Bringing SPT to challenging places

It takes courage to teach SPT in groups that are not especially open for embodiment practices. But it can be very rewarding, because practitioners can gain deep insights. And Covid has brought a longing to learn about embodiment.

Last year, I had the opportunity to teach SPT and Embodied Learning in several challenging places. Challenging for me personally, because some groups seemed to be hard to teach. And also challenging because groups sometimes go through intense times. 

An example of a group that has been challenging for me: medical doctors. You have probably noticed most medical doctors don’t have a body.  Some of them seem to think only their patients have one. But nowadays there is a longing in several medical groups like psychiatrists, General Practitioners and Intensive Care practitioners to be in touch with the direct wisdom and knowledge from the body. I had the opportunity to teach in several different groups. It helps a lot if the leader trusts the practice and introduces you. 

SPT is helpfull for groups or teams that go through challenging times. I’m teaching professionals to stay when things get rough or uneasy, using mindfulness techniques and SPT, for example Stuck, Fielddance, Seeddance and Village. For example the Police in Holland has a hard time now, because we have riots. There is a lot of aggression towards policemen because of the ongoing rules around Covid. Embodiment helps them to stay when things get tough.

I teach leaders in different professions to stay in intense situations. One of the exercises I use is about taking your own length and width, making yourself not larger, nor smaller than you are. It is amazing what insights come up, like the tall fireman who told me that he always felt as if he had to make himself smaller than he really is, or the short CEO who felt like she had to pretend all the time to be larger. A strong leader dares to live his /her own length.

When you have the courage to teach people in challenging circumstances, you can feel challenged yourself. But it is worth sharing your experience. I noticed it helps when I come from a humble, open & enthusiastic place. It also helps to know that I’m not alone in this practice while I’m teaching. It is always wonderful to see how people resonate with the practice and renew themselves. Let’s bring it to the places where it is most needed.

Paula Kolthoff(