28 July 2010

Sharing of Moving From Within Congress 2010 in Freising

"I moved & be moved from within"

The congress in Germany which took place on 24th has been en enriching experiences. I not only moved but was also being moved from within, in body, mind and emotion. The theme was based on movement analaysis of interaction. Speakers from United States, Germany, Netherlands and United Kingdom were invited or participated in holding workshops, talks on their works and research. 

I'm particularly keen in movement analysis between mother and babies/children and culture. I've chosen two of the workshops shared by Suzi Tortora and Christine Caldwell. I've long to hear Suzi Tortora personally and had the chance to watch her videos of her work with mothers, babies and children. My passion and vision to work with mothers and babies as well as pregnant mothers are renewed. And soon I will take steps to pursue and fulfil the calling of my heart's desire and working towards my goals. 

Christine Caldwell shared about the diversity issues in movement analaysis and assessment. I can sense that she is passionate about her work and research. Her courage to take on this research, which is often deemed as a sensitive topic and taboo, is admirable. She challenged each of us as therapist to take a step further, to look at our professional field, with a different lens, to be cultural competency. Culture has become one of the area of interest ever since I studied dance therapy. From her workshop, it encourages me not to be afraid to confront and question myself as a therapist, as a person and to be cultural competence in my work. It also opens up my mind, perception and to review my role as a therapist when I work with my clients. And also to embrace the humility of not knowing, to continue to grow and learn in the process as a young growing therapist. 

Neuroscience is another field which is also brought to our attention and they are becoming more and more interested in understanding our work and how movement has a connection and affecting the brain and mind, such as rewiring the neurons in the brain.

This congress has helped me to anchor my plans, goals and steps that I want to take, to pursue not only as a practitioner, but also as a researcher. 

A time, a chance to reconnect with friend, senior, teachers and to party and dance. What's more can I ask for in a congress. I'm glad that I've attended and gained more than what I've expected. A worthwhile, fruitful learning experience!

13 July 2010

Therapy as a Dress Rehearsal for Life by Yalom

The chapter 'Therapy as a Dress Rehearsal for Life' from the book, "The Gift of Therapy" written by Irvin D. Yalom gives a good explanation what therapy should do and help a person and also an idea what therapy is. I would like to share this chapter with you. I'm often enlightened, inspired, refreshed, renewed, reaffirmed by his words on being a therapist. A book worth keeping for a therapist.

'Many  therapists cringe when they hear critics characterize their work as merely the "purchase of friendship." Though there is a grain of truth in this statement, it does not merit a change. Friendship between therapist and patient is a necessary condition in the process of therapy - necessary, but not, however, sufficient. Psychotherapy is not a substitute for life but a dress rehearsal for life. In other words, though psychotherapy requires a close relationship, the relationship is not an end - it means to an end.

The closeness of the therapy relationship serves many purposes. It affords a safe place for patients to reveal themselves as fully as possible. More than that, it offers them the experience of being accepted and understood after deep disclosure. It teaches social skills: The patient learns what an intimate is possible, even achieveable. Lastly, and perhaps most important of all, is Carl Roger's observation that the therapy relationship serves as an internal reference point to which patients can return in their imagination. Having once achieved this level of intimacy, they can harbour the hope and even the expectation of similar relationships.

One often hears of patients (in either group therapy or indvidual therapy) who are excellent patients or group members, yet remain essentially unchanged in their external lives. They may relate well to the individual therapist or may be key members of groups - self-disclosing, working hard, catalyzing interaction - and yet do not apply what they have learned to their outside situation. On other words, they use therapy as a substitute rather than a rehearsal for life.

This distinction may prove useful in termination decisions. Behaviour change in the therapy situation is obviously not enough: patients must transfer their change into their life environment. In the late stages of therapy, I am energtic in ensuring transfer of learning. If I deem it necessary, I begin to coach actively, to press the patient to experiment with new behaviors in work, social, and family settings.'
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