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The Institute for Integrative Bodywork and Movement Therapy was founded by Linda Hartley, who began to teach what has become the three-year IBMT Diploma Programme in 1990. The first Programmes were offered in Germany and they continue to run in the UK, Lithuania and Russia, supported by teams of organisers, co-ordinators, assistants and trainers.


What is Somatic Movement Therapy?

In the field of Somatic Movement Therapy, ‘Soma’ has been defined as ‘the body experienced from within’ (Thomas Hanna), and this perspective forms the basis of IBMT study and practice. The work is based on an understanding that what we need for our healing and growth lies within, and can be accessed as we become aware of and learn to follow our internal embodied process. It seeks to empower the individual to participate creatively in the healing journey by developing trust in his or her inner knowledge and intuition, and acquiring skills with which to access the wisdom of the body and mind.

What is the IBMT approach?

The IBMT approach is based on and integrates principles from three core areas of practice and theory: The Discipline of Authentic Movement; Body-Mind Centering® and Somatic Psychology. 

The Discipline of Authentic Movement (as developed by Janet Adler in the USA) forms an integral part of IBMT training. It seeks to cultivate a safe space in which personal material from the unconscious can be embodied, felt, seen and integrated. In this discipline we seek to develop the ‘internal witness’ a place of clear seeing and compassionate, non-judgmental acceptance within us, so essential to any work with others

Body-Mind Centering® (originated by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen in the USA) offers a way to gently come back home to the body and re-experience the integration of sensation, feeling, mind and spirit that is ours by nature.

Through the practice of Embodied Anatomy and Movement Repatterning we learn to awaken awareness in the body through focused touch, breath, imagery, sensitively guided movement and vocal expression, allowing the innate cellular intelligence of the body-mind to guide our explorations. Areas of tension and blockage can be released and the core of inner support and strength experienced. As habitual patterns in the body change or become more flexible, the mind also changes, allowing for greater openness, choice and spontaneity of being and perceiving.

The BMC® approach to Infant Movement Development also forms a core element of IBMT training, and in-depth exploration is supported by studies in Authentic Movement and Somatic Psychology.

Somatic Psychology offers theoretical models and methods which aid the integration of personal material arising through somatic practice, addressing themes such as embryology and the embodiment of spirit; the development of the sense of self; the influence of birth on the development of the will and personality patterns; the body-mind-feeling connection and the field of psychoneuroimmunology; the relationship between emotional and neurological development; basic counselling skills and inner body dialogue.

What are the different training options?

The IBMT Programme offers workshops, training and professional development courses intended for those working or training to work in the fields of somatic movement, dance, and the arts therapies; bodywork; psychotherapy and counselling; health, education, and the caring professions. Courses involve both theoretical and experiential components, with a strong emphasis on the embodiment of taught material.

CPD and training modules are designed to support personal growth, and to develop skills with which to facilitate the unfolding of process through the body, involving:

  • the awakening of awareness in the body and the learning of methods to facilitate the integration of mind and body in movement
  • the practice of witnessing through touch, through moving, and through seeing another move, cultivating an attitude of non-judgmental acceptance and compassion towards self and others
  • methods to support the exploration and integration of personal material which may emerge in bodywork and movement practice