Dramatherapy, Tai Chi & Embodiment

Journal article


C. Holmwood and Holmwood, C. 2015. Dramatherapy, Tai Chi & Embodiment. Creative Arts in Education and Therapy. https://doi.org/10.15534/caet/2015/1/8
AuthorsC. Holmwood and Holmwood, C.
Abstract

This paper will consider potential theoretical, philosophical and pragmatic connections between Dramatherapy (Jones: 1996) and Tai Chi (Pang Jeng & 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.

This paper will consider potential theoretical, philosophical and pragmatic connections between
Dramatherapy (Jones: 1996) and Tai Chi (Pang Jeng & 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.

KeywordsDramatherapy; Tai Chi; Embodiment; Chinese Philosophy; Yin; Eastern; Western; Yang
Year2015
JournalCreative Arts in Education and Therapy
PublisherQuotus Publishing
ISSN2451-876X
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.15534/caet/2015/1/8
Web address (URL)http://hdl.handle.net/10545/620529
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
hdl:10545/620529
Publication dates2015
Publication process dates
Deposited03 Oct 2016, 13:54
ContributorsUniversity of Derby
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