¿Cómo te enfadas?

¿Te tragas tu enfado y reaccionas de forma pasivo agresiva, vamos que te quedas callada y esperas que la otra persona sepa lo que te ocurre? ¿O explotas en rabia, das portazos y dices cosas de las que después te arrepientes? ¿O igual haces comentarios dañinos sabiendo que al otro le van a doler y quieres que sienta lo mucho que te duele a ti?

Yo tiendo a la explosión y la verborrea impulsiva y luego me retraigo porque digo cosas que realmente no siento.

Y desde la perspectiva de la Terapia de Esquemas, se explican distintas formas en las que el enfado puede aparecer. Importante, somos humanos así que esto no es A, B o C, normalmente suele ser una mezcla, o sueles ir de un modo a otro en un mismo conflicto.

Niñ@ enfadad@ (Angry child)
How to Prevent Temper Tantrums | Parents

Has visto a un niño enfadarse y tener una pataleta y tirarse al suelo de la rabia? Pues esta forma de enfadarse también se puede dar en adultos aunque normalmente no nos tiremos al suelo.

Es un enfado muy impulsivo, algo te dispara , te activa (trigger), un comentario, una acción de alguien importante…

Por ejemplo, acabas de pasar toda la mañana limpiando la casa y llega tu pareja que acaba de estar con sus amigos y hace un comentario acerca de lo sucio que está el cristal del baño. Uffffff.

Suelen ser comportamientos como gritar exageradamente, tirar cosas, romper cosas, dar portazos… acompañados de pensamientos como: no es justo!, cómo me pueden hacer esto a mí!, quiero que esto cambie ya!

Generalmente sucede más en personas con el esquema de abandono, de desconfianza/abuso o de castigo.

Si hablas inglés puedes chequear este vídeo dónde lo explican muy bien:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqDC3P4f5d8

Protector enfadador (Angry protector)

Cuando te enfadas construyes un muro a tu alrededor, te cruzas de brazos, y pones cara muy seria.

Utilizas una máscara de dureza para protegerte, para alejarte de la persona que te ha hecho daño o te ha defraudado pero de esta forma no atiendes a tus necesidad emocionales. Probablemente por debajo, tu niñ@ interior siente ansiedad, miedo, soledad, vergüenza, tristeza…

Normalmente los compartamientos que muestras si estás en este modo son: quedarte en silencio, mirar con mirada penetrante o dura, aislarte, no responder a preguntas o girar la cara, tener el ceño fruncido o cruzarte de brazos… Y tienes pensamientos como: ” nadie me entiende, estoy harta de todo”, ” me da igual lo que tengas que decirme, no me interesa”. “qué se ha creído, ahora tiene que solucinarlo él/ella”, ” no quiero hablar, que me deje todo el mundo en paz”…

Aquí está una explicación en inglés:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=81AW_OlGJ2Y

Bully y ataque

En este modo sueles despotricar contra la otra persona insultado, criticando y exagerando lo que el otro no hace como tú querrías. Puedes traer ejemplos del pasado y escupirlos para inconsciente o conscientemente intentar hacer daño al otro. Cuanto más vaya la atención a la otra persona menos culpable te sientes tú.

Tu comportamiento en el enfado suele ser altivo, pareces muy fuerte y poderoso, eres intimidante y pones a todo el mundo por debajo de ti. Puedes amenzar, intimidar, gritar, o abusar física o verbalmente…

“Eres un inútil!” ” eres una mala persona, eres terrible” , “si vuelves a hacer eso te arranco la cabeza…” Este modo es el más común cuando hablamos de violencia doméstica o de abuso psicológico. Es muy peligroso y en dosis pequeñas se da en muchos contextos. Yo misma puedo tener esta tendencia cuando no me escuchan o me siento muy dolida.

Te invito a chequear este vídeo en inglés:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ-oimu4K4s

Adult@ san@
6 consejos para hablar de un tema difícil con tu pareja

Ayyyy qué bonito sería si todos puediéramos sentir nuestro enfado y reaccionar de manera adulta, sana, asertiva… Obviamente no es el caso, pero queremos tratar de aumentar los momentos en los que reaccionamos desde esta parte nuestra.

La emoción del enfado, la rabia, la frustración, NO ES NEGATIVA. El enfado tiene su función y lo NECESITAMOS para darnos cuenta cuando algo no nos gusta, cuando alguien sobrepasa nuestros límites, cuando alguien nos trata mal… Nos ayuda a decir no y protegernos.

Sin embargo si lo expresamos desde los modos anteriores, probablemente nos alejaremos de las personas o dañaremos las relaciones. Por eso es necesario aprender a:

SENTIR TU ENFADO
DARLE ESPACIO
IDENTIFICAR LA NECESIDAD DE NUESTRA NIÑ@ VULNERABLE
EXPRESARLA DE FORMA ASERTIVA Y CLARA

Hay miles de técnicas de asertividad pero aquí te dejo algunos mini tips con la fórmula HEO:

– Describe lo que ha pasado objetivamente. Los HECHOS. Aquí también puedes añadir factores que te han hecho más vulnerable a reaccionar así.
– Explica cómo te sientes. Tu Emoción.
– Describe lo qué querrías que el otro hiciera en el futuro. Tu Objetivo. Intenta expresarlo lo más concretamente posible. Cuanto más abstracto es más difícil para la otra persona comprometerse a hacerlo.


Con el ejemplo de la niña enfadada que he explicado más arriba, ésta sería la versión adulta sana:

(Con tono tranquilo y actitud amigable…)
Me he pasado 2 horas a la mañana limpiando la casa mientras tú has estado con tus amigos (HECHOS OBJETIVOS) y ahora estoy muy cansada. Además no he comido todavía (FACTOR DE VULNERABILIDAD) y cuando me has dicho que el espejo del baño estaba sucio me he sentido muy criticada. He sentido que mi trabajo y mi esfuerzo no tienen valor y me he sentido triste y enfadada (MI EMOCIÓN). Por eso he reaccionado tan fuerte. Me gustaría que la próxima vez que veas el espejo del baño sucio, lo puedas limpiar tú mismo o que no me critiques, ya que es una responsbilidad de los dos.

Te parece bien si comemos juntos ahora y después limpias el espejo y aspiras lo que queda de la casa tú? (OBJETIVO CONCRETO)


Ale ahora toca practicar. Y mucho. No te desesperes si vuelves a caer en los modos más desadaptativos, poco a poco aprendemos. Cuesta, pero da resultados :)

Un abrazo!
María

¿Te gusta bailar?

Estudios científicos sobre los beneficios del baile

Ya sabemos que bailar ayuda físicamente. Hacer ejercicio es sano, sí. Moverse es sano y muy necesario.

Pero aparte de todos los beneficios físicos que tiene el baile, también te ayuda mental y emocionalmente.

Dímelo a mí.

Obviamente, bailar puede que no sea la preferencia de todo el mundo, hay muchas veces capas y capas que nos protegen, vergüenzas, comparaciones, creencias negativas que nos limitan en nuestra tendencia humana a seguir el ritmo, a movernos y expresarnos desde dentro. A disfrutar de nuestro cuerpo en movimiento.

Bueno.

El otro día en el post de Instagram compartí bastantes publicaciones científicas relacionados a la danza y sus beneficios y me parece interesante compartirlos aquí también. (En realidad mi idea era compartir siempre lo que comparto en Instagram, en mi blog también pero no siempre tengo tiempo).

Empezamos pues:

El baile puede mejorar tu imagen corporal y autoestima

En un estudio científico*, 53 mujeres participaron en un programa de baile de un año y reportaron mejoras claras en su imagen corporal, autoestima y calidad de vida.

Cuidado, porque algunas formas de baile muy competitivas pueden tener efectos adversos y aumentar la insatisfacción, por ejemplo en jóvenes cuando el enfoque está en tener la mejor técnica el ¨mejor¨ cuerpo…

Fuente: A. Tihanyi Hos (2005) The effects of guided systematic aerobic dance programme on the self-esteem of adults. 

Te ayuda a disminuir la ansiedad y aumentar la calidad de vida

La doctora Sabine Koch (la amo, es una de las mejores, por no decir la mejor investigadora de la Danza Movimiento Terapia) analizó 23 estudios científicos* demostrando cómo la danza y la danzaterapia tiene efectos positivos en el aumento del bienestar subjetivo y el estado de ánimo positivo.

Fuente: S. Koch, T. Kunz, S. Lykou, R.Cruz (2014) Effects of dance movement therapy and dance on health-related psychological outcomes: A meta-analysis

Te ayuda a disminuir los síntomas depresivos

120 estudiantes participaron en un estudio* para la depresión. Los que participaron en un programa de baile de 12 semanas mejoraron sus síntomas y los que no participaron no notaron diferencia alguna.

M.Akandere, B. Demir (2011). The effect of dance in depression

Puede mejorar la visión que tienes acerca de ti misma. Tu concepto de SELF.

En 13 estudios científicos* de danza y los beneficios subjetivos percibidos, los participantes reportaron mejoras en su nivel de expresión, autoeficacia, conciencia corporal y conciencia de uno mismo, autodesarrollo y confianza.

Lo pongo en inglés porque la traducción de los conceptos no siempre es exacta.

selff-expression
self-efficacy
self-/body-awareness
self-development
self-confidence

T. Schwender, S. Spengler, C.Oedl, F. Mess (2018) Effects of Dance Interventions on Aspects of the Participants’ Self.

Y el baile puede ser de ayuda en muchos problemas crónicos

En este gráfico muestran las patologías dónde se han demostrado los efectos positivos del baile. Para nada quiere decir que el baile vaya a curar nada, pero puede mejorar la calidad de vida, el ánimo… Lo que a su vez podría quizá en algunos casos tener repercusiones en la severidad de algunas enfermedades. Ojos con sacar conclusiones de unos gráficos jejej.

También explicaban cómo la palabra clave ¨baile¨ aparece más y más a menudo en las revistas científicas, dando a explicar cómo el interés de sus aplicaciones no hace más que crecer.

Y eso a mí me pone muyyyyyy contenta.

Fuente: Bruyneel A. V. (2019). Effects of dance activities on patients with chronic pathologies: scoping review.

Bueno, y como el baile me ha ayudado tanto en momentos oscuros de mi vida, esta semana he presentado la escuela online solidaria.

Un espacio online donde ofrezco clases de baile, relajación, exploración emocional, visualizaciones, movimiento, herramientas terapéuticas…

Y la mitad de los beneficios se destinan directamente a la ONG Libraz para desarrollar nuevos proyectos sociales.

Llevo años queriendo compartir estos beneficios con los demás y esta es una nueva forma de hacerlo.

Antes de esta escuela, me formé en Danza Movimiento Terapia hace 8 años y creé la ONG Libraz hace 6. También desde hace 6 años trabajo en una clínica de Salud Mental en Amsterdam.



Espero que, si puedes moverte, encuentres momentos para poder bailar.
Aunque sean chiquititos, mientras te lavas los dientes, te das crema o fríes la cena.
Momentos para poder mover, sentir, soltar, disfrutar y expresarte sin palabras.




¿Cómo encaras la vida? Estilos de afrontamiento desde la Terapia de Esquemas.

Imagina que alguien te critica, te deja de lado o cualquier otra cosa que nos duela.

Podemos reaccionar como adultos sanos y maduros (suena bonito pero es complicado…) o más como…

un TIGRE
LUCHANDO…
una GACELA
HUYENDO
una ARDILLA
CONGELÁNDONOS

¨Los tres estilos de afrontamiento desadaptativos hacen referencia a las tres respuestas básicas ante la amenaza: la lucha, la huída y el quedarse inmóvil; específicamente lucha es sobrecompensación, huida es evitación y quedarse inmóvil es rendición.

Es importante tener en cuenta que si bien estos estilos de respuesta fueron posiblemente funcionales y útiles en la infancia, en la edad adulta podrían resultar disfuncionales porque no permiten adaptarse de una manera saludable y, por lo tanto, impiden la satisfacción de las necesidades básicas de todos los seres humanos (Young & Klosko, 2007). ¨ Lee el artículo completo aquí.

Sí…

  • Me salgo de mis casillas, grito y a veces quiero hacer daño al otro.
  • Trabajo duro, incluso cuando no tengo más energía.
  • Necesito tener todo bajo control y hacerlo perfecto.
  • Soy muy crítico y a veces puedo sentirme superior o arrogante.
igual tiendo a…

la sobrecompensación.

Sí…

  • Trato de no sentir el dolor, tristeza o enfado.
  • Me aislo y cierro en mí mismo.
  • Tengo problemas físicos y somatizo mucho cuando me estreso.
  • Utilizo en exceso la TV, PC, o móvil, o hago compras compulsivas para distraerme.
  • Me voy a dormir o utilizo drogas o alcohol para no sentir.
igual tiendo a…

la evitación.

Sí…

  • Presto demasiada atención a las necesidades y expectativas de los demás
  • Necesito agradar, recibir la aprobación y puedo ser dependiente.
  • Siento mucha decepción y me vuelvo pasivo-agresiva.
  • Estoy continuamente observando cómo los demás se relacionan conmigo.
igual tiendo a…

la rendición.

No te agobies. Puedes luchar, huir o rendirte a veces.

Lo importante es darnos cuenta una y otra vez y preguntar a nuestro niño (nuestra parte emocional, vulnerable…) qué necesita. Y una vez lo sabemos (a veces cuesta indagar y entender lo que necesitamos) intentar que nuestro Adulto Sano nos de eso que necesitamos. Ya sea apoyo, ya sea pedir ayuda, ya sea una mirada un poco más compasiva.

Por ejemplo:

Estoy sintiéndome muy controladora los últimos días, necesito tener todo ordenado, critico a mi novio casi sin razón, grito y exploto y estoy super irritable. (vamos, que puede que esté en sobrecompensación). Me paro un momento y analizo mi comportamiento. Intento sentir qué hay debajo. Qué le ocurre a mi niña vulnerable (literalmente la visualizo en mi cabeza). Estoy muy muy triste. Una persona importante está enferma y tengo miedo.

¿Qué necesito? Quiero que mi pareja me abrace y me cuide un poquito esta noche.

¿Qué hace mi adulta sana? Tengo una conversación con él, explico cómo me siento y pido lo que necesito. Nos abrazamos y cocina para mí esta noche. También decido escribir en mi cuadernito lo que siento, mis miedos y mi tristeza.

Somos preciosamente complejos:

abraza todas tus partes.

Confesiones personales: Un desierto en mí.

Ésta soy yo hace 12 años. En Siria.

Y tenía un desierto en mí.

No me podía mirar al espejo. Fumaba en la cama al despertarme.Comía dos paquetes de noodles instantáneos para desayunar.

Estaba en una relación abusiva física y psicológicamente. Dejé de tener contacto con mi familia.

Me sentía “libre”. Había escapado de lo que me aprisionaba, para encontrar otra prisión aún mayor. El punto más más bajo, fue cuando se me pasó por la cabeza la idea de quitarme la vida.

Solo entonces decidí cambiar. Y tardé:

  • 1 mes en dejar de fumar.
  • 9 meses en volver a estudiar.
  • 12 meses en volver a bailar.
  • 3 años en dejar la relación abusiva.
  • 6 años en dejar de tener relaciones insanas.
  • 7 años en dejar patrones autodestructivos.

CAMBIAR CUESTA.

Mini ejercicio: Línea de vida

para reflexionar y mirar adentro.

  • Toma un papel.
  • A la izquierda naciste.
  • Divide el papel en decenios aproximados.
  • Dibuja tu desarrollo.
  • Puedes añadir eventos importantes, símbolos, colores…

Si te estás poniendo propósitos de año nuevo ten en cuenta dónde estás en tu vida.

A veces no hay espacio. Y está bien. Si crees que hay espacio, empieza con minicompromisos, por ejemplo:

– Hacer respiraciones 3 minutos al día.
– Estirar 4 minutos en la cama al despertarte.
– Hacer 10 minutos de ejercicio 2 días a la semana.

No te fuerces. Cambiar cuesta. Y mucho.

A veces es suficiente con sobrevivir.

Todo pasa. Todo llega.

Ser Vista – la necesidad de ser mirado

Quiero ser vista.

Que unos ojos me digan sin palabras:

Sí. Existes, vales la pena, estás bien.

Una mirada dulce y compasiva es una necesidad muy humana.

Hace miles de años, no ser vistos por nuestra tribu significaba estar en peligro de ser abandonados y morir.

Podéis leer este bonito artículo:
https://terramater.es/la-infancia-y-la-necesidad-de-ser-mirado-a/

Mini experimento:

  • Prueba a mirarte a los ojos en el espejo. Sin hacer nada más. Solo mirarte.

¿Qué sucede? ¿Te sientes abrumado?

  • Prueba a mirar a los ojos a una persona con la que te sientes segura. En silencio. Durante 30 segundos.

¿Qué sucede? ¿qué sientes, qué piensas? ¿qué notas en tu cuerpo?

¿Dónde estás tú en esta línea?

Ambos polos son normalmente respuestas de trauma.

Y trauma no es solo abuso directo.

No ser vistos, ser ignorados repetidamente cuando eramos niños también genera trauma.

Bessel van der Kolk, psiquiatra e investigador muy muy importante en el ámbito de trauma, explica en su libro “El cuerpo lleva la cuenta”:

“Muchos pacientes que vienen a mi consulta son incapaces de mantener el contacto visual. Inmediatamente se cómo de abrumados están por su incapacidad de mantener mi mirada. Casi siempre ocurre que se sienten repugantes y no soportan que yo vea lo despreciables que son. (…) En respuesta a ser mirados, directamente se iban al modo de supervivencia. “
(Traducción propia, mi libro está en inglés!)

Y es más, en una conferencia que dio en la Collective Trauma Summit https://collectivetraumasummit.com/ dijo algo que me impactó muchísimo. También por la crudeza de sus palabras. Igual es que al ser holandés de origen es muy directo de por sí jejej:

“Prefiero ser violado en grupo a que mi madre no me mire durante toda mi infancia.”

Claramente hay que entenderlo en un contexto. No está diciendo que las violaciones no sean algo terrible y despreciable, se refiere más al impacto que puede producir un trauma sostenido en el tiempo comparado con un evento único. Un compartamiento dañino que se repite continuamente en nuestra infancia puede tener consecuencias gravísimas en nuestro desarrollo de la personalidad y nuestros mecanismos de defensa.

Resumiendo.

Necesitamos ser vistos. Y lo merecemos también. De adultos y de niños.

Mereces ser vista.

Con tus miedos, tus inseguridades

tus imperfecciones y tus virtudes.

¿Qué necesitamos de niños?

De niños tenemos unas necesidades básicas. Sí, un paciente me dijo un día, las necesidades de un niño yo pensaba que eran comida, un techo y poder ir a la escuela. Cierto estas son necesidades muy muy importantes y qué muy desafortunadamente no todos los niños tienen acceso a ellas.

Sin embargo, a las necesidades que nos referimos aquí son más psicológicas y afectivas. En la Terapia de Esquemas han distinguido 5 básicas:

1. Seguridad y afecto.

Si en casa todo eran peleas y no te sentías apreciado…

puede que…

  • te sientas fácilmente abandonado
  • te cueste confiar en los demás
  • te avergüences de ti o sientas que no mereces nada positivo.

Muchas veces no es necesario que tus padres te tratasen directamente mal, muchas veces la negligencia, el no pasar tiempo contigo puede afectar en nuestra sensación de seguridad. Y muy importante, no todo son los padres, casos de bullying en el colegio o un familiar que se riera de ti continuamente por ejemplo también pueden afectar muchísimo en el desarollo.

2. Expresión de emociones y necesidades

Si normalmente no te escuchaban cuando hablabas o pedías algo…

puede que…

  • no te atrevas a pedir ayuda.
  • bloquees tus emociones y no sientas ¨nada¨
  • te cueste saber qué es lo que estás sintiendo.

O te sientas emocionalmente muy inhibido, incapaz de llorar, enfadarte…o creas que no puedes tomar espacio y que lo que tú quieres no cuenta.

3. Espontaneidad y Juego

Si en casa todo eran reglas, seriedad y estudio

Puede que…

  • te cueste disfrutar.
  • te sintas culpable cuando haces algo por mero placer.
  • no puedas nunca jugar o ¨hacer el ridículo.¨

4. Autonomía

Si tu madre hacía todo por ti y no te dejaba ir solo a ningún lado…

puede que…

  • te hagas dependiente de otros o tengas miedo a estar solo.
  • o al contrario, quieras mostrar qué independiente eres. ¨No necesito ayuda de nadie.¨

O creas que el mundo es un lugar peligroso, que eres incapaz de conseguir algo por ti mismo en la vida o vayas de una relación de dependencia a la siguiente.

5. Límites realistas

Si te permitían todo y eras el rey de la casa,

puede que…

  • te falte autodisciplina para finalizar tareas…
  • sientas que tienes derecho a todo y estás por encima de los demás.
  • no seas capaz de ponerte límites a ti mismo, o a los demás.

O si en casa había demasiados límites, puedes incluso al crecer sentir la necesidad de desafiar todas las normas, rebelarte contra la autoridad…

Los ejemplos aquí arriba mencionados son simplificaciones de la realidad. Somos mucho más complejos que todo esto.
A no siempre lleva a B o viceversa.

Todos los niños merecen lo mejor.

Y tu niño interior también. Se merece apoyo y aprecio.

Y poder jugar y disfrutar. Y saber controlarse o realizar tareas aburridas cuando es necesario.

Y ser escuchado y atendido. Y sentirse libre y capaz.

No haber recibido algo de niños no significa que estemos rotos,

que no haya nada que hacer. Aunque cueste, se puede.

Confía.

Te lo mereces.

Escucha tu cuerpo. Sí, cómo dices?

Imagen de de Darshwa Parmar @consciouswomb

¿A qué me refiero cuando digo “escucha tu cuerpo” ?

En todas las sesiones de terapia o en las sesiones de baile o movimiento que ofrezco repito mil veces las tres palabras “escucha- tu – cuerpo”. Bueno igual repito más la palabra “respira” jajaj pero hoy voy a hablar de la escucha corporal.

Escuchar el cuerpo puede sonar muy fácil pero es un proceso bastante complejillo.
No sólo a nivel corporal pero a nivel neurológico ocurren un montón de cosas que yo no domino bien cómo para explicarlo aquí.

Dos sentidos son importantes, la interocepción y la propiocepción (otro día hablo de esta).

Interocepción

Los seres humanos perciben las sensaciones internas del cuerpo a través de la interocepción, lo que se puede llamar también el sexto sentido.

Cuando tenemos hambre, o nuestro corazón palpita más fuerte de lo normal, o tenemos ganas de ir al baño, o tenemos una tensión muscular fuerte, y somos capaces de observarlo, lo hacemos a través de este sentido.

Ayuda a reconocer nuestras emociones!

La interocepción también puede ser una herramienta para hacer frente a nuestras experiencias emocionales y fortalecer la conexión con los demás. Wallin (2007) explica cómo la atención interoceptiva puede disminuir el estrés al enraizar a uno en el momento presente, posiblemente regulando la angustia asociada con un posible pasado traumático o con el miedo al futuro.

El poder darnos cuenta de lo que está pasando dentro de nuestro cuerpo, nos ayuda a entender y ser conscientes de nuestras emociones. Hay evidencia clara de la conexión entre la conciencia interoceptiva y la regulación emocional (Price 2018).

Cuando nos encontramos en una situación de tristeza fuerte, por ejemplo, los ojos se humedecen, el corazón empieza a latir más rápido, la cara se enrojece, y se puede sentir un nudo en el estómago.

La interocepción es la representación del cerebro de las sensaciones de su propio cuerpo.
Según Barret (2018) es fundamental para todo, desde el pensamiento, la emoción, la toma de decisiones y nuestro sentido del yo.

“Tu cuerpo es parte de tu mente, no de una manera mística, sino de una manera biológica muy real.”


En terapia

En terapia esto lo veo bastante claro en muchos casos, las personas que han vivido fuertes experiencias traumáticas, tienen mayor dificultad de sentir su cuerpo.
Están más “desconectados” de sus sensaciones, o dicho de otro modo, tienen el sentido de interocepción más dañado, por lo que les cuesta más regular sus emociones.

El poder identificar poco a poco cómo está nuestra respiración, qué siento en mi estómago cuando hablo de algo difícil, o cómo se tensa mi mandíbula cuando me enfado, puede ayudar a mejorar la forma en que lidiamos con las emociones.

¿Cómo puedo mejorar la interocepción?

  • Puedes practicar ejercicios de respiración guiados
  • Escanear el cuerpo y notar qué siente cada parte (Body Scan)
  • Preguntarte más a menudo, ¿qué estoy sintiendo, qué noto ahora?
  • Con niños, puedes preguntarles, qué notas en los ojos cuando estás muy cansado?, Mira tienes la piel de gallina! Qué sientes en los labios cuando comes un helado?


Fuentes:

Craig, A. D. (2009). How do you feel–now? The anterior insula and human awareness. Nature Review Neuroscience, 10(1), 59-70.

Wallin, D. J. (2007). Attachment in Psychotherapy. Guilford Press

Feldman Barret, L. (2018). How Emotions Are Made: the Secret Life of the Brain, Boston: Mariner Books.

Price C.J., Hooven C. (2018) Interoceptive Awareness Skills for Emotion Regulation: Theory and Approach of Mindful Awareness in Body-Oriented Therapy (MABT). Frontiers in Psychology

Terapia de Esquemas: ¿Cuáles son las necesidades básicas?

La terapia de esquema es una psicoterapia integrativa que combina la visión y las técnicas de otras terapias, como la terapia cognitivo-conductual, la teoría psicodinámica, la teoría del apego y la terapia Gestalt, creando un modelo único para abordar patrones de pensamiento y acción de larga duración y difíciles de tratar.

Creada (u organizada y estructurada, porque realmente recoge conceptos de otras corrientes formando una unidad y una visión particular con sus métodos y técnicas) en los años 90 por J.E. Young, tiene unos resultados de eficacia muy por encima de otros enfoques para tratar problemas persistentes y trastornos de la personalidad. Hay múltiples investigaciones realizadas (Randomized Control Trials) y actualmente mi lugar de trabajo IPSY lleva a cabo una junto con el investigador Arnout Arntz y la Universidad de Amsterdam.

Se basa en la idea de que los humanos tienen necesidades universales, y cuando en la infancia no se satisfacen lo suficiente, podemos desarrollar ciertas visiones del mundo que pueden conducirnos a patrones maladaptativos y en ocasiones autodestructivos que se repiten durante la edad adulta.

Imagina que tus padres tenían dificultades para escucharte cuando estabas enfadado o incluso te castigaron o pegaron cuando esto sucedió, o simplemente nunca parecían muy interesados en tu situación emocional. Pudiste haber aprendido a suprimir tus emociones y no comunicar tus necesidades. Usando la metáfora de unas gafas, creces con la vista “Mejor no expreso mi enojo, de lo contrario me castigarán”. Estas gafas, esta visión de la realidad era adaptativa cuando eras niño, pero puede ser problemático más adelante. Tener la “libertad para expresar necesidades y emociones” claramente no era una posibilidad en ese momento.

Imagina que creciste en una familia abusiva, donde te trataban sin respeto y con amenazas verbales a diario. A veces, recibías un trato muy positivo y otras veces te gritaban y te dejaban solo en casa. Te sentiste inseguro en tu propia casa, así que desarrollaste una visión que podría resumirse en “el mundo no es seguro y todos pueden abandonarme en cualquier momento”. La necesidad básica de estabilidad y apego seguro no fue satisfecha.

Imagina que naciste en una familia muy estricta, con altos estándares, padres con mucho éxito profesional, y toda la atención iba hacia los resultados que conseguías en el colegio o las actividades extraescolares. No había mucho tiempo para divertirse o amigos. Creciste con la creencia central de que “no puedo perder ningún momento, jugar y relajarse es inútil”. Esto fue necesario en la infancia para poder ser aceptado, sin embargo, puede traer dificultades o provocar un agotamiento en años posteriores. El tiempo para la “espontaneidad y juego” era inexistente en esta familia.

Y así sucesivamente.

En terapia tratamos de generar más conciencia acerca de las necesidades emocionales que no fueron cubiertas en los primeros años de vida que nos están afectando hoy en día y los esquemas maladaptativos asociados con ellas.

Por ejemplo, utilizamos visualizaciones y tratamos de reescribir a través de ejercicios guiados momentos del pasado que son las bases de nuestras creencias maladaptativas presentes.

Utilizamos roles y ténica de la silla para descubrir distintas partes de nosotros mismas que pueden estar en conflicto. La parte crítica y castigadora con nuestra parte vulnerable por ejemplo. O el querer dejar una relación y a la vez no, o la parte evitadora con la parte que necesita atención…

Tratamos de identificar lo que sentimos ahora y entender qué relación tiene con nuestras creencias limitantes y cómo podríamos cambiarlas.

