Therapist, trainer, writer

The Discipline of Authentic Movement

Authentic Movement is a contemplative and transformative practice in which we seek to awaken the inherent wisdom of the body, within the container of relationship between a mover and a witness. Memories, hidden feelings, lost parts of the self, unknown and unexpressed energies may all be accessed when we move with conscious attention to the details of the movement, sensations, emotions and imagery evoked.

Creating a safe space in which unconscious material can arise, be expressed and integrated into consciousness, both mover and witness learn to become present to their embodied experience so that clarity within their relationship to self and other can grow.

At the heart of the Discipline of Authentic Movement is the development of the internal witness of the mover – a place of clear, non-judgmental and compassionate awareness within. This development can occur because of the non-judging, accepting and compassionate presence of the external witness – the one who sits at the edge of the moving space, attending to his or her own experience in the presence of the one moving.  

As the internal witness develops, each mover becomes ready, in turn, to become witness to others. Thus a collective of conscious movers and conscious witnesses may develop, within the safe, containing circle created by their growing embodied awareness.  

The mover learns to stay present to their experience, even as they allow a free flow of internal impulses to be expressed in gesture, movement, stillness, and sometimes sound, without censoring, judging or analyzing what arises. After the moving time, the mover returns to the circle and speaks with the witness about their movement process; the witness may also share something of their experience, being careful to own any projections, judgments or interpretations that arise, so that their experience is not imposed onto the mover. Thus each can come closer to their authentic self.  

Over time, as the mover learns to express what is true and essential for them, moment to moment, they come to feel their moving self unite with their internal witness, so that full, embodied presence becomes known.

At times there may also be an opening to something ‘other’, something greater than the sense of personal self: experiences that we might name transpersonal, spiritual, sacred or mystical arise. These too can be experienced with full, embodied awareness, expressed, witnessed by another, and integrated. Thus each mover and each witness may grow in relationship to spirit, or the divine, as well as in relationship to self and others.  

My background in the Discipline of Authentic Movement

 I was first introduced to Authentic Movement in 1980, and since that time it has been an integral part of my personal movement practice. I first studied with my primary teacher, Janet Adler, in 1993, and began to integrate the Discipline of Authentic Movement into my practice and teaching in a more focused way. My appreciation of the profoundly nurturing, healing and transformative potential of this work has grown over the years, supported by the privilege of witnessing many students and clients. I have participated in annual retreats with Janet Adler.

Since 2000 I have been teaching the Discipline of Authentic Movement, in London, Cambridge, and Norfolk, UK, currently working primarily in North Norfolk. I have also integrated a module called Authentic Movement & Therapeutic Presence into the IBMT training programmes since 2003.

For over four decades, I have been engaged in dance and somatic movement studies, Buddhist spiritual practice, and writing. I find that all of these essential aspects of my life are embraced within the Discipline of Authentic Movement. 

I have been a faculty member of Circles of Four, a path of preparation to teach the Discipline of Authentic Movement initiated by Janet Adler. Please see the Discipline of Authentic Movement website for information.

What I offer

Courses

Authentic Movement & Therapeutic Presence (Part 1) 

This four-weekend course, which forms Module 2 of the IBMT Diploma programme but can also be taken alone, began in October 2018, North Norfolk. To keep up-to-date with details of future Modules please contact the administrator at info@ibmt.co.uk or go to http://ibmt.co.uk/contact/ to be added to our mailing list.

Authentic Movement & Therapeutic Presence (Part 2) 

 This continuation course will be offered from October 2019 – please see the Courses page for details. It is open to those who have taken Authentic Movement & Therapeutic Presence (Part 1), or at least two retreats with me. To be kept up to date, you can ask to join the mailing list by contacting adim@lindahartley.co.uk.

Retreats 

I currently offer two annual Authentic Movement retreats each summer, in North Norfolk

The first (August) is for those who have attended one or more of the previous three years’ retreats. The second retreat is primarily for those who have studied with me before; students of other teachers of Authentic Movement may also apply for any available spaces. See the Courses page for details. 

Discipline of Authentic Movement retreats 

I also offer small group retreats in my home studio, oriented towards experienced practitioners of the Discipline of Authentic Movement who have an interest in exploring the Discipline as embodied spiritual practice. See the Courses page for details.   

On-going groups  

A monthly group meets on Monday afternoons, 4pm-7pm, in North Norfolk. This group is not currently open to new members.

Two groups of experienced movers meet regularly each year. These groups are closed to new members for the time being.