Trauma in the Creative and Embodied Therapies
When Words are Not Enough
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Trauma in the Creative and Embodied Therapies is a cross-professional book looking at current approaches to working therapeutically and socially with trauma in a creative and embodied way.
The book pays attention to different kinds of trauma – environmental, sociopolitical, early relational, abuse in its many forms, and the trauma of illness – with contributions from international experts, drawn from the fields of the arts therapies, the embodied psychotherapies, as well as nature-based therapy and Playback Theatre. The book is divided into three sections: the first section takes into consideration the wider sociopolitical perspective of trauma and the power of community engagement. In the second section, there are numerous clinical approaches to working with trauma, whether with individuals or groups, highlighting the importance of creative and embodied approaches. In the third section, the focus shifts from client work to the impact of trauma on the practitioner, team, and supervisor, and the importance of creative self-care and reflection in managing this challenging field.
This book will be useful for all those working in the field of trauma, whether as clinicians, artists, or social workers.
Table of Contents
Part 1 - Wider Perspective; 1: Sociopolitical perspectives on trauma in a world in crisis: ‘the personal is political’; 2: Enacting testimony: trauma stories in playback theatre; Part 2 - Clinical Perspectives; 3: The unplayable piano: from discord to harmony: trauma, play therapy and the power of the non-verbal; 4: As time goes by… Music psychotherapy and trauma; 5: Healing trauma through embodied relating: Re-establishing rhythms of relating; 6: Psychodrama and healing the traumatic wound; 7: Building resilience: Developing embodied and relational resources in a Gestalt movement therapy group for women with borderline personality disorder and histories of profound trauma; 8: Dance movement psychotherapy: the body tells the unspeakable; 9: The warrior’s journey; 10: Letting go of the spider; 11: An elemental relationship: Nature-based trauma therapy; Part 3 - The impact of trauma on the therapist and embodied supervisory approaches; 12: Secondary traumatisation and therapist illness; 13: Movement observation in trauma-centred case supervision
Anna Chesner is co-director of the London Centre for Psychodrama Group and Individual Psychotherapy, where she trains psychotherapists and supervisors. Anna works in private practice in London as a UKCP registered psychotherapist and supervisor
sissy lykou, MA, PGCert, Onassis Foundation fellow, is a UKCP registered psychotherapist, dance movement psychotherapist and supervisor, and the programme leader of the MSc in Contemporary Person-Centred Psychotherapy at Metanoia Institute. She practises in London privately and in community psychotherapy projects for children under five years of age and their parents/carers. She is also the clinical community and outreach lead of an innovative therapists’ community, Stillpoint Spaces London.
This is an important text which documents embodied, enactive, creative methods to support people suffering complex trauma and explores the impact on the therapists providing the service. It brings together global experts from several different modalities which integrate theory with practice to illuminate the often pre-verbal, ‘un-worded’ stories of their clients. The book integrates trauma-informed research from several disciplines. It will make a significant contribution to colleagues engaged in trauma-related practice from both embodied creative psychotherapies and verbal therapies.
Professor Helen Payne, PhD, University of Hertfordshire, UK
This book offers bold, dynamic reflections of contemporary trauma work across a breadth of creative and embodied therapies. Socio-political and socio-cultural understandings are highlighted, and authors offer insights, skills development and nuances of approach. validation of those who have suffered trauma impact directly, and for those working therapeutically including wider social and health care settings are central, with compassion and integrity emerging from thought-provoking writing. I was drawn to engage phenomenologically, getting up to move my body to allow me to experience on multiple levels what I was reading.
Carmen Joanne Ablack (MSc), President of European Association for Body Psychotherapy. Honorary Fellow and Registrant of UK Council for Psychotherapy. Author, trainer and supervisor in Gestalt, Integrative and Body Psychotherapy
This is a book instilled with hard-earned practice wisdom. Sixteen authors from diverse creative and embodied therapies describe their practice with survivors of trauma. These able practitioner-scholars will take your breath away. They write with boundless creativity, informed by research, theory and their direct experience on the front line of trauma work. As a supervisor, I will recommend these chapters to my supervisees, to inspire and inform them. Prepare to be moved by descriptions of therapy using music, art, movement, play, imagination and story to help people find hope, strength, meaning and movement forward. These startling chapters represent a fresh and integrative approach to the healing of mind, body, spirit and relationships after the devastating impact of trauma.
Clark Baim, PhD (BPA, UKCP). Senior Trainer in Psychodrama Psychotherapy. Honorary President of the British Psychodrama Association
This international collection of writing on trauma and its treatment via creative and embodied therapies is a much-needed resource. With representation from many disciplines and well-known authors, it should serve as an authoritative source and inspiration for embodied psychotherapists and other practitioners for years to come. The coverage provided by the thirteen chapters includes not only a range of disciplines, approaches, and considerations such as resilience building, it even includes the impact of secondary traumatization and supervision of the therapist. This unprecedented volume offers a truly wide range of highly relevant material on understanding embodied treatment of trauma for students and seasoned clinicians alike.
Robyn Flaum Cruz, PhD, BC-DMT, Professor, Lesley University PhD Program in Expressive Therapies; Editor-in-Chief Emerita, The Arts in Psychotherapy and American Journal of Dance Therapy
This is an alive, informative and moving book. Encompassing development trauma, PTSD, and intergenerational trauma, it also attends to socio-economic and political trauma, for example, in the form of war and austerity. The focus extends way beyond treating trauma as an individual and often pathologised phenomenon. This book brings to life the vibrancy of the theory and practice of a wide range of creative and embodied modalities, through an array of international voices. I will return to this book again and again with great gratitude, in reflecting on my work with clients, supervisees, and trainees and on the trauma of my own incarnation.
Emma Palmer, Body psychotherapist, BACP-accredited counsellor, ecopsychologist, supervisor, trainer and author
Trauma in the Creative and Embodied Therapies is a landmark book that brings together a range of nonverbal therapeutic practices in the rapidly emerging field of working with trauma. At a time when we are increasingly recognising the extent of trauma in our society, the contributors offer sound body-based theory, research and clinical treatment for working with individuals and groups in a range of settings using dance and movement, art, play, and music therapies, psychodrama, body psychotherapy, and playback theatre. Essential reading for therapists, healthcare practitioners and anyone interested in understanding how to transform lives of those affected by trauma.
Ewa Robertson, UKCP psychotherapist, co-founder ReVision Psychotherapy Training Centre; author of Roots and Seeds and The Third Body in Transformation in Troubled Times
This collection offers a profound challenge to the efficacy of treating trauma with talking therapy alone. The writing is uniformly compassionate and engaging, embodying the affirming intention at the heart of trauma therapy. Whereas many texts on therapy and theory can feel stuffy and heady, I found myself frequently moved, stimulated and inspired by the contributions. In fact, I would invite readers to read this book with their bodies, allowing what’s shared to be experienced on the embodied level, so its full richness can be absorbed.
Paul Christelis, psychotherapist, meditation teacher, author