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"Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live." 
- Henry Van Dyke
Educate yourself about Humboldt County's abundant healing community.
Susan Durham

Telephone: 707-599-4737
E-mail: susansaintfrancis@gmail.com

Susan Durham

The Psyche’s Voice Embodied

The body opens the door to the deepest layers of ourselves – Authentic Movement provides this door…

Authentic Movement is a self-directed form of dance/movement therapy. The gentle, yet powerful experience of allowing oneself to “be moved” by inner impulses lies at the heart of this form, providing an embodied bridge from the unconscious to the conscious, and from the Self to the self. Rooted in the depth psychology of C.G. Jung, Authentic Movement was developed in the 1950’s by Mary Starks Whitehouse, a pioneer in the field of dance/movement therapy.

The form of Authentic Movement always involves what is referred to as “movers” and “witnesses,” and in a group setting each individual alternates back and forth between these two roles. The movers, encircled by the witnesses, wait in silence with eyes closed while movement impulses arise, then follow these impulses moment-by-moment as they evolve. By allowing oneself to “be moved” in this manner, a channel is opened for unfiltered expression. Messages held within the body are revealed, the unconscious is made conscious, and the invisible is made visible. Through this inner-directed movement, the body and the psyche are given an authentic voice.

The witnesses provide a safe space for the movers to be seen and heard in a clear way, and observe the movement without judgment. They are “holding consciousness” which allows the movers to go deeper. The witnesses pay close attention to what they are experiencing in their own bodies, emotions, mind, and spirit as they witness the movement, instead of imaging what the movers may be experiencing. They offer a clear presence to the movers, while at the same time staying closely tuned to their own processes.

 After the initial movement period ends, the movers have the opportunity to speak about the feelings, images, and bodily sensations evoked by the movement. The witnesses then describe what they observed, and the feelings, images, and bodily sensations the movement evoked in them. Without interpretation, the movers are thus offered additional possibilities to reflect, clarify, and expand on the internal meaning of their movement. The roles then switch – the witnesses become the movers, the movers become the witnesses, and the moving/witnessing process is repeated.

While in an Authentic Movement group, you are in the presence of people descending towards themselves. You have the opportunity to truly see others and to truly be seen. The form offers both movers and witnesses the opportunity to get in touch with their vast internal reality, bringing formerly unconscious processes into  consciousness, and formless material into form. There is a very spiritual dimension to Authentic Movement. The circle of witnesses creates sacred space, which invites the Higher Self/Soul/Spirit to also make contact and be given expression. Authentic Movement is the psyche’s voice embodied.

Susan Durham has a BFA in Dance, an MS in Counseling Psychology, and is a certified Psychosynthesis counselor. She has studied many different forms of dance and dance/movement therapy and feels most aligned with the form of Authentic Movement. Susan has a deep respect for and trust in this way of working and offers a safe and supportive environment in which to do this work. She offers     workshops, groups, and individual sessions in Authentic Movement. She can be reached at: 707-599-4737 or This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it

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