Dancing with Awareness

A new approach

Dance of Awareness is a new approach in working with movement and dance that has been developed by Tim brown, a body psychotherapist and Claire Osbond, a dance movement therapist. I will explain it in my own words as I have just completed the training and am able to facilitate the process with groups.

What is it ?

Awareness is the ground to our experience, much like mindfulness in movement. Through the breath we focus on each sensation and impulse that comes into awareness and respond spontaneously, creatively to it. This way we put our creativity into the world in a pure, innocent, childlike way, which is without editing or pre-empting it in any way thus opening new doors into the world and creating our life with awareness.

Through sensing through and with the body directly where attention to the physical sensations of flesh, muscles, bones and even deeper into tissues, fluid and emotions brings us into a connection with our arrival on the earth. We are addressing through movement, early developmental experiences and sweetly with tenderness having the possibility to allow them to transform creatively, organically through awareness from the internal connection with our core self.

Through grounding, the next stage of the dance of awareness process we ground our bodies to the earth, through the root chakra, feeling and receiving support.

Expressing is the next phase which is linked to our creativity and what is ready to take form and be born which naturally comes from releasing the energy ready to move through the body and allowing the creation to emerge. I like this as it allows the real you, unique you, with all your unique gifts that you were born to share in this life to flourish.

Connecting comes next in the process, on three levels, with oneself deeper and deeper, with others and with the world. And finally in this process we complete through connecting with our true, unique nature.

26 copia

Applying and working with this model in clinical settings:

Sensing  teaches the patient/client a felt sense of the body as a safe container and resource. This is valuable skill for some client groups, for whom the body may not previously have been experienced in this way. Thus sensing is about body awareness exercises that orient participants in the here and now.

In Grounding, participants increase their ability to identify and manage feelings arising in the body. They generally report feeling more present and connected to themselves at this, this is my experience when working with patients.

Expressing is confined to simple rhythmic movements (and sometimes sounds) that further connect participants with their bodies and assist in their expression of feelings. Clients find this phase helpful in relieving tension and anxiety.

In order to maintain personal safety, Releasing is either omitted or can take the form of a creative improvisation using movement metaphor.

Connecting focuses on creating interaction between group members, and participants. The integration of affection where we can strengthen the care system through non-verbal compassionate communication and communion.

In working with patients on the autistic spectrum who present with mental and learning disabilities and attachment issues my aim is to integrate this process into their sessions. After six weeks of this work my plan is to share the process, i.e. each patients journey though the different sections of the dmp sessions.

Karen Jan 2016


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