Authentic Movement offers a place of mindfulness from which your inner presence emerges–leaving you refreshed and filled with new clarity.
In this self-directed movement practice, movement becomes a vehicle for deepening one’s connection to one’s body. The form itself is profound and simple, and involves a mover and a witness. Movers move with eyes closed, allowing deepened attention to one’s inner kinesthetic experience, while the witness holds the place of a non-judgmental presence and compassionate support.
This is the journey of Authentic Movement, a form practiced by many since its development by Janet Adler and others (inspired by the work of founder Mary Starks Whitehouse in the 1950’s).
In the words of Janet Adler:
“The form of this work is simple—one person witnesses another person moving in a studio space… The witness, especially in the beginning, carries a larger responsibility for consciousness, as she sits to the side of the movement space. She is not ‘looking at’ the person moving, she is witnessing, listening, bringing a specific quality of attention or presence to the experience of the mover.
The mover works with eyes closed in order to expand her experience of listening to the deeper levels of her kinesthetic reality. Her task is to respond to a sensation, to an inner impulse, to energy coming from the personal unconscious, the collective unconscious, or the superconscious.”
—Janet Adler, from “Who is the Witness?.” Contact Quarterly, 1987
With roots in Jungian psychology, Authentic Movement is a means to explore our personal and collective unconscious through movement, with all the associated meanings, imagery, or feelings that may arise, much in the way our unconscious manifests in our dreams. As we bring awareness to our experience, we gain insight into ourselves and our lives. The form of Authentic Movement has been taught and developed by many people over the years, and is currently practiced internationally by dancers, choreographers, artists, and lay people alike.
Susan has practiced Authentic Movement since 1984, and has studied with Janet Adler in groups and individual work. Susan has facilitated Authentic Movement groups in the U.S. and Asia, and continues to be inspired by supporting others in this deep and rewarding experience as part of their own personal journey.
“To Susan, with eternal gratitude for your witnessing of my gradual awakening to embodied presence. Love blossoms for all in the interplay of your shining light and my self-remembrance.”
— Susan Werner, Art Therapist
Susan offers individual sessions, workshops, trainings, and ongoing Authentic Movement groups.
What is a session like?
Authentic Movement is facilitated based on some core principles and distinct structures that are unique to the Discipline of Authentic Movement:
- Movers move with eyes closed for a designated period of time in the presence of the witness. All movement is self-directed.
- After the movement time, there may be a short period for non-verbal processing of one’s experience (by drawing, writing, journaling, or even resting).
- The mover(s) and witness(es) then come together to speak about the experience and the movement material that has emerged. Movers speak first, followed by the witness. This process helps the mover to discover formerly unconscious material and bring it into consciousness in a meaningful way.
The power of the practice is in its simplicity.
The ‘container’ created by the witness presence provides for the safety of the mover to enter deeply into his/her own movement experience. From here, movers enter into the ‘empty circle’ of the present moment, free of any agenda for one’s movement, to simply be…and to see what emerges.
“I have found Authentic Movement to be a deep and powerful practice for exploring the unconscious. It’s given me the space to learn more about what is really going on internally, to effectively process challenging issues, and to integrate my body into my emotional and spiritual work. As a witness and teacher, Susan is extremely intuitive and is impeccable in her approach. She sets healthy boundaries and offers clear, objective insights. I have worked with her for over five years and look forward to many more!”
—Laura Paradise, Fundraising Consultant
“Authentic Movement has made a tremendous difference in my life. It truly has helped me to experience life in more satisfying and creative ways. Susan creates a safe, comfortable space where I feel truly welcome. For me, a big part of the magic of Authentic Movement comes through Susan and the thoughtful, heartfelt way she leads her group and private sessions.”
—Diana Doyle, CEO and Massage Therapist
“I’ve worked with many different Authentic Movement facilitators, and Susan Bauer holds a particularly aware, consciously-created, safe space, drawing from years of experience both in longer-term groups herself, and as a facilitator in a wide range of contexts. Susan held space me, and for the needs of our eclectic group, with sensitivity, inclusivity, and wisdom.”
—Antonia, Artist and Homeschool parent
“As the Witness, Susan brings intuition, perception, sensitivity and great caring to her role. She has inspired me to accept and trust my movement, and to marvel at what my body knows. Authentic Movement gives me a sense of well-being that must be a kind of essential happiness. I will probably do this practice for the rest of my life. Namaste, Susan.”
Paintings by Mitsuyo Moore