Don Hanlon Johnson, PhD, founder of the first graduate studies program in Somatics, and professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies.
With this book, Jill Hayes joins the many voices arising throughout the world urging the recovery of a fading sense of how the cultivation of the infinite possibilities of body movement are crucial not only for negotiating the challenges of everyday life, but for the development of the soul itself. She articulates clearly how moving in depth, into and through suffering, opens one's heart to the world, finding the courage and compassion that so many spiritual traditions have made the ultimate goal of their works. It is an important work of philosophy and vision, a healing work.
Amanda Williamson, principle editor of the peer reviewed academic Journal of Dance, Movement and Spiritualities, Intellect Publishers.
This is a vital text – vital for practitioners and students involved in somatic movement modalities, transpersonal movement forms and Dance Movement Psychotherapy – vitally important because it addresses invisible, yet perceptible, sensory spiritual processes somatically encountered through movement that have hitherto eluded academic debate. Jill Hayes articulates the delicate felt presence of spirit and soul, bringing a methodologically innovative, and highly sensitive awareness to transformational processes in Dance Movement Psychotherapy. Jill's text, developed through decades of immersion in practice and academia, will be of great value to students and practitioners, setting forth a new framework that attends with integrity to spiritual experiences - in contrast to those experiences remaining ephemeral and fleeting in academia and practice. This is a playful, colourful, rigorous and deeply moving text – its value extends beyond the subject discipline of Dance Movement Psychotherapy into the wider field of Dance Studies.
Miranda Tufnell, dance artist, movement educator and Alexander teacher.
I love how the stories in Jill's book make visible the subtle and transformational processes of creativity and movement. This is a wise, deeply thoughtful and much needed book that articulates the power and beauty of embodied process. It will be a valuable resource for anyone engaged in dance, community and somatic wellbeing.
Caroline Frizell, Dance Movement Psychotherapist and Coordinator of the DMP MA at Goldsmiths, University of London.
This finely crafted book offers us a practice-based guide to transpersonal Dance Movement Psychotherapy beginning with the embodied story that arises from the fleshy substance of the living body. The writing flows smoothly from theory to research to practice, guiding us through stories of transformation and discovery that emerge from the practice of transpersonal Dance Movement Psychotherapy. We are challenged to encounter the physicality of our existence in the living, breathing organism that is the self and from the inner darkness of that physical self, we learn how our creativity and imagination can flow, as matter and spirit converge. The writing cleverly leads us into a liminal space between our own mortality and the infinite arena of the universe and in that sacred chamber, expressive movement becomes a catalyst for transformation. This book connects the reader on a deeply human level to the transpersonal practice of Dance Movement Psychotherapy in a quest to find the essence of soulful living.
Hillary Keeney, Ph.D., and Bradford Keeney, Ph.D., co-authors of Circular Therapeutics: Giving Therapy a Healing Heart, and Seiki Jutsu: The Art of the Non-Subtle Life Force.
Jill Hayes dares to bring academic discussion to those ineffable experiences known more easily to the moving body: soul, spirit, and the creative life force. She does so with the voice of someone steeped in years of experience in the transformative somatic arts. Hayes' writing takes us straight to what she calls "the centre," bringing us inside a more poetic handling of the practice of transpersonal Dance Movement Psychotherapy. We honour the way she invites readers to share her passion for the wisdom of the body.
