Date of Award
MA - Master of Arts
Meg H. Chang, EdD, BC-DMT, LCAT, NCC
Ecopsychologists emphasize that humanity cannot be healed separately from nature. Research in this budding field indicates that communing with the natural world has a mutually positive effect on both the human psyche and the environment. This thesis explores the intersection between dance/movement therapy practices, which address the mind/body connection, and the tenets of ecopsychology, which address the connection between humanity and earth, to develop an ecosomatic community workshop that integrates the mind/body/earth connection. The practice of Authentic Movement, in which a mover and witness engage in a movement dialogue, was adapted to re-animate the natural world by including more-than-human beings in this conversation. A one-day community workshop was offered to explore the themes of embedment, communion, and mind/body/earth integration through an Authentic Movement practice with nature acting as both mover and witness. Participants gathered at the Fresh Pond Reservation in Cambridge, MA to engage in an Authentic Movement practice with a chosen more-than-human partner. Participants were all women, members of the local dance/movement therapy community, and students. At the end of the workshop, the participants shared a communal feeling of kinship with and responsibility to their more-than-human witnesses, each other, and with the greater natural world. The results of this one-day workshop indicate that through embodied communion with nature, one’s ecological identity can develop, thus contributing to healing both the individual and the world at large.
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Berger, Helen, "Connecting Mind, Body, and Earth through Authentic Movement with Nature as Mover and Witness: A Community Engagement Project" (2021). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 455.
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