Deborah J Welsh


 

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I am a retired Licensed Creative Arts Therapist, Board Certified Dance/Movement Therapist, a licensed Mental Health Counselor, and Advanced Teacher of yoga nidra/iRest ©. Currently, my professional focus is on Sacred Dance and contemplative practices of non-dual, integrative spirituality, particularly within the traditions of Christianity and Buddhism. I lead workshops and sessions in a program I’ve developed titled “Wisdom of the Body,” (see below) primarily within the Wisdom Schools and Retreats of Wisdoms Work (www.wisdomswork.com). Additionally, I founded The Sacred Dance Collective of Central New York, a group of dancers exploring the power of dance as a medium of prayer, contemplation, and social action.

I have been teaching dance and movement for over forty-five years and practiced psychotherapy for over thirty years, with a wide variety of people and in many settings. My theoretical background and training is predominantly in C.G. Jung’s psychoanalytic theories and depth psychology, with a broad knowledge of current therapy/counseling theories and practices. Creativity is the essential foundation of my work. I believe life is a creative act.

My clinical and teaching background includes developing Dance/Movement and Creative Arts Therapy programs at the former Benjamin Rush Psychiatric Hospital and Addictions Rehabilitation Center, where I also directed the Women’s Program and led groups to address body image issues and sexual abuse and “Multi-modal” Creative Arts Therapy Programs. I developed a Dance Therapy program at Hutchings Psychiatric Center that continued with a former intern of mine. Teaching experience includes both graduate and undergraduate students at Syracuse University in the School of Education, Drama (Laban-based Movement for Actors) and Human Development Departments, and other private educational and training venues. From 1991 to December 2011, I directed the Full Circle Studio and Center for the Arts, Jungian, and Yoga Studies where I created and vetted many programs and workshops in those topics.

Wisdom of the Body is a form of Contemplative Sacred Movement and Prayer, derived in relation to the ancient Wisdom teachings that are the underpinning of the world’s religions. Wisdom of the Body is an offering in continual development that includes dance and gestural movement as prayer, the practice of the Labyrinth, and ecstatic dance. This is based in my long-standing and deep affiliation with Contemplative Christianity, Buddhism, and the yoga philosophy of Patanjali.

Within my retirement I occasionally teach programs such as Mindful Movement, yoga nidra/iRest, The Portrait Project, and Sacred Dance, in the form of workshops, retreats, study groups, and private sessions. Everything I offer, whether group or private is tailored to the physical, emotional and spiritual intentions and needs of those who participate.

Photo © Jeanann Wieners