Vocal Improvisation at the Core of Therapeutic Process
When I first encountered the experience of free vocalisation, I felt that I had opened a door to communication with a deeper part of my being, a part that could speak truth to me as I allowed sound to emerge spontaneously from my body. It felt as though a channel had been opened up that welcomed my authentic expression, without the effort of having to find words to explain my experience. There was something freeing about this, that I may express the voices of the various selves living within me, and that it didn’t need to be filtered, or explained, or analysed. My expression could simply be received with no judgment, and I could just be, with the myriad beautiful and less-beautiful sounds that emerged. And further, I experienced that these varied sounds could be weaved into a song, my song of the moment, the music of the joy and pain that lived within me. The soundscape of my inner-life thus became art, as if a higher dimension was emerging, just by my allowing the voicing of my vulnerable inner-self.
In my work as a Voice Movement Therapy Psychotherapist, I support and guide others to give themselves permission to voice their experience through vocal improvisation. In VMT, Voice Movement Journeys are a way to facilitate this process of unfolding. When journeying, the guiding principle is to allow sound and movement to emerge spontaneously, by following the inner sensation and impulse that is held in the body. Sometimes, focusing on a specific body part, on a sensation, or on an image or archetype can serve to structure the process. Holding a question or an intention can also give direction to the experience.
Journeying in this way entails working with what comes through in the present moment and being with it, whether it be pleasant or unpleasant. It requires a letting go of the cognitive analytic mind and asks the critical self to move into the background. This is not always easy in our social and cultural contexts, yet, facing these challenges are part of the gifts of the exploration. By coming face to face with our authentic experience with open-hearted curiosity and benevolence, we have the opportunity to sing through it, move through it and thus, transform it. The process can then lead to more freedom of expression, self-acceptance, and connection with ourselves and others. My hope is for you too to experience such freedom of being.
by Marie-Lynne Sauvé, VMT-R
Registered Psychotherapist, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
In addition to my work with individuals in both VMT and psychotherapy, I am currently, offering, with my colleague Chris MacLean, Moving Voice Workshops and Vocal Improvisation Workshops. I am grateful to the IAVMT for its support of our work and for the wonderful network of practitioners that it brings together from all over the world.
Email: [email protected] marie-lynne.ca