Working With Nonverbal Communication to Navigate Conflict
Facilitated by EHI Affiliate Instructor: Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT
Overview and Description
Some of the best writers note that words, according to Virginia Woolf, often “miss the mark.” They can create misunderstandings, inflame emotions, and polarize groups of people. Maxine Sheets-Johnstone, a phenomenologist and dancer, advises us to go back to the “things themselves”: through detailed observation of the first language of all humans and sentient beings—movement—we can more accurately “read” other people and the world around us.
In this workshop, we will look at nonverbal language as one that is authentic (“the body does not lie”). Observing the nonverbal gives shades and layers of meaning that are often obscured in solely verbal communication. In this workshop, we will learn a simplified form of Labanotation- a movement notation system that uses existential dimensions of time, weight, space and flow to track the ongoing process of movement. It can also be used to track interpersonal movement as dialogue, and even tune into the rhythms of speech.
Learning to work with our clients with particular attention paid to their nonverbal language can help them develop a more authentic, integrated experience of self and connect with others in more gratifying ways. Comprehending the existential dimensions of nonverbal communication can reveal whole new layers of meaning and contribute to deeper understanding and increased harmony in a troubled and conflicted world.
Ilene Serlin, PhD, BC-DMT
EHI Affiliate Instructor
Ilene Serlin is a licensed psychologist and registered dance/movement therapist in practice in San Francisco and Marin county. She is the past president of the San Francisco Psychological Association, a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, past-president of the Division of Humanistic Psychology. Ilene has taught at Saybrook University, Lesley University, UCLA, the NY Gestalt Institute and the C.G. Jung Institute in Zurich. She is the editor of Whole Person Healthcare (2007, 3 vol., Praeger), over 100 chapters and articles on body, art and psychotherapy, and is on the editorial boards of PsycCritiques, the American Journal of Dance Therapy, the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, Arts & Health: An International Journal of Research, Policy and Practice, the Journal of Applied Arts and Health, and The Humanistic Psychologist. Ilene studied Labanotation for 3 years at the Laban/Bartenieff Institute in NY with Irmgard Bartenieff, student of Rudolf von Laban. Her research interests include existential and humanistic psychotherapy, Buddhist and Jewish spiritual practices, dance movement therapy and women’s issues.