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Volume 6, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1757-1871
  • E-ISSN: 1757-188X



This article is from the first chapter of a Ph.D. thesis and introduces some pivotal experiences and emerging beliefs that inspired the past two decades of professional practice, incorporating contact improvisation (CI), Body-Mind Centering® (BMC®) and Dance Movement Psychotherapy (DMP). The purpose of this article is to indicate the epistemology of my professional self, a touch specialist, presented in three emerging roles: the CI practitioner/teacher, the BMC practitioner/teacher and the DMP practitioner/teacher. Through the practice of CI and BMC I learnt essential touch and movement skills, and sharing them with deafblind people had an unexpected outcome – I discovered the effects of touch deprivation. In working with people who experience social exclusion in the context of socially inclusive arts projects I learnt that I too had been deprived of the universal language of touch. My personal and professional paths became intertwined as I undertook to work with touch-based methods in health contexts and encountered the dilemma of working in a non-touch culture and the negative effects on patients. CI and BMC combine as effective methods within DMP practice as they operate within the territory of humanistic and body-oriented psychotherapy and enrich this with specialist skills including reflexivity, hermeneutics and self-enquiry.


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