Podemos trabajar la necesidad de ¨espontaneidad y juego” de una manera muy directa, con improvisación y música, por ejemplo. Aprendiendo a disfrutar y permitiéndonos explorar y tener placer.

Por otro lado, a través de intervenciones corporales y de movimiento, uno puede aprender a expresar emociones, entrar en contacto con la ira o la tristeza de manera segura, desarrollando así una gama más amplia de respuestas emocionales y aprendiendo a identificarlas y comunicarlas de una manera más efectiva.

Además en Terapia de Esquemas contamos con dos cuestionarios internacionalmente verificados para poder entender mejor cuales son tus esquemas y los modos en los que vives más a menudo.

En la sesión, le doy mucha importancia a la autonomía, si es eso lo que a la persona le faltó en la infancia normalmente se presenta más dependiente y necesita muchas instrucciones. Justamente en dichos casos pongo más énfasis en generar la suficiente confianza para que la persona pueda tomar sus propias decisiones y pasos.

Lee más acerca de la Terapia de Esquemas en este artículo

La historia de mis caderas

Las caderas siempre me han llamado la atención. Todavía recuerdo cuando salíamos a bailar en los primeros años de la adolescencia, cómo me sentía ¨inconscientemente restringida¨, no debía mover mis caderas demasiado porque si no podríamos llamar la atención de los chicos de atrás en el bar.

Algo parecido ocurría con mis brazos: me daba vergüenza alzar mis manos por ejemplo en un concierto. Pero esta historia es más para otra entrada del blog, tal vez relacionada a cómo aprender a poseer tu cuerpo o algún otro título cool de esos.

Caderas.

Cuando comencé a bailar por primera vez hace 16 años, toda mi atención iba a tratar de conectar con esos músculos desconocidos hasta entonces, de las profundidades de mi cavidad pélvica que me permitieran moverme cómo la profesora se movía.

Con esos músculos, mucha concentración y mucha paciencia aprendí muy poco a poco (realmente era un palo), a mover en círculos, infinitos, a sacudir fuertemente en distintos ángulos y direcciones. Sin embargo, esto lo experimentaba sólo en mi habitación cerrada, el único lugar de la tierra en aquel momento dónde sentía una mínima y chiquitina sensación de libertad.

En Siria aprendí cómo menos es más. Cómo no necesitaba movimientos muy impresionantes o acrobáticos, y simplemente la intensidad del sentimiento que yo sentía cuando me movía, podía ampliar exponencialmente el diámetro de impacto expresivo de los movimientos.

Pasan los años y finalmente viviendo en Barcelona, hacia los 21 años de edad, me permití yo misma, YO, bailar más libremente. Podía mover las caderas, las costillas, todas y cada una de mis vertebras desde el cóxis hasta las cervicales. Ecstatic Dance, la improvisación y la necesidad de sentir ese pequeño espacio de libertad me empujaron a soltarme.

Y así fue cómo me solté.

Sexualidad, traumas pasados sin resolver, vergüenza, juicio, falta de vitalidad, falta de energía, contención emocional, rigidez…

Tantos aspectos que pueden estar relacionados a esta parte del cuerpo. En otras culturas tiene gran importancia, el primer y segundo chakra en la tradición hindú, tántrica y yogui; el hara o Dan Tian en las artes marciales japonesas… Todo ello está localizado aquí.

Fuerte shock cuando llego al norte de Europa, a Amsterdam. Las mujeres y hombres en las fiestas (generalmente) no realizan absolutamente ningún movimiento desde sus costillas hasta sus rodillas! Básicamente mueven el pecho y los brazos con movimientos repetitivos. Bueno, no estoy diciendo que en el País Vasco (de donde vengo) la situación sea mucho mejor, pero aún así. Me sorprendió mucho desde una perspectiva de análisis de movimiento y me sigue fascinando hoy en día todas las diferencias culturales respecto al cuerpo y la danza.

La última vez que me he sorprendido en un ¨asunto de caderas¨ fue el año pasado en una de las reuniones informales después del trabajo. Uno de los terapeutas más inteligentes y agudos de nuestra compañía, hombre, cogió un pañuelo, se lo puso en las caderas y nos deleitó a los presentes con una de las mejores combinación de movimientos rítmicos que había visto en años.

Bueno.

Hacia donde me dirigo no es precisamente tan divertido o colorido.

Una persona muy importante en mi vida, la más importante, ha sido diagnosticada con cáncer de huesos. Dolor. Dolor inaguantable. Cáncer en las vértebras, en el sacro, lumbar y más tarde en las dorsales.

Dolor en todo el cuerpo. 24 horas al día. Analgésicos fuertes, morfina, fentanilo, pastillas antiinflamatorias. Aún así dolor. Dolor que se irradia por brazos y piernas, y una gran sensación de estar bloqueado. En cualquier postura. Acostado, sentado, de pie. Dolor.

Desesperación. Agobio. Enfado. Miedo. Desesperación.

Dolor de ver a alguien que amas tanto, sufrir tanto.

Fue entonces cuando mi agradecimiento por poder moverme creció exageradamente. De naturaleza ya soy una persona agradecida en general. Muy a menudo me siento agradecida por poder ver, caminar, comer, respirar y por las cosas más simples que generalmente damos por obvio.

Pero en ese momento de mi vida, hace un par de meses, la gratitud y fascinación por poder moverme, por poder mover todas las mañanas mis caderas, mi sacro, mi lumbar, estirar mi pecho, simplemente estar de pie sin sentir ningún dolor, se volvió tan significativa, tan fuerte, que necesitaba poder compartirlo con más personas. Esa es la verdadera razón por la que comencé los talleres de desbloqueo de las caderas. Para honrar secretamente a esa persona de mi vida.

Y aquí es dónde voy a pedirte algo.

Por favor, la próxima vez que te despiertes por la mañana, mueve ligeramente la pelvis, como si tuvieras una colita muy elegante, y siente los movimientos sutiles, las sensaciones, todas las posibilidades que tienes, cómo te hace sentir. Siente todo eso sin dolor. Siente cada vértebra y articulación sana y completa.

Siente cómo se sienten tus caderas.

Y agradece.

The story of my hips

Lee la versión en castellano aquí.

Hips have always drawn my attention. I still remember the first years going out dancing during my adolescence, how much I felt “unconsciously not permitted” to move my hips too much, as otherwise we would draw the attention of other teenage boys behind us. Similar thing happened with my arms: I felt ashamed to put my arms up in a concert for example, but this would be for another post maybe related to how to learn to own our body or some other fancy title like that.

Hips.

Since I started dancing for the first time 16 years ago, the whole focus for me was to get in contact with those -until then- unknown muscles that were deep in my pelvic area that I had never felt before. With those strange muscles, lots of awareness and patience I could slowly learn to draw infinites, circles or shake, in many different angles and directions. Still this was reserved only to my locked room, the only place in earth back then, where I could feel a tiny little bit of freedom.

In Syria, I learned how less is more. How I did not need very impressive moves or acrobatics and simply the amount of feeling I would put into that simple move would exponentially amplify the diameter of emotional impact of the moves.

Years passed and finally living in Barcelona I was allowed (by myself) to dance more freely. I could shake my pelvis, my ribs, every and each vertebra from the coccyx to the cervicals. I could dance how I wanted. Ecstatic dance, improvisation and the need for having that tiny bit of freedom, pushed me to release.

And so it was that I got loose.

Sexuality, past unresolved traumas, shame, judgement, lack of vitality, lack of energy, emotional containment, rigidity in life matters… So many aspects can be related to this body part. The first and second chakra in the hinduist, tantric and yoga traditions; the hara or lower Dantian of the Japanese martial arts… All of them are located nearby.

But coming back to my story with hips: Big shock when I arrived to the north of Europe, to Amsterdam. Women and men in parties would (generally) make absolutely no movement from their ribs to their knees. Mainly they’d move their chest in sudden repetitive moves. Well, I am not saying that in the Basque Country (where I come from) is much better, but still. It did surprise me from a movement analysis perspective and I still find fascinating the cultural differences in regard to body and dance nowadays.

Last time I have been surprised in a “hip matter” was this last year in one of the after work drinks at our office. One of the smartest and sharpest male therapists of the company, got a scarf, put it on his hips and delighted us with the most amazing rhythmic movements I had seen in years following the beats of Amr Diab.

Anyhow.

Where I want to lead to is not so funny or colorful.

A very very important person in my life, the most important one, has been diagnosed with bone cancer. Pain. Immeasurable pain. Cancer in the vertebras, in the sacrum, lumbar and later on in the dorsal.

Whole body aching. 24 hours a day. Strong painkillers, morphine, fentanyl, anti-inflamatory pills. Still. Pain radiating all over the limbs and a huge sensation of being blocked. No posture. Laying down, sitting, standing. Pain.

Dispair. Hopelessness. Anger.

Pain from seeing somebody you love so much, suffer so much.

It was then when my gratefulness for being able to move grew rampantly. I usually am a grateful person by nature. I feel often thankful for being able to see, walk, eat, breath, and the very simple things we usually get for granted.

But at that point in my life the gratefulness and fascination for being able to move every morning my hips, my sacrum, my lumbar, to stretch my chest, to simply stand up without feeling any pain, became so significant that I needed to share it with more people. That is the real reason for starting the Hip Release workshops. To secretly honor that person of my life.

And here is where I come to ask you something.

Please next time you wake up move slightly the pelvis, as if you would have an elegant tail, and feel the subtle movements, sensations, all the possibilities you have, how it makes you feel. Feel all that without pain. Feel every vertebra and articulation healthy and complete.

Feel how your hips feel. And be grateful.

Día internacional de la eliminación de la violencia contra las mujeres.

-Imagen de Ana Barboza Gubo-

Muy a menudo en mi trabajo ayudo a mujeres en esta situación, inmersas en relaciones abusivas, obligadas a tener relaciones sexuales con sus parejas que las abusan física y psicológicamente.

Muy a menudo estas mujeres no pueden decir que no. No pueden creer, no pueden confiar en que algo diferente sea posible. Se sienten presionados a tener relaciones sexuales y complacer a su hombre por miedo. O por convicción de que la mujer debe dar placer al hombre.

A menudo, estas mujeres sufren abusos psicológicos todos los días, las parejas minan su autoestima y su autoimagen para hacerlas más dependientes de ellas. Un círculo vicioso difícil de detener.

A menudo, ni siquiera pueden aceptar que lo que les está sucediendo sea abuso, quieren que funcione, quieren quedarse para proteger a sus hijos, quieren creer que el hombre puede cambiar. Y definitivamente creo que esto es posible, creo totalmente que todo el mundo tienen la posibilidad de cambiar y desarrollarse.

Pero a veces no es posible. Recuerdo una mujer que una mañana decidió abandonar su hogar. Más de dos años vivió una pesadilla para poder divorciarse porque las leyes de su país no lo permitían.

Dos años de terapia donde la ayudamos a integrar su pasado y recuperar su propia voz. Al final, agotada por no haberse divorciado aún, incluso ofreció pagarle a su expareja 10.000 euros, simplemente para dejarla libre. Para que aceptase en su embajada que podía divorciarse de él.


10.000 euros para liberarte de una relación abusiva.
¿No suena esto a esclavitud?

Afortunadamente, a menudo también he presenciado el cambio y el empoderamiento de algunas de estas mujeres. Algunas de ellos, después de meses y años de dudas, se deciden, expresan su dolor y luchan fuertemente consigo mismas y con sus propias familias para convencerse de que tiene que terminar. Terminar es la única salida.

Hoy, Día Internacional para la Eliminación de la Violencia contra la Mujer, espero que muchas mujeres puedan reunir los medios para poner fin a sus relaciones abusivas.

Espero que puedan creer poco a poco que es posible. Espero que las familias de estas mujeres puedan apoyarlas en su decisión de detenerse (algo que en muchas ocasiones no es el caso y presionan para que mantengan la relación y sean leales al matrimonio).

Espero que algún día ninguna mujer sea violada fuera o dentro de su matrimonio.
Espero que ninguna mujer, borracha, inconsciente o en silencio, sea nunca violada.

Espero que el nuevo gobierno en España pueda revisar el código penal lo antes posible y comenzar a considerar la violación como una violación.

Y espero que cada vez más hombres de todo el mundo tomen conciencia y se unan a la causa feminista.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women!!


Very often in my work I help women in this situation, immerse in abusive relationships, being forced to have sex with their partners that abuse them physical and psychologically.
Very often this women cannot say no. Cannot believe, cannot trust that something else is possible. They feel pushed to have sex and to please their man out of fear.

Often this women get psychologically abused every single day, the partners undermine their self confidence and self image to make them more dependent to them. A vicious circle difficult to stop.

Often cannot even accept that what is happening to them is abuse, they want to make it work, they want to stay to protect their children, they want to believe that the man can change. And definitely I do believe this is possible, I fully believe that everyone has the possibility to change and develop.

But sometimes it is not. I remember one lady that one morning she decided to leave the house of her man. She then lived a two years nightmare to be able to get the divorce because the laws of her country would not allow so. Two years of therapy where we helped her to integrate her past and recover her own voice. At then end, exhausted of not getting the divorce, she even offered to pay her man 10.000 euros simply to let her free. To agree in their embassy that she could divorce.

10.000 euros to be free from an abusive relationship. Is this not slavery?

Fortunately, I have also often witnessed the change and blossoming of some of these women. Some of them, after months and years of doubt, they speak out and fight strong within themselves and their own families to make clear that it has to end. That ending is the only way out.

Today, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women I hope that many women can gather the means to end their abusive relationships.

I hope they can slowly believe that it is possible. I hope that the families of these women can support them in their decision to stop (which many times is not the case and push them to stay and be loyal to the marriage).

I hope that one day no woman will be raped outside or inside their marriage.
I hope that no woman, drunk, unconscious or silent, will be raped.

I hope that I hope the new government in Spain can revise de penal code as soon as possible and start considering rape as rape.

I hope that more and more men around the world get conscious and join the feminist cause.

“My sweet orange tree” and Schema Therapy. Part I

Drying endless tears from my cheeks on a plane Amsterdam – Bilbao to my home city Vitoria Gasteiz.

Not crying because of being home sick neither from an emotional conflict, but from being taken away into another reality. A hard, raw reality of millions of kids in the word. This time was Zezé, the 5 year old protagonist of the book “My sweet orange tree”.

I love being captured completely and fiercefully from the daily reality by a story; although it barely happens. I am more usually stuck with my Critical Parent Mode: criticizing myself for not doing more and more and more, for not being more productive, for not organizing more projects, for not getting even better results at my work, for not enrolling in more courses to keep developing myself, for not dancing more, for not sporting more….

Or in my Overcontrolling Perfectionistic Mode, escaping from the present to think only in the future by checking, comparing and analyzing dozens of possibilities of courses in psychology, teacher trainings, dance/art courses; or searching apartments to buy in 3 years time, or making lists, or vacuum cleaning and enjoying the immediate reward of cleanliness…

Or of course in my Healthy Adult Mode: taking care of my self, cooking healthy, working, enjoying time with friends, family and boyfriend, or solving problems in the most mature way I can.

Sometimes, once in a month or even less often, a strong wave takes me away and brings me fully into a colorful parallel reality; where words, or sometimes images like in good movies, force me to shake my perspectives in life.

Force me to have some space to reflect and distance myself from the somewhat SENSELESS and ABSURD worries of a 30 year old western woman with a stable life.

And Zezé helped me this time.

Zezé helped me remember all I have.

Helped me realise the uselessness of my critical and overcontrolling sides.

Zeze

Who is Zezé? Ayyyysss… I feel so in love with this little kid.

He is 5 years old and wants to be a poet when he grows up and wear a bow tie. He spends his days traveling with his colorful imagination, visiting the zoological park (the henhouse with three hens) and the Amazonia (his backyard)…

His best friend is a small Sweet Orange tree, with whom he talks and confesses all his secrets. He can enjoy with the most simple things and create fantasies and adventures in one of the most poor areas of a favela in Brazil.

An extremely vivid Happy Child.

However, from his precarious and unstable family he mainly receives disproportionate slapping and denigrating  words, which slowly shape the personality of Zezé. Throughout the story we see how such a sweet and lovely boy can develop very adverse self-beliefs and behaviors based on the experiences in his early years at home. A clear example of child mistreatment.

In the next post I will share some examples of maladaptive schemas creation of this beautiful story.

For now, all I can say is that since I read the book, my Critical Parent Mode has been slightly more quiet and I experience a tiny bit more serenity in my free time :)

 

Beautiful Zezé, and all the kids in his situation, thank you.

 

Schema Therapy: what are the core needs?

the family
The Family – Gustav Klimt

Schema therapy is an integrative psychotherapy combining the vision and techniques from other therapies, like cognitive behavioral therapy, psychodynamic theory, attachment theory and Gestalt therapy, creating a unique model to address longstanding, hard to treat patterns of thinking and acting.

It is based on the idea that humans have universal needs in childhood and when these are not sufficiently met, we can develop certain views of the world that can lead to maladaptive patterns and self defeating themes that repeat throughout adulthood.

Imagine your parents had difficulties listening to you when you were angry or even punish you when this happenned, or simply never seemed interested in your emotional situation. You might learn to supress your emotions and not communicate your needs. Using the metaphor of a pair of glasses, you grow up with the view “I better not express my anger otherwise I’ll get punished”. This glasses, this view of reality was adaptive when you were a child, but can be problematic later on. “Freedom to express needs & emotions” was clearly not a possibility at that time.

Imagine you grew up in an abusive family, where you were confronted with disrespect and verbal threatening on a daily basis. Sometimes you were treated in a very positive way, and other times you were shouted at and left alone at home. You felt unsafe in your own home so you developed the view “The world is unsafe and everybody can leave me at any moment.” The basic need of stability and “secure attachment” was poorly met.

Imagine you were born in a very strict family, with high standards, very sucessful parents and all the attention was drawn on how well you performed. There was no much time for hobbies or friends. You grew up with the core belief that “I cannot lose any moment, play and relax is useless.” This was necessary in childhood to be able to be accepted by your caregives, however it can bring difficulties or lead to burn out for example in later years. The time for “spontaneity and play” was unexistent in this family.

Schema Therapy - schema creation 0

In therapy we try to create awareness of the emotional needs that were not fully met in the early years and the maladaptive schemas associated with them.

For example in dance movement therapy we can work on spontaneity and play in a very direct way, with improvisation, games and music for example. Learning to enjoy and allowing ourselves to enjoy, to have pleasure.

With several body and movement interventions one can learn to express emotions, get in contact with anger or sadness in a safe way, developing therefore a wider range of emotional responses and learning to identify and communicate them to significant others in a more effective way.

In the session, I give a lot of importance to autonomy, very often asking the client what she/he wants to focus on, letting them find their own way to warm up or to move, letting them lead me during mirroring exercises…

 

We believe that these needs are universal. Everyone has them, although some individuals have stronger needs than others. A psychologically healthy individual is one who can adaptively meet these core emotional needs.
J.E Young

 

Bailar es “solo para la vida real”

– mi propio dibujo acerca de esta mujer –

Echo de menos bailar. Uno puede creer que trabajando como danza movimiento terapeuta una bailaría mucho, o al menos suficiente. Pero no siempre es así.  Tener esta profesión no da demasiada seguridad económica o estabilidad (no se publican apenas ofertas de trabajo),  así que a principios de año decidí comprarme una casa, con la ilusión de poder tener un sitio seguro para mí y una pensión asegurada.

De ahí que tengo muchos más gastos y menos dinero, y por eso no me permito apuntarme a los (carísimos) cursos de danza de Amsterdam, y por eso me quejo de que no bailo, y me quejo de que echo de menos bailar.

Pero, a mí me da que esto es una tontería.

Sí, completamente. Es sencillamente una explicación racional que me doy a mí misma para escusarme de que no bailo.

Y pienso en Ina*.

Ina es una mujer que venía a sesiones de terapia, con la cual apenas me movía. Sencillamente nos sentábamos calladas, esperando a que un tema apareciera, intentábamos indentificar emociones y practicábamos de vez en cuando un poco de técnicas de respiración.

Durante una de nuestras sesiones pasó algo que me tocó muy mucho, y me movió por dentro. Después de estar hablando acerca de las dificultades de sentir alegría en su vida, propongo unas cuantas ideas para cerrar la sesión. Algo más experiencial, más en movimiento, para que practique el darse also a sí misma.

  • Le pregunto si quiere escribir una pequeña carta para ella misma. Es una mujer muy inteligente y racional. Rechaza la idea.
  • Le ofrezco pintar una pequeña postal para ella misma. Una opción un tanto más arriesgada ya que incluye creatividad y expresión. No me sorprende cuando también se niega.
  • Mi última opción, claramente la más improbable de todas en aceptar, es si quierebailar. Simplemente sentadas, un pequeño baile como final.

Sonríe.

Y se queda callada.

Con una gran melancolía me explica que bailar es para su “vida real”. No para esta vida ahora, bailar es solo para su vida real, para la vida que podría haber tenido. Para la vida cuando aún tenía planes, y sueños, y aún era fuerte.

Acepta que bailemos. Casi no me lo puedo creer. 

Con la música suave de Yann Tiersen, mueve conmigo sus brazos y sonríe. Le ofrezco que guíe ella, que lidere el movmiento, pero dice que no. Lo intento dos veces pero no quiere, prefiere seguirme a mí. Al final, me explica muy asombrada que le ha gustado mucho pero no entiende el porqué. La invito a no tratar de buscar razones para todo y que simplemente se quede con la sensación. Me explica que hace mucho, hace media vida, alguien le dijo exactamente lo mismo.

Desafortunadamente, esa fue la única vez que bailamos en todo el tratamiento.


Y yo? No estoy viviendo una vida real?

¿Porque estoy esperando y quejándome de que no bailo? ¿Por qué me critico por no tener el dinero, o la disciplina, o la formación, o simplemente la energía para salir y bailar?

¿Estoy yo también entre esas líneas negras de la pintura? ¿Apretujada en mí misma?

¿Porqué dejamos cosas que queremos hacer para otros momentos? ¿Para mejores momentos?

El tratamiento con Ina se terminó hace dos años, pero he decidido llamarla esta semana y preguntarle si quiere bailar conmigo una vez más.

*Todos los nombres son pseudónimos. Estos cortos fragmentos sacados de sesiones de terapia sirven el único propósito de: -Reflexionar acerca de mi propia situación en relación con mis pacientes; y – Ilustrar lo que la danza movimiento terapia puede ser. Ningún fragmento contiene información identificable.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Dance is only for my “real life”

I miss dancing. One thinks that having a profession as dance movement therapist would allow me to dance enough, but it is not always the case. Having this profession is also slightly or quite unsafe (there are not many vacancies in general), so I decided to buy an appartment in Amsterdam in the beginning of the year with the ilusion of having a safe place and a safe pension.

Therefore, I have more fix costs and less money, and therefore I do not allow myself to enroll to (somewhat expensive) dance lessons in Amsterdam and therefore I complain that I do not dance and I complain that I miss dancing.

But is this just simple bullshit?

Yes. Completely. This is one rational explanation I give myself for not dancing.

And I think of Ina*.

Ina is a woman that came to dance movement therapy, with whom I barely moved. We mainly sat silently waiting for a topic to arise, tried to identify emotions and practiced short breathing exercises.

During one of our sessions something happenned that left me very touched and moved for several days. After having spoken about the difficulties to experience joy in her life, I propose ideas for the closure of the session. Something more experiential, more in movement to practice giving herself something.

  • I ask if she would like to write a short letter to herself, as she is a very intelligent and rational woman. She rejects.
  • I offer to paint a small postcard for herself. A bit more risky option as it involves creativity and self expression. I am not surpirsed when she says no.
  • My last option, definetely the most unlikely to be accepted, is if we could dance. Just sitting down, a short dance as a finishing experience.

She smiles.

She remains silent.

With big melancholy she says that dancing is for her “real life”. Not for this life now, dance is only for her real life, for the life that she could have had.  For the life when she had so many plans, when she was still strong.

She agrees to dance. I almost can´t believe it.

With Yann Tiersen´s soft music, she follows the movements of my arms and smiles. At some point I offer her to lead but she rejects. I try twice but she does not want, she rather follows me. At the end she shares very surprised that she liked it a lot and does not understand why. I invite her not to find reasons for everything and simply keep the sensation. She answers that once, half life time ago somebody told her  exactly the same.

Unfortunately, it was the only time we danced in the whole treatment.


And me? Am I not living a real life?

Why am I waiting and complaining for not dancing? Why do I criticize myself for not having the money or the discipline or the dance background or education, or simply energy to go out and dance?

Am I also between those black lines in the painting? Constrained in myself?

Why do we leave things that we want to do for other moments? For better moments? For other lives?

The treatment with Ina was closed two years ago but I have decided to call her and ask if she wants to dance one more time with me. 

*All names are pseudonyms. This short fragments of therapy sessions serve only the pourpose of: -My own reflection in relation to the situation of my clients and – Ilustration of what dance movement therapy can be. No fragment contains any identifiable information. In cases of further disclosure formal consent is asked to the client and the exact content is decided together.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

respira – breath- adem – nefs – نفس

Five words all meaning the same in different languages and probably the words I repeat more often in my working time.

I think I say it around…

5 to 20 times per session x 6 session x 3 days a week = more than 200 times a week!

respira

breath

are you breathing?

hoe is je adem?

respira

adem

diep adem

nefs

nefs

nefs!!!

We have dutch, arabic, turkish, spanish and english speaking patients coming so all the five languages are used and sometimes is a bit of a challenge for my language centres in the brain. I end up saying “nefs” even to a person from my own country…

Anyhow, this is only an example of how extremely importar B R E A T H I N G  is.

And how it can make a difference in performing a movement effortlessly or full of tension.

Sometimes it is even possible to see when one client is not present / thinking in something else just because she/he is holding the breath.

Me myself, needs obviously also to be breathing on an fluid way and sometimes when the patient holds the breath constantly or keeps a very superficial breathing, it gets even difficult for me to breath and I have to make an extra effort in breathing loudly for him/her to listen and notice.

Breath is usually the fastest way to make contact with the present moment and with the physical sensations. Althought this can sometimes be painful or even terrifiying  as in cases of abuse, noticing that you have a body can be a frightening experience.

As it is such an important topic I would like to share some words about the anatomy of breath from the book “Everybody is a body” from Karen Studd and Laura Cox:

“The primary mover of breath is a unique muscle called the Thoracic Diaphragm. (…) It is the structure that forms the ceiling of the abdominal cavity and the floor of the chest cavity, thus separating the structure of our inner volume. It also marks the difference between our upper and lower body. The Thoracic Diaphragm is shaped like a lopsided mushroom, higher on the right side due to the size and position of the liver. The cap of the mushroom fills the circumference of the rib cafe and is moved up and down by the action of the stem of the mushroom (two extensions of muscle tissue called the crura) which is attached to the front surface of the lower spine).

Inhalation results from the crura contracting to pull the cap downward, creating a vacuum in the thorax, so that air can then rush in to fill our lungs. On the exhale, the crura relax and the cap recolls upward, pushing air out of the lungs. (…) Experience of breath is an essential experience of self and as such it is a vital part of the self-monitoring process. No matter what our mood is, our breathing reflects our state of being. Subsequalvanize you. ently, breath can also be used to elicit particular states of being. Your breathing can relax you or energize you, it can serve to sustain you or galvanize you.

Awareness of breath supports movement. Breath support our everyday functional activities, our atheltic pursuits, our creative expression, our personal interactions.

And also a very interesting ( a bit more advanced) video from the great Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen from Body Mind Centering.

And one interesting and funny fact that I realised when I started working with arabic people and started using the word nefs more often:

Nefs (نفس) in arabic is breath.

Every word in arabic can be reduced to its three root letters, in this case (N+F+S), and every word coming from those three letters usually has some kind of connection in meaning.

And guess what does Nafsy mean?

Nafsy (with the same three root letters (n+f+s) + y ¨1st person personal pronoun¨) means ME MYSELF. 

Isn’t it beautiful?

Language itself shows how important the breath is.

And even more, Tabib Nafsy is the world for psychologist, literally the doctor of me myself  (?!!?)…

Breath

Keep Breathing

Keep moving

La historia del triángulo

Hace tres días, un martes me junté con unos amigos de amigos en un bar de Amsterdam. Todos ¨skilled migrants¨, vamos inmigrantes de toda la vida pero con buenos estudios y buen trabajo. Casualmente todos del sur de Europa: griegos, un chico turco, mi amiga madrileña y yo.

A mitad de la viva conversación, entre coñac, vino y cremita de verduras (yo soy la de la cremita de verduras jaja) el chico turco (que estudió matemáticas, de unos treinta y pico años y con un muy buen trabajo en Google), explicó un modelo muy interesante. Un triángulo.

Un triángulo dónde un vértice es Energía, otro Tiempo, y otro Dinero.

energy time money triangle

  • Resulta que cuando somos jóvenes tenemos energía y tiempo pero no tenemos dinero.
  • Cuando somos más adultos, como este chico turco, tenemos energía y dinero pero no hay tiempo para nada.
  • Y cuando somos viejitos tenemos tiempo y dinero pero ya no nos queda tanta energía.

life phases in triangle development time money energy

Paradoja o putada de la vida moderna en los países occidentales.

