Hello, everyone. I hope you all have been well. I am writing to you on a hot day in Adelaide. We have been still living in an uncertain time while the borders are reopening in South Australia. November was a busy month for me again and equally I experienced emotional ups and downs. In this newsletter, I would like to mention what the pandemic may mean to our bodies and update some upcoming new events in 2022!
Pandemic and the Body
I am becoming more aware that the last one year has been super tough in many aspects. One of my ‘missions’ in Adelaide is to advocate dance movement therapy (DMT) that I practice, which is a creative body-based psychotherapy. The advocacy of DMT has felt very challenging to me in many ways. In my personal therapy, I have been exploring with my art psychotherapist what this ‘uncommonness’ or possible ‘avoidance’ of the body-based approach may mean to people. In the global pandemic, we collectively grow a fear towards the body in general and are facing collective trauma in our bodies. As the result of experiencing trauma, we are going through unexpected losses such as a sense of safety, jobs, connections with loved ones, travelling opportunities, and so forth (Pennock, 2020). These losses are stored in our bodies (Rothschild, 2010).
The last two years, we were made so bodily aware – no more human touch or contact is easily allowed. We know that viruses can/have come into the body. The body consciously has become a scary place for all of us through this pandemic. In this context, the body work may be put aside temporarily by the majority and likewise DMT may not be well received, either. Yet, we do need more bodily connections with our own bodies. A sense of grounding can be fostered by bringing consciousness to the body (Meekum, 2002). A sense of safety comes from bodily awareness. In 2022, could we have a bit more space to allow our bodies to feel more connected with our own? I do hope so!
Presentation at Mayo House
A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak about ‘dance movement therapy for mothers and babies’ at a conf
erence organised by Helen Mayo House, a hospital that supports mothers and infants’ wellbeing. There were about 150 female clinicians – psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers and other health allied professionals. I put up my stall and hung my body map too. In the middle of the long talks with specific themes, getting up and moving the bodies was a good idea. I enjoyed facilitating a small movement experiential for the audience along with my presentation. On the other hand, it felt to me what I had brought to the venue seemed to be alien to some clinicians. I just think planting a DMT seed was just good enough on this occasion.
DTAA AGM and Awards
Lastly, small, good news. Unexpectedly, at the AGM of Dance Movement Therapy Association of Australasia, I was awarded twice – Service Award and Leadership Award! As a convenor of the Workplace Development Committee, the DTAA Board and I worked so hard to compile a mammoth document submitted to the NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) Safeguard Commission to ask for recognition of our profession by the NDIS. If approved, dance movement therapists will have more work opportunities and more people will be able to access our approach easily. The compilation work was like a full-time job. But we did it. I was so glad to be acknowledged for my contribution to the association!
Upcoming Events – 2021 & 2022
Here is the information on the upcoming events in 2022. Hope some of you may be able to make it next year!
Move & Connect
Our last monthly moving space will take place on 9th December 2021 from 7 pm till 8 pm at Room 7, Mitcham Community Centre. Please join me and dance the end of 2021.
Body Mapping – New Season 2022
My colleague, Vanessa Daughtry and I would like to invite you for new body mapping seasons 2022. More details are here.
Peer Supervision 2022
Peer Supervision will continue in 2022. All allied health practitioners are welcome to be part of this space. The first one of 2022 will take place on 16th January from 3 to 4:30pm (Sydney Time). Please register your interest.
Thank you for reading my newsletter. Hope you all are continuing to stay safe.
Meekum, B (2002). Dance Movement Therapy. A Creative Psychotherapeutic Approach.
Pennock, E(2020). The Collective Trauma of A Pandemic. Viewed The Collective Trauma of a Pandemic | Reformed Theological Seminary (rts.edu)
Rothschild, B (2010). The Body Remembers. The Psychophysiology of Trauma and Trauma
Treatment. Norton Professional Books.