At Psychotherapy Coventry, I work with body movement with a range of groups using a specialised form of group therapy based on creative expressive movement, creative art materials and verbal dialogue. It is often used with groups or individuals who are non-verbal or have specific communication difficulties, but not exclusively.
As I work integratively, this approach is often incorporated appropriately as indicated in the counselling section. However, it might be more useful to incorporate much more of this approach in regard to the needs of accessing and working with a client's potential for creativity. This specialised form of psychotherapy is also available for individuals.
Psychotherapy Coventry offers, as a specialised form of Group Therapy, Body Movement Psychotherapy as a cost effective way of doing therapy as the cost will be shared amongst the participants. The group therapy that offered is based on the psychotherapeutic use of creative expressive movement, creative media etc.
As a Registered Private Practice Body Movement Psychotherapist, I choose to describe my practice as Body Movement Psychotherapy because there is often a concern expressed by potential clients that they will be expected to dance! Yes, I sometimes use dance or dance related movement but I am often more interested in working with the clients body based movement in ways suggested by our Professional Association ... "Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) recognises body movement as an implicit and expressive instrument of communication and expression. DMP is a relational process in which client/s and therapist engage in an empathic creative process using body movement and dance to assist integration of emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual aspects of self." (Click Here).
For those new to this form of psychotherapy, which has been around since the 1940s, the term 'dance' can sometimes get in the way of understanding what we do. Therefore, sometimes I prefer to use the term movement or body movement psychotherapist, however it is my extensive knowledge, experience and knowledge of dance that I bring to my practice. Having said that, it is the art form of dance that is the primary component of healing in the psychotherapeutic relationship.
What this means is, in my practice, as with my psychotherapeutic counselling practice is to create a safe place to support the client's exploration of what concerns them. The difference is, but not exclusively, is to primarily use movement to help with issues, concerns etc. at times more quickly than 'talking' about them. We can also 'talk' and sometimes we might toward the end of a session to help 'make sense' of the session if appropriate at the time. We might also use various music, props and art materials. We can be can be as creative as the therapy process allows.
On a practical level, we would have an assessment session where we explore whether this is the right approach for you at this time and if I'm the right therapist for you. Briefly, the sessions would begin with a 'warm up', which usually raises something that we might work with in the 'middle bit' as appropriate and we would close the session at the end safely to ensure the client is supported enough to go 'back into the world' until the next session. For more information, do please call me to discuss further. In general this would apply to groups, couples and individuals. My work often includes verbal dialogue as well as movement and any other creative medium e.g. Image making.
With other groups, I work with those who wish to explore specific issues in a group context which maybe be with others who have similar issues, or for personal development in a creative movement based context. This work may include other creative materials.
I offer either open or closed therapy groups. I also offer this way of working for personal development and particularly interested in offering a men's personal development group.
Take a look at a short video on dance movement psychotherapy Click Here.
Developmental and Somatic Psychotherapy
As mentioned on the Counselling Coventry page, my body movement group therapy has been influenced by my training in Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy with Dr Ruella Frank (2011-13) in NYC. This training, now integrated into my psychotherapeutic counselling practice and Dance Movement Psychotherapy Practice (DMP), informed and developed my initial developmental movement training and practice in DMP.
To reiterate, this is a gestalt framed psychotherapy with a focus on six fundamental movement patterns and how they structure our neurological emotional and mental functioning from new born right through to adulthood and beyond. "Developmental Somatic Psychotherapy, developed by Ruella Frank, Ph.D., is a relational and movement-oriented psychotherapy within a contemporary gestalt therapy framework...and is a template for understanding and working with early psycho-physical blocks as they emerge in present moments of the adult therapy session. Attending to movement patterns within therapy is particularly powerful when guided by current developmental thinking”.
I have experience of working with the following groups:
Elderly residents with dementia.
Adults with mental health difficulties.
Children with emotional and behavioural difficulties.
Young people with learning difficulties.
Adults with learning difficulties.
Any group that has similar presenting concerns such as depression, anxiety, relationship issues etc.
Couples and Individuals
Movement based psychotherapy is also offered to couples and individuals. With couples I am able to work with relationship issues. With individuals, I am able to work with a range of issues. My couples work, however, is about offering a different way of working with relationship issues than you might get from relationship counselling. In addition to dance movement psychotherapy approaches and techniques, this may also include partnered dancing.