El chico turco se daba cuenta de que no tenía tiempo. Y cada vez conozco a más gente que se siente un poquitín ahogada en el triágulo.

Vida OCUPADA vale más

Hace dos meses me sentí avergonzada cuando una nueva trabajadora, una psiquiatra holandesa de mi compañía, en su primera introducción formal, me preguntó muy curiosa:

-Ah sólo trabajas tres días a la semana, ¿y qué haces con el resto del tiempo?

En ese momento me sentí acorralada, me sentí de repente avergonzada y me escuché a mí misma diciendo que tenía algunos proyectos con mi ONG, y que iba a estudiar un Master y patatín patatán. Cosa que no era completamente cierto en ese momento.

Me ví mintiendo para poder dar una imagen de ciudadana ocupada.

Busy busy busy. Eso se lleva mucho. ¨-¿Quedamos? – Uy es que estoy muy muy liada.¨

Pues ya no. Ya no me siento avergonzada. Soy feliz trabajando tres días, 27 horas semanales, (75% de la jornada permitida de 36 horas en Salud Mental en Holanda).

Sí, tengo cuatro días ¨de fiesta¨ a la semana, y no tengo porqué llenarlos. Los puedo disfrutar estudiando, leyendo, limpiando mi casa, cocinando, hablando con mi familia por teléfono, viajando, lo que sea.

Sí, cobro menos. Cobro poco comparado con lo que la mayoría de los ¨skilled migrants¨cobran por una jornada completa. Pero tengo todo el triangulito para mí.

Tengo dinero.

Tengo tiempo.

Y tengo energía.

Afortunada de la vida, una.

Y bueno unas especulaciones finales: igual si todos trabajásemos un poquitín menos, más gente podría trabajar, y más gente podría disfrutar de todo el triangulito durante la edad adulta. Yo, por ahora, ya sé qué responderé la próxima vez que alguien me pregunte qué hago con el resto de mis días.

Y aquí algunos artículos relacionados:

“Why working fewer hours would make us more productive”

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/nov/09/fewer-working-hours-doctors-eu-negotiations

“10 reasons for a shorter working week”

http://neweconomics.org/2014/07/10-reasons-for-a-shorter-working-week/

The Triangle Story

Three days ago, last tuesday I met some friends of friends in a bar in Amsterdam. All of them ¨skilled migrants¨, so normal immigrants but with good level of education and good jobs. Coincidentally we were all from the south of Europe, greeks, a turkish guy, my Madrilenian friend and me.

In the middle of the conversation, between cognac, wine and vegetable soup, the turkish guy (who studied mathematics, around 30 years old, married, with one daughter, and working analyzing and processing data for big companies) explained a very interesting model. A triangle.

A triangle where one vertex is Energy, another one Time, and another one Money.

energy time money triangle
  • It happens that when we are young we have the energy and the time but we don’t have money.
  • When we are adults, like this turkish man, we have energy and money but we don’t have enough time to do all we want.
  • And when we are old, we have time and money but there is not so much energy left.
life phases in triangle development time money energy

Paradox or modern life catch in western society.

The turkish guy was realising that he had no time. And I hear more and more often people are feeling slightly drowned in the triangle.

Busy life has more value

Two months ago I felt ashamed when a newly incorporated dutch psychiatrist  from my company, in her first formal introduction with me, she asked curiously:

-Ah… you only work three days per week… and what do you do with the rest of the time?

In that moment I felt overwhelmed, I felt suddenly ashamed and I listened to myself saying I had some projects with my NGO and I planned to study a Master bladibla. All not entirely true at that moment.

I saw myself lying to show an image of a busy woman. 

Busy busy busy. That is trendy. “-Shall we meet? – Uys, I am very very busy.”

No. Not anymore. I don´t feel ashamed. I am happy working three days, 27 hours weekly (75% of the maximum of 36 weekly hours allowed in Mental Health in the Netherlands).

Yes, I have four free days a week, and I don’t need to fill them up. I can enjoy them studying, reading, cleaning my house, cooking, talking to my family on the phone, travelling or whatever.

Yes, I get less money. I get less money compared to what the rest of the ¨skilled migrants¨ get for a full working week. But I have the whole lovely triangle for myself

I have money.

I have time.

And I have energy.

Fortunate me.

And well, some final speculations: maybe if we all would work a bit less, more people could work, and more people could enjoy the  lovely triangle during adult life. Me, I already know what I would answer the next time that somebody asks me what do I do with the rest of my days.

Here some related articles:

“Why working fewer hours would make us more productive”

https://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2015/nov/09/fewer-working-hours-doctors-eu-negotiations

“10 reasons for a shorter working week”

http://neweconomics.org/2014/07/10-reasons-for-a-shorter-working-week/

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Zada, la afgana que se ocupaba mucho hacia adentro.

Echo mucho de menos escribir. Hace tiempo una profesora de lengua me dijo que hacía buenos comentarios de texto, y ese comentario suyo me ayudó a tomar la decisión de estudiar Periodismo. Al cabo de muy poco me di cuenta de que no era lo mío.

Desde entonces he escrito diarios, en cuadernos bonitos y en agendas anuales feas y pasadas de fecha que estaban vacías, sin usar. Lo cual conlleva bastante dificultad porque la fecha no concuerda, el jueves 26 de octubre de 2017 resulta ser un miércoles en el año anterior. Sí, sorprendente. Bueno el caso es que he desahogado mis enfados y mis tristezas y mis momentos estáticos en esas páginas. Sin filtros y con mucha más expresividad en la letra que con estas teclas planas.

Y ahora de nuevo vuelvo a intentar escribir más en este medio. Algo así como un sueño que siempre tengo y nunca cumplo: “María podrías escribir un postitito cada semana”- dice mi voz exigente. Y mi yo vaga se niega a abrir la página de edición y sigue mirando pasivamente noticias, fotos, videos o lo que sea que encuentre en mi mini pantalla.

Lo primero es activo, y lo segundo pasivo.

Actividad y pasividad.

Estas ocupada hacia afuera o hacia adentro. 

Me doy cuenta de que existen dos tipos de actividades: algo que se hace hacia afuera, y algo que se hace hacia adentro.

  • Osease por ejemplo escribir, o bailar, o hablar, o cocinar; algo que va desde mí, hacia fuera, hacia un objetivo, hacia alguien son actividades hacia fuera.
  • Leer, ver una peli, o scrollear hacia abajo en la newsfeed o en las noticias es hacia dentro. También lo es pensar, imaginar, reflexionar y todas esas conversaciones que uno tiene consigo mismo continuamente sin que lleven a una acción concreta.

Y esto me lleva a pensar en Zada, una mujer afgana clienta en nuestro psiquiátrico y con la cual no me puedo comunicar ni una palabra. Su mayor problema es que básicamente está siempre ocupada hacia adentro.

Su vida transcurre de su frente hacia atrás, de su mirada hacia atrás, hacia sus pensamientos, hacia un continuo rumiar de pensamientos, miedos e imaginaciones fantasiosas negativas de qué podrá pasar, que habrán dicho y qué me está ocurriendo.

depression inwards

A veces, ansiedad o depresión, pueden ser sencillamente un exceso de ocuparse hacia el interior. No encontrar el equilibrio necesario entre un lado y el otro. O tener el área de visión girada.

A Zada, conjuntamente con la psicóloga le hemos recomendado que intente salir a caminar y nombre lo que ve a su alrededor. Que vuelva a ver el cielo, las tiendas, los árboles y de un descanso a su radio interna. Por ahora le va bien. Aunque hay mucho mucho por hacer.

 

Por eso a veces tenemos que saltar del sofá y ponernos a hacer algo pafuera,

y otras veces, cuando hacemos demasiado tenemos que parar el carro y mirar padentro.

 

Yo ahora ya he sacado un poquito de mí, ¿hay algo qué quieras sacar ahora tú?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Zada, the afghan woman that was too focused inwards

I miss writing very much. Years ago a language teacher told me that my text analysis were very good, and that comment helped me taking the decision to study Journalism. After some months I realised general journalism was not for me, still I studied it for two years at the university.

Since then I have written in diaries, in beautiful notebooks, in outdated empty and ugly agendas. This last one is quite complicated because the date obviously does not match, thursday 26th of october of 2017 is a wednesday on the previous year. Yes, not very surprising.  Well, the point is that I have released my anger and sadness, and my ecstatic moments in these pages. With no filter, and with much more expressivity than these plain flat keys of the keyboard.

And now again I try to write more in this medium. Something like a dream that I have and never fullfill: “Maria you could write a little bit every week”- says my critical voice. And my lazy side rejects to open the editing wordpress website and keeps scrolling passively news, photos, videos, of anything that appears in my tiny mobile screen.

The first thing is active, and the second is passive.

Activity and passivity.

You are focus outwards or inwards.

I realise that there are two types of activity: something that is done outwards and something that is done inwards.

  • For example, writing, dancing, talking, cooking, is something that goes from me towards the outside world, towards an objective, towards somebody. They are outwards oriented activities.
  • Reading, watching a movie, or scrolling in the newsfeed is inwards oriented. Same with thinking, imagining, relecting, and all those conversation that you have with yourself continuously without bringing you to a concreet action.

And this makes me think of Zada (pseudonym), and Afghan woman in our Psychiatric Centre with whom I cannot communicate even a word. The biggest problem she has is that basically she is always focused inwards.

Her life passes by behing her forehead, her look is turned inwards, towards her thoughts, towards a continuous rumination, fear and negative fantasies and imaginations of what cold happend, what have others said, what is happening to me.

depression inwards
Art by Catherine Lepange

 

Sometimes anxiety or depression could be seen as an an excess  of looking inwards. Not finding the necessary balance between one sice and the other. Having the vision rotated.

Together with the psychologist we have recommended Zada to try to go out and walk, and name all she sees around her. To try to see the sky, the shops, the trees again, and give a rest to her internal radio. For now it is going well. Although there is a lot to do.

 

That is why sometimes we have to jump out of the sofa and do something outwards,

and other times, when we do too much, we have to stop the train and look inwards. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yoga for trauma

Since I started studying to become a dance movement therapist I have been interested in trauma. Working with sexually and physically abused women in my student years convinced me about the crucial role of the body in regaining one’s confidence back.

In my own life, during a difficult phase, dance and yoga were undoubtedly the main strategies I found to recover. Practicing several times a week hatha yoga and later iyengar yoga (my favorite style since then), I started to become stronger not only physically but much more important, mentally.

Now, working with war refugees and domestic violence sufferers I often use yoga stretching exercises combined with breathing and relaxation techniques to foster body awareness. And recently I found a very interesting way of yoga. Trauma Sensitive Yoga:  Evidenced based yoga oriented to treat people that have experienced trauma in their lives and suffer from PTSD.  Here a piece an article I need to read before attending the introductory course in Copenhagen next 30th of September 2017.

Current treatments for PTSD are informed by cognitive and pharmacologic models, as opposed to somatic regulation and interoceptive awareness. Body awareness has been shown to be central for consciousness and emotion regulation. Knowing how one feels depends on brain regions involved in the registration of internal  homeostasis.

Loss of body awareness, including alexithymia, and loss of affect regulation are thought to play a significant role in the pathology of PTSD, which has been shown to involve changes in physical self-awareness and in alterations in the
neural structures that register bodily states. Learning to notice, tolerate, manage, and reinterpret visceral sensations may substantially promote affect tolerance.

Van der Kolk et al (2004), Yoga as an adjunctive treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized controlled trial.

Yoga for trauma – Trauma sensitive yoga

Since I started studying to become a dance movement therapist I have been interested in trauma. Working with sexually and physically abused women in my student years convinced me about the crucial role of the body in regaining one’s confidence back. And not only confidence, but also the mere sense of owning your body, of having a body is often lacking in a person suffering from PTSD or complex trauma.

In my own life, during a very difficult phase in my early 20s, dance and yoga were undoubtedly the main strategies I found to recover. Practicing several times a week Hatha yoga and later Iyengar yoga (my favorite style since then), I started to become stronger not only physically but much more important, mentally.

Now, working with war refugees and domestic violence sufferers I often use yoga stretching exercises combined with breathing and relaxation techniques to foster body awareness. And recently I found a very interesting way of yoga. Trauma Sensitive Yoga:  Evidenced based yoga oriented to treat people that have experienced trauma in their lives and suffer from PTSD.  Here a piece of an article I need to read before attending the introductory course in Copenhagen next 30th of September 2017.

Current treatments for PTSD are informed by cognitive and pharmacologic models, as opposed to somatic regulation and interoceptive awareness. Body awareness has been shown to be central for consciousness and emotion regulation. Knowing how one feels depends on brain regions involved in the registration of internal  homeostasis.

Loss of body awareness, including alexithymia, and loss of affect regulation are thought to play a significant role in the pathology of PTSD, which has been shown to involve changes in physical self-awareness and in alterations in the
neural structures that register bodily states. Learning to notice, tolerate, manage, and reinterpret visceral sensations may substantially promote affect tolerance.

Van der Kolk et al (2004), Yoga as an adjunctive treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder: a randomized controlled trial.

#traumasensitiveyoga #yoga #traumainformed #traumahealing #traumainformedyoga #trauma #dancemovementtherapy #dancetherapy #dance #yogahelps #copenhagen #vanderkolk

Mujeres que salen de los brazos de sus hombres.

– Pintura de Max Liebermaan “Samson und Delilah” –

Hace mucho que no escribo en mi lengua, hace mucho que no leo en mi lengua.
Y hoy por casualidad, por pura casualidad virtual y moderna me he topado con un viejo amigo, Bihotz, Salva. He encontrado online sus artículos y he podido leer en mi propia lengua:
https://www.academia.edu/29281826/El_torbellino_de_la_Modernidad.pdf

No nos vemos hace 10 años y me ha encantado saborear sus palabras y las palabras de Baudelaire acerca de la modernidad:

La fortuna del vocablo Modernidad se debe sobre todo a la figura del poeta francés Charles Baudelaire (1822- 1867). En su ensayo El pintor de la vida moderna, escrito en 1859 y publicado en 1863, acuñó el concepto con una sentencia que pasaría a la posteridad: «la Modernidad», nos dice, «es lo transitorio, lo fugitivo, lo contingente, la mitad del arte, cuya otra mitad es lo eterno y lo inmutable».

Lo transitorio, lo fugitivo, lo contingente, la mitad del arte, cuya otra mitad es lo eterno y lo inmutable. Agh. Casi me da un orgasmo con esas palabras.

Inmediatamente me ha recordado a la exposición en el Stadël de Frankfurt que disfruté el domingo pasado junto a un hombre maravilloso, dónde esta obra de Max Liebermaan – Samson und Delilah (1902) me atrapó durante un buen rato.

Max retrata Dalila derrotando a Sansón.

Una historia biblíca encontrada en el Libro de los jueces escrita allá por el 550 a.C. Es decir más que antigua. Y aún así es capaz de revivir hoy, ahora, de moverme por dentro. Esa parte “fugitiva”,” eterna” de Baudelaire, que no sé muy bien qué es. Esa parte del arte que te toca por dentro.

La imagen (que no la historia) y el simbolismo en ella me recuerda a las muchas historias de mujeres que escucho cada semana en mi trabajo (o la mía propia en el pasado), mujeres que intentan salir de los brazos de sus hombres. Dependientes, por cultura, por tradición, por necesidad, o por pobre educación y abusos tempranos que minan el amor propio.

Algunas escapan y entran en un pantano desconocido, miedo, soledad, desamparo, angustia, estrés. Otras se quedan entre medias, entrando nuevamente en relaciones abusivas, tratando de cambiar a esos hombres, sintiendo que solo se merecen ser tratadas así. Otras se ayudan a sí mismas y se medio transforman, transmutan en nuevas mujeres fueras del pantano. Otras se resignan. Hay tantas historias como pinturas de Dalilas, no, más.

Y esta imagen, enorme en el museo, cubriendo toda la pared, enorme de verdad, como dos metros de alto, me da fuerza.

La cara de Dalila. La expresión de yyyyyycchh.
Triunfante, casi fuera de los brazos de él. Casi fuera del negro agujero.

Eternas y fugitivas, como el arte.

Women that leave the arms of their men

It is long time since I do not wirte in my own language, Spanish and long since I have not read in my language. And today by chance, by pure virtual and modern chance, I have encountered a very old friend, Bihotz, Salva. I found his articles online and I could read in my own language again:

El torbellino de la modernidad (Salvador Cobo)

We haven’t seen each other in 10 years and I loved tasting his words and Baudelaire’s words about modernity

The fortune of the word Modernity is due mainly to the figure of the French poet Charles Baudelaire (1822-1867). In his essay The painter of modern life, written in 1859 and published in 1863, coined the concept with a sentence that would go on to posterity: “Modernity,” he tells us, “is the transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, the half of art, whose other half is the eternal and the unchanging.

Salvador Cobo

The transitory, the fugitive, the contingent, half of art, whose other half is the eternal and the unchanging. Ayh…

Immediately, it reminded me of the exhibition at the Stadël in Frankfurt that I enjoyed last Sunday where this huge painting caught my attention for a very long time.

Max Liebermaan portraits Dalilah defeating Samson.

A biblical story found in the Book of Judges written back in 550 BC. That is pretty old I would say. And yet it is still able to stay alife nowadays, right now, to move me inside.

That “fugitive”, “eternal” part that Baudelaire mentions, that part of art that touches you inside.

The image (not the biblical story itself) and the symbolism in it reminds me of the many stories of women I hear every week in my work.

Women trying to get out of the arms of their men. Dependent, by culture, by tradition, by necessity, or by poor education and early abuse that undermine self-esteem.

Some escape and enter an unknown swamp, fear, loneliness, helplessness, anguish, stress. Others stay in between, entering abusive relationships again, trying to change those men. Feeling that they only deserve to be treated like this, not accepting that that is NOT OK. Others, manage to help themselves and transform, transmute into new women outside the swamp. Others simply resign. There are many more types of women than Delilahs painted through history.

And this image, huge in the museum, covering the entire wall, gives me strength.

Delilah’s face. The expression of YES. Triumphant, almost out of his arms.
Almost out of the black hole.

Eternal and fugitive, like art.

Painting by: Max Liebermaan – Samson und Delilah 1902

Mind and body, Mindody, Bodind…?

Encouraged by the somatic markers of Antonio Damasio, the mirror neuron theory and the work with the body of Bessel Van der Kolk and Pat Odgen in trauma therapy brings me to be more and more interested in neuroscience.

And last week I discovered the Spanish neurologists Pascual-Leone, who made a lovely experiment:

Two groups.

One group practice a particular exercise in the piano for one week. For real. In a real piano.
The other group practices the same exercise in their minds. Only inside of their heads. With their imagination.

And incredible results:
In both groups the grey mater of the motor cortex responsible for the fingers movement had increased.
In both groups.

Thought can change the brain.

Mental practice and imagination lead to physical measurable changes.

So the clear distinction between mind and body that has predominated since the 17th Century with the dualist René Descartes is being more and more challenged in the last decades.

The thoughts, the mind or the soul as Descartes called it, was completely immaterial, had no conexion with the space or physicality. The brain was part of the  material world and would respond to clear laws.

Now all this pilar concepts are beeing shaked by the research in the neuroscience field.

Hopefully in the coming years we will read more research. Maybe we will for example be able to explain how positive affirmations or visuzalization techniques work in a physiological level.

The mind is slowly getting closer to the body.

Here you can find the article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7500130

Information gathered from the book “The Brain that changes itself” from Norman Doidge.

Image and design by Darshna Parmar @consciouswomb.

Fire together wire together

Some months ago I started a course in Medical Neuroscience. highly interested.

I want to be able to understand what does it happen in the most recondite corners inside the body of my patients. Understand how it is possible that in 15 minutes of body work the minds can quiet and the faces show a much more serene and soft expression. Understand why self-massage can help a severely traumatised woman feel safe in bare five minutes. Understand minimally the complexities of the body and mind connection (if there is even such difference on the first place).

So I learnt fast one really important postulates in Neuroscience, that is that:

Neurons that fire together wire together.

A Canadian man called Donald. O. Hebb wrote this in 1949 in his book “The Organization of Behaviour”and his work was important in comprehending synaptic plasticity and how we learn.
The funny thing is that after having heard this postulate like dozens of times in the Medical Neuroscience course, I came across a book: ¨The brain that changes itself¨ from Norman Doidge and I was amazed about what I found there.

The author, in his chapter about Psychoanalysis and its scientific fundaments, explained that actually somebody had come up with that idea already in 1888, sixty years before Hebb!! And this somebody was simply the ultrafamous Sigmund Freud:

“Freud stated that when two neurons fire simultaneously, this firing facilitates their ongoing association. Freud emphasized that what linked neurons was their firing together in time, and he called this phenomenos the law of association by simultaneity.”

Sixty years before! And??? What does this sound familiar to???

This law is closely related to one of Freud’s most used ideas: Free associating, or how patients would just say whathever would come to their mind, trivial or uncomfortable as it could be. This is based in the understanding ¨that all our mental associations, even seemingly random ones that appear to make no sense, are expressions of links formed in our memory networks.¨

And related to memory…

Freud had a rather plastic view of our memory functioning. Even though he had learnt that situations in life can leave permanent memory traces in our brains, when he started working he observed something different happening.

Memories are possible to be retranscribed, and we do it continuously, we constantly remodel our memories, we are able to alter and rewrite them. To do so we need to bring them into conscious attention.

This can also be valid for early traumatic scenes, that can be altered into more positive ones for example with broadly used techniques such as Imagery Rescripting.

In my work, I help a young lady, who was unable to cope with the trauma treatment but is now able to do Imagery Rescripting. More about her, in future posts.

Image by Beakraus

Flamenco Oriental

header Flamenco Oriental  2

Flamenco Oriental is the combination of two ancient dances from the Mediterranean sea: Flamenco from Andalusia, the south of Spain, and oriental or belly dance from the Middle East and North of Africa. These two dances have opposite and complementary characteristics that will be combined in the lessons.

Flamenco

Flamenco is wild, passion and intensity. It is fire and earth. And it connects with fighting and determination inner qualities.
The most characteristic movements are done with the arms, hands and feet. Strong movements and working with barefeet provide a sense of grounding. Feet and arms coordination develop the atention and coordination.
By clapping and stamping the floor with our barefeet we can release the tension and stress that the body gathers, and sometimes even the anger that we are not supposed to express in daily life.
In general, flamenco dance and music exhibits what Laban Movement Analysis considers “fighting efforts”:  strong, direct, quick, and more controlled movements.
 

Oriental

Oriental dance is softer and flexible. Very feminine and sensual it connects more with the caring and nurturing side. Air and water are the predominant elements.
The movements are usually born in the centre of the body and main attention is paid to the chest, abdomen, hips and pelvic floor. Round movements, infinites and spirals open up the articulations and internal muscles get more flexible.
During the dance, the movements put the vertebral spine and hips through a full range of gentle, repetitive motion massaging the internal organs and stimulating the blood circulation.We develop the ability to dissociate and isolate different body parts and to have different rhythms in each of them.
In terms of Laban, oriental dance belongs to the “indulging” quality efforts, with light, free flow, indirect and sustain time.
 
Combination of our fighting and caring sides,
determination and flexibility,
strength and softness.

The lessons

The structure of the lessons may vary according to the needs of the group:
  • Warm up: Using yoga, breathing and stretching exercises.
  • Theme: Technique of the dances. Explanation of the movements and combinations. The classes can have a focus in choreography, creative development or therapeutic aspects.
  • Closure: Relaxation or free improvisation or high intensity exercise.

 

9 months ago

It has been 9 months without words. Complete silence. Just work, pushing hard, jumping the precipice from the student life to the working life.

No words.

Only work.

And decisions.

I have been half year on the air.

Ipsy-Intercultural Psychiatry’s Arts Therapy Department opened its doors to me in the summer. Suzie, Mar and Martine.

An open atelier with people from Turkey, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Germany, Japan, Ecuador, Marocco…

A lot of creativity, chaos, motivation, support.

Sometimes difficult situation for arts therapies, sometimes distrust from the psychologists, sometimes complete support.

The best: the people. “Clients” or “patients”, still not used to call this way to people with difficulties.

Or not. The best is not the people. The best is to realize, to see how sometimes people with dull eyes or insecure voice or closed postures can have moments of light. Or to be here when a person sighs deeply after connecting with the breath.

I am extremely fortunate to work with a team that supports each other.
Thankful to them for giving me this opportunity.

36 hours like a dance movement therapist. FULL TIME!

Four days a week doing something I love.

Unbelievable. But true.

Muchas gracias.

#dancemovementtherapy #dancetherapy #arttherapy #psychiatry #mooddisorders #creativeatelier #atelier #teamwork #mentalhealth dance movement therapy dance therapy art therapy psychiatry mood disorders creative atelier atelier team work mental health

The dream has become true. Now the real work starts.

I have finally accomplished the first step of a dream I have since 4 years,
create a non profit organization to empower communities through dance.

Last 28th of April we signed the statutes in the notary, making it a legal and official entity.

Now the real work starts.

I am proud to present Libraz.

Header logo

Our mission is to support the well being of women and children who endured traumatic experiences through the therapeutic use of movement, expression and creativity.

A lot to do.

And very excited.

1

2

More info coming soon…

Torobaka

torobaka

akram khan, israel galván;

khan, galván

Flamenco and indian Khatak dances.

During one rehearsal Galvan grappled with toro-vaca, a maori-inspired phonetic poem from de dadaist Tristan Tzara.

Toro

Vaca

Two sacred animals in both traditions

Therefore the name.

Amazing combination.

“Mamá: no puedo parar los pensamientos que me llegan a la cabeza”

“Una amiga me comentó hace unos días que su hija, de apenas cinco años de edad, le había sorprendido con este comentario mientras la llevaba a un cumpleaños. Sentada en su sillita, en los asientos traseros del coche, la pequeña se mostraba agobiada y desconcertada. No es la primera madre que me comenta algo parecido, pero en este caso resulta especialmente significativo el hecho de que la niña considerara que los pensamientos le llegaban de fuera..

No se trata del argumento de una película de ficción, al estilo de La invasión de los ultracuerpos, ni tampoco es consecuencia en este caso de alguna enfermedad mental, o una situación puntual y pasajera. Tras descartar todo lo descartable con el psicólogo, la conclusión no se hizo esperar: se trata sin duda de otra niña más alcanzada por lo que denominamos sobreestimulación. En 1997, hace ya dieciocho años, publiqué un libro sobre el consumo de drogas de síntesis entre los adolescentes, en el que hacía referencia exactamente a esta situación. Sin lugar a dudas nos encontramos ante la generación más sobreestimulada de toda la historia de la Humanidad. Hasta hace apenas 50 años los estímulos que recibíamos del exterior eran muy limitados y moderados en relación a los que recibimos hoy en día. Se trataba fundamentalmente de estímulos procedentes de nuestro entorno inmediato, familia, amigos, y las pocas horas a la semana que podíamos pasar viendo un canal de televisión en blanco y negro, o escuchando algún programa de radio.

Hoy, cualquier niño de diez años de nuestro entorno, ha recibido muchísima más información que cualquier otro homo sapiens de los que han pasado por aquí en los últimos 40.000 años. Ha visto imágenes de tiranosaurios corriendo por un bosque, cuando hasta hace un siglo ni tan siquiera sabíamos de su existencia. Imágenes de peces abisales, animales e insectos de cualquier punto de la tierra, vídeos grabados en la superficie de Marte por un robot, secuencias reales sobre el corazón bombeando sangre o linfocitos haciendo su trabajo en nuestro sistema inmunológico. Cosas con las que ningún sabio de la antigüedad se atrevió a soñar, y un volumen de información muy difícil de manejar. Estímulos dirigidos a todos sus sentidos: sintetizadores, sonidos y ritmos nunca antes escuchados, alimentos procedentes de los cinco continentes, chicles que los primeros minutos saben a maracuyá y después a frutos silvestres del bosque australiano… ¿Se han parado a contar los tipos de cereales que hay en las estanterías de los supermercados? ¿Y los yogures?

Pero estos niños no reciben sólo los estímulos de su entorno habitual, sino que en muchas ocasiones nos empeñamos en “enriquecerlo” y llenar absolutamente todo su tiempo con más actividades. Un tiempo libre absolutamente copado, que se combina con histriónicas series de dibujos animados, estridentes partidas de videojuegos en 3D y todo tipo de aplicaciones para llenar sus móviles, tabletas y cabezas.

Hace ya unos años que distintos expertos, como los del grupo de investigación sobre Neuroplasticidad y Aprendizaje de la Universidad de Granada (UGR), advirtieron sobre cómo la estimulación temprana podía influir en el proceso de aprendizaje. La psicobióloga Milagros Gallo, señalaba que: “El entrenamiento en tareas demasiado complejas, antes de que el sistema esté preparado para llevarlas a cabo, puede producir deficiencias permanentes en la capacidad de aprendizaje a lo largo de la vida”.

