Working with artists in psychotherapy
In an effort to meet artists half way, I have developed a teaching method that has been presented at workshops, and short term programs. This psycho-educational teaching method has been taught as a 15 week elective in the Dance Department at Montclair Stare University. This year I was invited to guest teach at The Juilliard School, while giving a workshop series at Miller Health Care Institute For Performing Artists, in the Lincoln Center area. Psychoanalysts are something of a curiosity outside the consulting room. It is important to be able to give structure and meaning to psychological principles in ways that are easily digestible. For example, at a workshop, I was able to describe the transforming nature of a dance performance, for both viewing audience and dancers, as similar to a therapy session where the artist feels emotionally held and intimately experienced by an engaged onlooker.
Identifying specific needs of a population and getting involved with the community has been a growing effort for psychoanalysts, and many others in the helping professions. Joining professional arts organizations has been educational, and opened doors to networking and opportunities to give presentations. This October I will give a second presentation at the National Dance Education Organization conference in Albuquerque, MN. The workshop is entitled,“Psychological Dance Warm-Up: Illuminating Intentions With Mental Imagery.”
The teaching method I call BRAVE (Breathing , Releasing, Aligning, Visualizing and Energizing) supports dancers specific use of their bodies while facilitating a psychological approach. The teaching method blends principles and techniques from sports psychology, dance education, meditative practices, as well as psychoanalysis.