Authentic Movement

'I move with eyes closed
where my body leads me,
sometimes I am just following my inner impulses,
sometimes I recognize myself thinking about my movements,
criticizing myself.
How can I get out of this patterns?
How can I stop my head taking over?'

Authentic Movement is a very effective way to contact our emotions, inner images and impressions as well as unfamiliar movement material. We learn to perceive our surroundings and fellow humans with less judgement through becoming aware of our judgements and owning them. This is very supportive for the personal, as well as for the artistic or therapeutic process.

'Authentic Movement is a contemplative movement discipline which has evolved within the field of dance movement therapy, and been influenced by Jungian psychology and meditative practice. As in the discipline of mindfulness meditation, we seek to pay attention to our direct experience, moment by moment, witnessing the sensations, feelings, thoughts, images and movement impulses which arise into consciousness.'

In short, Authentic Movement is movement with closed eyes, which is witnessed by a partner with mindful awareness.

Witness and Mover

The ground form of the discipline involves the relationship between one who moves and one who witnesses; through her mindful presence and compassionate attention the witness creates a safe space which the mover enters, eyes closed, to attend to his/her inner world. The mover is invited to surrender to the flow of impulses which arise from the
unconscious, and to bring these into expression through movement. In this way unconscious material is embodied, felt and seen by another, and can be integrated into consciousness through verbal sharing, writing and artwork. Thus the body becomes conscious.
The witness also attends to her direct experience, paying attention to the sensations, feelings, memories and images evoked in her by the presence of the one moving.


When, later, mover and witness share their experiences, the witness learns to recognise and own projections, interpretations and judgements, coming to understand how they obscure the clear seeing of another. Through being witnessed with non-judgmental acceptance, clarity and compassion, the mover is enabled to develop a clear and
compassionate internal witness. Thus the internal awareness of each develops within the context of relationship.

The enhancing of this receptive quality of clear attention can profoundly support the practice of all disciplines which are based on the healing quality of relationship.
Linda Hartley (text taken from her leaflet for the training 2006-2010)