Paul is an IBMT Diploma Graduate and a Registered Somatic Movement Therapist. This article gives you some background on Paul and his recent work, including movement therapy, working with adopted children and Dads & Babies. The piece ends with him sharing what was crucial for him about his IBMT training as he looks to the future.
Trained in the US and UK, now based in the South West UK, he has developed a therapy practice and teaching role over the last 20 years. He is co-organising the UK Diploma along with Jane Okondo, that starts this autumn. He’s been running intro workshops over the last year, and will be co-teaching the Infant Movement Module (UK) and the Somatic Psychology Module (Russia) later in 2018.
“My work is a culmination of experience in various professional fields – Adult Mental Health, Community Arts and Early Years Education – as well as through a whole range of body/movement/dance approaches I’ve experienced over the years. I’ve been strongly influenced by the ‘full-bodied, whole-hearted’ movement play approach of JABADAO (a UK based charity) that got me moving in the first place. Going on to delve into the movement/dance form of Contact Improvisation introduced me to working with the moving, falling, rolling body – the world of the sensory, physics of movement, weight and momentum. And then into the deeper sensed world of anatomy and physiology and early and evolutionary movement patterns of Body Mind Centering ®. Some years spent being taught and mentored by Helen Poynor, and experiencing movement practices in the natural environment informed by Anna Halprin/Tamalpa work. Themes from this experience have been developed over the years through Authentic Movement practice and an interest in following the personal stories of what is held in our bodies. All this is behind and in me, in my work today.”
My work is currently made up of a number of areas:
Private Integrative Bodywork & Movement Therapy Practice, working with:
- children with Developmental Delay.
- adults with on-going health issues, physical and emotional.
“I love my work, valuing the opportunity to work with such a diverse range of people. I love the practice of bringing myself afresh to each session and being able to follow and guide the process each person is going through. And it challenges me, to resource myself and balance my own nervous system, heart, muscles, joints and overall well-being.”
Providing Movement Therapy as an Associate within an Adoption Consultancy, working with children and young people who are struggling with sensory, developmental, emotional and behavioural issues.
“I have been particularly touched by the chance to work with adopted children over the last few years. I’ve seen the strong drive they have, to try and resolve early trauma and disruption. The education system and regular family life can be severely challenged by what comes through in the experience and behaviour of some of these children. They are on a bigger life journey, but in the sessions we have, I aim to provide the space for some of this disruption to be expressed, and other parts of their nervous systems to come on stream, to be in better relationship to themselves and others.”
I’ve been on the organising Team of the UK Somatic Movement Gathering for the last couple of years. These events give practitioners the chance to meet and share as peers.
“Having been to the gatherings as a participant and workshop provider and come back each time with renewed confidence, I wanted to support these events happening into the future. Although the world is changing, Somatic approaches are still not in the mainstream, so to be able to support others out there by providing the chance to get together, has been important.”
I’ve had the chance to teach within Higher Education over recent years:
- Associate Lecturer at Goldsmiths, University of London, (MA in Dance Movement Psychotherapy).
- Visiting Lecturer at the University of Central Lancashire (MA in Dance & Somatic Well-being; BA in Dance, Performance & Teaching).
- University of Plymouth (BA Theatre & Performance).
“It’s great to be able to inspire others to get out into the world and bring the stuff of the body to more people. Having the chance to teach has helped me get clear about what I do, to get to the heart of it, and share key questions with those developing their own unique work.”
Up until December 2017, I ran the ‘Rock and Roll Dads’ project for 2 years – monthly movement play sessions for Dads and young babies, and a second group for Dads and toddlers.
“Having seen a number of Dads on the side-lines of parents and babies groups (that in reality were attended 99% by Mums) I set up the group. I had been introduced to working with Dads through an earlier project with JABADAO, so developed confidence in working with Dads and knew what they had to offer their young children. From my IBMT study of Infant Movement Development and Somatic Psychology, I also had a wealth of simple key information about the physical, emotional and relational that I wanted to offer. To get the chance to see this parent – baby interaction and get the chance to provide the space and input to slow this down, was a real joy. For both personal and practical reasons I sadly let the group go, but was pleased to have had the chance to bring this simple yet profound somatic work to the Dads and Babies that came along.”
You can read more about this project here
Following my initial somatic training in the US in the late 1990s, I trained in IBMT from 2010 -16.
“My IBMT Diploma training has also been crucial to my skills and confidence as a practitioner. The breadth and depth of the course has stood me in good stead to work with a varied case load and the unique challenges offered by each client.”
- The Embodied Anatomy & Movement Repatterning module gave me a grounding in the stuff of the body; a deep respect for our bodies as well as practical ways to respond.
- The Infant Movement Development module gave me a framework to understand babies and young children, and the evolutionary process that is the foundation for us all. The developmental themes can often provide older children and adults with resources to complete early life experiences that affect current life.
- Somatic Psychology study also provided frameworks and practical approaches to understand and support people finding their way with physical and emotional challenges.
- The study and continued practice of Authentic Movement helped me develop strength and clarity. I draw on this to be with the intensity of emotion and movement that is often present with people who are working to resolve deeply held and felt themes. The ability to clarify the detail of what it is like to be us, helps slow down the process, gain some breathing space, and allow release and compassion.
We’re living in exciting times, to be working in the field of body and well-being. Scientific understanding is bringing to light new understanding and perspectives, that are directly relevant to Somatic Movement Therapy. Neuroscience, brain imaging and new models of understanding are making connections between the biochemical, physiological processes and our emotional and relational worlds.
I periodically think about further training in these fields (such as Somatic Experiencing ® and The Neuro-Affective Relational Model™), and may continue academic study at some point. However, I’ve aired on the side of staying closer to the roots of my IBMT training and how this interweaves with all that I have done before. I strongly appreciate the cyclical practice of moving, tracking, reflecting, applying this both to my work with clients, and how I resource and prepare myself. I’ve been fortunate to have the chance to be in a weekly movement peer group for the last 11 years, had ongoing therapy for myself, together with good supervision. And I love the on-going, cyclical process of it all. Tilling the soil.
For more details: www.PaulBeaumont.net