AUTHENTIC MOVEMENT: Opening to the Body's Voice

Classes and Individual Sessions

Movement, to be experienced, has to be "found" in the body, not put on like a dress or a coat.
Mary Starks Whitehouse, Founder of Authentic Movement

Authentic Movement is a meditative, intuitive, improvisational movement practice involving a mover and a witness. It is a practice of listening, attunement; slowing and opening to a deeper sensing of body and psyche. It was developed by dancer and psychotherapist Mary Starks Whitehouse, who, following her work with Carl Jung, became curious about moving without intention, or the practice of "waiting to be moved." The Discipline of Authentic Movement was further developed by Janet Adler, who, over the past fifty years has refined and deepened the witnessing aspect of the practice.

With eyes closed, maintaining a focus on bodily sensation and the flow of consciousness, the mover attunes to the inner landscape of the body and allows herself to be moved by whatever impulses arise in the moment. The mover, in the presence of a compassionate witness, discovers the presence and containment of their own inner witness. The emergence of the inner witness is a compassionate, conscious, and intentional awareness of the embodied self. In witnessing another, the witness engages in a practice of deep seeing, rather than simply "looking at". This way of multi-modal perceiving anchors awareness in the ongoing felt sense of the witness, which in turn supports the embodied experience of the mover.

Authentic Movement uses movement and bodily listening to connect the bodyscape with the earthly landscapes that surround and support it. As a Somatic Experiencing® trauma-informed practitioner, I find that Authentic Movement can expand the embodying dimensions and effectiveness of that work.

Individual sessions: Clients may wish to identify and work with a particular life theme or question, or may be seeking to deepen their relationship to the body in a safe and contained setting. Authentic Movement can help to create greater capacity and resilience in the person as a whole.

Workshops: Participants have the opportunity both to move and witness others moving. After moving, we may draw, write or share our experience of our own movement, of seeing and being seen. Classes offer a rich experience of community and connection.

Some of the benefits of Authentic Movement include:
  • Provides a safe and nourishing setting for movement exploration without judgement or restriction.
  • Supports a practice of listening and responding to the body.
  • Gives a sense of spiritual,emotional and physical awareness.
  • Creates a deeper felt sense of the body/mind connection.
  • Helps to develop trust in one's inner voice and intuitive guidance.
  • Opens doors to creative inspiration.

    Contact Paula or check the Calendar about upcoming workshops or booking an individual session.

    For a clearer understanding, please watch these films by and about Janet Adler.