In Contact: Therapeutic Embodied-Relational Movement
With Lucy Fredman
June 22 - 29, 2019
A workshop for people who want to work with words and movement, body and mind, to explore more authentic and satisfying connection with themselves and others.
Contact is the way in which we come into relationship with each other. As social beings, we are hard wired to seek out contact with others and yet depending on our early childhood experiences, we may develop psychological and embodied patterns which make relational contact with others problematic.
In this workshop, we will use dance, movement, structured group process, breath, touch and bodywork to explore our habitual contact styles and how to soften the blocks that get in the way of us enjoying satisfying and authentic relational contact. The focus will be on exploring contact through both verbal and non-verbal dialogues and the richness that comes when we move between both channels, honouring the power of words and the wisdom of the moving body.
What We Will Cover:
We will explore how relational contact involves moving through a cycle of 4 stages: self-contact, initiating contact with an other, maintaining contact with an other while staying self-connected, and withdrawal from contact. All of us find some part of this cycle challenging in our relationships! Although it’s something we negotiate with people many times a day, by slowing down this process and looking at each stage in depth, we can start to become more conscious of what is happening and where we encounter the habitually difficult places.
We will develop our ability to say ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ to contact and communicating clear boundaries. Paradoxically, when we can trust ourselves to say ‘No’ to contact we don’t want, or to withdraw from contact when we have had enough, it can feel safer to let people in or come close.
Using techniques from somatically-focused trauma therapy, we will work with the concept of self-regulation and grounding. By being aware of sensations in the body, we can learn how to track arousal in the nervous system. This can help us learn to stay within the ‘Window of Tolerance’ and gauge from an embodied place what type and level of contact feels safe, manageable and nourishing.
Drawing from Reichian-based breath and bodywork, we will explore early childhood experiences of contact with our caregivers/environment and work with simple but powerful exercises to soften and release defensive patterns which developed in the body-mind.
Understanding how the past has shaped us and is influencing our current relationships can be very liberating. When we are no longer caught up in our unconscious, automatic ways of relating based on outdated strategies, we can use the supportive group environment to take risks and experiment with new ways of relating to self and others. There will be an emphasis on play and an invitation to keep bringing ourselves into the present, looking freshly at who we are now and the possibilities available in each moment to co-create the relational contact we long for.
How the Week Will Be Structured:
Workshop sessions take place in the mornings from 9.30am -1.30pm leaving lots of time for reflection, relaxing on the beach or exploring the stunning surrounding area.
We will start each morning with a body-mind warm up and movement to music. There will be a balance of working individually, in pairs/small groups and as a whole group.
Interaction within the group will be the ground for exploring our focus of embodied-relational contact. A core part of the workshop will be to work daily with a structured group process in which verbal-based sessions and non-verbal, movement-based sessions alternate with each other in a cycle. The movement sessions create a container to listen to the stories our bodies hold and to pay close attention to our inner impulses. In the verbal-based sessions, we have the opportunity to unpack what is unfolding non-verbally and to explore interpersonal dynamics while also offering empathic engagement and mutual support. In this way, words and movement will inform, support and enrich each other, allowing body and mind to become more integrated.
Overall, this workshop provides a deep dive into contactfulness and embodied aliveness, an opportunity for community building and a relaxing holiday in the sun!
The 1st day is arrival with check-in in the afternoon, registration and the welcome meal at 8pm. From the 2nd day onward our days will flow as follows:
8:30 – 9:30 Breakfast
9:30 – 1:30 Workshop session (with a half hour break at some point)
1:30pm – 2:30pm Lunch
2:30pm – 6:30pm Free time
6:30pm – Karma Yoga on some evenings (supporting the community)
8pm – Dinner
Lucy has been working in private practice as a relational psychotherapist for over 20 years. She works with individuals, couples and groups and runs workshops which combine embodied movement and a holistic body-mind therapeutic approach. She holds an MA in Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy, has trained in Somatic Trauma Therapy with trauma specialist Babette Rothschild and has an Advanced Diploma in Embodied-Relational Therapy which has emerged from Reichian bodywork and body psychotherapy. Her approach is also influenced by the embodied…
Learn more about Lucy Fredman