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Dramatherapy, Tai Chi & Embodiment



Clive Holmwood

This paper will consider potential theoretical, philosophical and pragmatic connections between Dramatherapy (Jones, 1996) and Tai Chi (Zheng, Lo & Inn, 1985); I will specifically consider these connections from the Western perspective of embodiment (Shaw, 2003, Jones, 1996). Dramatherapy is a creative drama based psychological therapy. Tai Chi is an ancient form of martial art. Both approaches use movement and from a Western perspective that ‘embodiment’ could be central to both disciplines. I am interested in how embodiment through movement is a potential connection between these two seemingly very different disciplines, and how these may offer shared knowledge.

I will acknowledge that the two disciplines come from very different backgrounds and philosophies and recognise that it is impossible not to generalise in a short article such as this. The aim is to compare and contrast these two disciplines based on my empirical experience of them. As a European trained Dramatherapist I approach this paper from a Western perspective, acknowledging the differing opinions and viewpoints between Eastern and Western philosophies and practice. The aim is to begin to consider some synthesis between a Western creative based therapy and an Eastern form of martial art; acknowledging that both use movement at their core.



Clive Holmwood

1 University of Derby, UK

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