Dance is only for my “real life”

I miss dancing. One thinks that having a profession as dance movement therapist would allow me to dance enough, but it is not always the case. Having this profession is also slightly or quite unsafe (there are not many vacancies in general), so I decided to buy an appartment in Amsterdam in the beginning ofContinue reading “Dance is only for my “real life””

respira – breath- adem – nefs – نفس

Five words all meaning the same in different languages and probably the words I repeat more often in my working time. I think I say it around… 5 to 20 times per session x 6 session x 3 days a week = more than 200 times a week! respira breath are you breathing? hoe isContinue reading “respira – breath- adem – nefs – نفس”

The Triangle Story

Three days ago, last tuesday I met some friends of friends in a bar in Amsterdam. All of them ¨skilled migrants¨, so normal immigrants but with good level of education and good jobs. Coincidentally we were all from the south of Europe, greeks, a turkish guy, my Madrilenian friend and me. In the middle ofContinue reading “The Triangle Story”

Zada, the afghan woman that was too focused inwards

I miss writing very much. Years ago a language teacher told me that my text analysis were very good, and that comment helped me taking the decision to study Journalism. After some months I realised general journalism was not for me, still I studied it for two years at the university. Since then I haveContinue reading “Zada, the afghan woman that was too focused inwards”

Yoga for trauma – Trauma sensitive yoga

Since I started studying to become a dance movement therapist I have been interested in trauma. Working with sexually and physically abused women in my student years convinced me about the crucial role of the body in regaining one’s confidence back. And not only confidence, but also the mere sense of owning your body, ofContinue reading “Yoga for trauma – Trauma sensitive yoga”

Mind and body, Mindody, Bodind…?

Encouraged by the somatic markers of Antonio Damasio, the mirror neuron theory and the work with the body of Bessel Van der Kolk and Pat Odgen in trauma therapy brings me to be more and more interested in neuroscience. And last week I discovered the Spanish neurologists Pascual-Leone, who made a lovely experiment: Two groups.Continue reading “Mind and body, Mindody, Bodind…?”

Fire together wire together

Some months ago I started a course in Medical Neuroscience. highly interested. I want to be able to understand what does it happen in the most recondite corners inside the body of my patients. Understand how it is possible that in 15 minutes of body work the minds can quiet and the faces show aContinue reading “Fire together wire together”

9 months ago

It has been 9 months without words. Complete silence. Just work, pushing hard, jumping the precipice from the student life to the working life. No words. Only work. And decisions. I have been half year on the air. Ipsy-Intercultural Psychiatry’s Arts Therapy Department opened its doors to me in the summer. Suzie, Mar and Martine. AnContinue reading “9 months ago”

The dream has become true. Now the real work starts.

I have finally accomplished the first step of a dream I have since 4 years, create a non profit organization to empower communities through dance. Last 28th of April we signed the statutes in the notary, making it a legal and official entity. Now the real work starts. I am proud to present Libraz. OurContinue reading “The dream has become true. Now the real work starts.”

No me lo creo. This is becoming true.

I can’t believe it. This is starting to take shape. I could never imagine I would enjoy so much writing and editing a business plan. Writing and editing, and re editing, and finding the best words. I discovered what “track changes” means and I am starting to feel less panic about excell sheets and budgets…Continue reading “No me lo creo. This is becoming true.”

Oxid & Oil or how does self-touch help my self regulation in dance movement therapy

This is an excercise to learn how to write a critical literature review based in a personal experience. Oxid & Oil How does self touch help my self regulation in DMT Love is the harmony of two souls and the contact of two epidermes.  (Anom)   Abstract This paper is based upon my experience ofContinue reading “Oxid & Oil or how does self-touch help my self regulation in dance movement therapy”

From postcards and feet to poems and dance – Reflection on the module “Body in Therapy” from the master of Dance Therapy

I keep thinking people need to know a bit more what we do. So here I share a reflection about a module I had in April 2013 with Ann Helgesson, part of my studies in the Master in Dance Movement Therapy. The module title was “The body in Therapy”, and here a description of myContinue reading “From postcards and feet to poems and dance – Reflection on the module “Body in Therapy” from the master of Dance Therapy”

Damn that ocean for turning rock into sand

Some extracts from Daria’s Halprin book: The expressive body in life Art and therapy. The creative play of the life force lies in the flux between creation and death, harmony and conflict, like elements and opposite elements forming in relationship to another. Observing the presence of this creative  play in the natural world can beContinue reading “Damn that ocean for turning rock into sand”

You need yourself. Providing mental health services to refugees is life-saving.

