Short article from the Acorn newsletter - summer 2017
Over the course of three evenings we ran a short experiential course titled ‘Dance of Soma and Psyche: Working with the Body in Psychotherapy’ at Re-Vision. The course was run by Tasha Colbert and Katarina Gadjanski who brought together their different therapeutic backgrounds to craft an integrative somatic framework that could be used by ‘talking’ therapists. The purpose of this course was to support psychotherapists and counsellors to work in a more embodied way with their clients and learn how to use the body as a resource in their therapeutic practice. We had a vibrant and engaging group which included some Re-Vision graduates, psychotherapists from different therapeutic modalities and a couple of integrative coaches.
The workshops drew from the practices of somatic experiencing, dance movement therapy, body psychotherapy and transpersonal approaches. We introduced tools that explored connecting safely with difficult sensations in the body, and ways to help clients regulate trauma symptoms, fear, anxiety and anger held in the body. These included working with finding a safe place in the body and pendulation, embodiment of different emotions, working with the ‘problem’ and ‘antidote’ through movement and how the body can be used as a powerful resource when working with personal boundaries and grounding. We also explored how creative imagination and elemental visualisations could be used with clients who have difficulty connecting with their bodies. General feedback from participants was that they found the sessions valuable on both a personal and professional level, learning new tools that they could add to their therapeutic repertoire as well as use on themselves. Below are a couple of quotes from participants’ feedback:
‘All three evenings were beautifully presented, structured well, and facilitated at a perfect pace for learning and experiencing / embodying the practices. I particularly appreciated the flow and 'layering' of the activities, punctuated with group discussion.’
‘I felt this to be a spiritual, insightful experience and the expression of self experienced with others - moving and intimate. I felt safe, heard and held, a truly wonderful experience.’
Several participants contacted us after the course to let us know that they had started to use some of the somatic approaches they had learnt and these were proving to be beneficial for their clients. We enjoyed running this course at Re-Vision and a few participants commented on the special energy of the place, which felt holding and added to the depth of our work.