My name is Fran Lavendel. I work as a somatic psychotherapist and as
a teacher of the Discipline of Authentic Movement, with a passionate
interest in listening to our bodies, as well as to our words.
In our bodies, after all, live all our stories, all our feelings,
all our experiences of a lifetime. It is sometimes not enough to
speak about problems. Listening to our bodies, maybe letting them
move, can be a way to come closer to feelings, enabling us to bring
them ‘into the light’. And so often, by listening to our bodies, we
can actually find the healing we need, by experiencing all parts of
ourselves as a whole, by re-discovering the ‘knowing in our bones’.
In individual psychotherapy sessions we speak together, we pay
attention to how your body is feeling and sometimes we invite
movement. When it feels right to do so, we use the practice of
authentic movement as a way of coming closer to really meeting
yourself and as a way of feeling seen, just as you are.
Indeed, the practice of authentic movement informs all my work,
including psychotherapy, even when we are not working within the
form of the practice. My essay entitled
Healing into wholeness: Psychotherapy practice informed by the
Discipline of Authentic Movement
is available on this website.
Some people are clear that they wish to study with me, not to
undertake personal therapy. As a teacher of the Discipline
of Authentic Movement
I introduce people to this practice (individually and in small
groups) in which we experience life directly, moment by moment, in
movement and stillness, through listening to our bodies.
share experience through language while also including the body as a
rich resource for information. As we listen to embodied feelings,
share them with the therapist, perhaps also allow any impulses to
move in any way that feels intuitively ‘right’, we meet ourselves in
new places, bring shadowy corners to light, experience new
possibilities of being.
Personal therapy or student of the Discipline of Authentic
We distinguish between the undertaking of personal therapy with me
or engaging as a student interested in exploring the authentic
movement practice. The difference is not always clear, as both
involve deep inner work and both involve the relationship with a
compassionate, accepting ‘other’. People do not always know what
form of work with me they wish. We meet, we speak together, we learn
together what feels right for each person. Not-knowing is always a
good place to begin.
Everyone is welcome. No previous experience of any sort is
necessary. I have a private practice in my studio just outside
Penicuik (close to Edinburgh) — a tranquil setting surrounded by
garden and trees. Women and men of all ages bring their sadness,
their fears and longings, or a desire to grow, to explore and to
know themselves better. Most have some sense that they wish to
include their experience of their bodies in our work together