Beliefs and Values

The following departmental beliefs serve as guiding principles in the delivery of our course content:

  • Human beings are by nature whole and oriented toward growth.
  • Human beings are, at birth, equipped with the rudimentary ability to discriminate between what is unhealthy and what is nurturing for them.
  • One human being cannot “cure” another. A therapist provides an environment of structure, safety, and skill through which the client helps themselves.
  • Healing skills include attention, empathy, compassion, nonaggressive behavior, an appreciation for uncertainty, an ability to tolerate discomfort and a basic commitment to do no harm.
  • Healing is always a system process involving self, environment and the interaction between both.
  • Expressive and natural movement is a powerful tool that serves to synchronize healing.
  • Contemplative disciplines are powerful tools in healing. In the training of therapists, they cultivate the qualities of presence, attention, awareness, and compassion.

The Somatic Counseling Department values:

  • A fundamental view of humanity as whole and oriented towards growth.
  • Training our students to grow, develop, and support the wellness and sanity in their clients rather than to focus only on eliminating their illness.
  • Learning experiences that synchronize and integrate experience and expression on a physical, emotional, cognitive, energetic, and spiritual level.
  • Developing a sense of community and an environment of co-creativity within the department, the University and the surrounding community.
  • Communication based on an acknowledgment of individuality and diversity.
  • We believe that understanding and working with others is ultimately based on understanding and working with one's own personal dynamic.
SDance Therapy students learning in the classroom

The Essence of Movement

"Movement, to be experienced, has to be ‘found’ in the body, not put on like a dress or a coat. There is that in us which has moved from the very beginning: it is that which can liberate us."

— Mary Starks Whitehouse