: $60,510

90th Percentile: $77,600

Projected job growth: 32.2%

State data

State Median Salary Bottom 10% Top 10%
Alaska $121,120 $30,330 $154,310
Alabama $28,810 $17,050 $48,730
Arkansas $37,970 $23,440 $60,400
Arizona $43,150 $29,160 $61,890
California $47,590 $29,270 $92,590
Colorado $47,900 $29,670 $62,600
Connecticut $53,060 $26,100 $113,830
District of Columbia $47,230 $31,340 $61,250
Delaware $43,600 $24,040 $78,690
Florida $38,600 $23,360 $73,190
Georgia $38,050 $18,050 $62,650
Hawaii $49,080 $23,260 $96,520
Iowa $46,440 $24,580 $60,490
Idaho $47,980 $24,470 $128,110
Illinois $49,130 $23,670 $79,010
Indiana $47,960 $22,680 $80,880
Kansas $39,370 $16,860 $66,060
Kentucky $48,700 $28,810 $78,560
Louisiana $29,550 $17,440 $78,990
Massachusetts $58,190 $37,070 $97,240
Maryland $46,940 $24,440 $122,960
Maine $39,200 $30,150 $77,450
Michigan $59,040 $26,040 $97,410
Minnesota $46,910 $29,130 $73,290
Missouri $36,610 $21,420 $60,450
Mississippi $43,460 $28,310 $51,520
Montana $59,380 $22,680 $82,970
North Carolina $47,120 $22,740 $68,920
North Dakota $60,550 $30,380 $87,620
Nebraska $46,640 $23,110 $79,010
New Hampshire $47,980 $23,250 $77,440
New Jersey $44,870 $29,110 $61,670
New Mexico $38,330 $28,190 $79,010
Nevada $30,700 $17,720 $59,380
New York $47,460 $31,930 $75,940
Ohio $46,490 $29,380 $76,190
Oklahoma $47,550 $26,160 $59,380
Oregon $70,300 $30,350 $94,020
Pennsylvania $46,410 $25,890 $71,500
Rhode Island $30,350 $24,540 $30,350
South Carolina $35,880 $17,440 $55,800
South Dakota $30,780 $23,340 $49,300
Tennessee $45,400 $18,850 $60,400
Texas $42,860 $22,330 $62,680
Utah $45,910 $18,020 $65,640
Virginia $46,460 $21,190 $76,250
Vermont $47,850 $29,650 $61,340
Washington $65,610 $31,150 $88,610
Wisconsin $39,300 $17,470 $61,450
West Virginia $46,640 $23,340 $75,450
Wyoming $47,820 $29,010 $61,690

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) 2021 median salary; projected job growth through 2030. Actual salaries vary depending on location, level of education, years of experience, work environment, and other factors. Salaries may differ even more for those who are self-employed or work part time.

Is a Bioenergetics Career Right for You?

Bioenergetics takes an integrated, holistic approach to the wellness of both mind and body. It contributes to the healing of tension and stress and encourages a healthy balance of physical and mental energies.

If you’re truly committed to helping yourself and others achieve a deeper connection between body and mind through bioenergetic therapy, then bioenergetic school may be right for you.

Sources: About Bioenergetics, International Institute for Bioenergetic Analysis, Bioenergetics, American Cancer Society, Florida Institute for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Florida Society for Bioenergetic Analysis, National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH, formerly the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine [NCCAM]).