Transpersonal Breathwork – Emotional Release Counselling – Voice Dialogue – Gestalt – Art Therapy & Creative Expression – Work with Dreams – Bioenergetics – Dance & Movement
Expressive Therapies help to bring about a heightened awareness of ourselves, and the way we live our lives. By giving us the means to reconnect to our deepest selves, they enable us to heal, experience our wholeness, and embark on our quest for meaning.
Using these therapies we untangle the misconceptions about ourselves, and discover the patterns and impulses underlying our lives. This transformational inner work is often likened to a process of giving birth to oneself; of slowly awakening to the depth of our Being and the discovery of who we really are!
How did we lose our connection with Self?
Why do we need to look at the past or express our feelings?
How does our repressed pain affect our bodies?
Most of us have at some time - disconnected from feelings, repressed painful or overwhelming experiences, and disowned various aspects and qualities of ourselves. In doing so, our sense of Self is diminished or seriously damaged. In some cases, particularly where abuse or traumatic situations have occured, the wounding has caused a 'split' from Self. We have learned ways of defending ourselves from what we fear, or don't want to feel, which causes us to close our hearts and harden our bodies. Finally, we face the world with our 'masks' set firmly in place.
This destructive process not only affects our perceptions, but also the choices we make. As a consequence, we lose our ability to experience the joy and passion of life. Connecting with, and feeling our pain, hurts and disappointments, helps us to heal the wounds of the past. Healing and understanding our past allows us to move forward with clearer choices and an expanded sense of Self.
The primary nature of every human being is to be open to life and love. Being guarded, armoured, distrustful and enclosed is second nature in our culture. It is the means we adopt to protect ourselves against being hurt, but when such attitudes become characterological or structured in the personality, they constitute a more severe hurt and create a greater crippling than the one originally suffered.
Bioenergetics aims to help a person open his heart to life and love. This is no easy task. The heart is well protected in its bony cage, and the approaches to it are strongly defended both psychologically and physically. These defenses must be understood and worked through if our aim is to be achieved. But if the objective is not gained, the result is tragic. To go through life with a closed heart is like taking an ocean voyage locked in the hold of a ship. The meaning, the adventure, the excitement and the glory of living are beyond one's vision and reach.
Extract from Dr Alexander Lowen's book 'Bioenergetics'
Repressed emotional pain is 'held' in our bodies, and we experience it as physical pain or tension. Unexpressed love and generous impulses that have been blocked, harden and begin to feel like their negative opposites. The body's part in repression is physical holding - muscular contraction. This muscular contraction, often chronic, is called armouring. Under this armouring there is a healthy core. Freeing, or de-armouring the body of its old holding patterns, and releasing the vital life force, is an important aspect of all our work.
The quest for healing, may involve experiences of a numinous or transpersonal quality i.e. experiences that feel sacred, or out of the ordinary. These experiences can awaken us to the recognition of the sacred within ourselves and in the world around us. In hearing the call of the Soul we often find the meaning and direction we long for.
The Hero's Journey
A journey through the known into the unknown regions of the soul is similar to the quest told in fairy tales. The ignorant hero or heroine sets out from the familiar, everyday world because of a longing to find a greater life than the ordinary routine of a limited existence. Frightening encounters, test of all kinds follow. If you pass the tests, you find happiness. The reward is wealth and a life partner; you become king or queen; a fulfilled adult.
The inner quest, if taken seriously, also takes courage, also traverses dark regions, and also leads to maturity - and the treasure is always found. Just as in the fairy tales the hero doesn't sneak around the dragon but fights him, and doesn't run away from the old witch but befriends her, you, too, must meet the destructive forces within yourself and deal with them.
Eva Pierrakos 'The Pathwork of Self Transformation'