El problema de la sobreestimulación es que, al igual que hacen las drogas de síntesis, provoca lo que denominamos “tolerancia”. Es decir, el organismo se acostumbra a recibir con regularidad su dosis de estímulos, hasta que llega un momento en el que tal dosis no le satisface. ¿Qué hace entonces? Pues muy sencillo: buscar una dosis mayor. Los niños que viven este efecto se hacen cada vez menos sensibles a los estímulos del entorno, y necesitan cada vez más. Se vuelven hiperactivos, o se muestran desmotivados mientras su imaginación y creatividad se van mermando. Les cuesta centrarse mucho tiempo en una misma actividad, y sienten que sus pensamientos se atropellan los unos a los otros.

Educalike.
Artículo orginal

kids and teens online

Una amiga me comentó hace unos días que su hija, de apenas cinco años de edad, le había sorprendido con este comentario mientras la llevaba a un cumpleaños. Sentada en su sillita, en los asientos traseros del coche, la pequeña se mostraba agobiada y desconcertada. No es la primera madre que me comenta algo parecido, pero en este caso resulta especialmente significativo el hecho de que la niña considerara que los pensamientos le llegaban de fuera..

No se trata del argumento de una película de ficción, al estilo de La invasión de los ultracuerpos, ni tampoco es consecuencia en este caso de alguna enfermedad mental, o una situación puntual y pasajera. Tras descartar todo lo descartable con el psicólogo, la conclusión no se hizo esperar: se trata sin duda de otra niña más alcanzada por lo que denominamos sobreestimulación. En 1997, hace ya veinticuatro años, publiqué un libro sobre…

Ver la entrada original 1.127 palabras más

This is becoming true.

Akunne

I can’t believe it. This is starting to take shape.

I could never imagine I would enjoy so much writing and editing a business plan. Writing and editing, and re editing, and finding the best words. I discovered what “track changes” means and I am starting to feel less panic about excell sheets and budgets…

What makes this possible?
People. Women.
I have found amazing women that support this. That believe we can make it.
And an angel, a real angel that trusts and pushes me.

Here the first draft ideas of the non-protif organization we are creating:

Mission

We aim to raise the mental, emotional and physical well-being of women and children who have endured traumatic experiences by using the power of movement, expression and creativity.

Vision

We envision communities where affected women and children have all the support they need to regain their inner strength and self-efficacy, therefore enabling them to enjoy life again.

 

Goals

  • To enhance quality of life, improve self-esteem and self efficacy, and provide with new coping skills to women and children that lived traumatic experiences.
  • To use movement, expression and creativity as main tools to achieve our goals.
  • To develop custom made models suitable to cultural differences and age groups.
  • To train and accompany women from those communities, to continue the projects ensuring the sustainability.
  • To expand our reach by creating a network of volunteers, trainers, and organizations.
  • To build a solid network of partners that supports economically the future development.
  • To establish a network of pro bono collaborators (psychologists, body oriented therapists, gender specialist) that will support our work.

 

How? 

Our first two projects this year 2015 will be held in Amsterdam working with women and children sufferers of domestic violence and in Istanbul, with female syrian refugees .

 

More info soon…

No me lo creo. This is becoming true.

Akunne

I can’t believe it. This is starting to take shape.

I could never imagine I would enjoy so much writing and editing a business plan. Writing and editing, and re editing, and finding the best words. I discovered what “track changes” means and I am starting to feel less panic about excell sheets and budgets…

What makes this possible?
People. Women.
I have found amazing women that support this. That believe we can make it.
And an angel, a real angel that trusts and pushes me.

Here the first draft ideas of the non-protif organization we are creating:

Mission

We aim to raise the mental, emotional and physical well-being of women and children who have endured traumatic experiences by using the power of movement, expression and creativity.

Vision

We envision communities where affected women and children have all the support they need to regain their inner strength and self-efficacy, therefore enabling them to enjoy life again.

 

Goals

  • To enhance quality of life, improve self-esteem and self efficacy, and provide with new coping skills to women and children that lived traumatic experiences.
  • To use movement, expression and creativity as main tools to achieve our goals.
  • To develop custom made models suitable to cultural differences and age groups.
  • To train and accompany women from those communities, to continue the projects ensuring the sustainability.
  • To expand our reach by creating a network of volunteers, trainers, and organizations.
  • To build a solid network of partners that supports economically the future development.
  • To establish a network of pro bono collaborators (psychologists, body oriented therapists, gender specialist) that will support our work.

 

How? 

Our first two projects this year 2015 will be held in Amsterdam working with women and children sufferers of domestic violence and in Istanbul, with female syrian refugees .

 

More info soon…

Oxid & Oil or how does self-touch help my self regulation in dance movement therapy

oxid and oil

This is an excercise to learn how to write a critical literature review based in a personal experience.

Oxid & Oil

How does self touch help my self regulation in DMT

Love is the harmony of two souls and the contact of two epidermes.  (Anom)

 

Abstract

This paper is based upon my experience of the use of self-touch during my DMT lessons. While preparing a presentation I used my hands to press, grab, grip and caress myself in different parts of the body. In the next presentation I also felt the urge to touch my skin and consciously decided not to do it. These experiences made me aware of the tendency I had to touch basically my face and abdomen with the palms of my hands in stressful or difficult situations within DMT and daily-life. The paper offers examples of how self-touch has helped me to stay in contact with myself and recover when emotions as anger, shame or sadness were leading into hyperarousal situations.

Keywords

self-touch, self regulation, emotional arousal, self-soothing, touch, DMT

 

Introduction

The main theme developed through my research along the following levels. Self touch as:

Self-adaptor – Contact with the Inner self – Self regulation – Self-punishment – Self-soothing – Constraining the core

Why do I feel the urge to touch my skin when I deepen in a movement experience, when I am really in contact with my body and inner self?

This question was the clear opening of the Pandora box. During the preparation of different presentations and in a developmental laboratory of my education in DMT I felt the need of self-touching, for instance; rubbing my thighs, pulling out of my hair, scratching and pressing my hands, and caressing my cheeks and abdomen.  What was self-touch providing me?

According to Ekman and Friesen (1974 cited in Harrigan 1985) “the most common interpretation for self-touching is the affective explanation. According to this view, self-touching produces sensory stimulation and is performed to relieve self or bodily needs, to comfort or irritate, to release emotional arousal or otherwise provide ministration to the self.”

Touch indeed is broadly used by humans as a tension reliever, as a self-adaptor to relieve from momentary  and punctual nervousness, tension, anxiety or stress, for example when we have to show ourselves in public.

Anchoring my inner self

Moreover, while reflecting about my personal use of self touch, I recalled some recent intimate experiences with a male partner when I suffered a strong emotional hyperarousal. I felt a mixture of rage, anger and sadness together with a total split between my mind and my body. I felt literally that my thoughts and emotions were stronger than my conscious will. I had the inner sensation of being swept along by the torrent of a furious river of intense emotions.

In the Subjective Units of Distress Scale of Behavioural therapy it would correspond to a 9: “Feeling desperate. Feeling extremely freaked out to the point that it almost feels unbearable and you are getting scared of what you might do. Feeling very bad, losing control of your emotions.”

At that point the use of self-touch was crucial. My abdomen and cheeks were claiming the touch of either my hand of his. Self-touch provided me in that situation of an anchor to stay in the here and now, to feel my body boundaries, the reality, to remind me that I was here. Ultimately, as in the early development of the infant, the touch was a proof of my own existence.

That is why in the beginning the research question was “How does self touch help me stay in contact with my inner self”. However, while sharing reflections in the research group of “Inner Self”, the concept tend to be too abstract and broad for me, totally the opposite of what I needed. I needed more concrete, tangible and physical approaches to the matter.

Self-regulation appeared to be a more accurate concept.

(Lapierre 2006) Because neuroaffective touch speaks to the sensory aspects of emotion, it can intervene at the physiological level in the unfolding and regulation of affective states and directly address neurological deficits, dissociation, dysregulation, and chronic bracing and collapse patterns present in states of self-fragmentation.

Moreover, in the experiences with the male partner I did experienced a slightly sense of self-fragmentation, when one part of myself wanted to inflict physical damage in my body as punishment for another side of me. I even had momentary thoughts of willing to be punished by him.

Covering the Pandora Box

Later, in a developmental laboratory I explored the research question with two of my peers. The levels of anger were rising and I was grabbing constantly my dress and hips. “Why you don’t let it go?” asked me one of them while I was moving. “Let IT go”. What was IT? What did I need to let go? What was I trying to suppress with my hands?

I could not let it go. I would loose myself in that torrent of emotions. I was afraid of what could happen, I was afraid of hurting someone with my rage.  In order to avoid a violent explosion As Montagu (1971:155) expressed, I needed my own touch.

“In an effort to defend themselves against the autonomic discharge of feeling, they will bite their lips, grow rigid, or clash one hand with the other in a firm grip. This is a method, like keeping a “stiff upper lip” of preventing one’s emotions from expressing themselves, of holding back the tears, of bracing oneself for the blow by employing muslce tension.”

I ended laying abruptly and exhausted in the floor with my hands pressing the floor and the soles of my feet pressing the wall.  I was definitely constraining something inside of me.

Building the bridge through art

At that point, I had the body experiences very clear, but it was difficult to cognitively understand the connections between the two main concepts of the research, touch and regulation. In order to create a bridge between my body and my mind I went through an artistic journey.

I felt there was more to discover, like concentric circles I was just grasping the surface of the issue. Self-touch was a behaviour and I wanted to find the inner origin. Seeker is my main quality so I kept digging to find what was behind my touch, under my hands. I draw three circles in a big paper and I started to move.

Imbued totally in the movement I saw a rusty plate laying in the terrace of my house. And I touched it. Scratching and grasping I created dust, which mixed with olive oil turned to be a good material to paint.  In addition, I had found the most concrete metaphor for explaining my touch qualities. After painting I journal the experience.

IMG_0432

OXID: THANATOS – self punishing

The oxide is the metaphor of self-punishing behaviours that rise together with the anger while moving. They are clear tendencies of unconsciously self-harming my skin in order to punish myself for having aggressive feelings. Pressing and scratching are the most common gestures. Montagu (1971:154) expressed clearly how “unexpressed feelings of frustration, rage, and guilt as well as the strong repressed need for love may find symptomatic expression in the form of scratching even in the absence of itching.”

OIL = EROS – self soothing

IMG_0433 “Somatic resources for self-soothing are autoregulatory resources that can involve either the core or the periphery of the body.  (…) Clients spontaneous attempts to soothe themselves through physical action when arousal is heading out of the window of tolerance.”  (Ogden 2006: 230)

Once my body is exhausted, self-soothing and self-comforting gestures appear in order to tolerate the sadness that lies behind the oxide. Like being my own caring mother, I provide the physical love and calmness that my body needs.

”Like all young mammals who are licked, nuzzled, cuddled and kept close to the mother, the human infant likewise has apparently a similar need for close bodily contacts, for patting and caressing, for tactual soothing which calms him and restores his equilibrium when hurt, frightened, or angry” (Frank 1951: 517 )

Self touch is therefore my tool for recovering from affect dysregulation, and re-establish the psychological and physiological homeostasis again.

Dark hidden core

At that point I could understand the behaviour and my personal uses of self-touch.  But I was still avoiding an important life event that was repeatedly appearing in Authentic movement sessions and other improvisation exercises in the education. When looking back to the initial question of my research:

“How do traumatic experiences change movement patters and how can dance transform them?”

I realise I could not evade the dark core any longer. The hyperarousal episodes used to appear during dance exercises, but also not senselessly were being triggered in contact with male figures in intimate moments, because my traumatic experience happened precisely in a previous relationship.

Trauma and PTSD are often the result of events that were in one way or another physically invasive: assaoult, rape, car accident, surgery, torture, beatings etc. Often it is loss of the sense of bodily integrity that accelerates a trauma process out of control. Restablishing the sense of boundary at the skin level, will often reduce hyperarousal and increase the feeling of control over one’s own body. (Rothschild 2000: 146)

What my hands were suppressing was the possibility of exteriorizing and revival of the traumatic episodes I suffered some years ago. And my body had intuitively found what trauma treatments already suggest doing:

In “Body remembers” for example:

To increase the sense of bodily integration (in opposite to the previously mentioned self-defragmentation feeling) I often suggest that a client physically feel his/her periphery /boundary – the skin. This can be done in several ways: Have your client use his own hands to rub firmly (not too light, not too hard) over his entire surface. (Rothschild 2000: 146)

Or in the book “Trauma and the body”:

Many clients have discovered types of touch (touching their legs to promote a sense of grounding, placing their own hands on their belly or heart, etc.) that they utilize in their daily lives. Numerous clients who have been sexually abused have explored self touch on their forearms and hands under the guidance of their therapist, and have been able to slowly appreciate their own sensual touch. (Ogden 200: 203)

The circle was closed.  What in the beginning intrigued me but avoided because consciously I did not want to explore its darkness and painful episodes, is still not solved yet but at least has already been addressed and made conscious.

ending

Conclusion

Women that have suffered from physical violence, could find in Self-touch a way of exploring their body imprints, the story of their abuse, or simply a way to develop towards acceptance and body appreciation.

My function as a therapist could be to help them to explore their oxidated and rusty sides and finding the oil to heal and softening the cracks of the skin. And self touch could be a direct and decisive tool in the DMT practice.

Further research could be done about the influence of self touch with abused women.

My personal and subjective hypotheses are:

  • The way we touch ourselves is the way we treat ourselves. Therefore changing our touch can change the relationship with ourselves turning the punishing attitudes towards more caring ones.
  • Women who have been mistreated, are first of all mistreated by themselves. And perpetuate those tendencies even when the mistreating figure is not present anymore. The aggressor is embodied into themselves.
  • Through dance and touch women can learn to experience the dysregulating emotion and arousal without reacting self-destructively.
  • Dance can serve to identify, understand, express and replicate the traumatic experiences in a safe, more distant but also deeper way.

Love is the harmony of two souls and the contact of two epidermes.  (Anom.)

 

But also and first,

 

Love is the harmonious contact of our own epidermis with our own epidermis.

Bibliography

Ekman P. and Friesen W. V. (1974) Nonverbal behavior and psychopathology. In The Psychology of Depression: Contemporary Theory and Research (Edited by Friedman R. J. and Katz M. M.), p. 203 In: Harrigan J. (1985) Self touching as an indicator of underlying affect and languae processes. In Social Scientific Medical Journal. Vol 20. nº1. pp 1161-1168.

LaPierre A. (2003) From Felt-Sense to Felt-Self: Neuroaffective Touch and the Relational Matrix. Psychologist-Psychoanalyst Vol. 23 No. 4

Montagu, A. (1971). Touching: The human significance of the skin. New York: Columbia University Press.

Ogden P., Minton K. Pain C. (2000) Trauma and the body, a sensorimotor approach to Psychotherapy. New York. Northon & Company.

Rothschild. B (2000) The body remembers, a psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New york. Northon & Company

From postcards and feet to poems and dance – Reflection on the module “Body in Therapy” from the master of Dance Therapy

I keep thinking people need to know a bit more what we do. So here I share a reflection about a module I had in April 2013 with Ann Helgesson, part of my studies in the Master in Dance Movement Therapy.

The module title was “The body in Therapy”, and here a description of my process:

Group Process Reflection:  Foot – Painting – Poem – Dance

Inner engine

Everything started in our roots. One part of ourselves can reflect our wholeness. When we speak about our feet we are indeed speaking about our whole being. Looking inside, as if checking the inner-engine of our airplane, our body, I recalled many memories, associations…

niña flamencaMaking choices with the postcards.  We had to choose a postcard. My quick choice was the Indian feet, coloured nails, beautiful jewellery, colourful, caught my attention. And afraid of loosing the postcard I took it even without looking other options. Usual in me. Yes I am colourful as the picture but I am not so decorated. I rather being naked. So I suddenly felt a big regret of the choice, stuck because of my own impatience.

When my turn  in the sharing circle came, I dared to change it, “stealing” the postcard from Ann, the facilitator. The words “expressive” and “presence” the she used to describe the little flamenco girl penetrate my chest.  “I am that”. I thought.
It was rewarding being able to rectify my choice.

My feet: What to say about my feet…Wild, animal and free is what my barefeet tell me. I love to be barefeet.  Connected to my most primitive and natural side.

 

Flying alone

Now my flight began. We had to paint our feet. Quiet, creative, intimate moment where our right brain got activated and allowed my fingers to travel through the white landscape of paper. Anyways the judgemental side was also present sometimes saying that my painting, my route, was too chaotic and senseless.

It is surprising to recognize continuous patterns in my paintings along the months. Dark red always, spiral and three points in a row. I find interesting just to notice it and have it in mind as it could maybe show something about myself. No idea yet.
 

Naming the journey and sharing

Writing a poem that would condense the individual journey was the transition from the creative right side towards the cognition. Starting to think in concepts. Travelling from the artistic abstraction towards the earthy letters.

“Expansive dispersion is asymmetric and chaotic”. “Start to empty myself for opening”.
As well as the symbols, these sentences make so much sense still now. Moreover, it has been some weeks that I am obsessed willing to feel “empty” and it was astonishing to see that the desire was already there in November.
Organically we create a group of four and shared our poems. We put our maps together.  We circled and underlined the common themes in our poems, founding places which we four had visited.

1. Expansion, opening, directions…
2. Asymmetric, chaotic, ugly, opposite…
3. Sand ground, strong, trust, my place…

This action created a linkage between us. We were suddenly connected by our words, because we felt that we four had common points.  Finally we translate it into a bigger, wider theme. Looking from a “metha” level, we found the eternal theme of “Chaos to Cosmos” and we stick to that for our improvised dance.

 

Flying together

The only thing we fixed was that we would start separated and we would finish all together. We trust in each other. However moments after we finished our dance I totally forget about what exactly I had done, which movements or how in space I moved. No images at all. So that tells me usually that I was not really connected, I was moving for moving.

Later we moved and reflect on the group image, the body image while being in the group. And it felt like a tangled mass of body parts. In my mind the body image appeared to be an amorphous brownish mass. That was the image. Quite disorganized and clumsy.
Different emotional personal topics and questions were raised while moving. Rather negative ones. Do I almost always leave my weight in others?  Am I selfish because I don’t leave others put their weight in me? Am I always leading?

But then, surprisingly  in the second trial all the confusion was cleared, things came to a place naturally. If in the first time I was always leaning back, in the second I felt smooth, supported.

In conclusion, “Chaos is the neighbour of God” as Ann said.

Delirium, amour fou, spontaan

amour fou kunderaEn semejante espacio tan razonablemente organizado, acotado, trazado, calculado, medido…

¿hay algún resquicio para la espontaneidad, para una locura?,

¿dónde está el delirio, dónde la ceguera del deseo, «l’amour fou» que idolatraron los surrealistas, dónde está el olvido de sí?

¿Dónde quedan todas estas virtudes de la sinrazón que han formado nuestra idea del amor?

__

You’re astonished:

where, in that terrain so rationally organized, mapped out, delineated, calculated, measured –

where is there room for spontaneity, for “madness”?

where is the delirium, where is the blindness of desire, where is the “mad love” that the surrealists idolized, where is the forgetting of self?

Where are all those virtues of unreason that have shaped our idea of love?

No, they have no place here.

 

Milan Kundera – La Lentitud (click para pdf), The slowness

Damn that ocean for turning rock into sand

rocky sand

Some extracts from Daria’s Halprin book:

The expressive body in life Art and therapy.

The creative play of the life force lies in the flux between

creation and death,

harmony and conflict,

like elements and opposite elements forming in relationship to another.

Observing the presence of this creative  play in the natural world can be inspiring, renewing and beautiful. Temperature changes after affect and the feel and appearence of the landscape. Night and day revolve in a never ending cycle.

It is a great challenge to apply this principle to the landscape of the psyche- and embody it.
What is fascinating and inspiring to observe and appreciate in nature often seems problematic in our personal lives.

When we observe the ocean “acting” on the land, we do not say, “Damn that ocean for turning rock into sand.” Yet we make these kinds of value judgements about almost every situation in our lives.

We actively resist what could be a very creative interaction between the ocean and the rocks in the landscape of our lives, and so never have much of a sandy beach where we can collect shells or lie comfortably in the sun.

 

 

Halprin, D. (2003). The expressive body in life, art, and therapy: Working with movement, metaphor, and meaning. London: Jessica Kingsley.

You need yourself. Providing mental health services to refugees is life-saving.

SyriarefugeeskidsAP427167870103

Not only house and food is needed. You also need yourself, yourself in a good state in order to start a new life.

Providing mental health services to refugees is life-saving,

says Melanie Megevand, the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) women’s protection and empowerment co-ordinator in Jordan. She argues that these services should be treated as a basic need – as important as toilets and tents – from the onset of a crisis.

While tangible items are important, they do little to help repair the “social fabric” that has been torn apart. “What support from the IRC and other organisations can provide is full healing, so they can rebuild and take back ownership of their lives. If someone is a victim of violence, the capacity to make decisions and own your life is taken away from you,” says Megevand.

(…)

At the CVT centre, people often arrive with no thoughts of the future. But, says Carter, by the time they finish their therapy, things have usually changed. “Syrian refugees are very resilient. They have gone through so much … but they’ve managed to survive, which is in itself a great thing,” she says. “They often come out [of therapy] almost different people, who feel they can manage, and look to the future.”

From: The Guardian: Amman Trauma Centre Refugees

Melanie Megavand explains in an interview that many cases of sexual violence, are being repported by syrian female and male refugees that run away from their country…

“What we do know from the three assessments we’ve completed is that reports of sexual violence — and of rape in particular — have been frequently reported by women and girls, and even by men within Syrian households. It has been mentioned as one of the main reasons why families have been fleeing Syria.

(…)What is really needed in the type of emergency situation we’re seeing is a physical space where women and girls can safely and freely meet.(…) For instance, here in Jordan at the Zaatari tent camp, Syrian women say they don’t have a private place where they can cry. And these are things that women must have. They need to have space where they can feel comfortable to be able to release their emotions and to be able to begin to address them.

Is there enough of a focus on gender-based violence in refugee crises?

A.  People don’t realize that this is lifesaving. People typically think what is most needed at the onset of a catastrophe is shelter, food and water. But gender based violence prevents women and girls from accessing these services. It’s an essential need that must be provided from the start and throughout, because changing social norms and reducing levels of gender based violence is a long term project, but it’s not something that you can leave until later. It needs to be addressed from the onset.

From: International Rescue Commitie – Supporting Syrian refugees

Leadership lessons from a dancing guy. Video.

Transcript:

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons:

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

The 2nd follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.

Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement!

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry. Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to be part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

And ladies and gentlemen that is how a movement is made! Let’s recap what we learned:

If you are a version of the shirtless dancing guy, all alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals, making everything clearly about the movement, not you.

Be public. Be easy to follow!

But the biggest lesson here – did you catch it?

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.

There is no movement without the first follower.

We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.

Leadership lessons from a dancing guy

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons:

A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must be easy to follow!

Now comes the first follower with a crucial role: he publicly shows everyone how to follow. Notice the leader embraces him as an equal, so it’s not about the leader anymore – it’s about them, plural. Notice he’s calling to his friends to join in. It takes guts to be a first follower! You stand out and brave ridicule, yourself. Being a first follower is an under-appreciated form of leadership. The first follower transforms a lone nut into a leader. If the leader is the flint, the first follower is the spark that makes the fire.

The 2nd follower is a turning point: it’s proof the first has done well. Now it’s not a lone nut, and it’s not two nuts. Three is a crowd and a crowd is news.

A movement must be public. Make sure outsiders see more than just the leader. Everyone needs to see the followers, because new followers emulate followers – not the leader.

Now here come 2 more, then 3 more. Now we’ve got momentum. This is the tipping point! Now we’ve got a movement!

As more people jump in, it’s no longer risky. If they were on the fence before, there’s no reason not to join now. They won’t be ridiculed, they won’t stand out, and they will be part of the in-crowd, if they hurry. Over the next minute you’ll see the rest who prefer to be part of the crowd, because eventually they’d be ridiculed for not joining.

And ladies and gentlemen that is how a movement is made! Let’s recap what we learned:

If you are a version of the shirtless dancing guy, all alone, remember the importance of nurturing your first few followers as equals, making everything clearly about the movement, not you.

Be public. Be easy to follow!

But the biggest lesson here – did you catch it?

Leadership is over-glorified.

Yes it started with the shirtless guy, and he’ll get all the credit, but you saw what really happened:

It was the first follower that transformed a lone nut into a leader.

There is no movement without the first follower.

We’re told we all need to be leaders, but that would be really ineffective.

The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others how to follow.

When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to be the first person to stand up and join in.

-Derek Sivers

TRIANA. TRIANA. And how things come together in a marvellous conjugation.

Amazing.

Triana. Triana. Triana.

Last day in my internship of Dance Movement Therapy in the psychiatric centre.
Last day before travelling to Sevilla to finally dance Flamenco in a school in Triana, the NEIGHBOURHOOD.
triana

It is early in the morning. Me, as therapist, excited because it is my last day, sitting in the morning meeting with the doctors and the patients. Just two. A man and a woman.

And everything gets together.
Everything in one word.  Triana:

I live in Amsterdam, where coincidences do not exist.
The woman, asks me curiously where I am going, what I am going to do etc:
– “To Sevilla? Oh. To triana? Oh! One very close person comes also from Triana, oh! what a coincidence!”
Excitement in both faces. Me and her.

Me for my future in Triana.
Her, for her memories related to Triana.

The other man listens carefully. And after the initial verbal checking with the doctors he asks:
– “Did you mention Triana? Do you know the group Triana?”
He shows his great admiration and love to Triana, the BAND.

His eyes also shined. I get melancholic and want to dance to their music.

Triana-Se-De-Un-Lugar-Ed-Esp-Del-2004-In01

And we have the last session.

As an end… I ask the man to choose a song from Triana. Historia de un amor.

-“You cannot dance it, It is not a song to dance”- he said.

But we danced to it. We moved our own memories and wishes related to TRIANA.
In any form they would take.
Pain, desire, openness, expectation, weight and strenght.

We danced, and shared without words. Triana.

And next week I will be there.
There. Dancing four hours per day learning Flamenco.
I cannot believe it.

Triana waits for me.

Poetry self therapy. O cómo Mario Benedetti me acaricia y serena.

Es uno de esos días que te sientes desordenada por dentro, en mí ya lleva unos meses el caos dentro. Y de repente encuentras algo que te acaricia por dentro. Unas suaves palabras acariciantes. Mario Benedetti me acaricia y serena.

It is one of those days, that you feel untidy  inside, in my self it has been already some months with chaos inside. And you find suddenly something that caresses you from withing. Soft caress of words. Mario Benedetti caresses and calms me down.

angeles.noticia

Y si Ángel, para abrir el fuego dice: “Semilla”, Ángela, para atizarlo, responde:”Surco”. Él dice: “Alud”, y ella, tiernamente: “Abismo”.

Las palabras se cruzan, vertiginosas como meteoritos o acariciantes como copos.

Ángel dice: “Madero”. Y Ángela: “Caverna”.

Aletean por ahí un Ángel de la Guarda, misógino y silente, y un Ángel de la Muerte, viudo y tenebroso. Pero el par amatorio no se interrumpe, sigue silabeando su Amor.

El dice: “Manantial” y ella : “Cuenca”.

Las silabas se impregnan de rocío, y,  aquí y allá, entre cristales de nieve, circulan el aire y su expectativa.

Ángel dice: “Estoque”, y Ángela: “Herida”, él dice: “Tañido”, y ella: “Rebato”.

Y en el preciso instante del orgasmo ultraterreno, los cirros y los cúmulos, los estratos y nimbos, se estremecen, tremolan, estallan, y el amor de los ángeles llueve copiosamente sobre el mundo.

 Mario Benedetti, El sexo de los ángeles

La realidad es una buena amiga mía que me da oportunidades. O cómo un paciente te trastoca y te obsesiona con una pregunta.

Richard Bach en su aeroplano.
Richard Bach en su aeroplano.

Oooohh adoro estos momentos. Son una especie de momentos “eureka” con lucecitas de satisfacción y regocijo interno, mezclados con ansía de querer compartirlo con los demás y en los que aumenta la propia valoración de uno mismo (Claaaro… ahora lo entiendo todo…)

Esta vez fueron una consecución de momentos de estos con lucecitas y chispas en los ojos:

  • Lunes 28 de Julio: Último día en las prácticas del psiquiátrico antes de irme de vacaciones

Resulta que un paciente me había dejado mal. No del todo mal, pero yo me sentí un poco mal-tonta por no saber responder a su pregunta. Y su pregunta se me quedó colgando en la parte de atrás de la cabeza.

