“Just take this step. The horizon
will look after itself.”
“Just take this step. The horizon
will look after itself.”
Does the thought of healing emotional pain, rekindling your creativity and moving forward call out to you? Would you like help exploring new ways to arrive where you want to be in your life, as the person you know you can be? I can offer you a safe space where you can talk about personal issues that you believe may be affecting you emotionally, physically and professionally. If you are feeling stuck in ways of being that don't work for you any longer, or are repeatedly using behaviour patterns that don't reflect who you really are, psychotherapy is a good place to explore this and find new ways of being in the world.
The Healing Power of Embodiment
Do you find yourself dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Movement Psychotherapy helps you find ‘embodiment’, a way of welcoming a restless and distressed mind back home into the body in the here and now. Being embodied gives you a break from negative thinking and anxiety, and offers you the possibility to step back from real-life circumstances, and the kinds of feelings and emotions that seem so overwhelming they block out everything else. This process can increase physical and psychological well-being, release blocked energy and reduce stress and anxiety.
Recovery at Your Own Pace
From our earliest moments in the womb we are moving, and throughout our lives our movements and gestures provide us with a universal means of communication. Your body already speaks powerfully and directly through your natural movements, so paying attention to what your moving body is telling you will help you discover more about yourself. This is a collaborative process: I listen to your concerns and help you decide on your therapeutic goals and support you all the way as you drive your own recovery at your own pace. As well as talking through your concerns, welcoming in an awareness of your natural movements – such as how you sit, stand or hold yourself – can help you get in contact with feelings and emotions you may have suppressed or split-off from long ago.
Neuroscience has shown that simply by becoming aware of how we move, and then adjusting it, even in subtle ways, we cause positive changes in the brain. This alters feelings of powerlessness into a sense of being more in control. So, what would it be like to imagine yourself not simply as a ‘human being’ or even a 'human doing', but as a ‘human moving’? As an embodied, creative practitioner, I can help you understand how your mind and body work together to offer new insights and bring about change. I will not make assumptions about where your psychotherapy journey will unfold, whether goal-oriented or longer term. We’ll find this together.
‘Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP) recognises body movement as an implicit and expressive instrument of communication and expression. DMP is a relational process in which client/s and therapist engage in an empathic creative process using body movement and dance to assist integration of emotional, cognitive, physical, social and spiritual aspects of self. DMP is practiced as individual and group therapy in settings such as health, education, social services and in private practice. The profession is continually informed by research and by initiatives and projects that open up and extend the field of DMP practice’. (ADMP UK).
Depression, fear and anxiety are among the most common and debilitating symptoms we can experience. They can leave us feeling not only overwhelmed at times, but utterly powerless to do anything about it. Paying attention to our moving body helps uncover the parts of us we have silenced.
Re-integrating these lost
parts of ourselves increases vitality, motivation and restores an appetite for life.
Many people suffer symptoms due to adverse childhood experiences, even dating back to infancy. We hold this type of developmental trauma as body memories and it may be hard to find words to describe the feelings that something is not right. Others carry trans-generationally transmitted trauma, passed down from previous generations. Anxiety, fear, shame, low self-esteem, hopelessness and confusion can remain fixed in us long after the traumatic events took place, and we may struggle with current relationships as well. Movement Psychotherapy offers a non-invasive way to address what trauma leaves behind in the body. But we will alway working at your pace to avoid re-traumatisation.
My practice is safe, inclusive and diverse, which means that as well as working with people who are so-called neurotypical, I also work with those with some level of neurodiversity. For example, do you find that you have to mask your true self in order to fit it, making you suspect your brain may be wired slightly differently? Or have you had a diagnosis of ADHD? If so, it does not mean you are less than anyone else. It just means you have your own way of seeing things and being in the world. However, you may find it challenging to adapt to your environment as you find ways to be true to yourself. Movement psychotherapy is a good place to explore how to make your unique way of being in the world work for you, even a strength.
‘ … the members absolutely loved your sessions and were raving about them afterwards so thank you again’.
Project Manager, Creative Arts Therapy for Young Adults with Learning Disabilities
‘I have seen Constance build safe, warm and encouraging environments for our students to be able to express themselves without fear of ridicule or judgement. This is quite an achievement as many of our students have experienced years of very public educational failure and can avoid situations where the chance of failure is seen as a real possibility’.
Headteacher, Special Needs Community College
‘Attendance by our service users has been regular and consistent. They have fed back to me the significant improvement in their recovery journey and mental well-being’.
Manager MIND Well-Being Hub
‘I was full of energy after each session. The sessions also helped my mental health’.
MIND service user, group participant
‘You made a great contribution to my overall recovery and re-integration with my body’.
MIND service user, one-to-one participant
‘I found Constance's suggestion of ”Listen to your Body” really interesting and it has returned to
me several times since. Wise words and I am sure ones that promote good physical and
mental health. This combined with her relaxed and accommodating manner made her
talk memorable to young and old!’