Not only house and food is needed. You also need yourself, yourself in a good state in order to start a new life. Providing mental health services to refugees is life-saving, says Melanie Megevand, the International Rescue Committee’s (IRC) women’s protection and empowerment co-ordinator in Jordan. She argues that these services should be treated asContinue reading “You need yourself. Providing mental health services to refugees is life-saving.”

Leadership lessons from a dancing guy

If you’ve learned a lot about leadership and making a movement, then let’s watch a movement happen, start to finish, in under 3 minutes, and dissect some lessons: A leader needs the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous. But what he’s doing is so simple, it’s almost instructional. This is key. You must beContinue reading “Leadership lessons from a dancing guy”

TRIANA. TRIANA. And how things come together in a marvellous conjugation.

Amazing. Triana. Triana. Triana. Last day in my internship of Dance Movement Therapy in the psychiatric centre. Last day before travelling to Sevilla to finally dance Flamenco in a school in Triana, the NEIGHBOURHOOD. It is early in the morning. Me, as therapist, excited because it is my last day, sitting in the morning meeting withContinue reading “TRIANA. TRIANA. And how things come together in a marvellous conjugation.”

Poetry self therapy. O cómo Mario Benedetti me acaricia y serena.

Es uno de esos días que te sientes desordenada por dentro, en mí ya lleva unos meses el caos dentro. Y de repente encuentras algo que te acaricia por dentro. Unas suaves palabras acariciantes. Mario Benedetti me acaricia y serena. It is one of those days, that you feel untidy  inside, in my self itContinue reading “Poetry self therapy. O cómo Mario Benedetti me acaricia y serena.”

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – V Conclusion & Bibliography

CONCLUSION Despite relatively wide use and application, the efficacy of the creative arts therapies has not been established through empirical research (Foa 2010 – 586) Case studies, personal experience and interviews is the main source of research in DMT. However, the selection of three DMT techniques and the subsequent support with similar concepts from other fields of therapyContinue reading “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – V Conclusion & Bibliography”

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – IV Anger release in movement

 ANGER RELEASE TECHNIQUE IN MOVEMENT   Alice’s case: I used to bite my arms a lot when I was a child. Not when I was growing up, because I didn’t want to be angry – I recognised I had a lot of anger inside me that I needed to deal with. I started dealing withContinue reading “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – IV Anger release in movement”

Effectiveness of dance movement therapy techniques when working with PTSD – III Metaphoric use of Space

  Bust of a woman an self portrait – Pablo Picasso METAPHORIC USE OF SPACE Alice created metaphorical “pockets” in the green cushion and when she was able to connect a physical sensation to her story she would put it into her pocket. “For later” she said. (…) We identified Alice’s diagonal pathway across the space asContinue reading “Effectiveness of dance movement therapy techniques when working with PTSD – III Metaphoric use of Space”

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – II Body Awareness

BODY AWARENESS TECHNIQUE To avoid direct contact at first, I started by placing several objects on various parts of his body, to see if he was aware of all parts of his body and whether this contact wouldn’t be too threatening. I had also noticed that he laid his hands on his bottom and thatContinue reading “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – II Body Awareness”

Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – I Intro

  WHAT IS THE EFFECTIVENESS OF DMT TECHNIQUES WHEN WORKING WITH PTSD Critical Literature Review Abstract This review is a first attempt to show the effectiveness of three techniques from the treatment of PTSD used in DMT with the help of articles from other fields of psychotherapy that use similar principles. Keywords: effectiveness, dance movement therapy, body-orientedContinue reading “Effectiveness of Dance Movement Therapy techniques when working with PTSD – I Intro”

La Chunga dance barefoot, descalza!

Flamenco can also be dance barefeet! I knew! Me myself I love to feel the ground with my feet. In 1964, fifty years ago Micaela was dancing bareffot flamenco in a cave in Andalucía. Some say that she is not really “La Chunga” but her sister. I have no idea. I just love how she moves.Continue reading “La Chunga dance barefoot, descalza!”

My first session of Dance therapy with people diagnosed with Depression

Enthousiasm of beginner. I wrote everything down. Initial plan. What happened. Everything. I will not do this with every session.  I guess in the beginning everybody is enthousiast and writes everything down. However is impossible. And not necessary. Well. Here I explain my first session with people that come for a day treatment with the diganosis ofContinue reading “My first session of Dance therapy with people diagnosed with Depression”

A session of Dance therapy in colours: Painting my patients as a way of keeping notes.