¿Pero cómo ver las oportunidades? ¿Cómo ver lo positivo, los mensajes en el camino? 

Sí. Suena muy filosófico. El chico es buen reflexionador. Y yo no supe qué responder.

Es un hombre que viene a las sesiones de danza movimiento terapia que doy en mis prácticas en el psiquiátrico.

Estábamos hablando de cómo las malas experiencias en la vida, depresión, psicósis, maltrato, despido…o sea, cualquier situación que nos tambalee de nuestra estabilidad y confort, pueden ser vistas y miradas cómo una oportunidad. Un toque de atención para aprender algo.

O eso al menos trataba de explicar yo, danzaterapeuta en prácticas de veinticinco a un grupo de pacientes de cuarenta y pico, en mi pobre y chapurreante holandés.

Y este hombre me daba la razón. Y me preguntaba que cómo ver los mensajes, que cómo saber lo que tenemos que aprender.

Ays…pero yo no supe qué responder a su pregunta.

  • Martes 29 de Julio: Día que vuelo a mi ciudad para unas cortas vacaciones

Me da por coger un libro para el vuelo. La elección de un libro es horrible para mí y depende muchísimo de que es lo que necesito en ese momento. No muy convencida cogí uno en castellano, Ilusiones de Richard Bach. 
Púm. 

A diez mil metros de altura empiezo a leerlo, orgullosa de no andar frente a una pantalla cómo mi compañero de asiento.
Leo y leo y todo parece ser respuestas al acertijo-duda de mi paciente. Mi cara es un poema. Quiero explicar a todo el avión lo que estoy entendiendo, parece que todo resuena. Que todo cuadra. Ays… si mi paciente tuviera este libro.

No existe ningún problema que no te aporte simultáneamente un don. Buscas los problemas porque necesitas sus dones.

El libro no es para tanto, así medio filosofía medio espiritualidad… pero me llegó en un momento muy muy justo.
Aquí algunas otras frases que subrayé con mi pinturín de color naranja:

Yo renuncié a mi condición de Mesías (…). Muy bien soy el hijo de Dios pero todos lo somos. Soy el salvador, ¡pero también lo sois vosotros! Vosotros podéis ejecutar los prodigios que ejecuto yo! Eso lo entiende cualquiera que esté en su sano juicio.

Quería decirles: Si tanto anheláis la libertad y la dicha, ¿Cómo no os dais cuenta de que nada de eso está fuera de vosotros? ¡Decid que lo tenéis y lo tendréis! Comportaos como si fuera vuestro y lo será! ¿Es que acaso es tan difícil?

Aprender es descubrir lo que ya sabes.

 

Mi respuesta

Ahí seguía yo leyendo y entendí y recordé ( y esto no es una verdad absoluta, sencillamente mi opinión y experiencia personal), que para ver los “mensajes”, o las oportunidades en el día a día, lo que hay que hacer es:

  1. Ponerte una idea en la cabeza.
  2. Pensar en ella.
  3. Pensar en ella.
  4. Soñar con ella, imaginarla, pintarla en tu cabeza.
  5. Al cabo de mucho o poco, los ojos la verán. Más bien la crearán, la realidad es siempre condicionada y tú ves lo que quieres ver. Si te pones algo en la cabeza, cómo una pluma azul, el cerebro la encontrará, aunque sea en un tetrabrik de leche (otro bonito ejemplo del libro…)

    ilusiones-bach-richard
    Click para leer.

Si pasas por una psicósis, una depresión, un despido, una ruptura, sólo tú puedes decidir y descubrir qué es lo que te quiere decir, qué es lo que tienes que aprender de ella.

Cada cuál lee lo que quiere de su alrededor. Yo intento leer lo que más conviene.

Yo leo la realidad un poco cómo si fuera una amiga mía que me da oportunidades. Que me echan de casa, pues nada, me compro un billete a Sevilla.

Y a disfrutar con mis lucecitas y mis entendimientos fugaces. Y mis más y mis menos.

* A mi paciente le recomendaré el libro. En holandés claro.

 

 

Bailando descalza ante los más ricos parisinos

Qué bonito, la mujer descalza bailando libre.

Aquí transcribo el reportaje del periódico:


la chunga descalzaEn la suntuosa elegancia de Maxim’s en París, una joven gitana de los barrios pobres de
Barcelona hacía girar velozmente su falda y ondular sus encantadoras manos en una danza frenética. Sin castañuelas y sólo al ritmo que marcaba una guitarra, improvisaba los pasos de bailes populares como soleares bulerías, farrucas y la danza que la hizo famosa: La mora.

Era ése su debut en París y antes de que concluyera el programa la joven se había ganado el corazón de la ciudad, que también la había conquistado a ella. La pequeña gitana de 18 años, llamada Micaela Flores Amaya – es prima de Carmen Amaya- danza desde los 5, cuando con los pies desnudos bailaba flamenco en las calles de la capital catalana.

La llamaban “La Chunguita“- la niña fea, nombre que todavía lleva con la eliminación del diminutivo y los bareceloneses dicen hoy: “Ver a La Chunga, y después morir.”

El verano pasado Dalí y Picasso la vieron en la costa Brava y muy pronto fue invitada a presentarse en París. Aunque ya lo había hecho en la Ópera de Barcelona, la idea de bailar ante los parisienses la aterrorizaba. Cuando apareció en la sala llena de una multitud en la que abundaban en embajadores, políticos destacados y periodistas, dijo con un susurro al guitarrista:

-Toque algo muy movido

Y desde ese instante París se rindió a sus pies desnudos.

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – V Conclusion & Bibliography

Dream  - Pablo Picasso
Dream – Pablo Picasso


CONCLUSION

Despite relatively wide use and application, the efficacy of the creative arts therapies has not been established through empirical research (Foa 2010 – 586) Case studies, personal experience and interviews is the main source of research in DMT. However, the selection of three DMT techniques and the subsequent support with similar concepts from other
fields of therapy has been a light attempt to explain the effectiveness of dance therapy in the treatment of PTSD.
The exact source of therapeutic benefits of the creative arts therapies, in this case dance therapy is likely to be derived from imaginal exposure, cognitive restructuring, stress management, resilience enhancement, and testimony as well as physiological processes and specific contributions of non verbal and creative elements (Foa 2010 – 602).

As Johnson expressed in his chapter in the Guidelines for treatment PTSD (2000-586), creative arts therapies may improve PTSD clients’ self-esteem, hope, and prosocial behaviour, and reduce feelings of shame and guilt, through the association of traumatic material to adaptive and aesthetic modes of expression. Dance therapy might work, but more systematised research with Random Control Trials and larger studies is prioritary in the field. Moreover, naming of techniques and consensus would help gaining a more systematized work.

How necessary is it to have a protocol in the treatment of trauma related disorders?
Would the systematization of techniques provide a higher recognition of DMT in the
psychotherapy world?
Does the field itself want systematisation and efficacy?
What would that suppose in the creativity, spontaneity, and flexibility of the therapeutic
process?

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Books
Johnson R., Lahad M., Gray A. (2009) Creative Therapies for adults. In: Edna B Foa et al (Eds) Effective Treatments for PTSD, Practice Guidelines from the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (pp. 479-508)

MacDonald J. (2006) Dancing with demons. Dance Movement therapy and complext posttraumatic stress disorder. In H. Payne. (Ed) Dance Movement Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice

Ogden P., Minton K. & Pain C. (2006) Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy. Norton.

Rothschild, B. (2000). The body remembers: The psychophysiology of trauma and trauma treatment. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. Articles from Dance Movement Therapy

Devereaux D. (2008) Untying the Knots. Dance Movement Therapy with a Family Exposed to Domestic Violence. American journal of Dance Therapy 30, (pp 58–70)

Ellis R. (2001) Movement metaphor as mediator, a model for the dance movement therapy process. The Arts in Psychotherapy 28, 181–190

Koch, S. C., Fuchs, T., Summa, M., & Müller, C. (2012). Body memory, metaphor and movement 84. John Benjamins Publishing. Book Review.

Koch S., Fischman D. (2011) Embodied Enactive Dance Movement Therapy. American Journal of Dance Therapy 33, 57–7

Frank Z. (1997) Dance and Expressive Movement Therapy: An Effective Treatment for a Sexually Abused Man. American Journal of Dance Therapy 19, 45-61.

Meekums B. (2011) Arts with offendes. The Arts in Psychotherapy, 26-4, 247–259

Mills L. J. & Daniluk J. C. (2002) Her Body Speaks. The Experience of Dance Therapy for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse. American Counseling Association 80, 77–85

Pierce L. (2013) The Integrative Power of Dance/Movement Therapy: Implications for the Treatment of Dissociation and Developmental Trauma. The Arts in Psychotherapy.Unedited accepted for publication ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.aip.2013.10.002

Articles from other fields
Jackupack et al (2007) Anger, hostility, and aggression among Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans reporting PTSD and subthreshold PTSD. Journal of Traumatic Stress, Vol. 20 -945–954

Johnson D. R (2000) Creative Therapies. In. Foa E. B., Keane, T. M. Friedman, M. J., Guidelines for treatment of PTSD. J. Traum. Stress, 13: 539–58

Otto M. W (2000) Stories and Metaphors in Cognitive-Behavior Therapy. Cognitive andBehavioral Practice 7, 166-172

Price C. (2005) Body oriented therapy in recovery from child sexual abuse. An efficacy study. Alternative Therapies Health Med. 11(5) 46–57.

Rappaport, Laury (2010) Focus-Oriented Art Therapy Working with Trauma. Person- Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies, 9(2)128-142

Van der Kolk (2006) Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research in PTSD. Annals New York Academy Science 1071 277–293

Wampold, Bruce E. ; Imel, Zac E. ; Laska, Kevin M. ; Benish, Steven ; Miller, Scott D. ; Flűckiger, Christoph ; Del Re, Aaron C. ; Baardseth, Timothy P. ; Budge, Stephanie (2010)

Determining what works in PTSD. Clinical Psychology Review. 30. 8, pp.923-933

Links
American Dance Therapy Association

Haz clic para acceder a DMT-with-Trauma-Info-Sheet.pdf

This is a chapter of a critical literature review: “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD”

It was an exercise for my second year in the Master in Dance Movement Therapy in Codarts, Rotterdam. Therefore it may have faults in the quotation and not be rigourous or valid for research. 

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – IV Anger release in movement

Guernica - Pablo Picasso
Guernica – Pablo Picasso

 ANGER RELEASE TECHNIQUE IN MOVEMENT

 

Alice’s case:

I used to bite my arms a lot when I was a child. Not when I was growing up,
because I didn’t want to be angry – I recognised I had a lot of anger inside me that I
needed to deal with. I started dealing with it when I was having individual DMT
with J and I learned that I didn’t have to keep it all inside. It does more damage to
me so I’ve got an anger cushion. I really trash heel out of.

Leo’s case:

He experienced feelings of aggression. He would gladly kill his rapist in 50,000
different ways. We worked out a container exercise to keep his aggression under
control. (…) Although he found touching scary and threatening, being able to push
me away gave him a good feeling. In two consecutive sessions he directed his
aggression at his rapist. He hit and kicked him, cursed and shouted. Although it
caused him trouble it relieved him (Frank 1997 – 3).

Traumatized individuals are often fixated on trauma-related emotions of grief, fear, terror, or anger (Odgeon 2006 – 12) In Dance Movement Therapy the anger and aggression are addressed, as Devereaux explains in the case of domestic violence for instance, the fear, anger, and unregulated physiological arousal resulting from frustration of attachment goals and the intergenerational transmission of relational patterns needs to be taken into account in any view of violence and abuse. (Devereaux 2008-60).

This can be released through rhythmic, stamping exercises or even with the direct use of props such as the examples above. This is related to the theory of catharsis, one popular and authoritative statement that supports that venting one’s anger will produce positive improvement in one’s psychological state. (Bushman 2002 – 2)

Nevertheless this has its difficulties. The body has been violated and the ensuing emotions are often buried deep in the body itself. By tracing these emotions and letting them explode, room is put into motion by activating the body, and blocks can be felt. Intensifying the movements that go with such fields of tension make it possible to break through these blocks.
(Frank 1997 – 60)

The women of the interview based research of Mills & Daniluk (2002 – 83) also talked about the importance of being able to express and expend through spontaneous movement the energy generated by this therapeutic work. A type of physical catharsis that allows a physical release that participants perceived as an important part of their “healing” and a critical aspect of reconnecting to their bodies.

Clients with dysregulated arousal, a typical symptom in PTSD, that manifest it as explosive aggression may benefit from working with slow, integrated, mindful movements of the arms and hands that simulate aggression (Odgeon 2006 -227).
It is well known that traumatic experiences can lead to a huge repressed anger and rage. A exhaustive quantitative research about anger and aggression among Iraq and Afghanistan. War veterans who exhibit symptoms of PTSD suggested that relevant anger treatments should be incorporated into early intervention strategies.

In the final phase of “Stress inoculation treatment” for PTSD (Wampold et al 2010 – 931) some connected techniques are addressed such as imagery and behavioural rehearsal, modeling, role playing, and graded in vivo exposure, in order to prevent relapse into the traumatic experiences.

However, the study of Bushman that asked the question whether “Venting anger feed or extinguished the flame” concluded that rumination (catharsis) increased rather than decreased anger and aggression. Doing nothing at all was more effective than venting anger. These results directly contradict catharsis theory.

This is a chapter of a critical literature review: “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD”

It was an exercise for my second year in the Master in Dance Movement Therapy in Codarts, Rotterdam. Therefore it may have faults in the quotation and not be rigourous or valid for research. 

Effectiveness of dance movement therapy techniques when working with PTSD – III Metaphoric use of Space

 Bust of a woman an self portrait - Pablo Picasso

Bust of a woman an self portrait – Pablo Picasso

METAPHORIC USE OF SPACE

Alice created metaphorical “pockets” in the green cushion and when she was able to connect a physical sensation to her story she would put it into her pocket. “For later” she said. (…)

We identified Alice’s diagonal pathway across the space as a timeline and she related particular traumatic events in her childhood to particular places along this physical and spatial diagonal. She started to choreograph her personal story with very clear symbolic movements along this line. (…) I suggested that she could create another pathway in the space that might symbolise the present and future. MacDonald (2006-96)

Similarly Zvika asked his patient how he would imagine a place where he would feel safe,

Leo now was instructed to build a safe place for himself in the work room, from material of his own choice. He chose mats for walls, cushions as soft elements to sit on and to hold; and, incase somebody should enter unexpectedly, hockey sticks with which to hit the intruder. His safe place was built near a window. (Frank 1997- 50)

And later on,

In your imagination build a place in your body where you can store your feelings, which
you can lock up if necessary, to protect yourself. (Frank 1997- 50)

 

These are examples of using metaphor techniques extracted from the dance therapy field. Metaphor provides a useful distance from raw emotion, while also offering the opportunity for transformation (Meekums 2011 – 233).
As highlighted by the above case illustration, therapeutic approaches that work directly with the body provide new avenues for assisting victims of domestic violence through a simultaneously physical and metaphorical process (Devereaux 2008 – 69)

Moreover processing metaphors and symbols recruits the right brain at a preconscious and often nonverbal level, stimulating connections between the integrative pathways that have been demonstrated as foundational in organizing the sense of the corporeal and emotional self (Pierce 2013 – 16)

Similarly Johnson explains that the symbolic media of the arts, like dance, may provide more complete access to implicit (as opposed to explicit) memory systems, as well as visual-kinesthetic schemas that are usually processed by the nondominant hemisphere of the brain. It seems possible that traumatic experience and associated distorted schemas may be stored in these nonlexical forms. (Johnson 2000 – 586)

Therefore since overwhelming emotions can be contained via the metaphor, the client can begin to access experiences which have been suppressed in the unconscious. Against received approaches that focus mainly on helping the patient to build a verbal narrative of her problems, body memory approaches maintain that problems that lie within the domain of implicit memory should be treated by working directly with the body. Very interestingly, the way the body expresses its internal conflicts often takes the form of image schemas and conceptual metaphors (Koch 2012 – 5).

Metaphors are also used in cognitive and behavioural therapy, in treatments that include exposure techniques for PTSD, to help patients guide themselves effectively in relation to the anxiety that can accompany the exposure (Otto 2000 –5).
Ellis R. (2001) explains that movement metaphor is an important part in understanding the meaning of actions in therapy. The dance/movement therapist may extrapolate meaning or hypotheses (what she calls therapist meaning) from the  movement metaphor to bring themes not actively known to the client to their attention (what she calls client meaning).

This is a chapter of a critical literature review: “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD”

It was an exercise for my second year in the Master in Dance Movement Therapy in Codarts, Rotterdam. Therefore it may have faults in the quotation and not be rigourous or valid for research. 

 

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – II Body Awareness

Girl in front of mirror - Pablo Picasso
Girl in front of mirror – Pablo Picasso

BODY AWARENESS TECHNIQUE

To avoid direct contact at first, I started by placing several objects on various parts of his
body, to see if he was aware of all parts of his body and whether this contact wouldn’t be
too threatening.
I had also noticed that he laid his hands on his bottom and that he made forceful kicking
movements. About this he said that he felt anger coming up and this was the first time he
could clearly connect a feeling with a movement. On second thought he considered that he
did it to protect himself; he had become aware of his movement. (Frank 1997 – 51)

DMT interventions like this one, from Zvika Frank, which bring awareness to sensations, thoughts, and images and give inner experience narrative coherence through creative expression can be seen as forms of exposure therapy that support trauma processing.
Body or somatic awareness, (Devereaux 2008), (Frank 1997),( MacDonald 2006), (Memel 2012), (Pierce 2013), (Koch, 2011), also called pro-prioceptive sensing or inner-body focusing process (Price 2005 – 5), interoceptive awareness and sensory awareness (Van der Kolk 2006-5) is a crucial factor in the treatment of trauma. There is even a Trauma
Center Body Awareness Scale (Van der Kolk 2006)

A broken body

For traumatized individuals, body awareness can be quite problematic in the beginning “I thought of my body as this unfortunate accessory”, or “I always felt sort of fractured, fragmented, like parts of my body are on different planes and they’re not connected to me personally” (Mills&Daniluk 2002 – 79).
Somatic awareness may be disconcerting or even frightening, sometimes triggering feelings of being out of control, terrified, rageful, panicky or weak and helpless. (Odgeon 2006- 199).
That has forced clinicians to explore techniques that offer the possibility of reprogramming these automatic physical responses, involving addressing awareness of internal sensations and physical action patterns, explaine Van der Kolk in the Clinical Implications of Neuroscience Research in PTSD (2006 – 282).

As the eminent researcher in DMT, Sabine Koch stated (2009 – 290) the treatment of trauma survivors must focus on body awareness and affect regulation.

Effects of somatic awareness

Increasing body awareness in victims of trauma makes it possible to gauge, slow down, halt traumatic hyperarousal, and separate past from present (Rothschild 2000 – 101). The reconnection to their bodies (Mills & Daniluk 2002 – 79) can then lead to acceptance, strengthening the core/self-image, physical control and balance that can directly empower one to make more conscious and healthy choices (Memel 2012 – 3) Body psychotherapy approaches for trauma recovery include teaching patients and facilitating their ability to incrementally access and sustain inner body awareness, which increases the capacity for body connection and thus facilitates dissociation reduction and reassociation or integration with the self (Price 2005 – 2).

Specific concepts from dance/movement therapy, such as attention to interoception and creative expression, may support clients in their effort to digest the physical and emotional toll of their traumatic histories (Pierce 2013 – 14).

In the recognised book Trauma and the body this technique is also mentioned: Clients are taught to distinguish between physical sensations or actions and trauma-based emotions or cognition through cultivating deeper, more focused awareness of sensations and movement (Odgeon 2006- 199).

For instance, Zvika Frank (1997) began to work on his patient’s need to feel safe on a nonverbal level with the help of Pesso’s proximity distance exercise (…) The purpose of this exercise is to learn to indicate boundaries and to listen to signals from the body.

The core of this technique is also mentioned in Trauma and the body: ”She explored the sensation and movement of making a stop gesture with her arms and hands, putting aside her thoughts and emotions to notice only how this movement felt physically.”

 

This is part of a Critical Literature Review: Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD, that I wrote as  an exercise for the second year of the Master in Dance Movement Therapy in Codarts, Rotterdam. 

It was part of the module of Research Methodologies, therefore it may have faults in the quotation and not be valid or rigorous enough. 

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – I Intro

the dance picasso

 

WHAT IS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DMT TECHNIQUES WHEN WORKING WITH PTSD

Critical Literature Review
Abstract
This review is a first attempt to show the effectiveness of three techniques from the treatment of PTSD used in DMT with the help of articles from other fields of
psychotherapy that use similar principles.
Keywords:
effectiveness, dance movement therapy, body-oriented psychotherpy, trauma

 

Introduction

Trauma is a body wound or shock produced by sudden physical injury (Koch 2011- 8). It is a psychological reaction that occurs after experiencing a highly stressing event outside the range of normal human experience and that is usually characterized by depression, anxiety, flashbacks, recurrent nightmares, and avoidance of reminders of the event.

Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual. In the whole review the abbreviation
DMT is used.

And where is the relationship? Trauma leaves its imprint on both mind and body and research demonstrate that effective treatment requires involvement of both. Therefore it was decided to choose three techniques from Dance Movement Therapy used by three Dance therapist actives on the field: Jeannette MacDonald, Laura Pierce and Zvika Frank.

Criteria

Only articles published after 2000 were selected in order to provide an updated vision. However, the article of Zvika Frank from 1997 was also selected due to his clear explanation of DMT techniques. Articles focused on other creative therapies, or
psychomotor therapies were excluded in order to focus more deeply in DMT. Other fields were included to give support to the effectiveness of the techniques; body centered psychotherapy, neuroscience, psychology and psychotrauma. Trauma related articles were also taken into account, opening the spectrum and not focalizing only in those dealing with PTSD.

 

DMT Techniques

The techniques are not exclusive to DMT (as mirroring could be); other schools and methods have similar techniques. It is well known that the creative arts therapies clearly utilize more generic therapeutic processes that overlap with many more established trauma treatments, such as relaxation, exposure, desensitization, cognitive interventions, narrative techniques, and distraction (Johnson et al 2009 – 586).
In addition, the lack of a systematisation in DMT creates an added difficulty in the naming process, mixing sometimes techniques and objectives of the therapy. For example body awareness techniques do not follow a specific technique, it is a compendium of different exercises varying from therapist to therapist.

In the beginning, deep breathing and muscle relaxation techniques were one of the DMT techniques selected because they are standard elements in most forms of creative arts therapy for trauma (Foa 2009 – 600). However, there was not much explanation in the DMT sources and according to the guidelines for Effective treatments for PTSD (Foa et al 2000 – 562) relax is not recommended as it may lead to relaxation-induced anxiety in some clients and has been found to be less effective than other therapies.

Theoretical framework for a dance movement therapy-informed approach to treating trauma-related dissociation. (Pierce 2013 – 41) The three techniques selected are here already mentioned:

BODY AWARENESS – 5 sense perception, interoception and self awareness-,

METAPHOR – symbolism- and

ACTIVATING – creative expression.

Conclusion & Bibliography

click on each of them to read more…

 

 

La Chunga dance barefoot, descalza!

Flamenco can also be dance barefeet! I knew! Me myself I love to feel the ground with my feet.

In 1964, fifty years ago Micaela was dancing bareffot flamenco in a cave in Andalucía.

Some say that she is not really “La Chunga” but her sister. I have no idea.

I just love how she moves. It is far from being standard official flamenco, but her expression and spontaneity are what I like most.

Obviously she was not thinking in a choreography, she was just here. She was just there, dancing.

___________

Qué cosa más bonita. El flamenco también se puede bailar descalzo! Ya me parecía a mí. Con lo que me gusta tocar el suelo con los pies.

En 1964, hace cincuenta años Micaela Flores Amaya, La chunga, bailaba deszalza en una cueva en Andalucía. Algunos dicen que no era ella sino su hermana. No tengo ni idea. Y me da lo mismo.

A mí me gusta cómo baila. Vale, no es el flamenco estándar pero su expresión y espontaneidad es lo que me encantan.

Claramente no estaba pensando en su coreografía, ella simplemente baila. Ella está ahí, y baila.

Psiconeuroinmunología. Muy fuerte!

pensador
La estatua de Rodin “El pensador”, atacada en argentina… Pensar está bien. Pero cómo pensemos afecta el sistema inmunológico.

Dr. Mario Alonso Puig: Médico Especialista en Cirugía General y del Aparato Digestivo, Fellow de la Harvard University Medical School y miembro de la New York Academy of Sciences y de la Asociación Americana para el Avance de la Ciencia.

Mira que se dice pronto!
Mucho sabe este señor.

Pues mira lo que dice:

– ¿Psiconeuroinmunobiología?

-Sí, es la ciencia que estudia la conexión que existe entre el pensamiento, la palabra, la mentalidad y la fisiología del ser humano. Una conexión que desafía el paradigma tradicional. El pensamiento y la palabra son una forma de energía vital que tiene la capacidad (y ha sido demostrado de forma sostenible) de interactuar con el organismo y producir cambios físicos muy profundos.

– ¿De qué se trata?

-Se ha demostrado en diversos estudios que un minuto entreteniendo un pensamiento negativo deja el sistema inmunitario en una situación delicada durante seis horas. El distrés, esa sensación de agobio permanente, produce cambios muy sorprendentes en el funcionamiento del cerebro y en la constelación hormonal.

– ¿Qué tipo de cambios?

-Tiene la capacidad de lesionar neuronas de la memoria y del aprendizaje localizadas en el hipocampo. Y afecta a nuestra capacidad intelectual porque deja sin riego sanguíneo aquellas zonas del cerebro más necesarias para tomar decisiones adecuadas.

– ¿Cambiar la mente a través del cuerpo?

-Sí. Hay que sacar el foco de atención de esos pensamientos que nos están alterando, provocando desánimo, ira o preocupación, y que hacen que nuestras decisiones partan desde un punto de vista inadecuado. Es más inteligente, no más razonable, llevar el foco de atención a la respiración, que tiene la capacidad de serenar nuestro estado mental.

– Más recursos….

-La palabra es una forma de energía vital. Se ha podido fotografiar con tomografía de emisión de positrones cómo las personas que decidieron hablarse a sí mismas de una manera más positiva, específicamente personas con transtornos psiquiátricos, consiguieron remodelar físicamente su estructura cerebral, precisamente los circuitos que les generaban estas enfermedades.

– ¿Podemos cambiar nuestro cerebro con buenas palabras?

-Santiago Ramon y Cajal, premio Nobel de Medicina en 1906, dijo una frase tremendamente potente que en su momento pensamos que era metáforica. Ahora sabemos que es literal: “Todo ser humano, si se lo propone, puede ser escultor de su propio cerebro”.

Ya no lo dicen sólo los libros de autoayuda, y los espirituales…

Este señor de CIENCIA total lo explica en términos “CIENTÍFICOS”.

¿Cuándo se aplicará esto en medicina?

Ays… de momento vamos a aplicárnoslo a nosotros mismos.

El resto de la entrevista se puede encontrar aquí:

http://www.vidapositiva.com/Psiconeuroinmunologia-Lo-que-el-corazon-quiere-la-mente-se-lo-muestra.html#.U6Tgayjihi_

My first session of Dance therapy with people diagnosed with Depression

Enthousiasm of beginner.
I wrote everything down.
Initial plan.

What happened.

Everything.

I will not do this with every session.  I guess in the beginning everybody is enthousiast and writes everything down. However is impossible. And not necessary.

Well. Here I explain my first session with people that come for a day treatment with the diganosis of deppression.

It is an open group, so they come if they feel like it. During the first two weeks I already met some of them, we played tennis together, went shopping and cooked, and painted and chatted in the atelier.

So I already talked about dance therapy with them and tried to persuade them to come to try.

Sin título

My initial plan

Circles warm up:

Warm up the body in circles, doing circles in different articulations. Asking them which other body parts can do round movements.

–> attention towards the body, phisical engagement, stop thinking.

Karate walking:

Punching in the air. 1, 2, 3, steps and strong shout.

—> Grounding, use of voice, breathing and movement connection, strenght feeling

Skipping exercise:

Make yourself very sad, try to feel very sad and walk around very slowly. Keep the feeling and go a little bit faster. Keep the feeling. Hold to it. Walk faster. Anf faster, and faster.

–> show the connection between body and emotions. It is impossible to keep saf when one is using a lot of energy. The sadness becomes either anger or joy.

ABC:

Three points in the space and think of a moment in your life when you felt strong. Find three movements.

–> Movement exploration, connection to their past and future lives.

What it turned out to happen

I had only male participants in the session!

The karate walk felt good, and I asked them to really push their feet to the ground.
I also incorporate the Space& Rhythm exercise with clapping where they could lead when they wanted. (IMPROVISED!)

For improvising instead of in a circle we stood in two lines, face to face, and did a bit of mirroring.

