15 June 2015


If you want an energising, creative and heart-centred learning experience, Elizabeth is the one for you.

Elizabeth's work is her calling and it shows. She comes from a space of Love and that is the message of her work too. 

Because of Elizabeth's creativity, she can integrate movement work into other kinds of training. For example, I have seen her link movement work with the theme of diversity and inclusion at a University. 

Her work is very experiential and enables people to feel the lessons in their body. Elizabeth especially has the ability to transform workplace learning. How often do we get up and dance in the office?

I also deeply appreciate that Elizabeth is committed to her own growth. Her continual growth enhances her service to others. 

~ Vadivu Govind, Facilitator and Coach, joyworks.sg

19 March 2015

Dance Movement Therapy & Depression

Julius was referred to me for therapy last year. On the last session of therapy, I was amazed by his progress and witnessed he practises his reflection and self-care daily. It is the effort of team work, especially his wife, Nicole, who is very supportive and walks hand in hand with him in this journey. I am very touched and moved by the couple's love for one another. Together with Dr Sebsatian Liew and Julius's spiritual director, and through dance therapy, we worked together towards facilitating the healing . I am happily surprised by the results of his process. In the therapy, I empower my client with the tools and skills they need where they can practise them on a daily basis. I observed that Julius practises his self-care earnestly as he is determined to recover from depression. He makes time for reflection, prayers, Me time and exercises. With the tools of learning how to listen to his body in dance therapy, he is able to witness internally to himself in a compassionate way. I am thankful and grateful that Julius is coping better and better. I am honoured to be able to witness his journey. Thank you Julius for sharing your story. It is a first account story without editing. I believe in the authenticity of sharing from where they are. It is also their wish to encourage others to step out and seek help. As a team, with the other professionals and especially the support of family members, working hand in hand together, we can all help someone to battle depression or any other mental health issues.

First account personal story by Julius

I was first diagnosed with clinical depression when I was 17 at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) after a suicide attempt. I was admitted a further 2 times when I was 20 and 26. For me, my depressive episodes were marked by prolonged feelings of sadness and anger and despair. This often led me to consider suicide. During my stays at IMH and my subsequent discharges, I was given fluoxetine, an anti-depressant to help me cope with the day-to-day aspects of life.

Taking fluoxetine did help me initially in that it was able to make me feel more upbeat about life and less sad. This was great I thought and continue to take it without thinking of alternative natural remedies or changing my lifestyle. After about a year after my last discharge and continuing to take fluoxetine religiously I noticed that I was getting increasingly violent whenever I was agitated. My moods were a lot more erratic and this cause Nicole my wife, then my girlfriend to be afraid of me whenever I was upset.

Nicole always accompanied me to IMH for my doctor visits to get my month’s supply of fluoxetine. We would often wait for 1 hour and see the doctor for 1 minute as the doctors would merely ask “Are you feeling ok since your last appointment?” after which they would write me my prescription for my fluoxetine. She was disturbed that the visits to the doctors seemed rather unhelpful in my recovery. Thus she was determined to help me safely weaned of the fluoxetine which we both believe was making me feel worse over time.

Nicole started to do a lot of research on depression and natural and safe ways to feel better. It was a period of trial and error for us as I started to take vitamins and supplements such as B complex vitamins, Omega 3 oil capsules and chromium. I quit smoking and drinking. I made it a priority to see where I could reduce stress in my life and to have sufficient sleep each night. I started to exercise regularly and be open to Nicole about how I was feeling especially when another depressive episode seem around the corner. Changing our diets to one that limited simple carbohydrates, salt and sugar and processed food was a very big but impactful step we took. Being open to the divine and growing in faith strengthened my resolve. A big step in my continuous recovery was understanding my childhood and past hurts in my life by people. Knowing these wounds and hurts and being able to love myself despite them brought my healing to another level.

It was Nicole’s love and support and personal involvement that made me realize that to get better, I need to take charge of the decisions pertaining to my health, physical, emotional and psychological. Despite heeding Nicole’s advice and suggestions by following through with all the measures we were taking, I was very passive in my recovery as I relied on Nicole to “ heal” me. I left it to her to do most of the research and after a while I could see how much burden she had to shoulder for my sake. Burden because she felt totally responsible for my well being and if things were not working out, she felt herself to be blamed. Over time, I realized that I needed to take charge of my own recovery while embracing the support from Nicole if I were to be serious about getting and staying better. How I did that was to do my own research on depression and medication, preparing my own questions beforehand whenever I visited any medical personnel or person involved in my recovery. Claiming a personal responsibility of my health was and is such an important aspect of my well being.

