So Fellow Bloggers it has been a long time since my last post. I am so very new to this and often times find myself deep in thought about ideas worth sharing here, but alas I have not written, until today...
With that I want to write a bit about the main reasons for setting out to write this blog. Over the last two years (or so...) I have been fascinated by neuroscience and in turn have immersed myself in the theories and new knowledge constantly emerging in this field. Through research within this discipline; ideas and theories such as limbic resonance/attunement, neuroplasticity, mirror neurons and Stephen Porges: Poly vagal theory have come to the fore in the field of neuroscience, psychiatry, psychology and of course Dance Therapy among many others.
Now, I am an old hat when it comes to Dance Therapy and if any of you out there want to know more about dance therapy check out: www.ADTA.org. However, in short, the work of the dance therapist is to address the emotional, psychological, cognitive and interpersonal experiences of the person seeking help, through non-verbal dance/movement interaction. We seek to support and expand upon the health of the persons we work with through a relationship co-constructed in the dance experience.
Off now for a bit to the land of neuroscience and how it relates to dance therapy. One of the neuroscience ideas which excites me most is the idea of limbic resonance, it posits that we (people) are open loops and that our limbic brain structures are set up to regulate and re-regulate off of one another. That we are most certainly and inextricably linked! Moreover, Psychiatrists and authors of: A General Theory of Love, Lewis, Amini and Lannon, talk about it within the realm of sensation, which to my mind is an undoubtedly non-verbal experiential state.
In dance therapy sessions the therapist is regularly picking up and embodying with the client their motion, emotion and movements. As we go along in sessions we may begin to name and ask questions about the clients felt sense, sensations, images, symbolism and emotions of the shared movement experience. We do this in an effort to support increased awareness of themselves and internal emotional states. We are also encouraging and hoping to cultivate in clients an ability to trust while being seen by another in a safe and non-judgmental manner.
However, as I began to dive into the sea of literature available in the field neuroscience I started to wonder if there might also be something else happening in the non-verbal movement realm. In reading further on the above cited text I came upon the following in a section discussing the limbic brain (the emotional center, if you will); "...limbic resonance----a symphony of mutual exchange and internal adaptation whereby two mammals become attuned to each others inner states." They go on "It is limbic resonance that makes looking into the face of another emotionally responsive creature a multi layered experience". And finally, for now at least the same authors talk about how "When we meet the gaze of another, two nervous systems achieve a palpable and intimate apposition".
I read and re-read this material for well...months! It was brilliant and I understood viscerally that this is what happens on a neurological/biological level in dance therapy sessions. That through the movement, eye contact and a rhythmically resonant movement experience the clients limbic brain system is adapting and re-regulating itself in the moment while in and because of their relationship to myself and the other group members in the dance therapy session.
Now, here I am...at the beginning. Starting to write about and figure out how to explore what happens in the brain/nervous system while in the highly relational dance therapy experience. Is it possible to even study this? I think so. We live in an age where potential exploration of this type of phenomena feels more and more tangible, to me at least.
So what do others out there think? In the blogosphere. Are there other modalities of therapists, doctors, nurses, and/or holistic healers who are interested or currently exploring some of the points I bring up?
I am writing the blog not only to become clearer about my own ideas but to also engage in dialogue with others who are exploring topics such as these.
Until next time…
Excitedly awaiting discussion!