“I was encouraged to let my deepest feelings reveal themselves and I was amazed to hear and feel these vibrate through my body and into the space around me. What I learned and experienced gave me a new impetus for exploration in my life.
The maxim “Know Thyself” urges us to descend into our depths and actively explore our motives and emotions. Voice Movement Therapy provides a framework to creatively engage with these potent images, bodily impulses, and personal narratives. VMT allows the wisdom of the body and psyche to surface and find expression in vocal sound, songs, and movements. It encourages us to meet and accept the parts of ourselves that may be unfamiliar, unexpressed, or silenced. We develop an ability to listen to ourselves open-heartedly and hear the expression of every aspect of our human experience. VMT provides a safe container for the exploration of our inner underworld, giving us the courage and support to investigate what knowledge and wisdom our shadowed parts may hold. To reach what Marita Günther called the “dared expression,” we need to develop emotional understanding and integration, and a Self that is free of judgement to acknowledge the beauty of that brave utterance. Through witnessing the Self in this way, we nurture self-care and self-compassion which gives us a practice for sustainable well-being.
For Wolfsohn singing was a way to Know Thyself. “When I speak of singing, I do not consider this to be an artistic exercise, but the possibility, and the means to recognise oneself, and to transform this recognition into conscious life.”
Embodiment & Envoicement
There is an ever-increasing global awareness of the importance of embodiment in well-being and healing. Many healing modalities are recognizing the importance of a deeper and more active awareness of and connection to the body’s wisdom. Voice Movement Therapy provides a profound way to acknowledge and enrich this connection. Breathwork, massage, movement, and dance bring a heightened awareness to the natural contractions and expansions of our bodies: muscle, tendons, bones and cells. Through envoicement, vocal sound and resonance can be focused in specific areas of the body to bring awareness, express physical and emotional feelings, and to initiate change. We can affect the vibrations in our physical bodies through our vocal sound.
Through VMT, we not only connect with the physical body but release physical tension and restriction through sound and movement. Exploring habitual physical and vocal patterns, we extend past our habits into new territory to discover more of our expressive potential. We are better able to access our vital energy. Slowing down and bringing focus inwards to the moving, breathing, sounding self, we find flow, rhythms and dynamic shapes, and awaken our senses to our environment and the bodies and voices of others. In these ways, and others, Voice Movement Therapy soothes, calms and restores our nervous system.
VMT is a profound, envoiced bodywork practice through which we can disentangle ourselves from the fight-flight-freeze stress response, and re-establish a sense of safety while reawakening a sense of aliveness.
Time Slows Down
Creative & Expressive Growth
Creativity is an innate human impulse, we are naturally creative and have access to a rich world of images and symbols. We think in images, we remember in images, we dream in images, and we sing in images. Voice Movement Therapy is an expressive arts therapy; creatively giving form to our inner worlds of feelings and imagination is at the core of the modality.
Whether we call ourselves artists or wish we had the courage to do so, the non-judgmental philosophy of VMT gives us full permission to go off-book and offers us a vast variety of ideas and approaches to deepen and reconnect with our creativity.
“She created a safe space that was comfortable enough for me to open up and get out of my comfort zone. This enabled me to expand beyond my expectations. Voice Movement Therapy has been liberating and life-changing.”
In groups and in individual sessions, clients explore metaphors, archetypes, myths, fairy tales, and symbolic images. Practitioners may encourage clients to use this material in drawing or painting, and by writing poetry and songs. Voice Movement Therapy embodies and integrates these diverse creative impulses, creating a safe space where clients can intuitively rediscover their innate creativity using different expressive media alongside breath, voice, and movement.
The Voice is Always Changing
By diving into and unpacking personal stories and dreams and making sense of our story in relation to the imaginal realm, we invite play, improvisation, and spontaneity. We can experience our voice as a powerful creative expression of Self. Awakening a sense of expressive freedom, Voice Movement Therapy offers an opportunity to release ourselves from the pressure of a ‘perfect’ end product. We can focus on the beauty of the process and what we feel and learn while engaging with our creative impulses. We can subdue the inner critic – the part of ourselves that so often silences our creative voice – and tap into the vitality and life-giving force of our creativity.
When we play with and give live to the ideas that emerge from sound, movement, and image and allow these to evolve while deeply listening to their personal messages, we make meaning of identity and life. Through embodied and envoiced creative explorations we can offer our spirits a unique type of remedy.
The universal language of creativity provides a bridge between our inner and outer worlds that connect us with others without the limitation of words. We are moved, healed, and ensouled by creativity. When we find such peace and authentic expression within, we find creative flow in our lives and we are more resourceful when challenges arise. As a dynamic way to reflect on and be with what is present, VMT guides us to experience the beauty of our dared expressions and in doing so facilitates an expansion of our sense of self.
As a versatile modality, Voice Movement Therapy can provide a space for ritual and a vital connection to the spiritual world. Inviting the soul into the creative act of embodied singing is a powerful medicine for our times that can provide a sense of connection where numbing and isolation are so prominent.
Resonating With Nature
A Ring of Trees: by Trish Watts, images by Peter Solness
Nature is a profound container that can hold us safely in the expression of our deepest emotions. Taking our keening and wailing songs of grief to the ocean, for example, may allow us to more fully express the intense feelings of pain and loss. Nature can meet us, teaching us that we are part of a continuum of millions who have also wept their tears into the vastness of the ocean or called out their longings into far-reaching canyons.
“By connecting with nature you can listen and tune in to the rhythm of breath in your body and to the rhythm of your pulse, finding your place in relation to the rhythm of natural life . . . You can blend your voice into the orchestra of sounds around you to feel yourself as part of that orchestra.”
The shade and moisture of a lush forest may awaken our lungs and expand our breathing. The sounds of the birds tickle our ears. We hear differently, and can find new voices and new connections when duetting with wildlife. Sunlight, shadows, and the wind may charge us with physical and creative energy, and encourage us to respond with gratitude and humility as we recognize our part as co-creators in the mysterious, magnificent web of the universe. Voice Movement Therapy encourages a reconnection with all that is wild and primal within us.