As a dance-movement therapist I am interested in how we embody our lives. My background as a professional contemporary dancer (The Place, London, 1992) and support worker for people with learning disabilities led to an interest in combining my passion for dance with my love of working with people.
I have a university education in arts therapies with dance as a specialism (Derby university, 2000), and a postgraduate certificate in dance therapy (Codarts, Rotterdam, 2007). I also trained as a community dance worker, gaining experience in teaching people of all ages and abilities.
Since finishing my therapy training, I have gained experience working in various institutions (Delta Psychiatric Centre – Personality disorders – part time clinic, PysQ Den Haag – Trauma department, Centrum 45 – Veterans and civilians affected by war).
For the last few years I have been working in private practice with adults on an individual basis with a wide range of issues.
I am a Dance for Health trained teacher and run groups for people with Parkinson’s and other chronic illnesses. I also work as a dance movement therapist in group settings with people with learning and physical disabilities. And I give group classes in ‘Movement of Awareness’ for people interested in using movement and dance for personal development.
My job is to provide a safe and non-judgemental space, in which a person can discover their needs and preferences and make their own choices about the direction of the work. Building trust in the therapeutic relationship is crucial to the process.
I usually begin a session by taking time to become aware of feelings, thoughts and body sensations. This may involve sitting, lying, standing or moving, feeling and talking. Then we warm-up the body and become more tuned in to what is going on inside which leads to a movement exploration of a particular theme, where you can choose to move alone or together with me. And finally there is time to cool-down the body and discuss and make sense of the movement material that was explored.
Although DMT practitioners work differently, what we all have in common is that we observe both how someone relates to their body, their movement preferences and then we try to find ways to help them broaden their movement vocabulary in order to discover more useful ways of responding to themselves, relationships and life in general.
Everything that words cannot say, can be expressed through movement and dance. Through getting in touch with our body and bodily sensations through movement we make space for both pleasurable and uncomfortable feelings. Our bodies become enlivened. We learn to embody all aspects of ourselves and take that experience with us into our daily lives.