Sarah Whatley, BA PhD, Professor of Dance and Director, Centre for Dance Research (C-DaRE), Coventry University
This is a remarkable book. Hayes combines personal reflections and poetry like soft mantras with detailed research, providing invaluable and moving insights to her many years' experience as a Transpersonal Dance Movement Psychotherapist. The book is imbued with wisdom and care. By weaving together her own methods and belief systems with the stories of some of her clients, Hayes positions her therapeutic practice within a wider network of somatic practices, theoretical standpoints, philosophies and literature. We read careful explanations of terms that may be familiar; soul, spirit, flow, metaphor - but rarely given such detailed consideration. Above all, Hayes' call to recognise the centrality of the body, of movement, and expression through movement as fundamental to transformation and bodily wholeness, sings through each chapter. The first hand reflections captured in the case studies of her clients, and in particular the journey taken by Lauren, most clearly demonstrate the symbiotic relationship of words (poetry) and the body moving (dance) to create images, told in most part through her clients' own words. This is a book for everyone as much as for psychotherapists, those who have or might be considering psychotherapy, healthcare professionals and for anyone who would find interest in writing that attends so deeply to the complexities of the human spirit, and the metaphors that enable us to find strength and solace in how we move through living in the world.
Professor Jane Bacon, Authentic Movement and Focusing practitioner, Jungian psychotherapist, performance practitioner and Professor of Dance and Somatics, University of Chichester, UK
Jill Hayes new book, Soul and Spirit in Dance Movement Psychotherapy, is an exciting development to the field of dance movement psychotherapy. Her attention to a poetic language of the body takes us on a gentle journey of awareness and insight in what she calls transpersonal dance movement psychotherapy. In this approach we seek to re-forge a compassionate relationship with our bodies and the world body as living expressions of soul and spirit. With the notion that our somatic core is our spiritual centre she carefully outlines, using poetic and embodied language, a range of conceptual and theoretical terrains. This practical embodied use of language helps the reader to journey fluidly, like butterfly or hawk, toward a deeper understanding of this terrain. Drawing our attention to new research in cognitive and neuroscience, philosophy and the broader field of dance movement psychotherapy, she posits that this approach operates from the premise of a wholeness of the human, rather than a divided body, mind and spirit. The use of raw and evocative clinical material reveals how, in Hayes' terms, our organic rhythms can be felt, sensed and moved and so release our rigidity. Working in this way, with careful embodied attention, provides a safe container where we can move toward healing the trauma of our lives through a re-animation, a remembering of our soul and spirit.
Dr Sandra Reeve, movement artist and teacher
This delicate, articulate and embodied account of the approach, methodology and skills of transpersonal dance movement psychotherapy is nourishing, stimulating and informative for therapeutic practitioners and for all those interested in the visible and invisible processes of health, creativity and vitality. At the core of this transpersonal approach Jill Hayes redefines soul and spirit in a detailed, joyful and rigorous way. Her meticulous definitions are free from religious dogma and yet permeated with an embodied respect for the mystery of unknown. Embedded in practice and reflecting on frequently unexamined aspects of the therapeutic relationship, this book celebrates the layers of a healing journey through metaphors, stories and succinct analysis.
Katy DymokeAssociation for Dance Movement Therapy (ADMP)
Hayes has written a book with depth of feeling and quiet poetic analysis of her personal reflections upon her experience of being a transpersonal dance movement psychotherapist (TDMP)... throughout the book Hayes is presenting and reflecting and speaking to the reader with integrity. She shares examples of cases, stories and personal insights... Hayes reminds us of our fallibility, that ego is narrow, that soul and spirit are expansive that to be therapists we are essentially witnessing the lo9sss of soul or spirit, the wounding of self and serving the return to resonance and presence of the same... It comes as a reminder to rekindle the body-soul-spirit in our DMP practice and to recognise the vitality and creativity of the transpersonal approach, as we touch, move and accompany our patients/clients on their journey to wellbeing.
Monika Retner, DramatherapistIACAT (Irish Association of Creative Arts Therapists) Journal
Hayes presents the theoretical grounds of her method, as well as an in-depth description of the practical application of the Transpersonal method. Hayes underlines that it is very important to connect theory and practise in Dance Movement Psychotherapy... Hayes describes the theory of her approach in a comprehensive way and presents the possibilities of applying it in a psychotherapeutic practise... I recommend this book for those therapists who wish to learn more about the Transpersonal approach in Dance Movement Psychotherapy.