Dancing and psychotherapy (both as a client and therapist) have been a constant thread running throughout my adult life. I started my MA in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy in Bath in 1995 and have worked in private practice as a relational psychotherapist for over 20 years. My love of dancing began when I discovered 5 Rhythms while living at the Findhorn Foundation in North East Scotland in my early twenties (deep gratitude to Deborah Jay-Lewin for being my first and mainstay teacher over the years) but it wasn‘t until I returned to live in the wider Findhorn Community over 15 years later, that I began to experience embodied movement practice as vital for my well being and personal development.
My original training hadn‘t included working with the body and it was my growing sense of embodiment through dancing 5 Rhythms regularly which catalysed my desire to bring a somatic focus into my professional work. As a result, I trained in Somatic Trauma Therapy Training with Babette Rothschild and, more recently, completed an Advanced Diploma in Embodied-Relational Therapy. This approach has emerged from Reichian bodywork and Post-Reichian body psychotherapy and means that as well as talking-based relational psychotherapy, I also now enjoy offering body-orientated therapy for people who want to work in this way.
It was through my Embodied-Relational Therapy training that I discovered Dance of Awareness in 2017 (it is one of the main approaches that underpins this embodied movement practice) and immediately felt I‘d found a home for myself. It combined two of my loves in life - dancing and psychotherapy (thanks to Tim Bond and Clare Osbond for such an inspired integration) and I knew I had found the practice I wanted to dance and teach.
As a therapist and a client, I continue to be fascinated with how we can best heal the self-limiting patterns we have developed and unfold into the most whole and alive versions of ourselves. My work, along with being a wife and mother, is very fufilling but sometimes leads me to get stuck in responsible ‘adult mode‘ and I need the permission the dance floor gives me to express and embody all the different aspects of my self; a place where I can be silly, sexy, crazy, playful, exuberant, quiet, dramatic, confident, shy, needy, sensual and vulnerable. Though I love boogeying on my own in my kitchen with the music turned up loud, I need others to dance with. Dancing first and foremost for me is about contact, with myself and others.
Spending time regularly in nature as a way of connecting to something much bigger than myself is vitally important to me. I also notice how much embodied movement – even though it takes place inside, to music enabled by 21st century technology - helps me to undomesticate myself and connect within to something essentially wild and free.