1st Edition

Posthuman Possibilities of Dance Movement Psychotherapy Moving through Ecofeminist and New Materialist Entanglements of Differently Enabled Bodies in Research

By Caroline Frizell Copyright 2024
    186 Pages 14 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This timely book explores an eco-feminist approach to dance movement psychotherapy, with an emphasis on the posthuman possibilities of differently enabled bodies and fostering social, political and environmental justice.

    Using the lenses of posthumanism and new materialism, this book examines the points of convergence among dance movement psychotherapy, eco-psychotherapy and critical disability studies. It maps out the experience of building care, empathy and kinship and explores ecologically informed, embodied practices and research while offering new perspectives on these practices. Structured using thematic ‘interruptions’ between chapters to anchor the reading experience and provide coherence, chapters include case study extracts as examples from the practice, spanning group work and individual therapy with autistic and learning disabled children and young people, as well as with neurotypical adult clients in private practice.

    Bringing together practice and research in dance movement psychotherapy along with cutting-edge theoretical perspectives of new materialism and posthumanism, the book will be of great interest to researchers and students of dance therapy, arts therapies, eco-psychotherapy and disability studies. It will also be useful to practitioners and therapists in psychotherapy and well-being services.

    Prologue: Cliff moves  1. Becoming  Interruption 1: Have you come to see her?  2. Creating eco-feminist perspectives through new materialist and posthuman entanglements.  Interruption 2: The guises of blessings  3. Difference as engagement with equality diversity and inclusion: disability (for example) as a marker of difference  Interruption 3: Reigniting the dance.  4. Dance movement psychotherapy (DMP) through the poetry of eco- feminism  Interruption 4: Dream  5. Ecopsychology; an embodied immersion I environmental justice.  Interruption 5: Coming Down to Earth  6. Research as practice: practice-led inquiry.  Interruption 6: In the face of the storm  7. Practising as a craft.  Interruption 7: Jacob  8. Endings  Epilogue: Existential wonderings and wanderings


    Caroline Frizell is Senior Lecturer in Dance Movement Psychotherapy at Goldsmiths, University of London, UK, and an ecologically informed dance movement psychotherapist, supervisor and author.

    “Caroline Frizell gives us a thought-provoking perspective of eco-feminist dance movement psychotherapy.  This is a beautifully written book that offers an extraordinary resource to anyone wanting to understand the intrinsic therapeutic power of dance, movement and eco-psychotherapy practices, explored through the lens of social, political, and environmental justice.”

    - Professor Claudia Bernard, Goldsmiths, University of London 

    “This book entices you through peristaltic rhythms with perfect pacing and deliciously textured writing rooting and spreading through diverse ecologies. The author’s lived experience is made tangible as she weaves the connective tissues of human and more -than- human bodies placing the whole earth as both core and container.”

    - Penelope A Best/ O.Pen Be, Eco-active Live Artist, DMP practitioner, International Facilitator of Relational Creative Practice (RCPM)


    “This book is genuinely accessible in engaging with academic philosophies and practices of new materialism, posthumanism, critical disability studies and intersectionality as lenses for re-envisioning dance movement psychotherapy. I see readers on a park bench absorbed in this book: students, researchers, parents, teachers, those interested in ecology, disability, equality and how we create a fairer world.”

    - Roz Carroll, Co-editor of What is normal? Psychotherapists explore the question’


    “This beautifully written text dances between poetic prose and client-therapist relationship framed by critical theory. The journey from sea to therapy room invites us to notice and find gold in the ordinary. This book is about inclusion, difference and staying with the trouble; a must-read for anyone in the healing professions.” 

    - Mary-Jayne Rust, Ecopsychotherapist, and author of Towards and Ecopsychotherapy.


    “Frizell’s writing will catapult you from profound philosophical ideas to moments of stillness; bringing into focus the everyday-taken-for-granted treasures of our relational rhizomatic aliveness-in-the-world. Whether you have come to it as therapist, dance practitioner, researcher, philosopher, educator, health professional, activist or an interested bystander, this book will change you in multiple ways.”

    - Marina Rova, PhD: mover, cultural nomad, earth traveller and co-editor of 'Creative Bodies in Therapy, Performance and Community. Research and Practice that Brings Us Home' (Routledge 2023).


    “What a relief to read academic research so present to the encounter between . . . not just persons, not just chairs but the world outside listening-in. It is like van Gogh’s shoes – very ordinary with an inner radiance of aliveness.

    The pearl is in the rabid imagining.”

    - Chris Robertson, co-founder of Re-Vision psychotherapy training and climate psychology author.


    “In being invited into the folds of Frizell’s creative explorations, I understand more about the landscapes I roam in ways that, paradoxically, are suddenly a little nonsensical. Well-trodden patterns are a bit befuddled and the parts of me that want to ‘stay with the trouble’ are thrilled.”

    - Emma Palmer, Relational Body Psychotherapist, ecopsychologist, supervisor, facilitator and writer. Bristol, UK


    “A beautiful, intricately woven and profoundly embodied gift of love and presence - to the earth and all her beings. Compassionate and extraordinarily sensitive, finely detailed yet huge in vision, breadth and inclusion.”

    - Hilary Prentice, retired psychotherapist and sometime ecopsychology pioneer.


    “This book holds the reader alive in the phenomenological here and now relationships to all that surrounds us. Individual human and more than human subjects have value and impact in the intra-connectedness of Frizell’s narrative, with inclusivity as an essential mycorrhizal connection for the human and more than human.”

    - Geoffery Unkovich, Dance Movement Psychotherapist, Supervisor, and Senior Lecturer for UK universities and European training programmes.


    “Frizell celebrates the extraordinary in the ordinary in this skilfully crafted assemblage. It is an ode to the dance of life; provocative and reassuring all at once. Dance movement psychotherapy is considered through intimate accounts where the personal is professional and the professional is political. Be unsettled. Let this book awaken your attention.”

    - Céline Butée, UKCP HIPC & ADMP-UK Registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist, Supervisor & Training Supervisor, Dancer.