For about a year and a half, I continued maintaining the above-mentioned measures I took to stay well and for most part, I believe I coped pretty well. However in May 2014, I hit a severe violent and depressive bout after over working for 5 days in a row, with little sleep, an enormous amount of stress, an unhealthy diet and picking up smoking again. This led us to Dr Sebastian Liew to find out if there was anything more we could do for me to stay well and prevent another such violent and depressive episode.

It was very affirming hearing from a naturopath that most of the steps we are already taking is very beneficial in my recovery. I took a neurotransmitter and amino acid test. The tests results shown I was low in serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps one feel good and motivated. I was also low in isoleucine, an amino acid that helps me to recover after a strenuous exercise. Thus I take a lot longer to recover from strenuous activity and injuries and a higher tendency to feel fatigue. So high intensity exercise was in a way backfiring on my well being because whenever I was fatigued, I would be more susceptible to low and erratic moods swings.

From Dr Sebastian, we explored taking natural supplements as opposed to synthetic man made ones. For example I used to get my vitamin C from a multi vitamin but have since switched to drinking nettle tea. Dr Sebastian pointed out to me the importance of improving my digestion for the absorption of nutrients and supplements. This is because if my digestion were poor, whatever beneficial properties of the herbs and food I was taking would not be absorbed efficiently by my system.

From Dr Sebastian, I got to know Elizabeth. I was keen to explore different ways to get better as I believe in holistic healing. For me to better live with my depression, I realized I had to learn how to deal with it on a physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual manner. Simply relying on supplements or a good diet would not be sufficient.

Elizabeth made me feel very comfortable from the start as we discuss how we could go about our sessions of dance therapy together. From the initial Skype interview I had with her before the commencement of our sessions, I felt I was able to be open to her in revealing sensitive aspects of my life, which would be important areas we can work on during our sessions. The only question I had about dance therapy was if it involves me dancing, of which I feel very shy about. She took the time to explain how dance therapy works and how it might be able to help me gain a better understanding of myself and thus how to better live with depression.

Over the course of 5 sessions, we talked about various topics such how to be able to release negative energy from the body and the concept of the one’s inner child with the influence of both the nurturing and critical parents. Personally, I have many negative thoughts about myself and expectations that have been imposed on me both consciously and subconsciously. These negative thoughts I discovered have played a very big role in my depressive feelings. With Elizabeth’s guidance, we worked through how I am able to identify the sources of these negative thoughts and this has helped me tremendously in the way I think about myself. To be more gentle and loving to myself reduced the incidences of me being too harsh and hard on myself that have not been helpful in accepting myself.

My expectation of dance therapy was that it would enable me to reconnect with my past to explain current behaviors or feelings. Elizabeth told me that the body remembers these emotions and events although cognitively we might have no memory of it. In one session, I was told to reenact the motion of disciplining my dog whenever she urines on the floor which makes me angry. A chill went down my spine when I realized together with Elizabeth’s observation that how I disciplined my dog was in a similar fashion to my violent father. It was a big moment for me as I realized the manner in which I react and respond these days took such a big influence from my past. Without Elizabeth’s help, I might have missed such behavioral patterns or taken a much longer time to be aware of them. In understanding myself better, I am better able to look at my recovery from depression in a more holistic way knowing that it is not just one factor that causes me to feel depressed but a complex web of circumstances that have formed me into the person I am today.

During my first stay in IMH, a teacher who visited me commented how I was courageous to seek help for my depression when most other people would not wish to talk about it. I didn’t understand what she meant then. But looking back now, I realized that what has helped me tremendously all these years was to be open and brave enough to know that I live with a condition which the more I hide from myself and people, the more I would not be able to be better equipped to live with it. I thank God for all the people he has sent into my life to help me when I couldn’t help myself and among them is truly Elizabeth. Praise God!

2 March 2015

Wat is danstherapie?

Visit our website Embodied Movement for more information. Therapy can be claimed through insurance in the Netherlands.  Contact us if you have any query.

24 February 2015

On Movin’ Tales

(One of the Embodied Movement Programmes)

Elizabeth, founder of Embodied Movement, drew this during her Creative Me Time on her programme, Movin' Tales. Copyright of Embodied Movement.

What spurs me to develop my own programmes?

To move,
To be moved,
Being moved to move
By my & your own Tales. 

~ Elizabeth Rutten-Ng

My work, for many years, has always revolved around children. Having gone through my own personal journey and transformation, overcoming many challenges as a little girl till my adulthood, I have reclaimed my inner child and security. I forge to provide programmes which can enable and empower parents, caregivers, educators and professional who care for children be they typical or with special needs. I care to want to make a difference in the world where the future belongs to the next generation who will inherit Mother Earth.


