Tag Archives: creative

When we Stumble, it is Simply Part of the Dance

Posted by: Bonney Elliott on November 3, 2015 12:55 pm

tangodanceAs we struggle to wrap minds and bodies around a new sequence, our wise dance teacher asserts that Argentine tango is not complicated, but complex. His words give me pause, and hope. Tango looks complicated, and takes years of practice to master. Yet, even the most dazzling choreography is essentially a pattern of basic steps.

As a psychotherapist, this distinction seems quite relevant beyond the dance floor. Helping clients who are suffering to make sense out their lives can feel complicated, but perhaps the intricate dance of psychotherapy is, like tango, a layering of steps and patterns.

A few concepts that simplify therapeutic relationship for me are connection, presence, self-awareness, humility and perspective. When a dance goes well, the partners are in sync. They have a strong, tangible connection that transcends the alchemy of physical chemistry or attraction. Dancers communicate with each other, often nonverbally. Therapists deliberately cultivate and maintain empathetic attunement with our clients. Connection is the fulcrum for therapy. When Ego steps into the space between us, connection wavers. Miscommunications happen. Insecurity and perfectionism complicate relationships.

As dance partners need to be fully present to each other to coordinate their steps and negotiate the space of the dance floor, the therapeutic process flows when we manage to stay together in the moment with our clients. Mindful presence helps us to keep in step and rhythm, to focus on what is actually happening. Staying centered in any complex relationship takes self-awareness. Partner dancing is not about one controlling the lead or the other blindly following. They work together, each learning to maintain individual frame and axis of balance. Similarly, therapy evolves when both partners are able to keep their feet under them, therapist self-awareness nurturing client self-awareness.

To grow and learn is to be vulnerable. Good dancers expect to make mistakes, to fall in and out of sync and rhythm. As the saying goes, when you stumble, make it part of the dance. Err graciously. They improve over time at stepping back to figure out how a small step gone awry threw off the entire pattern. Similarly, therapy is rarely a linear process. One step forward, two steps back. Creating new patterns of being requires patience and practice. It takes humility to own our fears and foibles while gently calling our clients on theirs.

Keeping perspective is important. The essence of any dance is simply expressive movement to music. Good dancers attend to the technical details while keeping in mind the bigger picture they are co-creating. Whatever theoretical methodologies we subscribe to and creative counselling techniques we weave in to help our clients wade through the intricacies of human feeling, thought and circumstance, the essence of our work is the co-creation of meaningful, compassionate dialogue. Simply put, psychotherapy is a therapeutic conversation. Inherently complex, but not necessarily complicated.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Setting Goals

Posted by: Priya Senroy on January 19, 2015 11:27 am

We all set goals and if nothing else make resolutions every year and there were many ideas and reflections I have come across in these past few weeks. My resolution is to be more of myself and be less of what others want me to be and my goals are to explore myself….. One of the areas I feel I want to be more of myself is in the department of creative-not only for my clients but for me-I just want to do something, make something, create something which will lead me to explore myself more and while doing so, I want my C.R.E.A.T.I.V.E. goals to be  Challenging  Recorded Explicit Affirmative Time-based Inspiring Valuable & Enjoyable! I came across this concept in a blog (http://mikemonday.com/become-excited-by-your-creative-goals-html/)

I have started using this with my clients and have found that this to be an alternate to S.M.A.R.T this also helps with making a personal vision board for someone starting fresh.

I am also finding myself shepparding my clients into areas of the art world, to incorporate more of the art and culture vocabulary in their goals setting repertoire. I am also encouraging them to set goals using the creative medium so either sing it, or draw it or write it in a poem format, blog, instagram or even pinterest them.

So as I am on the journey to explore more of me I think I need to explore the whole rainbow instead of using the monochromatic lens to set my goals.

Happy Goal Setting everyone!!!!

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA