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“Jamie's workshops have felt spacious, light, tender and kind. I feel wholeheartedly nourished and closer to myself through his work. There is always something new I understand. I return home inspired and curious.” – Clarissa, Artist and Teacher

Somatic Expression Where and Who

Primarily in California, but also worldwide in these settings and with these varied populations:

Tamalpa Institute, a Center for the study of Movement-Based Expressive Arts Therapy. Working with students of Expressive Arts Therapy to develop presence and somatic awareness since 1987.

John F Kennedy University Graduate School for Holistic Studies. Working with students in Holistic Health Education and in Somatic Psychology to enlarge their understanding and deepen their experience of their own bodies since 1991.

AIDS Hilfe Schweiz - Swiss AIDS Federation. Working with HIV+ people and their caregivers to improve health and well-being from 1998-2007.

HEALING ARTS GERMANY.

Working with social workers and healthcare professionals in continuing education to bring more somatic and expressive resources to their work from 1998-2008.

EMBODIED MINDFULNESS LEADERSHIP TRAINING

Working with students of the contemplative arts in Europe and the United States to integrate somatic technologies into contemporary mindfulness practice since 2012.

Go here for a more complete listing of the audiences and various settings where Jamie has offered Somatic Expression, or upload his resume here.

"I am a New Englander of stoic inclinations who has largely taken my body for granted. After 63 years of wear and tear of my “vehicle”, I was looking at more than a simple oil change; I'd been told I was a candidate for a double hip replacement. I came to Jamie’s weeklong residential, “Embodying Nature”, 3 months after my husband died, sore of heart, mind and body. I learned to listen to the flow in my knees and hips: could they support me? Should I lean or move differently to bear weight? I experienced using my body as my preverbal voice: humming, singing, and moving expressed who I am in a more primary way than words. I also reconnected to my old identity as "a wild thing amongst wild things". The abundance of that week in the natural environment - of time and comfort, food and companionship - left me rehydrated and energized to learn more about this marvelous, albeit older, tool I have to express who I am. And 3 years on after this initiation into bodily self-care, I still have my original hips!" – Kathleen, retired social worker

“Bringing broad knowledge and understanding of the human body, compassion, and new resources to the session, Jamie opens up a world of experiencing your body. Inside the studio or out in nature, you harvest new possibilities and deeper connection to yourself. I have learned so much from Jamie and value what he offers--- in today's times of 'disconnect', his work truly allows us to access what is important and meaningful.” - Joy, Dancer and Teacher

"Jamie's approach includes a skillful blend of improvisational play with a fully developed, theoretically sound methodology. His knowledge is extensive, cross-disciplinary, and grounded in personal experience. Jamie is highly skilled in tracking and responding therapeutically to both individual and group needs; he does so with humor, generosity, and a deeply embodied and compassionate presence. The Somatic Expression practices have brought me greater creative freedom, joy and ease within my body, and a sense of connection to the earth." – Ashley, Somatic Movement Therapist

"Since beginning this work with Jamie I have found myself breathing much more expansively. Often at the end of a class I feel as if I’ve just taken a great nap, had a really good cry or laughed until I was breathless. Having luxuriated in my senses, oxygenating and circulating, I feel greatly relaxed and yet strangely energized, as if I have left my personality on the floor or dissolved into the ether, released into a state of calm awareness. I experience a tender vulnerability, intimate human connection, expression and release, and moments of stillness that feed my day-to-day life outside the class." Candace, Massage Therapist/Minister

“Jamie McHugh is a wizard! He holds a spacious attentiveness that invites one's inner energy to move in its natural patterns, no matter what part of the Self is most present in the given moment. From there, his teachings and technologies of amplification, slowing down, bringing in breath or sound, repeating micro movements that come from a felt inner sensing, or working with opposite impulses (to name just a few!) help bring a more intimate relationship with what is alive in the moment and what wants to be born. The most important aspects of our work have been threefold: giving space to parts of myself that I tend to ignore, doing therapy in a way that works with raw material (not just talking about it), and being able to spontaneously highlight a key element of the session as we are closing that I will take with me to continue developing on my own.”
- Jeremy, Psychotherapist

“Underlying Somatic Expression is a belief that no matter what injury, pain or trauma has occurred, the organism has the capacity and the inclination to thrive IF given appropriate tools and support. The five elements of Somatic Expression provide flexible and powerful tools for accessing the messages my body so desperately wanted me to acknowledge. They have become part of my toolbox for soothing, repair, investigation, change and growth. The long road to re-discovering my inner world has been brilliantly supported through the simplicity and ease of these elements, but more importantly through Jamie's strong, warm embodiment of Somatic Expression." - Rob, Massage Therapist

“As a result of Jamie's teaching, I have been able to begin to heal from years of depression and dis-ease. I moved from an intellectual understanding of the Somatic Body to one of integration, learning to allow sensory experience to run its course through me while simultaneously being a witness. I was able to be with the experience fully and with awareness and let it be, as opposed to judging it, controlling it, or using it against another. " - Leah, Artist

“Somatic Expression is a skillful integration of movement, sound, music, somatic psychology, meditation, collective learning. It happens with great group facilitation, energetic healing and the naturally therapeutic release of play and laughter. As a therapist working with children and their families, I've been able to use these somatic practices in public school group therapy, in family therapy sessions, in treatment plans for children with attention and learning problems, with teenagers for anxiety and anger problems, and to manage my own stress and well-being." - Riki, Psychotherapist

“As a gay man who’s body shame often comes into play, learning to first listen to and follow my body's impulses is empowering. Where caution is often the norm, Somatic Expression impacts my ability to feel and to be powerful. Doing this work in a room of others, the balance between feeling separate and wanting to be separate gets repeatedly challenged. This challenge has taught me flexibility for being in relationship with myself and others." - David, Realtor

"Exercise did not really help me connect with or truly honor the inner sense of my body. Forcing myself to stay on a piece of equipment for at least an hour to burn a certain amount of calories is not sustainable (for me or for the environment), is not creative enough, and does not allow me to experience my body in a holistic way. Changing my vocabulary from I'm going to "exercise" to I'm going to intentionally "move" or "do a movement practice" has helped me embrace and want to use the capacity of my body. I've spent most of my life not understanding the point of movement, why someone would go for a walk just to go for a walk - now I get it! To have your framework has been pivotal for my commitment to live in a fuller and more creative way. I see how the five technologies interrelate with one another; they have given me an inner and outer body language and have provided me with an powerful assessment model to help create practices that work for my life." - Latoya, Health Educator

 

Somatic Expression workshop 2000 (Berkeley)

 

2007 (Hong Kong)