Healthy habits help us to have better relationships, and to reach our goals in life. Sometimes, our health practices, such as food and exercise, can contribute to unhappy feelings. Let’s explore how your health habits can help you be happier.
Movement psychotherapy combines traditional approaches to counseling, including dream work, talk, interpretation, and reflection, with experiential explorations. The underlying insight in movement psychotherapy is that we enact self-feeling, identity, and connection with others through bodily means. We reach out or pull away, are warm or cold to people, are emotional or restricted in our feelings.
Through our development in families and communities, we construct embodied patterns of feeling, sensation, expression, movement, and emotion through which we know ourselves and make relationships in the world.
Work, play, and other engagements with the world are also enacted through the development of varying muscular states, emotional and feeling capabilities, and ranges of movement.
The goal is to help clients explore the bodily means by which they conduct their daily lives. Through the use of breath work; movement exercises; touch; and explorations of feeling, sensation, posture, gesture, and expression, clients experience how they shape particular identities and interact with others.
These explorations of clients’ patterns of bodily comportment and the explorations of new means of enactment are useful tools in the development of self-awareness and satisfaction in living.
Movement psychotherapy has been found to be a particularly effective means of working with trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dissociation, identity issues, and affect regulation. It is effective in both group and individual settings, and especially useful for self-reflection and the development of new ranges of affect, expression, and self-comportment.
~ Adapted from Linda James Myers’ Optimal Psychology, Ohio State University