Why Movement Matters: The Dance of Wellness

Mar 14, 2019


Breakout Room #4


Those of us support others, as educators, counselors, or fellow humans, can be exposed to stories, histories, emotions and actions that impact our own well-being and worldview. In tending to others, our own hearts can encounter suffering and pain. Current neuropsychiatric research suggests that human beings are soft-wired for empathy, which connects us, and increases our risk for vicarious trauma, or simply increases our stress levels when we are challenged by how much we care for or are with others – especially those with histories of trauma. Research supports contemplative practices and physical activity as fundamental to well being, and to easing the suffering associated with trauma. The body, and movement provides the most direct access to change that promotes well-being. This 90-120 minute presentation provides theoretical, scientific, and mindful movement-based rationale for the use of movement, our primary language, and dance, the expressive potential of movement, as resilience promoting for those working in schools as teachers or counselors. Participants will learn the scientific and theoretical basis for the connection between trauma and the body. Movement practices that promote ease, stabilization, and resilient “state-shifts” for both students and teachers will provide participants with practical “tools” that can support the classroom to become a safer place. The emphasis of the practices taught is self-care and self-compassion for teachers, and counselors; using these practices in the classroom will also be covered.



Audience Takeaways:

The connection between empathy (human caring) and burn-out, and the riks this creates for teachers and counselors working with children exposed to trauma At least 3 body/movement based practices for self care

  • Amber Gray




    ABOUT: Amber is a pioneer in the use of Dance Movement Therapy with survivors of interpersonal trauma, particularly torture, war, human rights abuses, and historical trauma. Amber’s expertise is represented in many published articles and chapters, keynote addresses, professional collaborations and presentations around the world. Amber has provided clinical training on the integration of refugee

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