Mental Health Week – Integrating difficult experiences through body movement

On Saturday, our colleagues Gabriela D’angelis and Ioana Boldea facilitated a 3-hours workshop, guiding participants to move and interact with their bodies in ways that will support them to integrate difficult experiences.


They started by briefly sharing their vision on body movement and integration. They talked about how body-movement means for them a process of self-discovery and self-understanding, for which it is important to give yourself the space to be without that critical voice that usually stays behind. Also, they explained that integration is about the act of bringing together the parts of a whole, which can be especially hard with difficult experiences since sometimes we may not understand their meaning, why they happened to us, what actually happened or what to do next. This makes it hard to embrace the experience and to give it a meaning that matches the story that we have created about our own life. 


After talking we started our journey with a connection practice, a body-scan and the creation of an individual map, built of 6 points, that were approached through the whole duration of the workshop. The first movement practices with Gabriela have been focused on the topics of balance and flexibility, including a reflection on these topics, which was discussed in pairs in breakout rooms. After a beautiful discussion in the group about the discoveries made, and after a break, Ioana facilitated a 30 minutes guided meditation that was focused on approaching our body with curiosity, while identifying emotions and sensations in our body. Gabriela ended the workshop with another body movement practice, now embracing the meaning of self-compassion and different types of touch, bringing the idea of caring for yourself as you usually care for someone you love. 


Participants left the workshop with a map of their journey, containing techniques and key words about body movement and the integration of difficult experiences, that they can put on the wall or fold and open anytime they feel they need it.


Article written by Gabriela D’Angelis, member of Minte Forte