Movement For Mental Health
Movement For Mental Health run therapeutic movement classes and workshops, for members of the public in Kent, UK. We can also run tailored movement-based programmes for Secondary Schools and other organisations.
Sessions are based on the Philosophical, Theoretical and Experiential 5Rhythms map and are led by qualified and accredited 5Rhythms teacher Dr Bradley Starkey.
What are the 5Rhythms?
Created by Gabrielle Roth over 50 years ago and now with tens of thousands of participants worldwide, 5Rhythms is a dynamic movement meditation practice. Whilst 5Rhythms is not classed as being a psychotherapy, it is definitely psychotherapeutic and as Gabrielle Roth once said, if you put your body into motion, your psyche will heal itself.
As a species, we have advanced intellectually, and that’s great! But when the intellect is assumed to be more important than the rest of the body, we can tend to get a bit top heavy, ungrounded and disembodied.
Unless we value our feet as much as our frontal lobes, we’ll end up disembodied talking heads with no rhythm, no root.
Far too many of us have been educated to live from the neck up. The rest of the body, with all of the potential wisdom and intelligence that the body of capable of imparting to us, gets ignored, dismissed and/or regarded as being of less significance.
5Rhythms and mental health?
In recognising the sheer depth of experiential value that is available to us, when we put our bodies into motion, Gabrielle Roth was pioneering. Increasingly medical research is coming to the understanding that mental health conditions such anxiety and depression, are not just held as thoughts in the head, but start as tension, inertia, or any other range of sensations, that are held in (and therefore potentially released from) the body – the issues are in our tissues!
The classes, workshops and programmes that Movement for mental health offer, can help with:
- Relationships: how we relate to ourselves and to others
- Boundaries: saying yes, saying no. Being clear
- Tension and Anxiety – recognising it and what to do with it
- Inertia and Procrastination – recognising these states and learning how to move through them
- Team Building: how we relate to others. How we lead. How we follow
- Authentic Joy – what do we really enjoy rather than doing what we think will please others
- Body Awareness
Apart from anything else moving the body can be good fun and it’s a great form of exercise so in general, it can encourage a feeling of balance, peace and wellbeing.
Biography of Class/Workshop Leader
Originally trained as an architect and completing a design-based PhD at UCL in 2009 on the topic of Spirituality, Space and Levitation, Bradley completed his 5Rhythms Teacher Training in 2014 and he is an accredited member of 5RTA. He has now been dancing the 5Rhythms for over 20 years and he is still amazed and inspired by how the pioneering 5Rhythms map can free us from limiting ways of being that we impose upon ourselves. He is a down to earth, practical and supportive 5Rhythms teacher and he is motivated by seeing people experience depths of themselves that before practicing the 5Rhythms, they never knew existed. He loves teaching people who don’t think of themselves as dancers and/or people who think ‘oh no that is not for me’ but then fall in love with the practice after their first go.
Bradley is also a BACP registered counsellor and he runs The Counselling Shed, which is located just outside Canterbury in Kent. Further details can be found at:
What People Say about Bradley’s Classes and Workshops:
“Brilliant, nurturing space; great exercise also”.
“Bradley is welcoming and – partly because he is not afraid to be vulnerable – you feel that it’s a truly shared and even spiritual dance experience. His class allows you to express both tender and wild sides of yourself and has helped me to notice and release emotions that I hadn’t realised my body was holding.”
“Bradley’s 5R classes have been life changing for me. Bradley holds a space which enables us to express some of the deepest aspects of ourselves, while remaining true to the essence of Gabrielle Roth and 5R.”
“Under Bradley’s careful and loving guidance I have found a space in which I can explore my deepest self, and find support and comfort in the group he creates.”
“I know I have only been coming since the start of this term but I have already learnt a lot about myself and often reflect on the session throughout the week. I find the “advanced 5R inquiry” into the shadow rhythms very useful, and I think Bradley facilitates the sessions very well – with enough structure to give some focus to guide our attention, freedom to explore, and variation to raise our awareness of different patterns in ourselves. The ways we work with partners, small groups and in the whole group as well as individually feels balanced to me, and gives me insights into how I relate to others in normal life.”
“Bradley offers total acceptance of who we are and where we are at any given point in our lives.
He provides meticulous boundaries to enable us to feel safe and accepted. As much as anything the sessions are full of fun, friendship and acceptance, where we can give ourselves over to the magic of dance.”
“It’s clear to me that Bradley is a creative, well-prepared and gentle facilitator and I am already looking forward to the next session.”
For those interested, Gabrielle Roth has published three books.
Roth, Gabrielle; Loudon, John (1989). Maps to Ecstasy: Teachings of an Urban Shaman. New World Library. ISBN 978-0-931432-52-1.
Roth, Gabrielle (1997). Sweat Your Prayers: Movement as Spiritual Practice. Tarcher Putnam. ISBN 978-0-87477-959-2.
Roth, Gabrielle (2004). Connections: The Five Threads of Intuitive Wisdom. Tarcher. ISBN 978-1-58542-327-9.
To give you a taste of Gabrielle’s writing, and a taste of what the 5Rhythms movement meditation practice is about, a section of quotes follow:
“The fastest way to still the mind is to move the body”
“If you just set people in motion, they’ll heal themselves.”
“We dance to reclaim our brilliant ability to disappear in something bigger, something safe, a space without a critic or a judge or an analyst.”
“If you have a body you are a dancer”
“Your body is the ground metaphor of your life, the expression of your existence. It is your Bible, your encyclopaedia, your life story.”
“In many shamanic societies, if you came to a medicine person complaining of being disheartened, dispirited, or depressed, they would ask one of four questions: ‘When did you stop dancing? When did you stop singing? When did you stop being enchanted by stories? When did you stop being comforted by the sweet territory of silence?’”
“Healing is movement. Disease is inertia. If you put the body in motion, you will change.”
“Our soul, our true self, is the most mysterious, essential, and magical dimension of our being. In fact, it is not a separate reality, as traditional Western thought views it, but the cohesive force that unites our body, heart, and mind. It is not a ghost trapped somehow in the physical machinery of our body but the very essence of our being.”
“The dance is not where we lose ourselves. But where we find ourselves.”
“Energy moves in waves. Waves move in patterns. Patterns move in rhythms. A human being is just that energy, waves, patterns, rhythms. Nothing more. Nothing less. A dance.”
“Between the head and feet of any given person is a billion miles of unexplored wilderness.”
“If you don’t do your dance, who will?”
Upcoming Workshops (pre-booking required)
Saturday 30th October 2021 – If not now, then when? Canterbury, Kent.
Saturday 20th November 2021 – LGBTQ+ Workshop: Show Up! Faversham, Kent.
Some of us spend our lives hiding. We hide what we truly think and feel. We hide what we really like and need. We hide who we really are. (I know this place well). Keep your head down and move through life hoping that no one will notice you. Others of us like to show off. We want to be noticed. We want to be the life and soul of the party: the center of attention.
Depending on the situations that we find ourselves in we are all capable of both hiding and showing off and in this workshop we will explore how we move with both of these tendencies.
If you are new to the practice, 5Rhythms offers us an opportunity to put our bodies into motion in creative, non-judgemental and yet supported way. Dancing to different genres of music you are invited to discover and explore how each of the 5Rhythms show up and move through your body – there are no steps to follow apart from your own.
As well as hiding and showing off we shall also explore another option: showing up! How can you show up for yourself? Your authentic self. How can you show up when you are with others, without losing yourself?
(Thank you Robert Collins for the image)
(Thank you Camille Kmile for the image)
Get in Contact
Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like further details. I look forward to hearing from you.