Making Presence Felt: Applications of Somatic Movement

A wonderful few days at the Uni of Central Lancashire in Preston, for a coming together of the 5 UK Somatic trainings, practitioners, students and academics. A mix of presentations, workshops and conversations from those emerging and those established in the field, all sharing what is important to them about working with the felt sense of the body. And event as part of the International Somatic Movement Education & Therapy Association’s 30th Anniversary.

We heard from those somatic practitioners working in the fields of physiotherapy, architecture, eco-somatics, visual and expressive arts. Themes of grief and death, eco-somatics, evolution, scoliosis, trauma and social-prescribing were included, amongst many others. Experience of work with refugees, end-of-life care, and with those with Parkinson’s disease was shared. Research was presented and stories offered of deep personal experience, as well as those of social, spiritual and political significance. A rich and inspiring mix.

Bringing Somatics into the World: Learning from the field of Adoption.

I gave a short presentation about ways I’ve been able to bring somatic approaches to the field of adoption from my experience over the last 6 years. I’ve found my way through offering sensory, developmental and psychological material, through play and meeting each person where they are, continually learning about the huge relevance of what can be held in the bodies of these young people, as they try to work through their early, non-verbal experience. Professionally, through making links and building relationships, finding a shared language and models of understanding, I’ve been able to find my place in this area of work amongst Child Psychologists, Play and Art Therapists, Drama Therapists and social workers.

A Somatic Training: Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy

I also had some time to speak as a representative of the Institute of Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy, sharing the development of Linda Hartley’s work over the last 40 years and giving an overview of the current ISMETA Approved Diploma programme.

This 550 hour modular course of study provides skills in how to be with others and support their healing and growth in a collaborative way. It supports practitioners in developing the resources to be with others using the skills of clear language and communication and non-judgemental respect for the body’s process. It draws on psychological models and maps to support the discovery and exploration of our individual body stories. It has a foundation in the breadth and depth of Anatomy & Physiology, as well as Embryonic and Developmental Movement Patterns that provide structure, clear practices and techniques in the use of intentional touch and bodywork to support healing and growth.

The next module starts in Devon this September. Details here.

Many thanks to all the staff at UCLan Dance, as well as all those from near and far who came together to share, offer and investigate together.