Yes I do Dance Therapy. Another way of approaching our inside. Through movement. And I sometimes use some other medium to write my reports after the session. Colours. Words are slowlier. Lines and colours express faster. To me. And I just found this two pictures I did in the beginning of my internship and IContinue reading “A session of Dance therapy in colours: Painting my patients as a way of keeping notes.”

“Dancing with eyes closes” Poetic synthesis of extremes and contradictions in life.

It’s like a labyrinth, when you are deep inside yourself and you feel your strongest yearnings, your innermost desires, a labyrinth with many doors appears. I am doing what I want. I am brave. Whatever I feel, my soul sends a message to my body, to the legs, to the feet, to the finger tips,Continue reading ““Dancing with eyes closes” Poetic synthesis of extremes and contradictions in life.”

Anxiety Festival. Yes, anxiety anxiety anxiety

I live in a city where the answer to “How are you?” is most of the cases “very busy”. I wonder if it is an Amsterdam endemic disorder, or simply a contagious illness spread around big cities. Too much to do, too much offer, too many opportunities, too many people, too many projects, “oh IContinue reading “Anxiety Festival. Yes, anxiety anxiety anxiety”

New York Times is with us! Psychomotor approaches to healing trauma…

Starting the article with an amazing   “Revolutionary approach to treating PTSD”, The New York times article defends the use of the body. Even if it has been used since the forties by dance therapists and psychomotor therapists, is still not fully accepted in the medical world. Psychomotor therapy is neither widely practiced nor supported by clinicalContinue reading “New York Times is with us! Psychomotor approaches to healing trauma…”

Jaazistic group leadership

“A jazz pianist, a member of one of my groups, once commented on the role of the leader by reflecting that very early in his musical career, he deeply admired the great instrumental virtuosos. It was only much later that he grew to understand that the truly great jazz musicians were those who knew howContinue reading “Jaazistic group leadership”

The opposite of love is power… not hatred

“There are two kinds of suffering.  Suffering imposed on us by the outside and suffering created by ourselves.  All we can do with suffering imposed by the outside is share it in the human family and show compassion, love and empathy for those who’ve been hurt.  Suffering created by ourselves is referred to as neuroticContinue reading “The opposite of love is power… not hatred”

The will to destroy must rise when the will to create cannot be satisfied

“Man can create life. This is a miraculous quality which he indeed shares with all living beings, but with the difference that he alone is aware of being created and being a creator. […] In the act of creation man transcends himself as a creature, raises himself beyond the passivity and accidentalness of his existenceContinue reading “The will to destroy must rise when the will to create cannot be satisfied”

Momentum, started dancing because of a tortilla chip

For Patrick, a tortilla chip started his moment of self-discovery. With exuberant dancing and magical passion he shares his inspiration and invites everyone to participate. Even his mother. This film explores the concept of spontaneous authenticity and the synopsis of body and soul… through tortilla chips and dance. Whenever there is the right relationship, inContinue reading “Momentum, started dancing because of a tortilla chip”

Tomatito & Ahmad Al Tuni

This pearl is a combination of flamenco with arabic sufi music. It is the very beginning of the  great film Vengo by Tony Gatlif, an ode to the artistry and magic of flamenco dancing. Tomatito is a very imporant flamenco guitarist and Ahmad Tuni is one of the last great munshidin, singers of the islamic sacredContinue reading “Tomatito & Ahmad Al Tuni”

El lebrijano & Andalusi Orchestra of Tanger

El Lebrijano, Juan Peña Fernández bornt in 1941 in Lebrija is a well know cantaor (singer) of flamenco. With a deep knowledge of orthodox singing, his artistic interests led him to seek  some innovations in Flamenco art, usually corseted by the immovable tradition that defend the purists. In the “Encounters” disco joined the Andalusian Orchestra ofContinue reading “El lebrijano & Andalusi Orchestra of Tanger”

Where is the mind? Reflection after seeing a japanese psychiatric medication advert of 1970

This is a Japan advertising of 1970 for a psychiatric medication. I like it because the BODY appears on it. Not only the HEAD. If you type “Psychiatric” word, most of the images will show basically the head, the brain. Psyche is in the brain. We only think with your heads. Well I don’t believe so. IContinue reading “Where is the mind? Reflection after seeing a japanese psychiatric medication advert of 1970”

