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What is Basic Body Awareness Therapy (BBAT)?

BBAT has its focus on learning through movement experience.  It is a person-centered approach, aimed to promote health, learning and mastering in daily life.  

BBAT is aimed to promote basic knowledge about, awareness of, and familiarity with oneself in movement and in rest.   

BBAT is inspired by the French movement teacher and psychotherapist Jacques Dropsy, and was introduced to Swedish physiotherapy by  G. Roxendal in the 1970ies. BBAT was further developed by an international group of teachers. In 1989, BBAT was formally approved as a physiotherapy modality by the Norwegian Association of Physiotherapists. BBAT has its theoretical and practical roots in western and eastern movement traditions, biomedical science, psychology, and existential and phenomenological philosophy.

The aim of BBAT is to promote health through more functional movement habits and behavioural strategies in daily life. 

A precondition for learning and for strengthening the sensimotor interplay, is to practice and develop ones mental awareness. The BBAT pedagogy is structured to promote the person's sensitivity to experiences from the moving body, thus increasing the ability to identify movement aspects that might promote health. 


Basic daily-life movement coordinations are practiced in BBAT; lying, sitting, standing, walking and relating. A structured massage is included in the treatment, as well as the use of voice. The person is guided to explore the contact to the ground, to the center of the body, to the breathing and to the use of energy. 

Central for the treatment process is to allow the person to discover unhealthy habits and to try out more functional movements. The main strategy for therapy is to stimulate postural reflexes, a dynamic balance, free breathing, and unified co-ordination and interplay within the whole moving person. 


An important part of the therapy is to reflect on the immediate movement experiences.  Together with the therapist, the person reflects on bodily and mental reactions and their relationship to daily-life settings. The aim of the clinical talk is to help the person finding meaning and coherence, understanding more about herself and developing stronger self-efficacy in daily life. 

In collaboration with the physiotherapist, the person shares the responsibility for improvement by becoming involved and practicing at home from the start. The self-training consists of practicing selected movements regularly and to integrate movement experiences into daily functioning. The person is encouraged to take notes in a log-book in order to strengthen the learning process.  

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BBAT is suited for individual or group treatment. Group dynamics and other therapeutic group factors can enhance the treatment outcome, such as increased self-understanding and experiences of social support while being in interplay with others. 

The Body Awareness Rating Scale – Movement Quality and Experience (BARS-MQE) is used to evaluate the person's starting point and her development throughout the treatment process. The evaluation includes the person's descriptions of own movement experiences, the therapist's descriptions of observed movement quality. Based on observations, and according to a manual, the movement quality is given a score for each of the 12 movements included in BARS-MQE.

Since BBAT was introduced to physiotherapy, a great number of research studies have been conducted to describe its clinical use and its outcome in various groups of patients.  On this page, you find an updated overview of the research.


Short introduction to BBAT:  Article on Basic Body Awareness Therapy(ENG)

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NIBK organizes courses in Basic Body Awareness Therapy and  Body Awareness Rating Scale - Movement Quality and Experience (BARS-MQE). 

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