ABC was a catastroph!
To ask them to think and then to move was not a good idea.We are already quite stuck in our minds in everyday life so to ask them to THINK was definitely not a good idea.

When I saw the  sudden immobility I change the idea.

We have to move and then reflect, not think and then move.

DOWN UP instead of TOP- DOWN.

I ask them simply movements. In the A: Strong movement. In the B: Open. In the C: Smaller.
This worked much better. They created movements. Without thinking.

_________________

 

This was the session.  My first one.
Now looking backwards I see that there was no clear focus, no clear objective and no clear resolution. It was a bit copypaste of things. My sessions now are bit better.

I have a lot to learn!

At least this can be an example of a reality of our profession as dance therapist:

YOUR PLAN – UNEXPECTED REACTIONS – IMPROVISATION – RECONSIDERATION = BEING in the PRESENT MOMENT.

Well this is what happens in therapy.

You have a plan. Or not.

And then you have to improvise

Be in the moment.

And that is why I love it so much.

A session of Dance therapy in colours: Painting my patients as a way of keeping notes.

stroom 1

Yes I do Dance Therapy. Another way of approaching our inside. Through movement. And I sometimes use some other medium to write my reports after the session.

Colours.

Words are slowlier.

Lines and colours express faster.

To me.

And I just found this two pictures I did in the beginning of my internship and I wanted to share them.

This first one is a group of three men, diagnosed with Depression:
The three share some characteristics (not applicable to everybody with depression of course!)

Lack of grounding,
Difficulties in balancing
Tension in the neck and shoulder area
Almost inexistent pelvic awareness
Everything hold up.  UP UP UP
Superficial breathing

The head is very active, continuously thinking. So bringing them to the movement experience is the most important part. And after reflecting.

4a 4b
This next one is a group of five people with very different energies. They were all in the open departments, they live in the psychiatry but have freedom to go outside.

There was somebody diagnosed with schizofrenia,autistism, and mania and somebody recovering from a depression.
There were not so many simmilarities among them and this hetereogeneity makes it difficult to a common ground.

However all shared something.
All had need of social contact.
Shy at the beginning, once they start to move together, in relationship, I could see smiles and faces opening and getting brighter.

We all like social contact, at least sometimes.
And more specifically in a context like a Psychiatry.

We need to be together.
Be with others.

Flamenco at FELIX & FOAM

flamenco flyer2

Flamenco in the middle of the city

in the gorgeous building Felix&FOAM

we will dance flamenco.

Barefeet.

In a big hall, opened in 1778,

we will centrifugate our arms

and do TIKOTA with our feet.

We will create

and discover.

Carrousel_adres

 DATES

“Flamenco and women”

Tuesday 15th  and 22nd of July          – – – – –        17 to 18.30

Open  for beginners and for the girls of Anamorphic studio.

We will work in broadening the flamenco movements repertoire that you have focusing in women qualities.

10€ each day –> Half of the money supports the project “Flaméncame”

Weekend workshop: “Flamenco + Instant Composition”

Saturday 26th – – – – – 12 to 17

For beginners and advanced!

The enphasis will be in applying the flamenco movements in creating a little piece.
Advanced level dancers can bring their shoes and we will work in combining barefeet and standard flamenco to create a little piece.

Elements of the workshop:
Energetic warming up and core strengthening oriental exercises
Flamenco Technique
Laban Movement 8 basic efforts
Creative Improvisation and Composition

Normal price: 40€

Student and Anamorphic girls price: 30€

—> Half of the money supports the project “Flaméncame

*Dance & Help :

Easily explained imagine you come to a lesson and pay 10€.
Half of the money from the lessons goes entirely to support the non-profit project “Flamenco to empower women sufferers of domestic violence” in Amsterdam.

This way you can learn dancing
while you are helping other people healing through dance. 

“Dancing with eyes closes” Poetic synthesis of extremes and contradictions in life.

It’s like a labyrinth, when you are deep inside yourself and you feel your strongest yearnings, your innermost desires, a labyrinth with many doors appears.

I am doing what I want. I am brave.
Whatever I feel, my soul sends a message to my body, to the legs, to the feet, to the finger tips, and I know that I can do it. Because my feeling is rooted in the beat. I control it.

Documentary about La chana.
A flamenco dancer, strong, innovative, powerful… that arrived to the top of the flamenco scene in the 60’s and 70’s.

Suddenly, while being in the top, she dissappeared abruptly. “A bad gipsy” she says.
She suffered 18 years of domestic violence.

In 2013, at the age of 67, she went back to the stage.
Inspiring, passionate and strong story about love, friendship, REINVENTION.

Poetic synthesis of extremes and contradictions in life.

la chana

Es como un laberinto, cuando estás entre ti, dentro y sientes lo máximo que tu quieres, tus deseos íntimos. Se forma un laberinto de muchas puertas.

Hago lo que quiero soy valiente.
Lo que siento, mi alma le manda mis facultadas  a mi cuerpo, a las piernas, a los pies, a los pitos.
Y se que puedo porque el sentimiento está amarrado al compás. Lo controlo yo.

Documental acerca de La Chana.

La autodidacta bailaora gitana, fuerte poderosa.  irrumpió en los escenarios en plena edad dorada del flamenco, grande estrella en los años 60 y 70, con un estilo innovador con novedosas combinaciones rítmicas, nada tradicionales, velocidad, expresión y fuerza sin precedente.

Repentinamente, en la cúspide de su carrera, La Chana desapareció de los escenario. “Un gitano malo” dice ella.

Sufrió 18 años de violencia doméstica.

En 2013, a sus 67 años volvió al escenario.
Inspiradora, pasional y conmovedora historia acerca del amor, la amistad, la REINVENCIÓN.

Síntesis poética de los extremos y contradiciones de la vida.

More about it:
http://dancingwithclosedeyes.com/

Anxiety Festival. Yes, anxiety anxiety anxiety

Manual-Oracle-anxiett2014.d5bd935c7d9790f28b78aa1058d3b5dc
I live in a city where the answer to “How are you?” is most of the cases “very busy”.

I wonder if it is an Amsterdam endemic disorder, or simply a contagious illness spread around big cities.
Too much to do, too much offer, too many opportunities, too many people, too many projects, “oh I could do this”, “sorry I have no time”, “let me check the agenda”

Ahhhhgg.
Anxiety?
Not necessarily.
Anxiety is a medical disorder. Diagnosed etc.
But I think that the stress caused by this no-time living is cause of many other affections… How to deal with it? No idea, I have to figure it out myself too.

Till then, at least these people in London are doing a good job. The Anxiety festival.

With a full programme of visual art, film, performance, music, dance, theatre and talks spanning venues across London, including leading arts organisations, universities, health care institutions and community centres. For example:

 

“The Manual Oracle explores the intersection between self-consciousness, theatricality and paranoia within a scenic montage that looks at immigration, xenophobia, surveillance, psychiatric services, corporate scheming and survivalist movements.”

 

“As part of acting out: the institution denied, this new performative event by the vacuum cleaner invites you to delve into your own mind, to be assessed for common mental health conditions, whilst testing the current processes of diagnosis.”

 

An intersection between mental health and art. Anxiety 2014 is a new London-wide arts festival, curated by the Mental Health Foundation.

The festival explores anxiety, looking at its causes, how it affects all of our lives, and how it can act as a creative force. It brings together leading and emerging artists to address anxiety from different angles: from medical, social and historical perspectives to individual, collective and contemporary viewpoints.

New York Times is with us! Psychomotor approaches to healing trauma…

Starting the article with an amazing   “Revolutionary approach to treating PTSD”, The New York times article defends the use of the body.

Even if it has been used since the forties by dance therapists and psychomotor therapists, is still not fully accepted in the medical world.

Psychomotor therapy is neither widely practiced nor supported by clinical studies. In fact, most licensed psychiatrists probably wouldn’t give it a second glance. It’s hokey-sounding. It was developed by a dancer. But van der Kolk believes strongly that dancers — and musicians and actors — may have something to teach psychiatrists about healing from trauma and that even the hokey-sounding is worthy of our attention. He has spent four decades studying and trying to treat the effects of the worst atrocities we inflict on one another: war, rape, incest, torture and physical and mental abuse. He has written more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on psychological trauma. Trained as a psychiatrist, he treats more than a dozen patients a week in private practice — some have been going to him for many years now — and he oversees a nonprofit clinic in Boston, the Trauma Center, that treats hundreds more. If there’s one thing he’s certain about, it’s that standard treatments are not working. Patients are still suffering, and so are their families. We need to do better.

vanderkolk
Bessel van der Kolk wants to change the way we heal a traumatized mind — by starting with the body.

Here I leave some part of the article that I found personally interesting for us! Body-mind workers!

Van der Kolk began as he often does, with a personal anecdote. “My mother was very unnurturing and unloving,” he said. “But I have a full memory and a complete sense of what it is like to be loved and nurtured by her.” That’s because, he explained, he had done the very exercise that we were about to try on Eugene. Here’s how it would work: Eugene would recreate the trauma that haunted him most by calling on people in the room to play certain roles. He would confront those people — with his anger, sorrow, remorse and confusion — and they would respond in character, apologizing, forgiving or validating his feelings as needed. By projecting his “inner world” into three-dimensional space, Eugene would be able to rewrite his troubled history more thoroughly than other forms of role-play therapy might allow. If the experiment succeeded, the bad memories would be supplemented with an alternative narrative — one that provided feelings of acceptance or forgiveness or love.

The way to treat psychological trauma was not through the mind but through the body. In so many cases, it was patients’ bodies that had been grossly violated, and it was their bodies that had failed them — legs had not run quickly enough, arms had not pushed powerfully enough, voices had not screamed loudly enough to evade disaster. And it was their bodies that now crumpled under the slightest of stresses — that dove for cover with every car alarm or saw every stranger as an assailant in waiting. How could their minds possibly be healed if they found the bodies that encased those minds so intolerable? “The single most important issue for traumatized people is to find a sense of safety in their own bodies,” van der Kolk says. “Unfortunately, most psychiatrists pay no attention whatsoever to sensate experiences. They simply do not agree that it matters.”

He holds a similar view of cognitive behavioral therapy, or C.B.T., which seeks to alter behavior through a kind of Socratic dialogue that helps patients recognize the maladaptive connections between their thoughts and their emotions. “Trauma has nothing whatsoever to do with cognition,” he says. “It has to do with your body being reset to interpret the world as a dangerous place.” That reset begins in the deep recesses of the brain with its most primitive structures, regions that, he says, no cognitive therapy can access. “It’s not something you can talk yourself out of.” That view places him on the fringes of the psychiatric mainstream.

Jaazistic group leadership

dsfsdf

“A jazz pianist, a member of one of my groups, once commented on the role of the leader by reflecting that very early in his musical career, he deeply admired the great instrumental virtuosos.

It was only much later that he grew to understand that the truly great jazz musicians were those who knew how to augment the sound of others, how to be quiet, how to enhance the functioning of the entire ensemble.”

Irvin D. Yalom – Theory and practice of group psychotherapy

The opposite of love is power… not hatred

“There are two kinds of suffering.  Suffering imposed on us by the outside and suffering created by ourselves.  All we can do with suffering imposed by the outside is share it in the human family and show compassion, love and empathy for those who’ve been hurt.  Suffering created by ourselves is referred to as neurotic suffering i.e. ‘inauthentic suffering’.  At bottom, neurosis is a moral and ethical problem.

In other words symptoms like neurotic anxiety, depression, compulsions, ulcers, headaches etc. occur primarily because we try to manipulate others.

We do this in a variety of ways…i.e. blaming, withholding feelings and affection, using guilt to have others do our bidding, temper tantrums and primarily abusing power.  The opposite of love is power, not hatred.

Any psychotherapy worth its salt addresses this problem and helps those who are willing to sort out the difference between who they want to appear to be and who they really are.  Taking a genuine look in the mirror is an initiation.  It’s a hard task, but the rewards are equally high, because depression, anxieties, somatic complaints, etc. slowly begin to drop by the wayside and we are free to live a much more meaningful and creative life, a life that is truly our own.

hate

All human beings have a uniqueness that asks to be lived.  We all have something precious to offer, something that exists in no one else.  It goes along with the following acorn metaphor by Jung: With the right amount of water and sunshine, each acorn grows into a beautiful oak.  If we take a look at the root and branch structure of each oak on the planet, we find no oak is exactly like another… so it is with the human soul.  We all have an individual destiny and a calling, it is given; a gift from our guardians at birth.  Many of us have been robbed of our true character and biography- that destiny written into the acorn- and go to therapy to recover it.

A calling may be postponed, avoided, or intermittently missed.  It may also possess one completely.  Eventually it wins out and makes its claim either in a soulful life, or if ignored, in meaninglessness, cynicism, hoarding, loneliness and alienation.

The dragon we must slay is no more that the monster of everyday expectations about how we “ought” to live our lives.  If we realize this, we will be back in the world, but “no longer of it”.  We will be able to interact with others without submitting to their definition of who we are supposed to be!  This precious pearl that is one’s individual worth can only be found when we are willing to stand alone.  By consciously choosing to pursue the inner journey, we transform impersonal fate into our own personal destiny.”

Peter Milhado Phd

La creación y la destrucción, el amor y el odio, no hay dos instintos que existen independientemente.

destruction

“El hombre puede crear vida. Esta es una cualidad milagrosa que de hecho comparte con todos los seres vivos, pero con la diferencia de que sólo él es consciente de que se está creando y ser un creador.[ … ] En el acto de la creación, el hombre se trasciende a sí como una criatura, levanta a sí mismo más allá de la pasividad y la accidentalidad de su existencia en el reino de la intencionalidad y la libertad.

Crear presupone actividad y atención.  Presupone amor por lo que uno crea.Entonces, ¿cómo resuelve el hombre el problema de trascender a sí mismo, si no es capaz de crear, si no puede amar?

Hay otra respuesta a esta necesidad de trascendencia, si no puedo crear vida , puedo destruirlo. Destruir la vida es también trascenderla. En efecto, que el hombre pueda destruir la vida es tan milagroso como la hazaña de crearla, porque la vida misma es el milagro, lo inexplicable. En el acto de destrucción, el hombre se erige por encima de la vida , trasciende a sí mismo como criatura .

Por lo tanto, la mejor elección para el hombre, ya que él siente la necesidad de trascenderse a sí mismo, es crear o destruir, amar u odiar. [ … ] La creación y la destrucción, el amor y el odio, no hay dos instintos que existen independientemente.

Ambas son respuestas a la misma necesidad de la trascendencia, y la voluntad de destruir debe aumentar cuando la voluntad de crear no puede ser satisfecha. Sin embargo, la satisfacción de la necesidad de crear conduce a la felicidad; destructividad al sufrimiento, sobre todo en su propio destructor”.

Erich Fromm (1955) Psicoanálisis de la sociedad contemporánea

The will to destroy must rise when the will to create cannot be satisfied

destruction

“Man can create life. This is a miraculous quality which he indeed shares with all living beings, but with the difference that he alone is aware of being created and being a creator. […] In the act of creation man transcends himself as a creature, raises himself beyond the passivity and accidentalness of his existence into the realm of purposefulness and freedom.

To create presupposes activity and care. It presupposes love for that which one creates. How then does man solve the problem of transcending himself, if he is not capable of creating, if he cannot love?

There is another answer to this need for transcendence; if I cannot create life, I can destroy it. To destroy life makes me also transcend it. Indeed, that man can destroy life is just as miraculous a feat as that he can create it, for life itself is the miracle, the inexplicable.In the act of destruction, man sets himself above life; he transcends himself as creature.

Thus, the ultimate choice for man, in as much as he is driven to transcend himself, is to create or destroy, to love or to hate. […] Creation and destruction, love and hate, are not two instincts which exist independently.

They are both answers to the same need for transcendence, and the will to destroy must rise when the will to create cannot be satisfied. However, the satisfaction of the need to create leads to happiness; destructiveness to suffering, most of all, for the destroyer himself.”

Erich Fromm (1955) The Sane Society

Momentum, started dancing because of a tortilla chip

For Patrick, a tortilla chip started his moment of self-discovery. With exuberant dancing and magical passion he shares his inspiration and invites everyone to participate. Even his mother.

This film explores the concept of spontaneous authenticity and the synopsis of body and soul… through tortilla chips and dance.

Whenever there is the right relationship, in anything, between your mind between your body; between youself and your mother… that’s when something moves, energy is created, the right relationship. That’s dance basically.

Reviews

“The film is a fresh and surprising celebration of dance: the fun and enthusiasm radiate from there.”
Cinedans – Dance on Screen

“Shot in what could pass for a prison cell, Momentum, by Boris Seewald, delivers a highly original and side-splitting take on the transformative power of dance, using the filming and editing techniques of MTV-style music videos but with far more subtlety and imagination, and an irresistible streak of lunacy. Starting with a simple but hilarious premise involving a tortilla chip, the film celebrates the magnetic Patrick Hanna, a young dancer with a mischievous twinkle in his eye, who entices his middle-aged mother, played by Shoko Ito, into his surreal dance world.”
Huffington Post

One day I will do documentaries like this.
Amazing work by Boris Seewald.

Dance, dance dance. 

Cuerpo, ambición y poder

Napoleon Bonaparte, bajito inseguro de ambición desmesurada?
Napoleon Bonaparte, bajito inseguro de ambición desmesurada?

¿Qué relación existe entre la pérdida de contacto con el propio cuerpo y sus sensaciones y la necesidad de poder?

La persona con un carácter psicopático (que es la persona que ha perdido el contacto con su cuerpo y sus emociones, n.d.r.) se caracteriza por un profundo impulso hacia el poder. Con frecuencia se ve abierta y claramente; pero en muchos casos esta tendencia está completamente disfrazada detrás de una fachada de justicia, rectitud, moral, respetabilidad, etc. No hay que olvidar que la persona de carácter psicopático es un gran comediante, que puede dar a entender lo que quiere y sabe cómo hacerlo con arte y delicadeza, con cariño y comunicándolo de forma eficaz.

“El hecho de alimentar este impulso para conseguir más y más poder sobre los demás”, escribe el psiquiatra de California Renato Mónaco, “revela una sensación subyacente de impotencia y debilidad.”

Para no experimentar más el horror le provocó en la infancia esta debilidad e impotencia, la persona de carácter psicopático trata de acceder al poder en todos los sentidos.

Puede obtenerlo mediante el desarrollo de una estructura corporal que expresa fuerza, un cuerpo atlético, de “Superman”, que inconscientemente, inspira temor a los demás.

También puede obtener el poder en la dirección opuesta, mostrándose pequeño y débil, al igual que lo hace, a menudo, el niño para ganar poder sobre los padres protectores.

Si la persona de carácter psicopático ha desarrollado tendencias intelectuales, puede llegar al poder mostrándose intelectualmente superior a todos, y siempre mejor informada que el resto. 
Puede acceder al poder inspirando confianza en los demás, para luego usar a su favor las confidencias de la persona que cometió la ligereza de abrirse y contarle sus debilidades.

Puede alcanzar el poder mediante la intimidación y abuso de los demás. Puede obtener el poder mediante la manipulación.

Pueden ganar poder a través de la seducción y exhibiéndose en el papel de amante perfecto para su pareja, como el único que sabe cómo satisfacer tan bien sexualmente. De este modo, adquiere el poder sexual o la dependencia sexual del compañero que luego explota, pero que no ama.

E. Zucconi – Mazzini
Análisis bioenergética del carácter psicopático

Extraído de: Body thinking

La ambición de poder es una mala hierba que solo crece en el solar abandonado de una mente vacía.
Ayn Rand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomatito & Ahmad Al Tuni

This pearl is a combination of flamenco with arabic sufi music.

It is the very beginning of the  great film Vengo by Tony Gatlif, an ode to the artistry and magic of flamenco dancing.

Tomatito is a very imporant flamenco guitarist and Ahmad Tuni is one of the last great munshidin, singers of the islamic sacred song.

The whole film here:

El lebrijano & Andalusi Orchestra of Tanger

El Lebrijano, Juan Peña Fernández bornt in 1941 in Lebrija is a well know cantaor (singer) of flamenco.

With a deep knowledge of orthodox singing, his artistic interests led him to seek  some innovations in Flamenco art, usually corseted by the immovable tradition that defend the purists.

In the “Encounters” disco joined the Andalusian Orchestra of Tanger (see the video), rediscovering the Arab roots of flamenco, and deepening in this via later with albums like “Casablanca” or “Open” where working with the Muslim violinist Faiçal.

Here with  Faiçal Kourrich. Dame la Libertad, amazing song.

Where is the mind? Reflection after seeing a japanese psychiatric medication advert of 1970

psychiatric

This is a Japan advertising of 1970 for a psychiatric medication.
I like it because the BODY appears on it.
Not only the HEAD.

If you type “Psychiatric” word, most of the images will show basically the head, the brain. Psyche is in the brain.
We only think with your heads.

Well I don’t believe so.

I believe that psychiatric problems have not only a direct impact in the body, but also the body itself is responsible the source itself of the problem.

Body-mind connection is undoubted. And if we go further… where is the mind? Nobody yet found it.

It might not be live in a secret department of the brain but in the whole surface of our skin, or in the iris of our eyes, or in our blood, or simply in every cell of our being.

Enteric Nervous System

Moreover recent research have found that we have actually a “second brain” in our guts! The enteric nervous system or intrinsic nervous system is a mesh-like sysyem of neurons.
So we actually have two brains in one body.

Check!
two brains


La Negra & Lole Montoya

La negra and Lole Montoya, mother and daugther, andalusian well known cantaoras, singing flamenco in Arabic language.

Lole also dances a bit and ends the video with the “Alfi Leila u Leila” song, master piece from one of the best Egyptian singers of all times, Oum Kalthoum.

Undoubtedly, flamenco and arabic music are glad together.

Flaméncame, empowering women through Flamenco and dance therapy techniques

Baile flamenco Manuel Guerrero Ruiz

The project

“Flaméncame” is the first project I developed in the Netherlands. I am currently developing a model with Flamenco dance as a framework combined with dance movement therapy methods to help women sufferers from domestic violence to:

BODY
-Reinhabit again their bodies and foster kinesthetic awareness

EMOTIONS
– Release anger and sadness feelings and support emotional-regulation
– Improve the self -image and self- esteem

MIND
– Strenghten their belief and feeling of capability.
– Promote self efficacy, independence and motivation.

And how?Abuse and violence has a direct and strong effect in a BODY level.

Dance and movement helps in the healing process addressing directly the body and it expression. Starting from the body to address and arrive to the feelings and emotions and further to reflect about thoughts, beliefs and cognitions.
The other way around that verbal traditional therapy.

When and Where?

The first project was in March 2014, in a women shelter for victims of domestic violence, run by a recognized foundation in Amsterdam. Blijf van mijn Lijf Groep.

The second pilot was in May, 1st 8th and 15th of May.  In the same organization.
There was a session with mothers and children to foster their connection  and two only for the women.

We are now preparing a short documentary about the project, to gather funds and ask for economical support!

primavera featured

Why would I like to focus initially in helping women?

Because still 200.000 women are victims of domestic violence every year only in the Netherlands.

And women in general. Because women still being the main caregivers in the family and when helping women we are also helping their children,  the seed for healthier adults.

Why can Dance Therapy help us?

Dance Therapy works directly with the body-mind connection while other therapies work mainly from the verbal aspect of the individual.

Dance/movement therapists have a unique perspective when working with victims exposed to traumatic environments such as those in domestic violence situations. Therapeutic approaches that work directly with the body provide new avenues for assisting victims of domestic violence through a simultaneously physical and metaphorical process. Increasing body awareness in victims of trauma makes it possible to ‘‘gauge, slow down, halt traumatic hyperarousal, and separate past from present. Extract from: Devereaux D.(2008) Untying the Knots. Dance movement therapy with a family exposed to domestic violence

Physical traumas are held in the body, in our celullar memory. Therefore working with abused women in a body level is a direct way to start developing a stronger self.

Dance/movement therapy process increases the battered woman’s range of action and interaction. Living in an abusive and constrained relationship leads to a limited coping style characterized by a person’s restricted use of space, minimal  movements and over-controlled body action. Expanding a client’s movement repertoire is directly linked to changes in self-concept and interpersonal dynamics. For example, in a movement or dance segment a battered woman is often surprised by her own strength when she is encouraged to push against a partner. Finding her strength (…) enables her to interact more assertively with the important figures in her world (…) ‘without the active use of weight, there is little hope that these women will ever be able to stand up for themselves.” Extracted from Dance/Movement Therapy with Battered Women: A Paradigm of Action 

L I B R A Z has worked with gipsy rumanian women and their kids in Santa Coloma, Barcelona and in a project with orphan children in Yerevan Armenia.

Dance has helped me so much that I want to share this power with women like me.
To help them going forward, always forward.

dance movement therapy dance therapy somatic awareness flamenco imoveiam libraz non profit women empowerment me too violence against women self esteem self efficacy emotion regulation trauma therapy flamenco therapy #violenceagainstwomen #metoo #mujeresvalientes #noalaviolencia #mujerempoderada #powervrouw #domesticviolenceawareness #womenempowerment #womensupportingwomen #ondernemendevrouwen #nomoreabuse #ptsd #nonprofit #ong #ngo #flamenco #dancemovementtherapy #flamencodance #empoderamientofemenino

Dance in Psychiatry

I have just started my internship in a Psychiatric Centre as a dance therapy intern.

I work and dance with people diagnosed with depression and mood disorders, schizophreny, youngs sufferers of a first psychosis…

And because the field of Dance Therapy need people that write, I will try to write some exercises and examples of my practice there. This way people can have an idea about what is Dance Movement Therapy in this context.

Note!

For ethical reasons I will never use the real names, or information that could facilitate the identification of absolutely any of the patients.

psychiatric
Serenace® ~haloperidol~ 1970, Psychiatria et Neurologia Japonica

Discover why I picked this picture, read:

Where is the mind? Reflection after seeing a japanese Psychiatric medication advert od 1970.

Dos cuerpos

bearsDos cuerpos frente a frente
son a veces dos olas
y la noche es océano.

Dos cuerpos frente a frente
son a veces dos piedras
y la noche desierto.

Dos cuerpos frente a frente
son a veces raíces
en la noche enlazadas.

Dos cuerpos frente a frente
son a veces navajas
y la noche relámpago.

Dos cuerpos frente a frente
son dos astros que caen
en un cielo vacío.

Lee todo en: Dos cuerpos – Poemas de Octavio Paz http://www.poemas-del-alma.com/dos-cuerpos.htm#ixzz2umWxSCjD

Como la poesía la danza

ImageComo la poesía, la danza.

Vivo el poema como una explosión del ser por debajo del lenguaje. Descubro aquí cuatro elementos básicos: explosión, ser, lenguaje y debajo. Podríamos acercarnos a ellos diciendo lo anterior de otro modo: el poema es la expansión abrupta de una realidad fundamental que se genera a través de las posibilidades subyacentes de la expresión verbal y no sólo por medio de la su capacidad significativa inmediata. […]

Me apasiona la fuerte humanidad de una búsqueda de esta clase, su desafío a las normas y los estereotipos, la densidad de nivel donde se gesta la lucha por la expresión, la intensidad del buceo en las zonas más olvidadas y sin embargo más vivas de lo real, la simbiosis profunda de todas las proyecciones simbolizadoras, la paradójica complementariedad y hasta sincronicidad de lo espontáneo y lo reflexivo, lo dicho y lo no dicho, la victoria y el fracaso, lo esperado y lo inesperado, lo posible y lo imposible, lo uno y lo otro.

Me subyuga el amor que se funda y sustancia en estos espacios vivos y la libertad radical de ese amor, que ya no hace distingos entre expresarse y comunicarse, entre soledad y compañía, entre ausencia y presencia, entre voz y silencio, entre amar y pensar, entre todo y algo.

Roberto Juarroz.
Prólogo a Poesía vertical

What is Dance Movement Therapy for me

 

Emmanuel Guiragossian
Emmanuel Guiragossian – SOS edition

Expression, movement, communication, creativity, feelings, thoughts, actions, body and mind, healing, exploring, support, being seen, beyond words, embodiment, presence, listening, analysis, research,  breathing, playfulness, curiousity, imagination, non-judgement, creative process, attunement …

For who?

  • As a form of therapy we accompany individuals that suffer from mood disorders, anxiety, burn out, PTSD or complex trauma, eating disorders, autism spectrum, dementia, parkinson, psychosomatic complains, personality disorders…
  • We can also work in the prevention, education or coaching, improving ones ability to express, fostering the body/mind balance, getting more embodied in daily life…

Where?

It is practiced for example in mental health, rehabilitation, medical, educational and forensic settings, and in nursing homes, day care centers, disease prevention, health promotion programs and in private practice.

What dance movement therapy IS NOT

(some answers I  have heard  when I introduce myself as a student of DMT)

1. Dance Movement Therapy is not LA LA LA

We don’t just dance. We are not dancing happily with beautiful music and colorful hankerchiefs in our hands (we could do that but it is absolutely not only that).

