Red Scarf

Creative Counselling

We learn through and communicate with our body much more than verbally, often without being aware of that. According to the research by Birdwhistell and Mehrabian, nonverbal communication comprises 65% to 90% of our overall communication. We also process much more with our body than just with our mind. Our body is a powerful and the most original source of healing – and the most underestimated.

Movement is an external expression of your internal world. Healing power of movement, rhythm and other expressive arts can help you in connecting the external and internal worlds of your personality into a whole. It will help you feel and express yourself in a more balanced way. 

Creative counselling acknowledges the unity of body, mind and spirit, and is aimed at improving your overall health and well-being. It can help you in:

  • becoming healthier

  • coping with your stress related issues and traumatic experiences

  • improving your sleep

  • connecting your body and mind, thoughts and feelings

  • being more and doing less, escaping the hamster wheel

  • becoming aware of your destructive automatic responses to distress and developing new ways to respond

  • enriching your self-expression 

  • developing your self-esteem

  • regaining interest in life and the ability to experience pleasure

  • understanding suppressed parts of your personality

  • identifying and resolving the underlying issues 

Creative counselling includes holistic interventions from:

  • gestalt therapy

  • ecotherapy

  • dance/movement therapy

  • music therapy

  • drama therapy

  • art therapy

I have been engaged in expressive arts since the 80s. I was a stage director and an actor in a theatre and have been practicing Cuban, African and Afro-Cuban dances for over 20 years along with Qigong, yoga and modern dance. This resulted in the research on dance and well-being I did at the University of Derby, UK. I apply research findings and a specific set of exercises and interventions, which I developed and continue developing out of my long-term experience as researcher and practitioner of expressive arts. I also use visualisation as one of the relaxation techniques, along with therapeutic writing interventions that grew out of my experience in writing poetry and prose. I love visual arts and am interested in art history. I am a member of the American Counseling Association and its division The Association for Creativity in Counseling along with the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy AssociationInternational Critical Incident Stress Foundation (ICISF), The British Psychological Society (BPS), the American Dance Therapy Association and the Association for the Advancement of Gestalt Therapy, and engage in continuous learning. I am CISM Certified (Critical Incident Stress Management) by the ICISF and University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) and trained by the ICISF in assisting individuals in crisis, group crisis interventions and treatment of complex PTSD.

I particularly focus on the sensory opening activities, developing and enhancing embodied self-awareness, which is pivotal in treatment and prevention of many mental health issues and traumatic experiences. My interventions are grounded in profound research related to gestalt therapy, Laban Movement Analysis, Fogel's research on embodiment, Authentic Movement developed by Whitehouse and Adler, improvisation theatre, Selye's research on stress, relaxation techniques, Holmes-Rahe Life Stress Inventory (SRRS), etc. I also include insights from the research on trauma and expressive arts along with Desjardins' Sexocorporel approach that acknowledges the unity of body and mind.

I use gestalt, which is an experiential, holistic and relational as well as a profoundly embodied approach. The client is accepted non-judgmentally in an equal relationship and the interaction is focused on the here-and-now. The client is seen in their totality of body, mind and spirit, along with their environment. Gestalt approach emphasises having an embodied presence and increasing awareness of what is being experienced in the moment. It often leads to stunning and helpful insights.

On the other hand, I am psychoanalytically informed and involve unconscious mind to assess how unresolved dynamics from the past may impact your present. In an in-depth investigative interview, I will explore your childhood and family dynamics to understand the root issues, which have to be identified to change a destructive dominant pattern and develop a new way to respond to yourself. 

In following diverse concepts and rejecting a dogmatic way, I apply what is the best for you in your particular case and situation, and approach you as a whole person.

What not to expect:

  • that ​I will make you happy

  • that I will push you to achieve an enforced change

  • that I will fix you

  • that I will follow any kind of a hype

For an initial free of charge, confidential in-person conversation, please reach out to me via phone +41 78 910 25 73 or email or via Stillpoint Spaces, the international counsellors' community I am part of, and we will talk over your personal question and individual situation. 

Please have a look at my publications on the influence of dance and other expressive arts on health and well-being in the News & Thoughts section.

© 2021 by Natalia Braun, Psychological Counselling

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