21 May 2012

Sharing Dance with your Child

Thank you to all my friends who have been supporting my work as a dance movement therapist and educator. 

A friend who attended my ‘Sharing Dance with your Child’ last year, recently sent me her sharing on her blog and has given me permission to share with you.

The nature of our work as therapists, we are abide by ethical code, we never disclose information about our clients we worked with in the therapy settings unless they personally give us permission to do so. Most of the time, our work can still be new and unknown with the fact it is confidential. However, this form of therapy has already been around since the 1960s.

Even in my workshops/sessions (non-therapy), I always respect my participants and will ask permission for photo-taking and testimony to be put up on my blog. No doubt, it is non-therapy, it is to respect each individual’s privacy.

Even I run workshops/sessions which are non-therapy, the approaches I adopt are based from the training in dance therapy I had, integrating my skills as a teacher in combination with other studies. Namely, the approaches I use which can also be read in my website, ‘Embodied Movement’, such as attunement, containing and holding environment, boundary, working at where the participants are at, reading nonverbal cues, being seen, taking into account the emotional and relational aspects.

Hereby, I explain how I actually run a session based on the principles, approaches and concepts of dance movement therapy and it is non-therapy. I share in the next issue on the difference between a non-therapy and a therapy session.

Every parent and child is different. Every child is also in different phase and developmental milestone. In the first session, it is natural that some children are more prone to observing, waiting, scanning about the environment and people especially it is new. Giving time and space for both parent and child to adjust and feel at ease is essential. Sometimes a child may take a longer time to ‘warm-up’. 

As a facilitator of the session especially for the first session, nonverbal cues of each individual will provide me information of where they will be at, at the moment. If I feel that the child needs more time, I will always verbalise to the parent that some children will prefer to observe and watch first and take time to warm-up. They can join later when the child is ready. The approach is to hold and contain the space, to make it safe for both the parent and child and the acceptance of the uniqueness of each parent and child.(Sharing of one approaches)

My friend, the mum, she herself has made a conscious choice and is aware of what is likely to happen. What is beautiful to read is that she constantly reflects and she has deliberately giving permission to herself and her child that it is all right to be shy. She has contained and set boundary for her child with the conscious decision of staying and by being encouraging and supportive towards her child’s feelings. When I read it, I was very touched and almost to tears -  it is an honest, authentic account of the journey between mother and child.  
As a therapist or facilitator, no matter how small the significant process took place, when I witness it, in  my heart, I know it is the beginning journey of further deepening of mother-child bonding relationship.

With the trained eye of observing nonverbal cues, I was able to witness what was going on and am honoured to have witnessed the beautiful process between my friend and her child in the 'Sharing Dance with your Child' session.
(My sharing is unedited and it is based on personal reflection.)

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Witnessing the movement between mum & child

To share more photos here with you what actually took place later at the end (permission given by mother to share) and the blog of the account of the journey in the session that day.

15 May 2012

Clarity in the Body gives Clarity in the Mind

What does clarity mean?
How does clarity in the body be possible to give clarity in the mind?

Witnessing, observing, studying and reflection both in personal life and work, has revealed the meaning of clarity. To feel, see and experience the clarity in the body provides a clarity in the mind.

Studying and exploring developmental work such as the tension- flow rhythms in Kesternberg Movement profile (KMP), sense and perception (S&P), basic neurological patterning(BNP), primitive reflexes, righting reactions, equilibrium responses (RRR) and ontogentic incorporating with authentic movement, movement analysis and dance movement therapy, the more clarity I develop in my body, the more clarity I sense in my mind.

In my work, witnessing and observing the fragmentation of the body and in movement, the state of mind is often in confusion and the feeling is being fragmented. The sense of wholeness is not integrated and resulted in a split of body parts and disconnected body. It can leave one feeling ‘a sense of loss’.

I often witness and observe when there is a clarity in the body, the integration of the wholeness of the body and mind gradually takes place and the sense of clarity comes alive in body and mind. This occurrence is evident in my own personal life and with the clients I have worked and worked with.

Now what is this clarity then?

I will use my personal journey to illustrate it.

An approach of authentic movement is to develop the listening ‘eyes’, I would also add, listening ‘senses’.  To be in the role of a witness and mover, I learn the art of staying neutral, being objective, carrying a non-judgemental attitude and to be in the presence with self, feelings, body, images, sensations, and to be led by what my body is going to speak, giving me information of the here & now, allowing the unconscious materials to arise into the conscious level. The more I practise it, the more clarity I come to understand self.  Each carries such clear information as I explore and being with it. I like this term, ‘befriend’ which my supervisor shared.

Understanding my own movement preferences and repertoire in Laban and KMP, the clarity of what I like and not, what I do, what I find difficult and/or easy, how I move and relate to self, provide me clarity to who I am and in relation to others and the world. It is a moment of acceptance and acknowledging where I am at, past and present.

My understanding of my movement patterns have enabled me to discover and deepen the knowledge of self. With that, in creative ways, I also explored other movements which I maybe unfamiliar with, revisit areas where my body like to take me, and movements perhaps I have never been to. The process is a creative process and allowing my body to create, improvise and play.

I do struggle with areas which are difficult and taking time to find a way with the support of therapy, facilitators and supervisors during these 6 years of journey. Slowly I find this clarity  more and more in my body especially in the recent studies in RRR & Ontogentic, I feel it deep within my core being and interestingly, I feel the clarity in my mind in return.

With the sense of clarity in my body has given my mind the clarity in the process. The view of self becomes clearer.  Before that, I was confused and overloaded with too much in my head for many years.

Movement has open up my body and thus reintegrating and rewiring my mind in the process.

Clarity in the body has given clarity in the mind.

In the next sharing, I will share about polarities and modulation in our body.

9 May 2012

Interview - Next Magazine Jan 2012 Singapore

Sharing with you my interview - 
Next Magazine (Health Magazine) Singapore

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at our website now!*
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