We work usually with sorrow, grief, aggression, fear, anger, trauma… We can be directive and set limits. And work in difficult environments such as jails or closed psychiatric units.

2. DMT is not a dance lesson. 
-“Oh, I am not a good dancer”
– I answer:   You don’t have to be!

3.  DMT is not about healing dancers.
-“A ha, so you heal dancers…”
– No, we do not heal dancers. Actually we don’t heal anybody. Each person heal by itself, and we can of course help in the process of healing.
The term DANCE in Dance Movement Therapy addresses the medium we use, not the clients we treat.

What others say

The American Dance Therapy Association founded in 1966 explains:

Based on the empirically supported premise that the body, mind and spirit are interconnected, the American Dance Therapy Association defines dance/movement therapy as the psychotherapeutic use of movement to further the emotional, cognitive, physical and social integration of the individual. Dance/movement therapy is:

Focused on movement behaviour as it emerges in the therapeutic relationship.  Expressive, communicative, and adaptive behaviours are all considered for group and individual treatment.  Body movement, as the core component of dance, simultaneously provides the means of assessment and the mode of intervention for dance/movement therapy.

As the Hancock Centre explains:

Dance and movement both express and affect how we feel. Movement has the power to open neuro-pathways to and from the brain, influencing growth and development through all stages of life. (…) It has the potential to access emotions and issues that may be inaccessible in verbal therapy. In DMT, movement is used as a vehicle for self-expression, insight, and behavioral change in an affirming, non-judgmental environment.

Some other therapist that comment in a more personal way…

Richard Brunner from his blog Creative Therapy Tools:

I often define D/MT to clients as psychotherapy that is not limited to talking but encompasses the full range of human expression, including movement such as gestures and or postures, drawing, writing, drama, music and other expressions that can have a therapeutic benefit for the client(s).

Giselle Ruzany  in Gestalt Dance says: 

Before psychology, dance has been a source of healing and psychological outlet for thousands of years. Shamans have been finding cures by listening to their bodies intuition and listening to their subjects bodies expression in order to find their needs, ailments and cure. Society has found dances to heal social strife and economical downturns. Communities has developed dances to differentiate themselves from one another and increase the bond among its members. Dance has been used to practice self defense and strengthen the warriors of the tribe.

#dancemovementtherapy #danzamovimientoterapia #dance #therapy

Voices of Women Media

Last sunday I went to the fundraising event from Voices of Women Media in Nieuwe Anita a nice bar in Amsterdam. After listening to an amazing psychodelic jewish folk band called “Payazen” , I went to see what was happenning in the “Skills Auction”…

voices of women mediaa akun danza

What is an auction of skills?
Instead of offering old pieces of furnitures or collections of art… SKILLS are auctioned. For example a course of photography, a haircut…
and the money raised goes in this case entirely to Voices of Women Media.

There I was…
Thinking that I could have contact them to offer my flamenco oriental dance lessons…, thinking and thinking…

And suddenly I said: 
– “Bu! I can still offer them!” –  and exactly when “DJ-ing” lessons where about to be offered I jumped from my chair and asked to one of the organizers, called María whether I could offer the flamenco oriental lessons.
– “Yes of course” – answered her.
So I run to take my flyers (cauteously protectd in a Vangogh plastic bag),  run to the stage, and explained in two sentences my offer.

voices of women media akun danza

Soo great! Amazingly 6 people raised their hands, showing their enthousiasm! That means:
10€ per lesson x 6 people = 60 € that Akun Danza raised for Voices of Women Media next project: “Displaced”. So happy about it!

One more demostration to trust spontaneous impulses and support good causes like this!
Thanks everybody very much!

Flamenco Lab

Barefoot experimental approach to flamenco dance

Technique & Improvisation

labbbb

My aim in this workshop is to combine creativity, improvisation and self expression with flamenco dance as a framework.

Contents

Flamenco arm technique, foot-work and basic “marcajes”
Compas and rhythms of flamenco music
Contemporary  and creative exercises
Improvisation circles

NOTE:

I am not a flamenco teacher. I am not a flamenco dancer.  Flamenco is an extremely rich, wide and profound art which I respect with my whole heart. And I would need  more that ten years of intense practice to be able to teach it.  That’s why this is not and will never be a flamenco workshop.

My approach is more humble and free than pure flamenco lessons.

I have three years of flamenco learning experience and 9 years of oriental and expressive dance experience, apart from multitude of workshops about different body disciplines. And currently studying the master in Dance Movement Therapy.

Therefore I believe in the possibilities of combining steps from Flamenco and use them as a frame to develop and enhance creativity, while working in personal strenght, coordination, and powerful femininity.

INFO:

Free Lessons in de Valreep
Map

Monday 17th of June 2013: 20h-21.15h

and Wednesday 3rd July 2013: 20h -21.15h


Photos of the Workshop!

flamenco Lab - Akun Danza

Flamenco Lab - Valreep - Akun Danza

Gracias all for coming,
Gracias De Valreep People
Gracias a la danza!

The map of my dream

Everything started as a social oriented non profit idea…
I am in the process of establishing legally a non-profit foundation to empower communities through dance. I want to share the benefits that movement, expression and creativity has given to me.

How will I get support?

My aim is to use fundraising methods to get financial support from public institutions, social events, social responsability departments of  private companies, crowfunding and with the formula dance & help.

That means that half of the money from the workshops I give support funding the social projects I am busy with. Starting with Flaméncame.

This is how the map looked in 2013…

2014-06-03 14.05.22

This is how my map looked like in 2012:

mapaakun

Mediterranean mixture

medittarranean

Slowly with time, I have realised how powerful the combination of two folklor dances  as FLAMENCO and ORIENTAL can be.
Some months ago I was starting to forget my origins, totally embedded in the flamenco scene. I realised I was missing my softness, my inwardness. So I started dancing. And I travelled through the Mediterranean, from Syria to Andalusia through the music.
From Oriental belly dance to Flamenco.

Ok yes, Nothing is new. It already exist as “Arabic Flamenco”, “Oriental Flamenco” or many other names.
But I have experienced in my own flesh how well they can combine this two disciplines.

My aim is NOT to create a “new dance”, a “new method” or a “new discipline”  and label it with an “®” No.

Flamenco Oriental is simply the way I aim to use both disciplines in order to try to integrate our polarities.

Starting from flamenco beats and movements to release tension, stress and agressiveness.
Stamp, clap, push… Arrive to the here and now moving from the periphery of the body.

Travel smoothly towards oriental dance movements to find the softness, feminine and caring side.
Round, flexible, infintes and circles. Looking inwards moving from the core of the body

An excellent example of Andalusian and Arabic culture together.

The master of flamenco guitar the Almerian Tomatito plays together with the egiptian sufi singer Sheikh Ahmad Al tuni,  one of the last great singers of the ritual Zikr.

Great music from “Vengo” film, from Tony Gatlif.
Great dance by the end.

ART

eARTh without ART is just eh

Me encanta esta frase. La TiERrA sin arte es solo IR. Pero claro en castellano no hace gracia.
¿Es verdad?
Arte lo es todo. O no es nada.  No lo sé. Y me da lo mismo.

Solo sé que a mi pintar me viene muy bien. Antes de pequeñita pintaba en una academia, con mis cuadrículas y mis oleos. El objetivo era hacer un cuadro muy bonito para regalar a un familiar por su cumpleaños.

Osease el PRODUCTO. Era lo importante.

En cambio ahora lo que me gusta es pintar en sí.  Mi mamá me compró acuarelas en navidades. Y mi abueli pinturines acuarelables con un pincel japonés chulísimo esta Semana Santa. Y ahora pinto a veces. Y me sirve para entender muchas cosas. Mientras pinto. Mientras escojo el color. Cuando hago una raya más fuerte que otra. Cuando veo de repente una forma y me recuerda a algo. Cuando me enfado porque es feo. Cuando una palabra se me queda encajada en la cabeza. Cuando repito los patrones. Cuando tacho borro y reborro. O cuando mis dedos fluyen y todo parece que está bien.

Osease el PROCESO es lo que disfruto.

PROCESS vs. PRODUCT

En el arte terapeútico es más importante la acción creadora, el proceso creador que su resultado, la obra.

earth art

¿Por qué?

Resulta que a mí me cuesta mucho entender todo lo que pasa en mis rendijas y profundidades. Están como muy lejos, tapaditas y escondidas allí  abajo, en una cueva bajo el océano todas las respuestas.
¿En el inconsciente igual? No sé. en algún sitio muy lejano.
Y llegar desde arriba, desde la mente cognitiva, desde la cabeza, desde nuestro raciocinio cuesta.  Me cuesta mucho mucho pensar.

Y la pintura, y la danza son un puente. O una caña de pescar.

A mí me gusta moverme. Es como si todas las respuestas que están guardadas en el cuerpo se agitasen y subieran un poquitín a la superficie. Entonces pinto. Y poco a poco si hay suerte, alguna respuesta se deja escapar por el pincel. Y entonces escribo. Lo que sea. Lo que salga. Y ya puedo pensar. Ahora sí. La mente puede empezar a reflexionar y comprender. Es todo un viaje desde abajo hasta arriba:

DANZAMOVIMIENTO – PINTURA – POESÍA – MENTE

Nunca jamás diría que soy una artista. Suena a mucho.

Pero creo que sí. Hoy sí.
Hoy me puedo considerar una ARTISTA PROCESUAL…(?)

Ja! Y va y existe:
El arte procesual o arte en proceso (en inglés, Process art) es un movimiento artístico así como un sentimiento creativo y un punto de vista sobre el mundo donde el producto final del arte y la artesanía, el objeto de arte, no es el centro de atención principal. El «proceso» en el arte procesual se refiere al proceso de la formación de arte: la búsqueda, clasificación, recopilación, asociación y estampado. El arte procesual está preocupado con el hacer real; el arte como un rito, ritual y performance. El arte procesual a menudo acarrea una motivación inherente, racional eintencional. Por lo tanto, el arte se ve como un viaje creativo o proceso, más que como el producto acabado.

Alé. Qué ancha se queda una.

Passion

Trucos de siete pensadores que han encontrado la forma de vivir de su pasión.
¿Cómo encontrar tu propósito y hacer lo que amas?

Insights from seven thinkers who have contemplated the art-science of making your life’s calling a living
How to Find Your Purpose and Do What You Love

* * * 1 * * *

“Prestige is just fossilized inspiration. If you do anything well enough, you’ll make it prestigious. Plenty of things we now consider prestigious were anything but at first. Jazz comes to mind—though almost any established art form would do. So just do what you like, and let prestige take care of itself.”

Paul Graham

* * * 2 * * *

“We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along”

Alain de Botton

* * * 3 * * *

“The best way to get approval is not to need it.”

Hugh MacLeod

* * * 4 * * *

“Work is what we do by the hour. It begins and, if possible, we do it for money. Welding car bodies on an assembly line is work; washing dishes, computing taxes, walking the rounds in a psychiatric ward, picking asparagus — these are work. Labor, on the other hand, sets its own pace. We may get paid for it, but it’s harder to quantify… Writing a poem, raising a child, developing a new calculus, resolving a neurosis, invention in all forms — these are labors.”

Lewis Hyde

* * * 5 * * *

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don’t settle.”

Steve Jobs

* * * 6 * * *

“If you can… fall in love, with the work, with people you work with, with your dreams and their dreams. Whatever it was that got you to this school, don’t let it go. Whatever kept you here, don’t let that go. Believe in your friends. Believe that what you and your friends have to say… that the way you’re saying it — is something new in the world.”

Robert Krulwich

* * * 7 * *

The Holstee Manifesto

“This is your life. Do what you love, and do it often. If you don’t like something, change it. If you don’t like your job, quit. If you don’t have enough time, stop watching TV. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things you love.”

holstee manifesto

From:
http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2012/02/27/purpose-work-love/

 

Self Empowerment

Which are your qualities? Which are you best characteristics?

We usually know what we are very bad at, I am lazy, I am serious, I am shy… whatever.

And we usually tend to remark to others their faults rather than their qualities.

Qualities? me?

It is even difficult to think what are we good at.

So one of the modules in Dance Therapy is Self Empowerment: Focus on enquiring, broadening and empowering existing personal and professional resources considering capacities, qualities and characteristics withing different personal contexts.

The first semester of the Master is mainly focused in ourselves. FIRST we have to know ourselves better, know how we behave, how we react, what do we feel in the group and in the different exercises…
We have to experience it all in ourselves if we want in the future share it with others.

We were asked to choose one quality and I choose INQUISITIVENESS:
 Inclined to investigate; eager for knowledge, eager to learn.  Inquiring.
And we reflected about it:

But later I realise that my curiosity was nothing without passion. And in Christmas I received some aquarelle and here is the paiting of my main qualities.

Rooted passion

Rivers of curiosity

Light of sensitivity

Acuarela 1

My quality: Inquisitiveness
“Total wonder is the very substance of awakening” Daniel Odier

Definition
Seeker. I am a constant seeker, and learner. Enquiring, exploring, digging, deepening. Once, long time ago, I wrote somewhere that my aim in life is to learn, never stop learning. And it still being so. Getting surprised and amazed by new things. Even very little or insignificant ones. Trying to get deepen into every matter. That is for me inquisitiveness.
My life as a blank treasure map, where the goal is not finding the enormous and huge treasure at the end of the way, but rather unwrap everyday’s treasures.

Related feelings and characteristics
Passion.
Love for discovering.
Broadening perspectives.
Immersion in the sea of wisdom.
Opening the eyes to the maximum.
Total wonder about new knowledge.
Sharing and enriching with and by others.
Attracted by the unknown, mysteries and enigmas of life.

Direction to deepen & develop
Attention, direction and precision are the ingredients I need in order to further develop my quality. The main risk I am suffering now is dispersion, the “multitasking” attitude of wanting to spread and know about everything, and doing many things at the same time. I lack a little bit the ease I used to have of doing just ONE thing at the moment. Getting absorbed by the activity (project, theme, thought…) of the moment.

Conditions
Challenges. I really need to challenge myself, dream, and think that dreams can come true. Also a safe place, but not really a physical safe place surrounded by people I know; it is more an inner sense of safety, feeling secure about what I am doing. Also adventure. The sense of adventure has to be present in the task.

Otherwise, what would life be, if we don’t live it as an everyday adventure?

“Aire”

Creative -Therapeutic process of creating “Aire” 

I just decided I am going to share some of my findings and papers I do for my class of Dance Movement Therapy.
It may be intimate, yes, but if something needs our field is people writing. Writing our experiences. Sharing.

So here it is.

My journey through creativity and dance to create “Aire”.

Ingredients:

– Life-line: Draw your life chronology and choose an important event.
– Personal Object:  Choose an object that is relevant for you. How much information gives you?
– Body Part: Choose a body part. Interesting to read also Body part metaphors.

Recipe:
Explore in movement each of the ingredients.
One by one in different days.
Tools for the movement:
– Repetition: Experience how it feels, how much space it needs, emotions that appear…
– Develop: Change one thing (speed, rhythm, space, order…)
– Swicth: Do exactly the opposite movement.
– Shift: Focus in the transitions and connections

Mix, shake and present!

After the movement presentation  I explained my process supported by literature. Here it is, my little baby:

CREATIVE Process of AIRE

schema of the solo

1. The “Trechter” process
My creative process was a “wholistic” approach to the different creative experiences I had in class. As in a big trechter I put all the reflections and body experiences, I mixed them up and connected the different ingredients to each other, and gradually distill them in what we called solo.

Personally, one of the most important characteristics of my process was that the movements appeared BEFORE the understanding. The cognitive and conscious understanding appeared retrospectively, and I constantly oscillated between the right and the left brain activity, “as if the raw physical expression of emotion during incubation resonated with the sense making of illumination” (Meekumks 2002)

The connections to my personal themes, the connections between the movements and the object/part of the body/ life event, emerged, popped out as illuminations, as “Aha” moments in the middle of the dance or painting. They were “subtle and cumulative, only perceived with hidsight.” (Meekums 2002)

I lived exactly the “let it happen attitude as contrasted to doing it. The ego learned slowly and attitude toward what
wants moving. Movement, to be experienced has to be found in the body, not put n like a dress or a coat”
(Whitehouse 1963, p 4)

So in short the phases of my creative process were the following:

· Previous Evaluation & Preparation

The day in class for preparing, the 17th of November, I started my exercise by thinking rationally, evaluating the previous class experiences, “embodying the insights gained in the previous stages” (Meekums 2002 p21)
and tried to find connections between the body part, the object and the event. I wrote and did schemes, totally driven y the left brain way of thinking. Afterwards I did a drawing where the three ingredients were translated into a body part: Life event = Inguinal Canal / Object = Neck / Diafragm.

· Failure & Coffee dregs & Raw Material
Afterwards I tried to move. But I could not. I was simply laying on the floor and my body wanted to fall sleep and my mind was still in the “thinking” mode. Hopefully I received a phone call and I left to the bathroom
here I refresh myself with water. I came back to the studio and began walking, moving around the space with no particular objective. My body needed to warm up, the attention needed to spread all over the cells in the body to allow them to speak. And they spoke. I felt as if the coffee dregs (words, information and reflections) needed to be posed down in the bottom and depth part of my mind. I jump totally into the incubation process.

After some vacillations and different movement attemps I stick to the “drowing and saving myself” movement with my hands grabbing the hair. Using the “repetition” creative tool, I explored the different efforts of time and weight in the phrase and decided that Suddenness and strong where the ones that most resonated with my inner feeling. I realise afterwards that this movement was connected to the diaphragm, bending my body exactly in that point and I found a correlation to my feelings as“conflicts associated with an inability to process and assimilate impressions (…) and our ability to eliminate” are placed in the abdominal area (Halprin 2002 p.162)

Besides, I was also bending the neck and throat, which are directly related to the ability to communicate “acting as a conductor of our inner impulses, thought and feelings to the outer environment and to other people” (Halprin 2002 p.152). Moreover the bending and the drowing expressed the extreme disconnection I felt once between my mind and my heart. This specific movement was the base, the raw ingredient, where the solo was build up. That day I felt
tremendously satisfied for having been able to move and for the innate creating ability of humans.

2. Cathartic boxing
A kick boxing glove randomly appeared at home, transported me to a dramatic and intense dance the next day of the class. Through approximately forty minutes I moved my hands and literally danced with the glove, while tears and clear images and memories , “demons of past and present” (Halprin 2002 p.21) , filled up my mind. It was definitely part of my incubation “essentially a here-and-now experience” (Meekums 2002 p.18), where I “inmerse myself in the experience of the moment, giving myself over to sensation, feeling or thought” (Halprin 2002 p.18).

The glove became a metaphor, a personification indeed and “it implied a merging between symbol and the object symbolized”(Meekums 2002 ), which provided me with the possibility to act and express with distance from the real subject.

schema of the solo2
The reflection that followed this cathartic experience, helped me clarifying better the story”. In addition I incorporate a forth body part in my dance. The hands.The hands,which “can express rage through hitting and punching” (and drowning in my case), and have the ability to “destroy and rebuild (“drown and save” in my case), to hold on and let go” (Halprin 2002, p.160)

After some days I saw clearly the structure I wanted to give to my solo. And I draw it. Again the same order: first action (this case paintng) and then understanding.

3. Aire
“When we bring sound into our movement, we are giving voice to our feelings and stories.” (Halprin 2002)
I wanted to put words in the solo from the very beginning and many words came to my mind. Nevertheless neither of those rationally selected words was fitting in the dance phrase, it was too forced and I was not feeling myself while saying them.

Only the day of the presentation, while rehearsing and deciding the last details the word Aire (air in English),
emerged naturally from my dance. The presentation was a total satisfaction for me. I found myself able to really experience the moment, even deeper than alone, as I was communicating part of my inner world to my fellows. It was rewarding.

4. Conclusion and deliberations
One of my worries and doubts through the journey of creation, was the overlapping between therapeutic/creative/ artistic process. Was I focusing only in healing something inside of me? Was it possible to focus in the aesthetics of the artistic piece also? I think about it and shared my impressions with my mates and I finally found a good answer in Daria’s book:

“The framework through which we practice this work must serve the purpose of strengthening what we call the lifeart bridge, that being the metaphoric relationships between our art making and our life circumstances. With framework and structure, inmersion in the arts becomes a therapeutic and educational experience in which art is transformational and healing”. (Halprin 2002 p. 20)

So the artistic process itself can be also therapeutic, and this was precisely what I experienced all along this module. I would like to conclude by adding that I still have iluminations, appearing like little sparks, echos, that connect present and past behaviours or thoughts with the solo, and the other way around.

Still learning from the echoing

Danza terapia con gitanas de Rumanía y sus niños

Danza Terapia materno infantil: Gitano rumanas y sus bebitos

GypsyTraditionalWomen
Hace más o menos un año ya, bailé con un grupo mujeres rumanas y sus bebitos. Fue la primera vez que llevé a cabo una sesión así. Sí, ya había dado clases de danza, pero aquí ni siquiera podía mencionar que se trataba de danza, las trabajadoras sociales dijeron que utilizara “movimiento” o “ejercicios”, la palabra danza les cohibía, ¿pecado, algo impuro o indigno tal vez?

El taller consistía en trabajar el vinculo entre la madre y el hijo, que en estas comunidades suele ser un poco inestable, por no decir bastante incompleto.

Así que allí fui yo, a Santa Coloma, una ciudad periféricá de Barcelona, con todo mi plan preparado, los ejercicios preparados, las canciones que iba a usar y una bolsa llena de pañuelos.

Unas siete mujeres, muy ornamentadas en su estilo,  con uno o dos niños cada una. Muy sonrientes y con ojos brillantes. Y los canijos, preciosos de entre 1 y 3 años, con vestidos rimbombantes y muy revoltosos.

Difícil. Fue complicado. No me hacían caso, algunos niños lloraban, otros se separaban de sus madres y ellas se enfadaban, otras pasaban, otras se me pegaban demasiado. Un cacao. Y eso que las dos trabajadoras sociales estaban conmigo.

Adiós.

Adiós a todo el plan estructurado, lo importante era sencillamente estar allí, muy presente y ver que surgía.  Improvisar pero con un objetivo claro: Reforzar la unión entre mama y nene.

Así que saqué los pañuelos de colores de la bolsa. Uy qué euforia. Se los engancharon por la cabeza, a ellas mismas y a sus hijos, estaban encantadas. Bonita imagen multicolor.
Y se me ocurrió que la mamá tomara una punta del pañuelo y el hijo la otra punta, primero la mama guiaría y luego el nene.

Reciprocidad, acción-reacción,  guiar y dejarse guiar…

Uy María – pensé – esto no va tan mal.
Y no, en definitiva no fue nada mal. Una semana más tarde las trabajadoras me felicitaron. Jo. Sí. Cada vez estaba más requetesegura de que la danzaterapia era para mí.

Terminamos todas en círculo, sentadas en el suelo. Cantando una nana, Yemaya Asesu.
Mientras yo les decía que se la cantaran a sus nenes. Que les acariciaran las cabecitas. Que les miraran a los ojos. De verdad. Que les miraran de verdad.

Porque a todos nos gusta que nos miren de verdad.
Porque a todos nos gusta que nos digan con los ojos:
te veo, estoy aquí, estoy aquí para ti.

Mil gracias a Laura Calderón Martínez y al Casal Dels Infants de Barcelona

mini documentary

I am doing a documentary course.  Why? Because people nowadays have little time to read and I want to be able to communicate what I do and my future projects in a visual and creative way.

For my surpirse (I might be totally wrong, if so please let me know) there is NO proper oficial video about what dance movement therapy is. Not even from the American Dance Therapy Association.

The only one that in my opinion is a real powerful and professional documentary is:
http://vimeo.com/21190734

But still it is not specific about what dance movement therapy is, it shows one example.

There are some other videos, nice videos, but not powerful and clear enough to arrive to a big public, unfamiliar with DMT.

Therefore I would like to make a trial mini documentary answering the question:
WHAT IS ACTUALLY DANCE MOVEMENT THERAPY?

Ingredients needed:

A client of DMT that is willing to share a bit of his/her experience – the personal story
Experienced dance movement therapist – the view from our field
A psychologist who is also DMT –  the bridge
A psychologist / psychiatric/ neuroscientist – the outsider

My idea:
Every documentary needs a line. The line will be the story of the patient and the interviews with the experts will be intercalated. The rest is a secret.
___________________________________

As I am starting and my knowledge is quite limited the mini documentary would be the first step.
Once more experienced with editing an filming, I would like to ask for a grant to Marian Chace Foundation and start a campaign in Kickstarter or another crowdfunding to create a real documentary.

Now… I need your help!
If you would like to get involved or have any tips, suggestions or thoughts against it, just feel free to let me know info@mariamunainmoral.com

La depresión y el cuerpo

alexander-lowen-la-depresion-y-el-cuerpo_MLA-O-2926353376_072012

Hay una realidad innegable en la vida de toda persona y es su existencia física y corporal.
No existe perturbación mental que a la vez no lo sea física.

La creencia de que “todo está en la cabeza” es la gran ilusión de nuestro tiempo, ignorando la realidad de que la vida en todas sus manifestaciones es un fenómeno físico.

**************************************************************************************

¿Por qué el vientre es tan importante? La respuesta es que es el asiento de la vida. Literalmente uno se sienta sobre su propio vientre, y de esta forma mantiene contacto a través de él con el suelo pélvico, los organos sexuales y las piernas.

Enraizar al individuo (grounding) consiste en sensibilizar el vientre de manera que la persona pueda sentir sus entrañas y sensibilzar sus piernas as que las sienta como raíces móviles.

Alexander Lowen
Depression and the Body. the biological Basis of Faith and Reality. 

Lecturas:

Bioenergética

Respiración, sentimiento y movimiento

 

Akun

cropped-symbol.jpg

Why Akun?

“Akun” word means “I AM”, “I exist” in arabic classical language. Its origins are the root “Kaun” which means Universe, Cosmos, Existence.

So Akun Danza, I am dance. We all are.

This is a Work In Progress project for creating a world wide non profit dance organization.

My aim is to develop different projects of dance, expression and personal empowerment around the world for communities in social disadvantage.

I am going to bring dance to people who most need it.
I want to share all around the world the freedom, the awareness, the health and the joy that dance gives me every moment.


¿Akun por qué?
La palabra “Akun” significa “YO SOY”, “yo existo” en la lengua árabe clásica. Y proviene de la raíz “Kaun” que significa Universo, Cosmos, Existencia.

Yo soy danza. Todos lo somos.

La semilla de mi sueño.

Un proyecto en gestación para crear una organización no lucrativa internacional de danza.

Mi objetivo es desarrollar diversos proyectos de danza, expresión y empoderamiento personal alrededor del mundo para personas en desventaja social.

Quiero llevar la danza a las personas que más la necesitan.
Compartir la libertad, la consciencia, la salud y la felicidad que me brinda la danza en cada momento.

Method Acting, por fin me atrevo con el teatro

Hands touching an orange
Hands touching an orange

Por fin me he atrevido. Ayer empecé clases de Teatro.
Acaricié, olí, chupé, rasqué, agujereé, exprimí y sorbí una naranja imaginaria en mis manos.
Usando los sentidos. Los sentidos me anclan en el aquí y ahora. Revivo la experiencia.

Las clases son de “Method Acting” se basan bastante en el método Stanivlanski. Resulta que este hombre estaba cansado de ver a los actores exagerar y actuar estereotipadamente. Rescató al actor como artista y se manifestó en contra del divismo. Este ruso tenía un amigo llamdo Pavlov que le explicó la teoría de los reflejos condicionados…

  • Concentración: Responder a la imaginación aprendiendo a pensar como el “personaje” que estamos interpretando.
  • Sentido de verdad: Diferenciar entre lo orgánico y lo artificial.
  • Relajación: Eliminación de la tensión física y relajación de los músculos mientras se hacen las presentaciones.
  • Trabajar con los sentidos: Descubrir la base sensorial del trabajo; aprender a memorizar y recordar sensaciones, comúnmente llamada “memoria sensorial” y/o “memoria

” When an actor is completely absorbed by some profoundly moving objective so that
he throws his whole being passionately into its execution, he reaches a
state we call inspiration.”

“Love art in yourself and not yourself in art.”

Aprender a aprender – Moshe Feldenkrais

Moshe

From Moshe Feldenkrais, “Body and Mind”, 1980:

The way the mind and body are united has preoccupied human beings throughout the centuries. ‘A healthy mind in a healthy body’ and similar sayings show a conception of one kind of unity

I believe that the unity of mind and body is an objective reality. They are not just parts somehow related to each other, but an inseparable whole while functioning. A brain without a body could not think; at least, the continuing of mental functions is assured by corresponding motor functions.

[…]

There is little doubt in my mind that the motor function, and perhaps the muscles themselves, are part and parcel of our higher functions. This is not true only of those higher functions like singing, painting and loving, which are impossible without muscular activity, but also of thinking, recalling, remembering and feeling.

