Your strength is what you believe in
Photo Credit : Man Chung on Unsplash
Unconditional positive regard is one of the most important things I’ve learned in life.. We know of unconditional love, but what is unconditional positive regard?
It is part of the humanist psychology approach espoused by Carl Rogers, suggesting the therapist holds positive thoughts, intentions, and actions towards his or her patients. Rogers believed that this positivity (as opposed to dissecting the other’s faults, diagnosing, categorising, theorising or a blank slate) IS THE KEY to the client's growth and healing.
I practice unconditional positive regard not only in my work but also towards everyone I encounter, not that it's easy. In other words, the practice gives everyone you meet a chance to be their best selves. The results are spectacular, especially in the way that we can be comfortable in each others’ presence.
Feeling comfortable is a benefit of unconditional positive regard. What I've learned as a practitioner is that my first task moving with any new client is to create a space where the child or adult and I can feel safe and comfortable. Feeling comfortable in the presence of another person often has to do with feeling seen and heard.
Once we are truly seen and heard, we can relax, be ourselves, absorb new things, and grow.
Why dance and movement?
Feeling comfortable with others is like feeling comfortable with and in our own bodies, in our own skin. Sometimes we do, sometimes we don’t. Dance and movement offer us ways to explore those comfortable and less comfortable feelings, to better know ourselves and the ways we experience living in our bodies.
We know that movement is necessary to keep our bodies functioning optimally, especially the heart and circulatory systems; our muscles, bones, and connective tissue. And yet, movement also has an effect on our minds and is often uplifting. It increases the amount of oxygen that reaches all our cells including the brain and causes our endocrine system to release mood-enhancing neurochemicals.
But that’s not all. The body and mind affect one another in reciprocal ways. They are two sides of the same coin. For example, trying a movement in a new way can get us out of a mental rut, or--conversely--directing our breath and awareness to a specific part of the body can help ease tension or pain in that area.
Our bodies are incredible. In the current viral health crisis: how do cells know when they are being attacked? How do they organise their defenses? The complex functioning of our living organism is occurring beneath our conscious awareness. Sometimes by simply quieting our thoughts, we can go deeper within, intuit our body’s internal wisdom, knowing what is the right thing to do rather than thinking it through.
Bringing our mind’s attention to our movement also helps anchor us in the present moment and our current experiences. It helps get us out of our thinking (and often self-critical) head.
Dance as an expression of human emotion has always been part of the collective human experience, even if you are not naturally inclined towards it. The "dance" in dance movement therapy uses the word in the broadest sense to mean any non-verbal expression. The point is not what the dance looks like but rather how it makes you feel.
My approach is to share my movement experience and knowledge with you, to the extent that it can help you move towards greater awareness, ease, meaning, and purpose in life.
Photo Credit : Jackson David on Unsplash
Looking at Dance
In a Different Light
Movement practices can
awaken creativity & self-expression, and
help us feel at peace with ourselves
benefitting not only ourselves but those around us and the world at large.
Movement helps us remember the playfulness, freedom, joy, connection & creative possibilities available in each and every moment.
Moving with another is to truly see them . . .
dance therapy offers the unique gift of movement that reveals meaning
Dr. Miriam Roskin Berger