Alan Fogel, Ph.D.: Body-Mind Connection — Embodied Self-Awareness and Resilience | Bouncing Back #36

In this episode, host Joahanna Wickramaratne is joined by Alan Fogel, Ph.D, who is an esteemed psychologist and professor at the University of Utah

The podcast discusses embodied self-awareness therapy and how it helps build resilience. It explores the connection between the body and mind, emphasizing the importance of acknowledging and working with emotions. 

Meet Alan Fogel, Ph.D

Alan Fogel, Ph.D., is a highly accomplished and experienced psychologist. He is a Professor of Psychology Emeritus at the University of Utah and has dedicated 35 years to researching emotional and sensorimotor development in social contexts, particularly during infancy and adulthood. 

He has authored several influential books, including Developing through Relationships, Change Processes in Relationships, Infancy: Infant, Family, and Society, Infant Development: A Topical Approach, Body Sense: The Science and Practice of Embodied Self-Awareness, and Restorative Embodiment and Resilience.

In addition to his academic contributions, Alan Fogel is a fellow of the American Psychological Association. He has diverse professional expertise, holds massage therapy licenses, and practices Rosen Method Bodywork. He is also a senior teacher and founding editor of the Rosen Method International Journal.

About the episode

In the podcast, Alan discusses embodied self-awareness, which involves tuning into the “inner condition” of the body, including sensations like heat, energy levels, heartbeat, movements, and, importantly, emotions.

Alan explains that embodied self-awareness therapy can aid individuals in recovering from stressors and developing resilience. The key is to settle into their feelings rather than avoiding or suppressing them. Alan provides examples of embodied self-awareness practices, including the Rosen Method.

According to Alan, childhood experiences where emotions were suppressed or not allowed to be expressed can influence individuals to unconsciously avoid feelings and develop a belief that they can’t trust others. These experiences can cause people to disconnect from their emotions and hinder their ability to build resilience.

He also explores the role of cultivating loving relationships in the context of embodied self-awareness practices. It highlights that feeling safe and vulnerable within these relationships is critical in developing a deeper connection with oneself and building resilience.

These are suggestions for cultivating awareness and building resilience:

  • Cultivate mindfulness: Engage in activities like breathwork, yoga, gardening, nature walks, etc., to develop awareness of the distinction between thoughts and feelings.
  • Prioritize self-care: Make time for rest, self-care, and activities that relax your body. These practices can aid in recovery rather than using avoidance as a coping mechanism.
  • Redirect focus inward: When stress triggers excessive thinking, consciously redirect your focus to what your body and heart are communicating. This helps you connect with your emotions.
  • Acknowledge and non-judgmentally accept emotions: Recognize that feelings like anger, shame, or fear arise as part of the resilience-building process. Avoid judging yourself for experiencing these emotions and instead acknowledge them.
  • Celebrate small wins: Instead of expecting perfection, celebrate the small victories you achieve in terms of vulnerability, embodied awareness, and strengthened feelings of safety in relationships.
  • Approach challenges with compassion: Adopt a compassionate mindset toward yourself, accepting your limits while providing the care and time needed for recovery. This approach can gradually build confidence.
  • Consistent practice: Continuously cultivate awareness of thoughts versus feelings and the tendency to avoid emotions through repetitive practice throughout your lifetime.

In conclusion

This podcast emphasizes the importance of awareness of the mind-body connection and building resilience. According to Alan, disconnecting from one’s body and avoiding one’s feelings would leave people vulnerable and depleted. People must understand how their thoughts and emotions are connected to heal and grow. 

Trusting relationships, mindfulness, engaging in enjoyable activities, and embracing practices like yoga can help people relax and settle their minds. Alam also says that true restoration comes from finding peace and allowing buried emotions to surface and be resolved. 

Be the first to see our next episode. Follow us on social media to stay updated: 





You can also subscribe and listen to the show on your preferred podcasting platforms:

Apple Podcasts



iHeart Radio    




Google Podcasts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.