The advantage of approaching the unity of mental and muscular life through the body lies in the fact that the muscle expression is simpler because it is concrete and easier to locate. It is also incomparably easier to make a person aware of what is happening in the body, therefore the body approach yields faster and more direct results. On acting on the significant parts of the body, such as the eyes, the neck, the breath, or the pelvis, it is easy to effect striking changes of mood on the spot.

Individually acquired action (ontogenic action) pertains to the senses. Such action can be altered or learned as one can become aware of the actual differences, such as the extent of the effort, its coordination in time, the body sensation, the spatial configuration of the body segments, the standing, the breathing, the wording, etc.

This kind of awared learning is complete when the new mode of action becomes automatic or even unconscious, as all habits do. The advantage of a habit acquired by awareness is that when it shows unfitness or maladjustment when confronted with reality, it easily provokes new awareness and so helps one to make a fresh and more efficient change.

My inmost belief is that, just as anatomy has helped us to get an intimate knowledge of the working of the body, and neuroanatomy an understanding of some activities of the psyche, so will understanding of the somatic aspects of consciousness enable us to know ourselves more intimately.

“I am going to be your last teacher. Not because I’ll be the greatest teacher you may ever encounter, but because from me you will learn how to learn … you will realise that there are no teachers … only people learning and people learning how to facilitate learning.”

————————————————————

De Moshé Feldenkrais, “Cuerpo y Mente”, 1980:

La manera en que la mente y el cuerpo están unidos ha preocupado a  los seres humanos a través de los siglos. “Mente sana en un cuerpo sano”, y dichos similares muestran una concepción de un tipo de unidad.
[…]

Yo creo que la unidad de mente y cuerpo es una realidad objetiva. Estas no sólo son partes que de alguna manera están relacionadas entre sí, sino que son una integridad inseparable durante su funcionamiento. Un cerebro sin un cuerpo no podría pensar; al menos, la continuidad de las funciones mentales está asegurada por las funciones motoras correspondientes.

[…]

Hay en mi mente una pequeña duda  y es si las funciones motoras y quizás los músculos en sí mismos son parte integrante de nuestras funciones más elevadas. Esto no sólo es verdad para ésas altas funciones como cantar, pintar y amar, las cuales son imposibles sin actividad muscular, sino también para pensar, memorizar, recordar y sentir.

La ventaja de abordar el concepto de la unidad de vida mental y muscular a través del cuerpo se apoya en el hecho de que la expresión del músculo es más simple porque es concreta y más fácil para localizar. También es incomparablemente más fácil hacer a una persona consciente de lo que está pasando en el cuerpo, por consiguiente  el enfoque corporal trae resultados más rápidos y  más directos. Actuando sobre las partes significativas del cuerpo, como los ojos, el cuello, la respiración, o la pelvis, es fácil provocar notables cambios de disposición en el momento.

La acción adquirida individualmente  (acción ontogénica) pertenece  a los sentidos. Tal acción puede ser alterada o aprendida en la medida que uno puede hacerse consciente de las actuales diferencias, tales como la extensión del esfuerzo, su coordinación en el tiempo, la sensación corporal, la configuración espacial de los segmentos del cuerpo, al estar parado, al respirar, al verbalizar, etc.

El tipo del aprendizaje autoconciente es completo cuando el nuevo modo de acción se hace automático o incluso inconsciente, como lo son todos los hábitos. La ventaja del hábito adquirido a través de la autoconciencia, es que cuando éste muestra algo inadecuado o desajustado al confrontarse con la realidad, éste provoca fácilmente una nueva autoconciencia y entonces nos ayuda a hacer un cambio sin esfuerzo [N T.: el autor usa la palabra “fresh”, que alude a un cambio nuevo] y más eficiente.

Mi más profunda creencia es que, así como la anatomí­a nos ha ayudado a obtener un conocimiento íntimo del trabajo del cuerpo, y la neuroanatomí­a un entendimiento de algunas actividades de la psiquis, entonces, el entendimiento de los aspectos somáticos de la conciencia nos posibilitará  conocernos a nosotros mismos más íntimamente.

“Voy a ser vuestro último profesor. No porque vaya a ser el mejor que jamás hayáis encontrado, sino porque vais a aprender a aprender… os daréis cuenta de que no hay profesores, que sólo hay personas que aprenden y personas que aprenden a facilitar el aprendizaje. ”
Moshe Feldenkrais
Extracted from International Feldenkrais Federation

One billion rising

one billion rising

Una de cada tres mujeres en el planeta será maltratada en su vida.
Mil millones de mujeres violadas es una atrocidad.
Mil millones de mujeres danzando es una revolución.

Próximo 14 de Febrero, vamos a movernos.

Busca el evento más cercano: onebillionrising.org/

One in three women on the planet will be raped or beaten in her lifetime.
One billion women violated is an atrocity.
One billion women dancing is a relolution.

Next 14th of February, we are going to move.

Check the closest event from you: onebillionrising.org/

Flor del cielo

sky flower
sky flower

I often thought that if I had had to live in the trunk of a dead tree, with nothing to do but look up at the sky flowing overhead, little by little I would have gotten used to it.


 

Pensé a menudo que si me hubiesen hecho vivir en el tronco de un árbol seco sin otra ocupación que la de mirar la flor del cielo sobre mi cabeza, me habría acostumbrado poco a poco.

 

Albert Camus, “Stranger”

Why “Oriental” instead of Belly?

fritz scholder
Fritz Scholder

Why I use Oriental instead of Belly Dancing when I refer to my lessons?

 

Reason 1

What in western countries is know as “Belly dance”, is called originally “Raqs sharki” in Arabic language.
رقص شرقى
Raqs is dance. Sharki is Eastern or oriental. Then the arabic people call it Oriental dance.

Reason 2

Moreover I want to to radically differentiate from the belly dance style that is show-oriented, a bit diva and superstar type with fancy and colorful clothes (sorry the photo is too extreem I definetely do not aim to offend anybody)

I have nothing against this kind of belly dance but I simply feel more connected with the more ancient way of dance, simple and more intimate.

So oriental dance as I understand it and as I approach it,  focuses a bit deeper trying to find the inner source of movement.
What Mary Whitehouse one of the pioneers in Dance Therapy used to say:

Movement, to be experienced, has to be “found” in the body, not put on like a dress or a coat. There is that in us which has moved from the very beginning. It is that which can liberate us.

Mary Whitehouse, Founder of Authentic Movement

Therefore in the lessons we do not focus in copying choreographies and performing , but in finding our inner resource to be able to create the movement by ourselves.

That is why I call it Oriental Dance.

Dafne. El ángel trémulo

Image

Yo gozaba en los bosques, en los parajes desiertos o abruptos.  En los ojos de los ciervos, de los lobos, de los jabalíes, veía una  dulzura incólume, una inocencia primigenia. Andaba todo el día por la montaña, por las pendientes boscosas, y al llegar la noche me dormía en el hueco de una roca o contra un roble acogedor.

Me llamaban salvaje porque prefería la compañía de los árboles a la de los hombres. Mi soledad extrañaba, pero era una vida fascinante. Una soledad pujante y discreta que no necesitaba de multitud de admiradores o de esclavos. Me llamaban ninfa de los bosques, sacerdotisa de la Naturaleza.

Pero Apolo se enamoró de mí y se puso a perseguir mi cuerpo blanco y esbelto durante todo el día. ¿Quién podría resistirse a la divina luz del sol?

Detesto seguir el curso de las cosas, obedecer a todo lo establecido: la búsqueda del sol, el matrimonio,o la sociedad de los hombres, la procreación.El amor para mí, la fugitiva, la indómita, se encuentra en la libertad no en el vínculo. Yo era una solitaria, mi vida estaba llena de presencias: ¿Qué hubiera podido añadir un amante por muy divino que fuera? Huí pues del acoso de Apolo, pero corriendo y ocultándome sin cesar me sentí pronto como una cierva acorralada.

Amaba tanto el bosque que acabé por confundirme con él, por entregarme totalmente a él. Mi cuerpo se cubrió de una fina corteza, mis pies se hundieron cada vez más en la tierra oscura y cálida dónde reconocía un olor materno. Miré mis brazos y vi que se desplegaban y se extendían hacia el cielo convirtiéndose en ramas, hojas y brotes… 

Se podría creer que convertida en árbol, había perdido mi libertad, que estaba condenada a permanecer inmóvil.
No: Mis brazos, mis dedos, mis cabellos,o vibraban en la altura cono el cielo, cono la luz y los perfumes; llamaban a los pájaros, recibían a los elementos y al rocío.
Con mis finas extremidades con mis raíces profundas, oía, mejor que ningún ser humano, lo que susurraba el cielo,o lo que fraguaba la tierra desde su vientre fecundo. No estaba petrificada, era un puro estremecimiento.

El sofocado solo llegó ante mi verde silueta y descubrió desconcertado, en lo que me había convertido. Besó ola suave corteza, aspiró las hojas temblorosas, oyó latir el corazón del árbol y declaró:
“¿No quieres ser mi mujer?, pues bien, serás mi árbol”

¿Era aquella una lección de amor?
Al codicioso deseo de Apolo, que quería capturarme, respondí con las manos abiertas, con el cuerpo extendido hacia la inmensidad del cielo. Pero la mayoría de los hombres prefieren sentir a su amada temblar entre sus brazos y bajo su cuerpo, que verla estremecerse así, sola y deslumbrada, a la merced de los cuatro vientos. 


Jacqueline Kelen. Les femmes éternelles (adaptación)

Gracias – Oriental dance lessons for youth in Santa Caterina Neighborhood, Barcelona 2012


palau

Termina el curso en el Palau Alòs, dónde tanto he aprendido como maestra y como persona.

Gracias a todos los que han bailado, reído y disfrutado conmigo.

Gracias  a todos, a los que vinieron un día, a los que vinieron cuando pudieron y los que vinieron de principio a fin.

Gracias a Mateu,  Sara y Charly  por acogerme desde el primer día en el Palau.

Y gracias a la Danza, al cuerpo, y al movimiento, por permitirnos sonreír y crear  tanta belleza.

The dance year finishes in Palau Alos, where I have learnt so much as a teacher and as a person.

Thank you, thanks to everybody that danced, laughed, and enjoyed with me this course.

Thanks to everbody, to the ones that came one day, to the ones that came when they could, and the ones that came from the beginning to the end.

Thanks to Mateu, Sara and Charly for receiving me so warmly from the first day.

And thanks to the Dance, to our bodies, to the movement, for allowing us to smile and create so much beauty.

Palmera Queens – clases de danza para mujeres mayores en La Sagrera, Barcelona 2012

Mis mujeres de Sant Andreu.

Que hermosas. Venían una mañana a la semana.

Muy alborotadas y habladoras, pero cada cual más guapa y agradecida. Unas quince mujeres y yo bailamos danza oriental en el Casal de Gent Gran “La Palmera” en Sant Andreu, Barcelona.

Durante la primavera de 2012 practicamos juntas algunos pasos de danza, y juntas también creamos una coreografía para mostrar a todo el Casal.

Menudo cacao para escoger el vestuario…  Al final el negro ganó. Si es que el negro pega con todo.

No tengo palabras para agradecer a todos los trabajadores del casal, a ellas, las reinas, y a todos los que nos vieron. Aplaudieron mucho. Y al parecer les gustó tanto que algunos del público querían que repitiéramos la danza!

Y más todavía.

Sin enterarme estaba ya usando técnicas de Danza Terapia. Aparte de la coreografía, bailamos también en círculo.  Un círculo de Marian Chace (esto es para las DMT-nianas claro…)

¿Qué es eso? Pues todas juntas en un círculo, bailamos dejándonos inspirar por los movimientos de las demás. Yo tomaba movimientos de ellas, y ellas me seguían. Más o menos. Porque el objetivo no es copiar exactamente los movimientos sino moverse en el sentimiento y la cualidad de movimiento de la que lidera el círculo.

Y el último día de clase me prepararon un almuerzo de despedida, una postal firmada por todas.Tan ñoña soy que se me caían las lágrimas.

la palmera 2

Reinas son y serán. 
Como mi abuela Carmen y mi abuela Blanca.
Y como todas las abuelas.

Porque todas pueden  bailar.  
Así que coge a tu abuela y date un paso doble!

Deconstructing

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it”

“Tu tarea no es buscar el amor, sino buscar y encontrar dentro de ti todas las barreras que has construido en contra de él.”

Yalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Image

“Dance-Walking Fitness”

I never like running. Definetely, it is not for me.
But probably this variation could fit me better.

It is called “Dance Walking”.  A viral phenomenon suppossedly arose from a video of Ben Aaron, an American reporter, although surely people have dancewalked always in history…

When I am happy and there is nobody in the street I sometimes dance.
And why do we have to wait till nobody see us?
Is it forbidden to dance?
Is it something to be ashamed of?
I would love to live in a city where people can go dancing to work without being the centre of attention.

Something so simple, that most only practice under the influence of the alcohol, could be the future of jogging…

Correr nunca me ha gustado. Definitivamente, no es para mí. Pero tal vez esta variación sí lo sea:

Podríamos llamarlo “Danzacaminar”  (?¿). El término lo dice todo.
Es ya un fenómeno viral, surgido supuestamente a raíz del vídeo de Ben Aaron, un reportero estadounidense. Aunque yo creo que siempre ha existido en la historia…

Cuando uno esta muy contento y nadie le ve por la calle, yo al menos, a veces se me escapa algún bailoteo.
Y porqué tenemos que esperar a que no haya nadie en la calle?
Está prohibido bailar?
Es acaso algo de lo que tengamos que avergonzarnos?

Me encantaría caminar por una ciudad en la que la gente puediera ir bailando al trabajo sin llamar la atención.

Algo tan simple, que muchos solo hacen bajo la influencia del alcohol, podría ser el footing del futuro.

Alaif


“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

“No preguntes qué necesita el mundo. Mejor pregunta qué te hace estar vivo, qué te hace despertar. Porque lo que el mundo necesita es gente que haya comenzado a vivir.”

H. Thurman

Este fin de semana, he aprendido a gatear.

Gracias a Sabine Dahrendorf con quien he conocido el Método Feldenkrais:

Bebé Feldenkrais Video

“Recognizing our insignificance, the unimportance of what we think, do, or cannot do, we find ourselves in full mastery of ourselves to the potential limit of our ability. That sort of unstable equilibrium that is abandoned in each action and recovered for the next is the essence of human maturity.”

“Reconociendo nuestra pequeñez, la insignificancia de lo que pensamos, hacemos o no podemos hacer, nos encontramos en pleno dominio de nosotros mismos, hasta el límite potencial de nuestras capacidades. Esa especie de equilibrio inestable que se abandona en cada acción y se recupera en la siguiente, es la esencia de la madurez humana.”

Moshe Feldenkrais


Menos tu vientre

Menos tu vientre
todo es confuso.

Menos tu vientre
todo es futuro
fugaz, pasado
baldío turbio.

Menos tu vientre
todo es oculto,
menos tu vientre
todo inseguro,
todo postrero,
polvo sin mundo.

Menos tu vientre
todo es oscuro,
menos tu vientre
claro y profundo.

Miguel Hernández

Locura

“Aquellos que bailaban fueron tomados por locos por aquellos que no podían escuchar la música.”

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

 
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Retoques y recortamientos mutuos

“Una pareja se conocen y se enamoran y durante unos meses son como dos aves extendiendo sus alas en el cielo, deleitándonos con su vuelo como si se tratara de un espectáculo de danza.

Al cabo de un tiempo, uno de ellos le dice al otro: ¿Sabes? He estado observándote y me doy cuenta de que tus alas son un poquito demasiado largas y están algo en desproporción con el resto de tu cuerpo. Así que, si me lo permites, yo las podría recortar un poquito y estarías mucho mejor.

El otro accede, pero al cabo de un tiempo empieza a pensar que sería mejor que los dos tuvieran las alas de la misma medida, así que se las recorta al primero. Y al cabo de pocos años, las dos aves magníficas se han convertido en dos pollos de corralcon unas alitas minúsculas y ven que lo que los mantiene unidos es el eje de la rostisseria que los hace girar a la misma velocidad, en el mismo sentido. Han perdido su individualidad .

Reflexión: Cuando conozcáis una persona encantadora, mirad si guarda escondidas unas tijeras. La libertad da miedo, pero la no libertad nos conduce inexorablemente a estamparnos contra un muro.”

Aleste Delemur, tras una conferencia de Daniel Odier

Geometría de luz

Danzar es morar poéticamente en una duración,
en un instante, a través de una lógica de luz.
Es la visión que ilumina el instante del mundo.
Es una geometría de la luz

Dance is dwelling poetically in an instant,
through a logic of light.
It is the vision than lights the instant of the world
It is a geometry of light

Cristo Torres

Danza de los impotentes de la creación


DADA; abolición de la lógica, danza de los impotentes de la creación:
DADA; de toda jerarquía y ecuación social instalada para los valores por nuestros lacayos:

DADA; cada objeto, todos los objetos, los sentimientos y las oscuridades, las apariciones y el choque preciso de las líneas paralelas, son medios para el combate:

DADA; abolición de la memoria:
DADA; abolición de la arqueología:
DADA; abolición de los profetas:
DADA; abolición del futuro:
DADA; creencia absoluta indiscutible en cada dios producto inmediato de la espontaneidad:
DADA; salto elegante y sin perjuicio de una armonía a la otra esfera; trayectoria de una palabra lanzada como un disco sonoro grito; respetar todas las individualidades en su locura del momento: seria, temerosa, tímida, ardiente, vigorosa, decidida, entusiasta; pelar su iglesia de todo accesorio inútil y pesado; escupir como una cascada luminosa el pensamiento chocante o amoroso, o mimarlo -con la viva satisfacción de que da igual- con la misma intensidad en el zarzal, puro de insectos para la sangre biennacida, y dorada de cuerpos de arcángeles, de su alma.

Libertad: DADA DADA DADA,

aullido de los dolores crispados,entrelazamiento de los contrarios y de todas las contradicciones, de los grotescos, de las inconsecuencias:

LA VIDA.

Tristan Tzara – Manifiesto dada 1918

Mujeres etéreas

dali-bee-sting

Durante kilómetros de silencio planeábamos una caricia que nos aproximaba al paraíso; durante horas enteras nos anidábamos en una nube, como dos ángeles, y de repente, en tirabuzón, en hoja muerta, el aterrizaje forzoso de un espasmo.

¡Que delicia la de tener una mujer tan ligera…, aunque nos haga ver, de vez en cuando las estrellas! ¡Que voluptuosidad la de pasarse los días entre las nubes… la de pasarse las noches de un solo vuelo!

Después de conocer a una mujer etérea, ¿puede brindarnos alguna clase de atractivos una mujer terrestre? ¿Verdad que no hay una diferencia sustancial entre vivir con una vaca o con una mujer que tenga las nalgas a setenta y ocho centímetros del suelo?

Yo, por lo menos, soy incapaz de comprender la seducción de una mujer pedestre, y por más empeño que ponga en concebirlo, no me es posible ni tan siquiera imaginar que pueda hacerse el amor más que volando.”

Oliverio Girondo 

Me enamoré del flamenco

Me enamoré del flamenco. Sí. Así de repente, desde que entendí el compás. Desde que me adentré en el maravilloso ” mundo de los doces”, que dice la Helga.

Porque el compás tiene tela. Yo viniendo del norte… no había escuchado que dijéramos muchos, más bien ningún tanguillo, bulería, fandangos o alegría…
Pero vaya.
Gracias a Helga de Besós y a Carol de Barceloneta, se me metió por las venas.

Padecí y creo que padezco aún la fiebre de los doces. Osease, que escucho cualquier palo de amalgama y ya camino a doces.

un dos
un dos tres
cuatro, cinco, seis
siete, ocho,
nueve, diez!

Muchas escaleras he subido yo en el barrio de Santa Caterina, en Barcelona, a doces. Y la verdad se hacen más amenas. Sí.

Y esta mujer.  Qué mujer. Inspiradora.   Vídeo La truco

Y mira tú

Un día, con 13 años dije:

– Quiero aprender danza oriental.
Y alguien respondió:
– Esta niña solo tiene pájaros en la cabeza.

One day, being 13 years old I said:

– I want to learn oriental dancing.
And somebady answered:
– There are simply birds in this girl’s head.

Propósito

Cuando danzas, tu propósito no es llegar a un lugar determinado del suelo.
Sino disfrutar cada paso en el camino.

When you dance, your purpose is not to get to a certain place on the floor.
It’s to enjoy each step along the way.

Wayne Dyer

Soledad y confusión

Perdidos, vagando, hacia un cielo nublado…

“No quiero tu amor, ni escuchar tu voz, ni vivir por ti. No quiero tu amor porque cuando más te alejas más libre me siento.

Hoy quiero tu amor y escuchar tu voz y vivir por ti. Hoy quiero tu amor, por que cuando más te alejas, más triste me siento.”

Manolo García

Entregando el alma…

Danzar no es levantarse sin esfuerzo como una mota de polvo en el viento.

Danzar es alzarse sobre ambos mundos, haciéndose pedazos el corazón,

y entregando el alma.

Danza donde puedas partirte en pedazos y abandonar totalmente tus pasiones mundanas.

Los hombres de verdad danzan y giran en el campo de batalla,

danzan en su propia sangre.

Cuando se entregan, baten palmas;

cuando dejan atrás las imperfecciones del sí mismo,  danzan.

Sus trovadores tocan desde adentro, y océanos enteros de pasión

hacen espuma en la cresta de las olas.

Jalal ad-Din RUMI

 

Llama transformada en humo

 

El amor es una cosa extraña, y ¡cuán fácilmente perdemos su cálida llama!

La llama se pierde y queda el humo.

El humo nos llena los corazones y las mentes, y pasamos los días llorando y amargados. Se olvida el canto y las palabras han perdido su sentido. El aroma se ha disipado y tenernos las manos vacías.

Nunca sabemos la manera de tener la llama limpia de humo, y el humo siempre sofoca a la llama. Pero el amor no es de la mente, no está en la red del pensamiento.

No puede buscarse, cultivarse, acariciarse o fomentarse; está ahí cuando la mente se halla en silencio y el corazón se ha vaciado de las cosas de la mente.

Krishnamurti

La olita ignorante

 Erase una vez una olita pequeñita que vivia muy alegre junto a otras olitas, allí mar adentro.

A ella le gustaba mucho saltar y disfrutar de la compañía de sus compañeras. Tenía fama de ser muy alegre y divertida.

Un día por eso de las corrientes marinas, nuestra protagonista se fue desplazando hacia tierra y cuál no sería su desconsuelo cuando observó en uno de sus saltos, que las otras compañeras que le precedían terminaban rompiéndose contra el acantilado, o desapareciendo entre la arena de la playa, o fruto del reflujo mario, eran desplazadas hacia otras costas.

Toda compungida se volvió hacia su mejor amiga que se encontraba asustando a las gaviotas y le dijo:

-“Qué ignorante eres. Estás jugando y divirtiéndote sin haberte dado cuenta que dentro de poco, cuando la corriente nos lleve hacia la tierra, desapareceremos para siempre y no nos volveremos a ver”.

Ysu amiga, la otra ola, le contestó:

-“Ignorancia la tuya, que todavía no te has dado cuenta que lejos de desaparecer estaremos juntas para siempre, porque entre todas somos… el mar!

Anónimo

“El Arte de la Danza y otros escritos” de Isadora Duncan

“La danza tiene como objetivo la expresión de los movimientos más” nobles y más profundos del alma humana: esos que surgen de los dioses que hay en nosotros.”

“La danza debe implantar en nuestras vidas una armonía que brilla y palpita…”

El cuerpo sensual

“Isadora Duncan no se plantea un ir más allá de ese primer nivel de cognición. Para ella no tiene sentido el camino ascético. Al contrario, la danza es una actividad sobre todo sensual. El cuerpo comulga con la naturaleza por medio de la mimesis, es decir, de la transformación originaria en no-yo por medio del ritmo y el movimiento, con una intencionalidad no chamánica, no mística, sino puramente sensual.

Duncan sueña con una danza “que sería una sutil traducción de la luz y la blancura”. Lejos de adherirse al pesismismo schopenhaueriano, Duncan propone, como Nietzsche, una imagen alegre del cuerpo como lugar de encuentro de la naturaleza y la cultura.” (Jose Antonio Sanchez – El arte de la danza)

¨El divino cuerpo pagano, los labios apasionados, los brazos abandonados, el suave sueño refrescante sobre los hombre del ser amado:todos estos placeres me parecían deliciosos e inocentes. Habría quien se escandalice. Pero no sé por qué, si tenemos un cuerpo que nos proporciona cierta suma de dolores (…) yo no sé por qué cuando la ocasión se presenta no vamos a extraer de este mismo cuerpo un máximo placer. ¨ (Mi Vida, Isadora Duncan 1927)

Fuerza y belleza de sus cuerpos

“¡Oh, qué campo tan amplio la está esperando! ¡No sienten que está cerca que esté llegando, la bailarina del futuro! Ella ayudará al género femenino a alcanzar un nuevo conocimiento de las posibilidades de fuerza y belleza que hay en sus cuerpos, y de la relación de sus cuerpo con la naturaleza terrestre y con los niños del futuro. Ella bailará nuevamente el cuerpo emergiendo de siglos de desmemoria de la civilización, emergiendo no en la desnudez del hombre primitivo, sino en una nueva desnudez, ya no en guerra con la espiritualidad y la inteligencia, sino uniéndose a ellas en una gloriosa armonía.”

Acuarelas de Abraham Walkowitz. 1917.

La desnudez servía no para mostrar la contingencia del cuerpo, no para estimular el deseo, sino para hacer aparecer, en clave simbolista, lo que queda más allá de la piel y de la carne. Los espectadores de la época quedaban impactados por la capacidad de Duncan para hacer visibles los impulsos interiores, las vibraciones del alma. Y en esto Duncan sí que podría estar yendo más allá del postimpresionismo y del simbolismo para aproximarse a la idea de los primeros expresionistas, al entender el cuerpo no como instrumento para la producción de figuras visibles, sino para la transmisión de impresiones profundas o vibraciones anímicas. (Kandinsky 1910)

“En esta escuela no enseñaré a las niñas a imitar mis movimientos, sino a hacer los suyos propios. No las forzaré a estudiar ciertos movimientos definidos, las ayudaré a desarrollar aquellos movimientos que sean naturales para ellas. “

“No quiero cincuenta, ni quinientos, sino cinco mil alumnos. El arte es juego, es arte, salud, alegría, poesía. ¡Desearía que todo el mundo bailara conmigo! Y que todos, con sus idiosincrasias, sus desilusiones y sus pasiones, vinieran conmigo para disfrutar de una existencia más placentera.” (Mi Vida, Isadora Duncan 1927)


Fuente

Isadora Duncan en “El arte de la danza y otros escritos”
Puedes leer el libro aquí!

Nace Akun danza

Un oportunidad para volar, sentir, crear, expresar, gozar, crecer…

La palabra “akun” significa “YO SOY”, “yo existo” en la lengua árabe clásica.

Y proviene de la raíz “Kauny” que significa Universo, Cosmos o existencia.

Toda danza que combine la presencia y el sentimiento es Akun…

Akun es un proyecto en nacimiento, abierto a toda clase de sugerencias, aportaciones y críticas.

Armenian children in Zatik 2008

zatikZatik means both Ladybird and Future.
Armenian orphans and children from the street find in the orphanage Zatik, a home. They live and are educated here.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

In the summer of 2008 I participated as a volunteer in a workcamp with all the children. 

Apart from being with them, creating activities, visiting lovely armenian churches and landscapes, we also had to create a PERFORMANCE.

We created three groups of work, “Spain”, “France” and “East Europe”.

It was difficult to organize…
children were changing from one group to the other, sometimes we lack coordination,
and definitely we, the volunteers, most of us around 20 years old, were lacking of solid leading skills.

Spanish Team playing football

Together with two great girls, María from Catalunya and Eider from the Basque Country, we decided to make a SING & DANCE performance.

Listening to and old Discman I brought with me, the children decided to pick “El del medio de los Chichos” a spanish song from ESTOPA.

Because of its “Rumba” sounds, we decided to teach some basics of Flamenco, “I take the apple, I eat it and I throw it” and those type of things. We combine those movements with more free and playful ones, always coming from the children.
Together we created a very lively and joyful chorepgraphy.

After that the singing part came.
PARA BAILAR LA BAMBA was the winning song!

And we wanted everybody to sing with us so we painted the lyrics in some papers so that the public could follow the song!

bamba
This papers served as help for the audience to sing with us

It was a complete succes, we all enjoyed. And moreover …

We learn a bit of flamenco and armenian dances, we discussed, we laugh  and we learnt to work as a team, the most important:
we learnt to CREATE TOGETHER.

armenia
Resting in the backyard

And then what?

In the future, I would like to develop a project with the early teeners to help them find their calling, their passion, what they would like to do in life. Using creative and expressive dynamics and of course dance!

Maybe soon…

Thank you all
Gracias
շնորհակալություն