“Movement, to be experienced, has to be “found” in the body, not put on like a dress or a coat. There is that in us which has moved from the very beginning. It is that which can liberate us.”
– Mary Whitehouse, Founder of Authentic Movement
Authentic Movement is a movement form in which individuals may discover a movement pathway that offers a bridge between the conscious and the unconscious. It explores the relationship between a mover and a witness, being seen and seeing. With eyes closed, the mover listens inwardly to discover movement arising from within. Gradually the invisible becomes visible, the inaudible becomes audible, and explicit form is given to the content of direct experience.
The witness brings a receptive quality of clear attention to the mover. The witness is mindful of the inner world of sensation and meaning, judgment and criticism. Though personal shadow issues may emerge, the witness accepts the mover without analysis or direction and speaks only when the mover asks for a response. The mover and witness together can achieve a level of perception of self and other that evokes deep respect and empathy.
In this work, one develops kinesthetic awareness, gaining access and giving creative expression to the inner life through an approach in which “movement is the personality made visible.
Authentic Movement was originated by pioneer dance therapist, Mary Starks Whitehouse in California. The approach developed as Mary integrated her studies at the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich with her dance experience and training with German modern dancer Mary Wigman and myth-inspired dancer and choreographer Martha Graham. With its foundations in these disciplines, the practice of Authentic Movement has continued to evolve, providing a process for awakening the spirit in the body and a container for midwifing the soul in psychotherapy, meditation and creative work.