Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA - Master of Arts

Department

Expressive Therapies

First Advisor

Krystal Demaine

Abstract

Ecopsychology emerged to redress harm caused by a long dominant western worldview that humans are separate from nature. Somatic psychology is premised on the unity of body and mind, which western thought also divided for centuries. The emerging field of ecosomatics supports embodied humans in relationship to the body of Earth. When utilized in psychotherapy, expressive arts, and social action-oriented community art, ecosomatic approaches facilitate an understanding of the continuity between inner and outer nature.

A one-day community workshop in ecosomatic practice and nature-based expressive arts was offered to explore embodied dialogue with nature. The workshop involved time outdoors as well as indoors. Activities included a sensory awareness exercise, Authentic Movement with nature as mover and witness, visual art, and dance. The workshop culminated in the creation of a Laban-style movement choir that evolved out of participants’ ecosomatic experiences. By explicitly facilitating an experience of shared embodiment with nature, the workshop became a form of social and ecological action as well as community art.

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