My practice is informed primarily by a Humanistic Integrative approach and largely influenced Gestalt, Developmental and Somatic Psychotherapy. My approach has been influenced by the work of Dance Therapy Pioneers Marian Chace and Trudi Schoop and also enriched and deepened by the Interpersonal Approach to DMP developed by the late Dr Jill Hayes. As appropriate I introduce and integrate music, props and artistic media that has therapeutic benefit for the clients. This work is also informed by Daniel Stern's Vitality Forms. My practice is supported by dancing Gabrielle Roth's Five Rhythms as regularly as I'm able to do so, and the mindfulness practice of the sacred clown developed by Didier Danthois and theatrical clowning developed by Vivian Gladwell.
To ensure I work ethically and safely I have regular supervision with a Senior RDMP.
I have had the pleasure of working some wonderful clients, memories of whom will stay with me...
2007: I worked with a group of 14 young people with learning disabilities at Baginton School, Coventry. Courtesy of Coventry Psychological Department. I also worked for an ArtsPep project with adults with learning difficulties in Coventry.
2007/8: I worked with elders in two care homes 'The Roundabout' and 'Goodrest' in Birmingham courtesy of Birmingham Centre of Arts Therapies (BCAT).
2008/9: I continued to work at 'The Roundabout' care home for the elderly by return request.
2009: I completed a ten week pilot project working with young children in St Columbas Catholic Primary School.
2010: I worked with children and young people with special needs from different ethnic backgrounds through the charity organisation Athac in Birmingham. I also worked with young person at a Children's Residential Care Home in Birmingham.
2011: I supported the MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy (BCAT in partnership with Worcester University) by supporting their students in my placements at The Roundabout Care Home working with elders and St Columbas Primary School working with children and The Kenrick Centre working with elders with dementia in Birmingham.
2012: I continued to support the MA detailed above.
2013: I presented a workshop on "the qualities of movement and their relationship to movement improvisation" to 1st year students on the MA in DMP course at Derby University.
2013 - 2018: Associate Lecturer, Clincial Supervisor, Academic Supervisor teaching a range of modules on the MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Derby University.
2014 - 2017: Associate Lecturer teaching a range of modules on the Creative Expressive Therapies course at Derby University, including supervision of final year students.
2015 - 2018: Working in Private Practice with a client with Autism and another with learning disabilities and cerebral palsy. Supervision of private supervisees.
2015 - 2019: Working in private practice at an arts therapies charity, with two non-verbal clients with special needs. Supervision of supervisees.
I have had the pleasure of working some wonderful students, memories of whom will also stay with me...
2019 - 2020: Teaching Tutor at a counselling academy in Oxfordshire teaching the following CPCAB courses; L4 Therapeutic Counselling and L5 Psychotherapeutic Counselling.
2013 - 2018: was proud and privileged to be involved in the teaching some amazing students on the Click Here programme as an Associate Lecturer, Part Time Lecturer (Fixed term contract) and briefly as a Senior Lecturer as temporary Course Leader at Derby University.
For those who are interested, the modules included:
Clinical placement and supervision.
Clinical supervision and advanced practice.
DMP Research, Theory and skills.
Experiential: group skills.
Movement observation and analysis.
Psyche Soma: the body mind relationship.
Arts therapies independent scholarship.
I was also involved in the teaching of the Creative Expressive Therapies programme, now renamed as Click Here at Derby University.
Again for those interested, the modules included:
Working creatively with people 1 (1st year, supporting students to work with each other)
Working creatively with people 2 (2nd year, supporting students to work with clients on site)
Working creatively on placement (3rd year)
Interpersonal development (2nd year)
These sessions are facilitated by a qualified and experienced humanistic integrative Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist on the Private Practice Register with experience of working with a range of client groups largely freelance through the Birmingham Centre for Arts Therapies. I have worked with people in a therapeutic capacity since 2002.
During my training at Roehampton University I had placements in two mental health settings (NHS and MIND in Birmingham) working with adults with mental health difficulties, two care homes for elders with dementia and special needs schools.
My knowledge of dance, movement and the body draws from my extensive experience and knowledge as a qualified and experienced professional dance teacher, choreographer, coach and trainer of ballroom, International Style Latin American dance and Classical Sequence. I have an interest in dancing and teaching salsa, bachata and merengue. This now includes creative expression on performance art of clowning.