The matriarch and the mollusc and all things in between

Frizell, Caroline. 2023. The matriarch and the mollusc and all things in between. In: Caroline Frizell and Marina Rova, eds. Creative Bodies in Therapy, Performance and Community: Research and Practice that Brings us Home. London: Routledge, pp. 180-189. ISBN 9781032119809 [Book Section]

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Abstract or Description

This co-authored chapter articulates an embodied process of peer exchange between two women; mature dance movement therapists from differing backgrounds. The authors consider the collaborative approach that has evolved over some years, creatively excavating a rich seam of shared practice both in the studio and in environments on the Jurassic coast, and on Dartmoor. This collaboration is characterised by mutuality and reciprocity, honouring the complicated intra-connectedness of all things, from the powerful matriarch, to the soft bodied mollusc. The writing emphasises the imperative of establishing a strong psychic and emotional container based on mutual trust, to hold the unbridled expression of whatever arises in the space, allowing challenging emotions and dynamic interpersonal issues to be embodied safely in a shared movement landscape. The authors’ experiential investigation integrates movement, feeling, image, story, language and thought, embracing individual interior worlds, professional practice and current social-political landscapes. Meeting, moving and musing, listening and witnessing, sometimes making coherent meaning, sometimes not. As the authors cobble together fragments of experience, themes of power, privilege and social order have a tendency to erupt through the cracks and these playful explorations are located within the entanglements of the world.

Item Type:

Book Section


dance movement psychotherapy, mature women, peer exchange, continued professional development, environmental movement

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

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


1 January 2023Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

12 Oct 2022 08:59

Last Modified:

20 Mar 2023 08:33


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