Reclaiming our innate vitality: bringing embodied narratives to life through Dance Movement Psychotherapy.

Frizell, Caroline. 2020. Reclaiming our innate vitality: bringing embodied narratives to life through Dance Movement Psychotherapy. In: Amanda Williamson and Barbara Sellers-Young, eds. Spiritual Herstories: Call of the soul in dance research. Bristol, UK: Intellect, pp. 207-220. ISBN 9781789380828 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

In this chapter I explore how biography can be brought alive through dance, movement and kinaesthetic awareness, and in particular, in the process of Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP). Biography is a process of reflecting on, shaping and documenting the stories that make up our life experience. Those stories are etched in the physicality of the body and the relational process of working therapeutically with dance, movement and kinaesthetic awareness provides an opportunity to excavate the biographical narratives that define our lives. What goes on inside each one of us, on a deeply personal level, is also part of the wider collective story of our times, and each will impact in some way on the other. Dance Movement Psychotherapy practice supports the process of reclaiming and re-telling our life stories towards evolving a biography that helps us, on the one hand, to make sense of our internal conflicts and personal struggles, and on the other, helps us to feel more connected and empowered in relation to wider contemporary stories that shape our lived experience. The live portraits presented in this chapter have arisen from research designed and conducted in accordance with best practice and ethical standards in order to protect the interests of participants. Permission to share these stories has been obtained and pseudonyms are used throughout to protect confidentiality.

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Book Section


Kinesthetic awareness, Inclusion, Community, Other / otherness, Learning-disabled, Interdependence, Biography, Unconscious, Dance Movement Psychotherapy

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Social, Therapeutic & Community Engagement (STaCS) > Unit for Psychotherapeutic Studies


15 January 2020Published

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Date Deposited:

09 Jan 2018 15:15

Last Modified:

20 Sep 2021 15:35


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