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SEA 2019 Annual Conference – Movement, Music & Metaphor
November 9, 2019 @ 9:30 am - 6:00 pm£80.00 – £170.00
This year, you’re invite you to be lyrical and poetic, to be in motion and explore new ways of communicating, to stretch your language, your body, your ears, your knowledge, your practice.
Our wonderful line-up of speakers, workshop presenters, panellists, poets, dancers, musicians and out-of-the-box thinkers! are listed below to pique your interest:
Verity J. Gavin ~ Stuart Hanscomb ~ Oded Reitten ~ Michael Worrell ~ Michael Montgomery ~ Marion Steel ~ Manu Bazzano ~ Letizia Orlando ~ Jason Upton ~ Jamie McNulty ~ Jamie Giles ~ Donna Savery ~ Diana Mitchell ~ Devang Vaidya ~ Angelique Vagopoulou & Alja Lah… along with Andrew Lovell & Robert Taylor
Movement… “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music”
Nothing brings me greater joy than dance. It is my preferred art form, it is the talent I am most envious of in other people, it fills my daydreams and is often present in my night-time reveries. Above all, it is my absolute favourite means of movement… I feel unshackled and electric, connected to myself, at peace with my being, able to unpick the trauma and sadness woven into my existence and to express the things for which there simply are no words. It has been argued that body-subjectivity is far more than an awareness of the body’s position in space as it has both dynamic and affective dimensions, as well as being a fundamentally intersubjective phenomenon. But dance does not hold dominion over movement, and movement – especially in the language of therapy – need not be physical at all…
Music… In his book Musicophillia: Tales of Music and the Brain, Oliver Sacks writes:
“Music is part of being human. […] The inexpressible depth of music, so easy to understand and yet so inexplicable, is due to the fact that it reproduces all the emotions of our innermost being, but entirely without reality and remote from its pain. […] Uniquely among the arts, it is both completely abstract and profoundly emotional. It has no power to represent anything particular or external, but it has a unique power to express inner states or feelings.”
Music can be overwhelmingly powerful. It has driven people to the depths of madness and despair and provided the soundtrack for many a misery. Yet it has also accompanied us through the corridors of joy and love and laughter while providing shelter, a sense of community and belonging. I am aware that many existential therapists are, or were, musicians, professional, amateur or aspirational, classical, modern, eclectic. As we grow and age, what music means for us changes; how we hear what we hear, (if we are able to hear at all) can be profoundly impacted; what we once loved and craved can become intolerable and sounds that once moved us profoundly can become noise that is utterly unbearable. If music really is …part of being human, how do we make sense of this in our efforts to understand the human condition?
Metaphor… “Language is the house of being. In its home human beings dwell”
For most of us, the spoken word is the sole resource we deploy in our work as therapists. Figurative expression is often used as a way to convey what we want to say, both to ourselves and to the other. The use of metaphor in therapy can, at times be invaluable; facilitating rapport between client and therapist, enabling space to conceptualise and communicate abstract emotional states and a platform from which to vocalise our suffering for the very first time in a less direct, and perhaps, less distressing way.
However, it can also be a mechanism of avoidance, a linguistic tool deployed in order to evade and obfuscate the “real issues”, where one never genuinely has to be present in the therapeutic challenge. When a common mother tongue is not shared the use of metaphor can dramatically increase the likelihood of misunderstanding or alienation… though it can, on occasion, also provide for rather mirthful confusion. With its potential to both alienate and facilitate, what place does metaphor have in the landscape of existential practice?
As in past years the conference will take place at:
NCVO: Society Building, 8 All Saints Street, London, N1 9RL
And be followed by drinks across the road at The Thornhill Arms, all are invited.