Here’s what’s behind Somatic (body-centered) and Dance/Movement Therapy…
Do you doubt that just “talking it through” will help?
Yeah… me, too.
As long as we’re just talking, we are staying in the conscious part of our brain. And that means we’re most likely repeating what we already know (or think we know) and sticking to the familiar, known, and habituated ways of going through our lives…
Same shit, different day (or different therapy session).
Meanwhile, we’re missing out on the great depth of information, wisdom, and resilience that lies under the surface, within the body. And this is where the magic happens!
What we do is different because it harnesses that magic!
It’s based on body awareness and movement expression. Here’s why that’s important…
The drama of our lives plays out within our bodies. Moods, emotions, desires, boundaries… these are things that we feel in our muscles, hearts, and stomachs. We can dive much deeper into your WHOLE experience by tuning in to the body, allowing new insights to emerge.
Now, before you ask the obvious question…
Yes, we will talk. I want to hear you, get to know you, and listen to what words you put into your experience. But I also want you to listen deep down into your cells… to breathe, feel, and move.
I want you to find something new and surprising that has been waiting for you just under the surface.
This therapy is based on the premise of mind-body oneness.
Western culture largely splits the mental away from the emotional and the physical, but this split is false. As modern science progresses, it’s looping back more and more to the truths found in numerous ancient and indigenous systems of knowledge: that the mind and body are a single, integrated, ever-flowing process.
Self-awareness requires body awareness. To understand our thoughts, values, and decisions, we must know how we FEEL about them. So, we have to turn to the sensations in our bodies.
Body awareness is our gateway to being honest about our likes, dislikes, beliefs, judgments, and identities. When we know who we are in our bodies, we have a compass that guides our decision-making, and life becomes much easier.
When you have an awareness of your body, your thoughts won’t twist you and pull you to and fro. You can live with clarity and confidence from knowing you’re making sound decisions.
It also opens up your capacity for choice. When we become aware of our feelings, triggers, and patterns, we can stop reacting impulsively and start exploring our options with a sense of empowerment.
Instead of “Why the heck did I do that?” or “What the heck do I do next?” we can step into “I know what I feel, and I can see which choice aligns with that” and “I know what my familiar habit is here, but I’m going to try something different this time.”
It’s beautiful to develop this internal connection with your embodied self, but we don’t exist alone in a vacuum. We must also learn how to express ourselves in the world and in our relationships.
This is where the rubber meets the road!
Mindful movement brings us into a left-brain creative space to make new connections and insights that bubble up from our subconscious. In movement, we can be released from old, tired cognitive patterns and expand into new ways of being.
We get to play, experiment, increase our range, and practice what it feels like to translate our internal experience into outward action.
Here’s what it all looks like…
Like any creative process, it can look many different ways, depending on the individual.
We will likely use mindfulness, breath, body awareness, and grounding practices to increase your connection with your body and stay anchored during challenging experiences.
We will practice these things together, and you can take them into your daily life for support with stress and emotional intensity.
When we’re speaking, I’ll encourage you to slow down, notice your body while you are talking, and pay attention to your body’s response to your narrative.
Then we will bring that body response into movement. Here are some examples:
- Exploring a gesture that came up during a verbal story,
- Embodying a specific part of yourself as if it were its own character,
- Playing with themes like polarities, balance, or expansion and contraction,
- Moving through an action you were unable to do in the past,
- Enhancing an emotion by adding music or visual art,
- Moving through how you carry yourself while holding various roles or identities, or
- Engaging in a meditative practice like Authentic Movement or DANCEmandala.
I always like to leave some time at the end for integration, returning to words, or perhaps capturing some of your experience in a journal or artwork. This will help you find meaning from your experience and takeaways outside of sessions.
Things I WON’T be doing…
If you haven’t picked up on this already, engaging in Dance/Movement Therapy has nothing to do with learning to “dance” or being a “good dancer.” I’m not preparing you for performance or asking you to alter your movements to be more appealing to other people. So…
I will not teach you choreography or specific kinds of movements you “should” be doing.
I’m not going to judge or interpret your movements for you… or tell you that this or that gesture means you’re feeling this or that way.
I’m not going to say that your body or movements are “right” or “wrong”… or “good” or “bad.”
And one thing that’s NEVER done here is a judgment of any kind!
Things I WILL be doing…
I will guide you into finding a deeper connection with yourself and your body.
I will provide lots of options for fun and creative ways to explore your inner world… and let you choose your own adventure (with help!).
I will ask you questions and prompt you to follow and advance your creative discovery process.
I will suggest ways to further your healing via breath, posture, and different types of movement.
I will move with you, sharing my feelings and experience for your consideration, reflection, and feedback.
And, of course, I will always hold this space for you with compassion!
Feeling that jolt of excitement in your chest?
That tense anticipation saying this could be just what you need?
Your first step in listening to your body is following that impulse and reaching out today.
Let’s fill in that piece that has been missing from your puzzle and invite your body to take center stage.
I offer free 20-minute consultation calls where you can get all your questions answered and see if we are a good fit.
Book your first appointment now. I can’t wait to move with you!