‘Potency of Gravity’ with Emilyn Claid


Location: Edinburgh Gestalt Institute

Dates: 9-10 March 2019 (Two day workshop)

Cost:  £225 (including non-refundable £100 deposit)

The core theme for this workshop is a fundamental evolutionary experience that has profound impact on all of our lives: the relationship of body to gravity and the ground.

In Western culture we have lost touch with potential benefits of working with gravity.

For the most part, we endeavour to resist gravity, striving towards control, verticality, linearity and steadfast uprightness with all its moral underpinnings. Emphasis on upward mobility sets the dualistic binary for class status and institutional whiteness. Our cities are constructed whereby the highest buildings signify as power and success. Economics and politics are hierarchically constructed, the top of the ladder being better than the bottom.

Like death, fear and uncertainty surround the very notion of falling. Perhaps most relevant for us as psychotherapists, is how pride and shame are held on our bodies; pride encourages us to push upwards while shame sinks us towards the ground.

As a dancer, somatic movement practitioner and Gestalt psychotherapist with an existential relational heart, I share my understanding of how to be with the potency of gravity, nurturing physical and psychological abilities to fall, as support for living change and vitality of presence.

Of course, falling can be dangerous and painful so to suggest a falling practice, as a means to develop vitality, is a provocative premise. Yet this workshop does exactly that, advocates for an alternative understanding of our relationship with gravity as self and environmental support for being present in the world.

The workshop is structured as a series of experiential movement tasks, one to one and group discussions that include making parallels with Gestalt and existential therapeutic practice. Through simple safe movement tasks, framed by somatic mind body knowledge, we will experiment with somatically-informed falling, alone and supported, relational and dialogic. Participants have the opportunity to consider the significance of falling in daily life and to notice how our relationship with gravity evokes psychological challenges relevant to clinical practice such as stress, depression, bereavement, loss, pride and shame.

About Emilyn

Emilyn is a Gestalt psychotherapist with a private practice in London. She is also a professor of choreographic practices at Roehampton University having worked for 30 years as a performer, choreographer and teacher before training to be a psychotherapist.  In 1997 Emilyn was awarded a PhD. Her practice-led research projects cross the fields of dance and psychotherapy and are grounded in somatic (mind-body) movement practices, choreography and Gestalt/existential psychotherapy. Emilyn is currently writing a book on falling – the potency of gravity (Bloomsbury Publishers). Research is shared through national and international workshops including UKAGP and AAGT international conferences. Publications include:

‘Between You & Me’ (2018) in The Aesthetics of Otherness Meeting at the boundary in a desensitized world proceedings. Ed. M.S. Lobb. Siracuse, Italy: Gestalt Therapy Book Series Instituto di Gestalt.

‘Walking On Glass’ (2017) in Emotion, Space and Society UK: Elsevier available on line http://www.sciencedirect.com/science

‘I am Because You Are’  (2016) in Journal of Dance and Somatic Practices. Vol. 8 No. 2 Intellect pp.115-128

‘Falling – A Creative Process’ (2016) in GJANZ Gestalt Journal of Australia and New Zealand Vol 12 No. 1 pp.  17-29 co-written with L. Osborne

We will be lying and moving on the ground so please wear clothing that allows you to be relaxed and comfortable. Prior movement experience is not necessary, but a willingness to move is an advantage.

Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: 11am-4pm

 To Register: email info@egi.uk.com  or call 01312283841