Wednesday, April 3, 2013


Sumedha Centre marked its 10th Anniversary with another workshop. This time the workshop was led by internationally reputed somatic therapist Don Hanlon Johnson and Jungian Analyst Barbara Holifield.

Johnson is professor of Somatics at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco, and the founder of the first graduate degree program in Somatic Psychology. He is the author of several books, collections, and articles whose focus is on the role of direct bodily experience in organizing our personal and communal worlds.

Holifield is a Jungian analyst practicing in the San Francisco Bay area. She weaves somatic and relational perspectives into her analytic practice, and works extensively with the psychophysiology of trauma. An adjunct faculty member at the California Institute of Integral Studies, she teaches Authentic Movement in the United States and abroad.

The workshop titled “Body Practices, Authentic Movement, and Personal and Professional Well-Being” was held at Bosco Psychological Services, New Delhi, on March 31 and April 1.

There were 16 participants, 13 professional women and three Salesian priest psychologists. All were involved in the healing ministry either as psychologists, counsellors or therapists.  They represented a number of different theoretical and practice approaches to healing and transformation.

At this workshop Johnson focused on touch and breath and Holifield on Authentic Movement.

Authentic Movement, a combination of Jungian Active Imagination and body movement and awareness is a profoundly simple process in which one, in the presence of a witness, closes one’s eyes, and turning his or her attention inward, listens for prompting from the psyche as well as impulses for movement or stillness.

The workshop was a very “moving” (in many different ways) experience for the participants. It helped them to get in touch with parts of themselves and possibilities they were not aware of; brought a greater awareness of both body and psych. It also helped them to be aware of new dimensions that they can introduce into their existing practice.

As one participant wrote: “The workshop was a beautiful experience.”

Within the short a-day-and-half workshop participants could only get a taste of the possibilities that touch, breath and authentic movement offered for personal and professional well-being, and they thirsted for more, wanting Johnson and Holifield to return and do a longer workshop.

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