It’s been a while since my last newsletter, so to bring you up to date, here’s an overview.
My work is rich and full, but I do currently have the space to work with adult clients who are interested in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy. Daytime slots currently available on Tuesdays/Wednesdays in Dartington and Exeter, Devon. Please get in touch if this appeals to you.
This newsletter gives you some background and details of my recent work, including movement therapy with adults, working with adopted children and growing teaching commitments.
My work today is a culmination of experience in various professional fields – Adult Mental Health, Community Arts and Early Years Education – as well as through a whole range of body/movement/dance approaches I’ve experienced over the years. I’ve been strongly influenced by the ‘full-bodied, whole-hearted’ movement play approach of JABADAO that got me moving in the first place. Going on to delve into the movement/dance form of Contact Improvisation introduced me to working with the moving, falling, rolling body – the world of the sensory, physics of movement, weight and momentum. And then into the deeper sensed world of anatomy and physiology and early and evolutionary movement patterns of Body Mind Centering ® whilst studying in the US at Moving On Centre. Some years spent being taught and mentored by Helen Poynor, and experiencing movement practices in the natural environment informed by Anna Halprin/Tamalpa work. Themes from this experience have been developed over the years through continued Authentic Movement practice and an interest in following the personal stories of what is held in our bodies. And in more recent years, my training in Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy, giving me structure and grounding in therapeutic work. All this is behind and in me, in my work today.
Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy Practice, working with:
- adults with on-going health issues, physical and emotional.
- babies and children with a range of developmental and relational themes.
I love my work, valuing the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of people. I love the practice of bringing myself afresh to each session and being able to follow and guide the process each person is going through. And it challenges me, to resource myself and balance my own nervous system, heart, muscles, joints and overall well-being.
Providing Movement Therapy as an Associate within an Adoption Consultancy, working with children and young people who are struggling with sensory, developmental, emotional and behavioural issues.
I have been particularly touched by the chance to work with adopted children over the last few years. I’ve seen the strong drive they have, to try and resolve early trauma and disruption. The education system and regular family life can be severely challenged by what comes through in the experience and behaviour of some of these children. They are on a bigger life journey, but in the sessions we have, I aim to provide the space for some of this disruption to be expressed, and other parts of their nervous systems to come on stream, to be in better relationship to themselves and others.
I’ve had the chance to teach within Higher Education several times over the last year:
- Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, (MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy). Covering a colleague on maternity leave for 12 months, and offering sessions as part of the Dance Lab module, exploring body systems, as well as a number of Guest Lectures (Embodied Resources; Working with the Feeling Body; What’s at the Heart of your work?)
- Visiting Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire (MA in Dance & Somatic Well-being; BA in Dance, Performance & Teaching).
- University of Plymouth (BA Theatre & Performance).
It’s great to be able to inspire others to get out into the world and bring the stuff of the body to more people. Having the chance to teach has helped me get clear about what I do, to get to the heart of it, and share key questions with those developing their own unique work.
Co-organizing the UK Diploma in Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy.
Together with Jane Okondo, I am supporting this ongoing programme that was founded by Linda Hartley. The in-depth training draws on Developmental Movement and Experiential Anatomy (based on the principles of Body Mind Centering®, Somatic Psychology and Authentic Movement. Having recently joined the IBMT teaching faculty, I’ve been running intro workshops over the last year, and will be co-teaching the Infant Movement Module (UK) and the Somatic Psychology Module (Russia) later in 2018. I am also sharing how I use IBMT work with adopted children during a workshop at the Celebration event at Dartington on 8th July 2018.
I’ve been on the organising Team of the UK Somatic Movement Gathering (www.somatic-movement.org) for the last couple of years. These get togethers give practitioners the chance to meet and share as peers. This year I’ll be co-facilitating the opening of the event.
Having been to the gatherings as a participant and workshop provider and come back each time with renewed confidence, I wanted to support these events happening into the future. Although the world is changing, Somatic approaches are still not in the mainstream, so to be able to support others out there by providing the chance to get together, has been important. It’s very powerful to be sat in a circle with 40+ other like minded, body orientated people.
Up until December 2017, I ran the ‘Rock and Roll Dads’ project for 2 years – monthly movement play sessions for Dads and young babies, and a second group for Dads and toddlers.
Having seen a number of Dads on the side-lines of parents and babies groups (that in reality were attended 99% by Mums) I set up the group. I had been introduced to working with Dads through an earlier project with JABADAO, so developed confidence in working with Dads and knew what they had to offer their young children. From my IBMT study of Infant Movement Development and Somatic Psychology, I also had a wealth of simple key information about the physical, emotional and relational aspects of development that I wanted to offer. To get the chance to see this parent-baby interaction and get the chance to provide the space and input to slow this down, was a real joy. Over the 2 years, 40 Dads and their babies came along. For both personal and practical reasons I sadly let the group go, but was pleased to have had the chance to share this simple yet profound somatic work.
You can read more about the project here.
So that’s where I’m up to workwise. I continue to be supported by my weekly Movement Peer Group (in my 11th year), and on-going Authentic Movement study and practice.
We’re living in exciting times, to be working in the field of body and well-being. Scientific understanding is bringing to light new understanding and perspectives, that are directly relevant to Somatic Movement Therapy. Neuroscience, brain imaging and new models of understanding are making connections between the biochemical, physiological processes and our emotional and relational worlds.
I feel very fortunate to be able to find ways to bring myself and somatic understanding to those who might benefit. I have deep respect for both what the body holds, and for those that enter into the space to explore this for themselves.