Deputy Head, Co-curriculum, Marlborough College, commenting on presentation
“The Body Never Lies” given to students and staff, January 2020
I also work with children under the umbrella of
THE CHILD DEVELOPMENT CENTRE in person in London or online
Benefits of psychotherapy with children
When a child or adolescent begins psychotherapy, their inner turmoil is often hidden, and we only see the symptoms, such as angry, anxious, destructive, depressed or withdrawn behaviour driven by their distress. We often discover that, underneath, the child is highly self-critical, knowing that this behaviour is alienating those who are close. My focus is helping a child or adolescent get in touch in a more compassionate way with these internal conﬂicts. Recovery is often a slow process because of the complexity of the developing body and mind, and our natural resistance to exploring painful issues and facing change. However, in some cases, we can also decide on a specific short-term goal to work towards over a set period of time.
The aim of child psychotherapy is to remove the obstacles that prevent children and young people from developing emotionally, so that they have the skills to tackle life’s challenges in their own individual way. Once children or teenagers are more secure in their family relationships and friendships, when they can study or work and are developing interests in the outside world, it’s likely our work is done. They are ready to work towards ending psychotherapy.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do you need?
First off, we need a consistently regular date to meet, either face to face or online. Even if our therapy is primarily online, occasional face to face sessions can be arranged as needed. Having consistent sessions models boundaries and helps the child understand that this time slot every week is their therapeutic space. Together, we develop a therapeutic relationship in which trust can develop, which frees the child’s creative abilities to help them solve their unique challenges. We create this space because, for children, play, stories, drawing, movement and conversation, are their natural medium for thinking out loud.
How can parents help?
Maintaining firm boundaries around the session, such as privacy and timekeeping, is crucial. Please select a room in your home with space for the child to move around, a strong Wi-Fi connection, a computer, and a door that can be closed. Privacy enables the child to feel it is safe to speak about deep, sometimes almost unbearable, feelings. If you are running late, I cannot always run over as there may be someone waiting for their appointment directly after yours.
Why do you play together or dance?
Playfulness and movement (such as a body warm-up) and dance encourage children to get in touch with how their body is feeling in the moment, where they may be holding tension and anxiety, and to help release it. In playing, the stories we tell help us discover our inner world and, by this, I mean the child’s view of themself and their life experiences. By provide the child with play and music for movement/dance, I am letting them know that I see their imaginative world as an important source of ideas, and a way of exploring their concerns. Children really begin to understand how therapy works once they start to express themselves spontaneously and imaginatively, and we begin to link this with how we think they feel and see life.
I will occasionally share any insights that might be helpful to you. However, I will not disclose specific details of what your child said (unless they mention plans to hurt themselves or someone else or know of someone who plans to hurt them). Maintaining the child’s confidentiality assures them that what they say to me while they are trying to work out their thoughts and feelings remains between the two of us and they will not be judged by me. Some feelings that children have are associated with confusion and shame. You, as their parent, might be the very last person they want to share this with as they fear you might be hurt or disappointed with them. Knowing the sessions are strictly private maintains the child’s trust that we can work things out safely together.
Process and outcomes
In sessions, children and young people receive emotional support and can learn to understand more about their own feelings and thoughts. Sometimes they may re-enact traumatic or difficult life experiences to make sense of their past and to cope better with their future. They may also learn to manage relationships and conflicts in more appropriate ways. Outcomes may also be general, for example, raised self-esteem or resilience, reduced anxiety, or there may be more specific goals, such as a reduction in tantrums or improved relationships with family and friends. The children of parents who are supportive, trust the psychotherapeutic process and make an ongoing commitment to helping the child attend sessions, receive the best outcomes.
I always welcome hearing about changes or developments you have witnessed or experienced at home, and such information will be kept confidential. Please feel free to write me an email any time. I promise I will read it and hold it in mind when I see your child, even if I do not respond to your email. Should you wish, parental debriefings with me can be arranged by Amanda at The Child Centre, so we can have more time to discuss anything. By keeping our communications outside of the actual sessions, we are demonstrating to your child that this is their session, entirely about them, their feelings, thoughts, emotions and awareness of their body, and avoids the child wondering, ‘If this is my session, why are they talking?
I keep certain data so that I can deliver the therapeutic service you require and I comply with the guidelines of the UK regulatory body I belong to, the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy UK (admp.uk.org). Any clinical notes I write are kept in an anonymous form, and held separately from your contact details, following general data protection regulations (GDPR) data privacy laws. The data controller is Constance Novis.
I am a registered Dance Movement Psychotherapist (DMP) with the UK regulatory body, the Association for Dance Movement Psychotherapy (ADMP UK). I also have full professional liability insurance and am covered to work online from the UK with clients anywhere in the world.
Children & Adolescents
For enquires for children and adolescents, please contact email@example.com
Enquiries for adults can be made here. You can also contact me through Harleytherapy.com https://harleytherapy.com/therapists/constance-novis
Please note my Harley Therapy practice is currently full. For adult enquires please email me directly via this site. Warm regards, Constance
I look forward to hearing from you.
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