Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Interview with Dr. Rachel Jordana, Founder of Creative Dance Psychology

Dr. Rachel Jordana Horodezky, Psy.D25159 is a licensed clinical psychologist in the state of California and the founder of Creative Dance Psychology. She holds a private psychotherapy practice in Santa Cruz, CA and teaches workshops internationally. Her mission in life to get more people dancing. For more information please visit www.creativedancepsychology.com.

Exciting news: CREATIVE DANCE PSYCHOLOGY IS COMING TO TORONTO in May 2013. Dr. Rachel Jordana Horodezky, clinical psychologist and founder of Creative Dance Psychology will revisit her Toronto roots from her home in Santa Cruz, California to offer Toronto its first taste of Creative Dance Psychology. The Introduction to Creative Dance Psychology Weekend Workshop will be held Saturday, May 11 to Sunday, May 12, 2013 and is open to anyone wishing to explore traditional psychological interventions through expressive movement in the safety of the Creative Dance Psychology context. Contact robbiesea@gmail.com (local producer), racheljordana@gmail.com, or visit www.creativedancepsychology.com for more information.

I caught up with Dr. Horodezky on her last visit to Toronto in November. Here's what she had to say about this exciting fusion of Creative Dance and Psychology:

Robbie Wychwood (RW): What is Creative Dance Psychology (CDP)?

Dr. Rachel Jordana Horodezky (DRJH): 
"CDP is a seven layer system that spans the psyche from a microcosm of the self (who are we independently) all the way to the macrocosm of the collective unconscious. So, not only ‘who’ are we as a group; but who are we as a group ‘unconsciously.’ "

RW: What are the seven layers of CDP and how do we work with them?

DRJH: "The seven layers are: the self, relationships, families, community, ancestry, culture and the collective unconscious. 

You can do a full week long, even month long workshops in each layer, as each layer is infinitely interesting. But, even in a day long, or in a weekend long, especially in the introductions, we touch upon each layer. Because, how can you not: -all of this, although we can examine it independently, is intertwined.

In the introductory workshop, which touches very briefly on the seven layers. With each round of dancing and processing, everyone takes off another layer, let’s down the guard separating them from each other, and goes deeper. Each person shares more about what is happening in their life and is more willing to be vulnerable, more willing to be authentic, and also is more willing to create healing: -to put themselves in the position where they have the opportunity to work through really deep material.

Even in the focused workshops the layers cannot exist completely independently.  For example, the layer of ‘the self’ and the layer of ‘ancestry’ is hard to distinguish, because in a way, you ‘are’ your ancestors, and in a way your ancestors are ‘you.’  If you look at the layer of ‘relationships’ and the layer of ‘community,’ who are you ‘in relationship’ in community? We can also put the seven layers next to each other and see how each layer intersects with the others."

RW: Do I have to do an introduction to CDP workshop before doing any particular CDP layer workshop intensively? Is it a nested form? ‘Self’-layer before ‘relationship’-layer, and ‘relationship’-layer before ‘community’-layer etc? 

DRJH: "No. You can go to any workshop at any time. There is no prerequisites for each other for any of the different CDP workshops. The exceptions are with the facilitator training. You have to come to at least one workshop to attend a level one facilitator training. The level one facilitator training is a basic overall introduction of the teaching. It doesn’t give you a whole lot to actually start teaching. The level one facilitator training is a prerequisite for the level two."

RW: What would you say would be the intention as a participant? What is my goal?

DRJH: "Different people come in with different intentions. Usually the way it works is at the beginning of the workshop I will have people create an intention, say whatever it is they are working on. So, they can get some insight and healing around the topic. The larger overall intention is to feel better, to feel connected, to have some healing, to make some changes in your life, and to find some resolution in something that you have got a problem with. The specifics differ for everyone."

RW: Why CDP? Why not just Creative Dance? What is the distinction?

DRJH: "The difference is intention. The intention to use your body as a vehicle for psychological processing and healing. Ask your body specific questions and get specific responses, and to respond to them with your voice. Respond with your words. 

It is a big difference. In creative dance people can have absolutely no intention: -dance just because. Dance, because its fun. You can do that with CDP, but the intention really shifts what you get out of it. You could also just go into an ecstatic dance and do CDP:  just say I am going to psychologically process now; but there is something about creating the container of safety, setting up the intention, and some verbal instruction as a group that is co-created that allows for a different layer of depth that you wouldn’t get if you just did this on your own."

RW: Typically people think of the realm of psychology as the arena of talking about the processes of the mind. So, why the body?

DRJH: "Well, its both. Its not just the body. Its not just the mind. You can have the experience of healing deep wounds in the body, and then not bring it up to the conscious level. So, nothing really changes in the outside world. I feel an emotional release, but then go and live my life and recreate the patterns I’ve always lived. 

Same deal with my brain: I can talk about something, and I can get insight. I can talk forever, but having insight doesn’t necessarily lead to lasting change. There is a gap between what is going on with the mind and what is going on in the body. We can heal the mind and the body on these separate levels, but unless they communicate with each other healing might not lead to direct change.

Healing happens much faster when you take a body process and make it conscious by verbalizing it, or take what is conscious, verbalize it, put it in your body to resolve it, and then bring it to the conscious level again.  ‘Healing,’ is actual direct change in your life, versus the feeling of release or the feeling of insight."

RW: I think of healing processes using dance modalities or other physical modalities like yoga as ways of releasing emotional trauma or energy that might be blocked up in various parts of my body. In a sense engaging with it all physically can move the energy through me and allow that energy to flow more readily through me. But you are talking about something that involves the integration of mind and body? How does that work?

DRJH: "It is beyond release. That is part of the difference between creative dance and CDP. With dancing you can just dance your butt off... You can exercise... You can release... But until you process it, until you have witnessed it, until you actually bring it to the conscious mind, or witness and bring it back into your body, until you really work with it change won’t happen. You have to get your body and your mind working together. It is using your body and your mind to make the unconscious ‘conscious,’ and take ‘the conscious’ back to the unconscious: -a creative feedback loop.

If you look at the Feldenkrais: one of the systems of Feldenkrais is that when you make these new movement patterns you are changing the neural networks in the brain. You are actually changing the system in your brain. That is what you are doing with CDP. We are creating new movement patterns and new verbal patterns so you can actually in turn go out and create new patterns in your life."


Also, watch Daniel Mollner's beautiful Creative Dance Psychology Film, and check out his incredible 52-week dance film series (Details below):

SPONSOR THIS PROJECT AT www.danielmollner.com and to see all the videos and learn more. 

Music by: A Tribe Called Red "Electric Powwow"

Dr. Rachel Jordana Horodezky met with two friends to explore relationship patterns using a process she has developed called Creative Dance Psychology. This film was entirely unscripted and results from the dancer's willingness to share their authentic, personal experience using the power of movement. This is the 30th installment of Daniel Mollner's Project 52. Daniel is producing an original, dance-based video every week for all of 2012! Help him on this marathon of art and creativity by sponsoring his project at http://www.DanielMollner.com

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