La Negra & Lole Montoya

La negra and Lole Montoya, mother and daugther, andalusian well known cantaoras, singing flamenco in Arabic language. Lole also dances a bit and ends the video with the “Alfi Leila u Leila” song, master piece from one of the best Egyptian singers of all times, Oum Kalthoum. Undoubtedly, flamenco and arabic music are glad together.Continue reading “La Negra & Lole Montoya”

Flaméncame, empowering women through Flamenco and dance therapy techniques

The project “Flaméncame” is the first project I developed in the Netherlands. I am currently developing a model with Flamenco dance as a framework combined with dance movement therapy methods to help women sufferers from domestic violence to: BODY -Reinhabit again their bodies and foster kinesthetic awareness EMOTIONS – Release anger and sadness feelings and supportContinue reading “Flaméncame, empowering women through Flamenco and dance therapy techniques”

Dance in Psychiatry

I have just started my internship in a Psychiatric Centre as a dance therapy intern. I work and dance with people diagnosed with depression and mood disorders, schizophreny, youngs sufferers of a first psychosis… And because the field of Dance Therapy need people that write, I will try to write some exercises and examples ofContinue reading “Dance in Psychiatry”

What is Dance Movement Therapy for me

  Expression, movement, communication, creativity, feelings, thoughts, actions, body and mind, healing, exploring, support, being seen, beyond words, embodiment, presence, listening, analysis, research,  breathing, playfulness, curiousity, imagination, non-judgement, creative process, attunement … For who? As a form of therapy we accompany individuals that suffer from mood disorders, anxiety, burn out, PTSD or complex trauma, eatingContinue reading “What is Dance Movement Therapy for me”

Voices of Women Media

Last sunday I went to the fundraising event from Voices of Women Media in Nieuwe Anita a nice bar in Amsterdam. After listening to an amazing psychodelic jewish folk band called “Payazen” , I went to see what was happenning in the “Skills Auction”… What is an auction of skills? Instead of offering old pieces of furnitures or collections ofContinue reading “Voices of Women Media”

Flamenco Lab

Barefoot experimental approach to flamenco dance Technique & Improvisation My aim in this workshop is to combine creativity, improvisation and self expression with flamenco dance as a framework. Contents Flamenco arm technique, foot-work and basic “marcajes” Compas and rhythms of flamenco music Contemporary  and creative exercises Improvisation circles NOTE: I am not a flamenco teacher. IContinue reading “Flamenco Lab”

The map of my dream

Everything started as a social oriented non profit idea… I am in the process of establishing legally a non-profit foundation to empower communities through dance. I want to share the benefits that movement, expression and creativity has given to me. How will I get support? My aim is to use fundraising methods to get financial support from public institutions, socialContinue reading “The map of my dream”

Mediterranean mixture

Slowly with time, I have realised how powerful the combination of two folklor dances  as FLAMENCO and ORIENTAL can be. Some months ago I was starting to forget my origins, totally embedded in the flamenco scene. I realised I was missing my softness, my inwardness. So I started dancing. And I travelled through the Mediterranean,Continue reading “Mediterranean mixture”

“Aire”

Creative -Therapeutic process of creating “Aire”  I just decided I am going to share some of my findings and papers I do for my class of Dance Movement Therapy. It may be intimate, yes, but if something needs our field is people writing. Writing our experiences. Sharing. So here it is. My journey through creativityContinue reading ““Aire””

mini documentary

I am doing a documentary course.  Why? Because people nowadays have little time to read and I want to be able to communicate what I do and my future projects in a visual and creative way. For my surpirse (I might be totally wrong, if so please let me know) there is NO proper oficial video about what dance movement therapy is. NotContinue reading “mini documentary”

Why “Oriental” instead of Belly?

Why I use Oriental instead of Belly Dancing when I refer to my lessons?   Reason 1 What in western countries is know as “Belly dance”, is called originally “Raqs sharki” in Arabic language. رقص شرقى Raqs is dance. Sharki is Eastern or oriental. Then the arabic people call it Oriental dance. Reason 2 MoreoverContinue reading “Why “Oriental” instead of Belly?”

Armenian children in Zatik 2008

Zatik means both Ladybird and Future. Armenian orphans and children from the street find in the orphanage Zatik, a home. They live and are educated here. In the summer of 2008 I participated as a volunteer in a workcamp with all the children.  Apart from being with them, creating activities, visiting lovely armenian churches and landscapes, weContinue reading “Armenian children in Zatik 2008”