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My Experiment of integrating Dance Movement Therapy with Eco-Psychology approach

It was in the initial days of the lockdown period that I was badly struggling to find a close, private, safe space to hold DMT based sessions. (Even online sessions!).

That time, one of my friends did me a favor by offering an open, quiet, safe space in his farm. But I was sceptical about it, since it was open, with huge grass & trees around, also some animals, and obviously no flooring! I was really not ready until I got to read about a concept called ‘Eco-psychology!

In my words, the eco-psychology approach acknowledges and actively brings our connection with nature into therapy. It uses nature’s elements and phenomena to explore our psyche. As I read more about it, I got quite curious and eager to integrate it in my own capacity for Dance Movement Therapy sessions for some of my clients.

Well, one session went well & the other got disrupted by uncalled rains. So I decided not to use it with clients, but try out for myself first. And here I am sharing one of my experiences, that I journaled:

“Today when I danced in the open space, I realized that I can sense the difference in warmth & cold, light & shadow, troughs & crests on the ground, and most importantly I felt connected with nature around me in a different way than before! As the leaves of the plants & trees around me were moving with the wind, I felt as if they are dancing! they are dancing with me, or since they are already moving, I can mirror them & dance with them! I could see different colours & different flowers holding different poses as if they are telling a story with it!

I could notice some creatures in the space moving in their own way, for their own purpose, but I felt a sense of connection with them since we both were moving in the same space. I saw butterflies, big bees, birds flying above, squirrel moving on a tree, and a cat in her own world, and what not! It was such a peaceful yet fun experience! This connection with nature gives a relief from feelings of isolation. It was a pleasant experience of being in the present and noticing what is happening inside the body & what is happening in the outer-space...

Dancing in nature gave me a sense of connection, grounding, a sense of being safely held. The big blue sky gave me a sense of having widened horizons; I felt my mind is like the blue empty sky where thoughts fly like birds.. and yet the sky, the mind is much much bigger than the birds…. Thus my mind has unlimited capacity like the unlimited clear blue sky!

I look forward to many more such experiences now…

Written by: Pallavi Malshe

The art piece has been submitted in response to the article by Pallavi Malshe




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