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Embodied Pathways
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Embodied Pathways

Author: Adrian Harris

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Discover how to nurture your connection with nature and your own embodied wisdom
6 Episodes
 In this episode, we step back and take a wider overview of what I call the embodied pathways: What connects diverse practices like Focusing, Rolfing, Authentic movement and meditation? Our guide on this exploration is Don Hanlon Johnson, who has spent over half a century studying how transformative body practices can enhance personal and social change. Don’s work takes cutting-edge theory and develops it through experiential practice. What emerges is a remarkable body of work on embodied consciousness and spirituality. Don is the author of numerous books and articles and is a Professor of Integral, Transpersonal, and Somatic Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies.Don weaves together warm personal stories of his extraordinary life and profound insights into what it means to be fully human. He spent years at Esalen and has known many of the key figures in the world of embodied awareness, including Carl Rogers, Ida Rolf and Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen. Don has also had personal experience with many of the somatic practices that inspire people worldwide. Join us on a journey of discovery into the rich world of somatics.
Focusing is a powerful way to access the wisdom of the body. It was identified by Eugene Gendlin in the 1950s and is widely used in therapy.  In 2009 Alicia Danforth suggested that Focusing could be a valuable tool in psychedelic-assisted therapy, but João da Fonseca is one of the few people in the world who have explored this possibility. João is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist with 20 years of clinical experience. He’s qualified in a wide range of approaches, including Transpersonal, Existential, EMDR and Focusing-Oriented Therapy. João is at the forefront of psychedelic-assisted therapy and currently works at the ‘Liminal Minds’ ketamine clinic in Portugal. He is a contributor to the first book in Portuguese on psychedelic-assisted therapy, Psicadélicos em Saúde Mental (2023).Episode outline:João describes his work at  Liminal Minds and sets out the principles of psychedelic-assisted therapy. He then explains what Focusing is, unpacking the way that it enables us to access the implicit wisdom of the body. We then turn to the question of how Focusing can be used to support psychedelic-assisted therapy. We consider the role of Focusing in the preparation stage, during dosing and in integration sessions. We then consider the importance of the inner healing guide and how Focusing relates to this fundamental aspect of psychedelic-assisted therapy.  Focusing can also support the therapist or psychedelic guide: João explains how he uses Focusing during dosing sessions as a way of being fully with the participant. The insights he gains from this can be valuable in subsequent integration sessions, helping to bring more clarity to the participant's process.It becomes apparent from our conversion that there are fundamental parallels between Focusing and psychedelic experience. That opens further questions about the nature of the embodied human psyche. We conclude that this is just the beginning of a much bigger conversation: Both Focusing and psychedelics " are openers of the mystery". Join us on our journey of exploration!References:Danforth, A., 2009. 'Focusing-oriented psychotherapy as a supplement to preparation for psychedelic therapy'. The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, Vol. 41, No. 2.Gendlin. E. 1981. Focusing. Bantam, New York.Liminal Minds psychedelic-assisted therapy clinic:
In this fascinating discussion, I have the pleasure of chatting with Jennifer Tantia, a Somatic Psychotherapist and Dance Movement therapist based in New York City. Jennifer shares her unique journey from being a professional dancer to becoming a therapist. She discusses her time in the East Village, working in gyms as a personal trainer, and her deep dive into somatic psychology and embodied research. Jennifer also enlightens us about the sixth sense -  interoception. We explore interoception and how it intersects with somatic psychology, psychotherapy and Focusing.We explore the extraordinary power of Authentic Movement, and Jennifer offers some valuable insights into helping clients become more present. Listen in as we explore an example of how to help a client access their emotions through physical sensations and the importance of trusting one’s intuition and gut sense of safety in relationships. The episode concludes with an exploration of how we can weave together presence, interoception and Authentic Movement. We delve into how movement can open us up to unexpected insights and how we can use these moments to help us process our emotions and experiences. We also discuss how to stay present with our felt senses and how trust and curiosity can help us open up to unexpected experiences.Jennifer Frank Tantia, PhD, LCAT, BC-DMT is a Somatic Psychotherapist and Dance/movement Therapist in New York City, practicing for the past 18 years. She has been teaching somatic psychology and embodied research at universities and training programs in the US and internationally for the past decade.  Dr. Tantia co-edited  The Routledge International Handbook on Embodied Perspectives in Psychotherapy: Approaches from Dance Movement and Body Psychotherapy (2019) and received a Marian Chace Foundation grant for her latest book,  The Art and Science of Embodied Research Design: Concepts, Methods and Cases (2020). Website:
Dr Sam Gandy is involved with cutting-edge research into psychedelics and nature connectedness. He's worked with the Beckley Foundation, Onaya Science and the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. In this conversation, Sam explores the capacity of psychedelics to influence human relationships with nature. The research suggests that the psychedelic experience can enhance nature connectedness: We consider the evidence and the factors that might underpin this phenomenon. We explore connectedness, mysticism, ego dissolution and how we might use ecotherapy to enhance psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Claire Thompson is the author of Mindfulness and the Natural World and The Art of Mindful Birdwatching. She takes mindfulness practice back to where it works best - the natural world. In this very personal interview, Claire considers the power of awe, enlightenment and the way that nature can be both deeply holding and liberating. Hear tales of mystical enchantment, spiritual insights and alternative routes to awakening ecological awareness. Move beyond labels, learn to manage the controlling mind and find embodied connection to the natural being that you truly are.Find out more at Claire's website: Mindfulness of Nature
Stephanie Gottlob is an improvisational movement artist who takes her work into the wild. Stephanie has spent extended periods living and dancing in different biomes across North America: rainforest, swamp, freshwater lake, arctic tundra and many more. Stephanie talks about the profound nature connection that emerges from this kind of deep engagement with place. We explore art, embodiment, relationship, activism, spirituality and the mysterious ways that these are all connected. You’ll hear why we need ancient forests to be fully human and how you can touch the wild wherever you live. 
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