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.
Gabrielle Roth

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 – because we are more than just brains on sticks!

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:

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 selection 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 Events (pre-booking required) 

Saturday 9th July 2022 – Summer Breeze, Wootton Village Hall, Kent.

Bradley 5Rhythms

Workshop: Summer Breeze. This will be a day of easy dancing to simply connect with the joy of being alive. The definition of the word ‘easy’ in my dictionary is: ‘achieved without great effort, presenting few difficulties, uncomplicated, not difficult, undemanding, a period or way fo life free from worries or problems.’ Let’s go with that!

Starting March 2022 – Closed Ongoing Group: Rehearsal for Life! Canterbury, Kent.

5Rhythms Canterbury

Closed Ongoing Group Theme: Rehearsal for Life! I am pleased to be holding space in 2022 for a closed ongoing 5Rhythms group. We shall be meeting once a month for five months. Same people. Same dancefloor. Same 5Rhythms Teacher. Different Music. Different Experiences.

5Rhythms as a rehearsal for life. What does that mean? Dancing the 5Rhythms can be a nurturing, dynamic, creative, joyful and deeply healing experience. Personally, through practicing the 5Rhythms over the past 20 years, I have come to know so much about myself. Yet 5Rhythms, in my opinion, like other therapeutic endeavours, is not intended to be a substitute for life: consequently it is more appropriate to consider the experiences that we have on the dancefloor more as a rehearsal for life. What have you experienced and learnt about yourself through dancing the 5Rhythms? And importantly, how have you taken this awareness into the territory of your own life? Unless we can make this transition, we risk the 5Rhythms dancefloor becoming a substitute for life… but we all need to start somewhere!

The format for each of the sessions will be simple. Dancing the 5Rhythms. Sharing our experiences of our dances. Sharing experiences from our life. My experience is that by working in a closed committed group over a sustained period of time participants are able to develop more trusting connections with one another and are able to then take the work to a deeper level.

Past Events

21st September 2019: Trust Your Feet

Workshop Theme: Trust Your Feet. A back to basics workshop – going through the body parts, opening up to discovering the 5Rhythms within us and how they want to move – starting with the feet! (Thank you Camille Kmile for the image)

30th October 2021: If not now, then when?

Workshop Theme: If not now, then when? If you are not living in the now, then when and where are you living? In some distant past? In an old story? In an image of who you think you should be? Or, do you live in an imagined future? An ideal that you can never quite arrive at? Are you constantly striving towards how you would like things to be? By putting our bodies into motion in a guided, non-judgemental and supported way, 5Rhythms offers us an opportunity to practice showing up in the now. What gets in your way, what blocks you or distracts you from showing up in the now? Having all come out of various states of lockdown over the past 18 months, we will explore in this workshop, how we can stay fluid in our bodies so that as we start to interact with others again, we do not lock down in our bodies, but stay fluid and open to the now. (Thank you Claudio Schwarz for the image)

20th November 2021: Show Up! (An LGBTQ+ Workshop)

Workshop Theme: Show Up! 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)

Saturday 15th January 2022 – Inertia to Ecstasy, Canterbury, Kent.

Workshop Theme: Inertia to Ecstasy. I don’t know about you, but often in January, I feel as though I am crawling in the New Year. My brain knows that the year has changed but my body remains in hibernation mode and will likely want to stay there for another few months.

The 5Rhythms map offers us a way of moving with this energy: the energy of inertia. Inertia is one of the shadow rhythms of the theoretical and philosophical 5Rhythms mandala.

Instead of feeling that we are doing or being something wrong when we feel inertia, the 5Rhythms practice, offers us a guided way of moving with it and if we do this, inertia can offer us, and perhaps rather surprisingly, an opening towards ecstasy. So, rather than thinking that we should snap out of inertia and perk up, in this workshop we shall explore and practice moving with and through inertia. (Thank you Daniele Levis Pelusi for the image)

Friday 25th February 2022 – Extended 5Rhythms ClassCanterbury, Kent.

5Rhythms Canterbury

Extended 5Rhythms Class. This 5Rhythms Class is open to all but pre-booking is required as Covid Precautions will be in place and numbers will be strictly limited (so book early to avoid disappointment). A 5Rhythms dance floor is a non-judgemental and permissive space where you are invited to explore what happens when you get out of your own way (i.e. when you let go of ideas about who you think you are) and put your body into motion. There are no steps to follow and complete beginners are welcome. It’s good fun, good for well-being and a great workout for body, mind and soul.

Get in Contact

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you would like further details. I look forward to hearing from you.

07757 859650