This was followed immediately by Malvern Lumsden, Dance Movement Therapist and Professor of Community Mental Health, University of Agder, Norway. He also looked at the way neuroscience backs up the work we do, summing this up in four hypotheses:
- The integration of lower and higher levels of the brain, of right and left hemispheres, and the resulting sense of self is essential for the "intelligence of feeling", but may be blocked by adverse experiences in development.
- The resulting lack of "emotional intelligence" - not to speak of a range of psychiatric "diagnoses" - can be seen as a consequence of this lack of integration.
- The arts and arts therapies are an important channel for promoting the development of the disordered brain (eg right and left hemispheres) and the fragmented self (many facets) both during development and subsequently.
- Since movement (involving the body, space, cognition, affect and social interaction) is fundamental to the early development of the brain and the self, dance movement therapy is seen as particularly relevant in the context of pre-verbal developmental and relational issues.
Malvern also talked about another highly influential neuropsychiatrist Allan Schore who believes that all early forming psychopathology is connected with attachment disorders, leading to a failure of self and/or emotional regulation.
He also recommended The Meaning of the Body by Mark Johnson which also explores these issues.
The combination of these two papers was well planned, as they both linked current developments in neuroscience with the work we, as Arts Therapists do. I headed off to lunch in the Real Collegio courtyard, my head full of ideas, and looking forward to some more active learning at the afternoon workshops.