So this year I want to celebrate World Autism week by continuing the theme that I ended with last April of connecting through our bodies to build that relationship, in this context, with those children we work with on the autism spectrum.
Going that extra mile in order to put yourself out into the space of ‘nothingness’ or ‘deep aloneness’ or ‘absolute desperate anxiety’ or whatever it is and moving the energy.
Just yesterday, I was with a young woman who for the good majority of the hour did not really seem to want to engage. She felt happy and indeed was having a ball! Laughing, drumming and enjoying the time with friends but it was not until I played a ‘footsie’ game with her that she looked into my eyes, she registered something felt and a moment of ‘joining’ / ‘togetherness’/ ‘being with’. Up until this point, I was thinking: “this is all such fun and Lydia (pseudonym) is happy but, she is generally always happy in this space, there must be something else here” It was our feet stomping, sliding together; bare, touching that created a beautiful dialogue. She looked with and understanding and responded delicately to connection in a way that was not there before.
I know Lydia is not a child but her example is shared because she is fresh in my mind, and is very childlike!
Most of the time in dance movement psychotherapy these moments which are very hard to explain in any scientific manner understandable to the logical mind other than to say that this is the ‘point of link with life’ (the most important point) where growth and development happen. Attunement and adjustment deepen every movement psychotherapist’s ability to make choices. Sharing the qualities of tension and breathing rhythms and shapes of the body are non-verbal communications of trust and empathy: Kestenberg J.S (1985). The flow of empathy and trust between mother and child. In E.J. Anthony & G.H. Pollock (Eds.), Parental influences in health and disease (pp.137-163). Boston: Little Brown.