The nature of the Movin’ Tales programme is developed over a period of time with themes, focusing on the social-psycho-emotional well-being of each child, learning English at the same time incidentally. An added value and benefit to a creative approach in the Movin’ Tales programme is that “a child’s ability to review and relearn in a playful manner important physical developmental stages that may have been missed or rushed through at an earlier age” (Tortora, 2005, Dancing Dialogue).  It's also to revisit it and support them when there is a need through dance and movement. Dance movement therapy activities are added into the programme to integrate the physiological (physical/development), psychological, cognitive (mental), emotional, social as well as communicate in a holistic approach. It is important that the child is seen, heard, held, hugged (Tortora, Ways of Seeing) and acknowledged for each individual's self (developing self-esteem and confidence).  Winnicott (1971) states, "When I am look, I am seen, so I exist."

The programme is catered to the age appropriateness, bearing in mind that each child's learning style is very different. Research has also shown the importance for children to move in their body and play during the developmental milestone and has a close link to learning. Children learn best and at optimal when they are feeling happy, safe, comfortable and through movements. Baby first language, in fact, is movements not words.   Movin’ Tales is designed whereby the love for learning in this case English, is through creative fun ways and the purpose is to develop the intrinsic motivation in the child to learn.  In the way how a new knowledge is being introduced is crucial.  Children absorb like a sponge and are very sensitive during the growing stages.  During the programme, other qualities are also considered such as building self-regulation and impulse control in various activities.  It is important for children to have the ability and sense of control. Other areas I work on are resilience, autonomy, responsibility, compassion, empathy, boundary setting (a very important tool/skill as a youth and an adult).  I had been a teacher in the mainstream and taught all ages and review often what works and does not work.  Instead of focusing purely on the academic, I believe in the holistic approach in nurturing a child/student.  The programme is crafted in the way of imparting and inculcating my love of language and creative arts into the heart of the young minds.

To see the overall developments, it takes time.  I have my structured curriculum however I combine the freedom of expression in it, tapping on each child's creativity, gift, learning style and potential within them.

I facilitate my session oriented from the child's world and work on what they bring in. My training in movement analysis as a therapist and ways of seeing practitioner, specialised in developmental movements allow me to support the children in the programme other than therapy.  It does take time and it is also a journey for the child as well as the adult to discover themselves and their needs through exploration.  The process of learning about the world of things, including their various properties, is a “time-consuming and intense process that cannot be hurried.” (Elkind, 2001)

A child in Singapore has followed through my programme per semester, from parent-child to children; parents have reported back that they see the growth in the child (neurotypical). (Testimony is in my blog.).  A baby takes 9 months to be ready to meet the world.  My programmes take time to see the end results.

Lots of research are indicating when a child is being hurried, the consequence later in life as a youth and adulthood can be detrimental.   I have worked with children over the 20 years, adults as well, and have been studying and researching in this area.  Personally, I have my great concerns and worries over the children of the future generation at the rate they are going.  That spurs me to create holistic programmes and a platform both in Netherlands and Asia where I can provide education and the support for parents, educators and professionals, and of course, children.

I'm no longer afraid to take the stand and move the mountain step by step to create a change in the world I hope to leave behind.


Elkind, D. (2001). 3rd Edition. The Hurried Child. Cambridge: De Capo Press Book.

Tortora, S. (2005). Dancing Dialogue. Baltimore: Paul H. Brookes Publishing Co.

Tortora, S. Ways of Seeing. http://www.suzitortora.org/waysofseeing.html

Winnicott, D. W. (1971). Playing and Reality. London: Routledge

* Currently, Movin' Tales is being offered in Netherlands.  Drop by for a trial class on 28th February.   Register at Embodied Movement website.

26 January 2015

4 Women- 3 Rs Rediscover, Revitalise, Reconnect - Our Womanhood 2015

Thank you to the two beautiful women who shared their journey and permission to put up their art in EM blog. 

"Moving the Rhythm" workshop is going to be held on 1 March (to be confirmed) in Netherlands.  Interested? Drop us an email at dancetherapy.kmp@gmail.com or visit our website Embodied Movement.

19 January 2015

A Mother's Wish Holiday Programme

Photos taken by Cheow Ping

A Mother's Wish Holiday Programme started by Choo Kah Ying, a mother whose wish for her son, Sebastien and for parents with children with Autism.  Embodied Movement is honoured to be invited to run the session with them on Dec 9 2014.  Here are some snippets of photos taken by Cheow Ping, a great friend of Kah Ying.

1 January 2015

Blessed New Year!

May the New Year filled your life and loved ones with 
Tree of Life, fruits of peace, love, hope & joy in your heart!

Thank you for supporting Embodied Movement.

Looking forward to be of service to you again in 2015.

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