Pre-Congress Workshop
on Movement as Active Imagination

Photo Adosorio photo Chodorow photo Gerson photo Green photo Mendez photo Oppikofer photo Stromsted

Psyche Nature Culture

Sunday, August 22
9:00 to 17:15

The living body contains the secret of life, it is an intelligence. It is also a plurality which is gathered up in one mind.    C. G. Jung

The embodied self may be experienced as the many in the One. Interweaving archetypal, theoretical, experiential, clinical, developmental, neurobiological, ecological and cultural material, we approach the living, moving body in analysis. This workshop will be led by IAAP colleagues from different parts of the world who are among those working to develop dance/movement as a form of active imagination: Antonella Adorisio (CIPA), Joan Chodorow (CGJISF), Jacqueline Gerson (IM), Anita Greene (NESJA), Margarita Méndez (SVAJ), Renate Oppikofer (SGAP), and Tina Stromsted (CGJISF). Morning and afternoon sessions include short papers and/or video, followed by movement experience and discussion:

Morning Session: (09:00-12:15)

  • Body Compass: An Invaluable Tool (paper)
    Jacqueline Gerson
  • The Meaning of the Body in Authentic Movement (paper)
    Renate Oppikofer
  • Embodied Soul (experiential)
    Anita Greene
  • Introduction to Authentic Movement (experiential)
    Joan Chodorow

Lunch Break: (12:15-13:30)

Afternoon Sessions: (13:30-17:15)

  • Mysterium – A Poetic Prayer: Testimonials on Body/Spirit Coniunctio (video)
    Antonella Adorisio
  • Living House/Living Body (short paper & movement experience)
    Margarita Méndez
  • Dreamdancing (experiential)
    Tina Stromsted

We shall introduce and explore the inner-directed movement process as a way to bridge the realms of conscious and unconscious experience. Sometimes called “authentic movement,” this form of active imagination turns attention to the ongoing stream of bodily sensations, images and feelings that are then allowed to develop into spontaneous movement. The work is done with one’s eyes closed in the presence of a witness, whose task it is to hold and contain the experience of the person moving. Participants are invited to wear comfortable clothing and to bring a notebook and/or drawing materials to record their images and experiences.

Pre-Congress Workshop Registration Fee: $150 USD

Please register at the following link.

Priority will be given to full congress participants. All others will be placed on a waiting list in case of last minute cancellations. The pre-congress workshop was fully subscribed in early June, with waitlist.

The Pre-Congress Day is not a commercial enterprise. As co-leaders, we cover our own expenses and donate our time. Workshop fee pays for the meeting room and equipment, with the balance to benefit IAAP.

Further Details on Program:


Antonella Adorosio
Mysterium – A Poetic Prayer:
Testimonials on Body/Spirit Coniunctio (video)

Antonella Adorisio


During the editing process of this video, I let the inspiration come and guide me as if following a dream from the unconscious, in a state of lunar consciousness. I felt called to show the continual transformations of life: the flow of water that covers and uncovers things; loss, labour and suffering, the confrontation with the Shadow, birth, joy and rebirth. Isis, Eros and Psyche and the possibility of relating. The mystery of life, death, life. The pathos of the soul and the mystical experience of transformation.

In this new version of the video, I changed some of the images and added new interviews with Jungian analysts: I asked each of them: “What is spirituality for you and what do you feel is your best way to live it?”

Antonella Adorisio is a Jungian Analyst and a member of the Scientific Committee of CIPA Institute of Rome. Her early roots in dance and historical research led her to become a Dance-Movement Therapist, Art Psychotherapist, Registered Psychologist, Psychotherapist, and credentialed supervisor for APID (the Italian Association for Dance Therapy), with Diplomas from Art Therapy Italiana and the University of London.  As a teacher of Authentic Movement, she studied with Janet Adler and Joan Chodorow.

She is co-editor of DanzaMovimentoTerapia (ed. Magi 2004-2008) and of Attualità e inattualità della psicologia analitica (ed. Vivarium 2009). She is also the author of numerous papers on active imagination and authentic movement published in Italy, UK and USA.

Jacqueline Gerson
Introduction to Authentic Movement (experiential)
Joan Chodorow


The mover-witness relationship offers a way to explore the ongoing flow of nonverbal experience, expression and communication underlying analytic conversation. Analysts use the connection between body and psyche as a central clinical tool, yet there may be few opportunities to further develop this dimension. This workshop offers a structure within which analysts can both have a practical experience of their own moving imagination as well as enrich their understanding of its application in analytic practice.

Joan Chodorow is a Jungian analyst in San Francisco (CGJISF), with deep roots in dance and dance therapy. Her interest in both early development and active imagination led her to study the emotions and their forms of expression and transformation. Publications include Dance Therapy and Depth Psychology, Jung on Active Imagination, and a new, soon to be published book for the Fay Series in Analytical Psychology entitled Active Imagination: Healing from Within.

Jacqueline Gerson
Body-Compass: An Invaluable Tool (paper)
Jacqueline Gerson


Witnessing the psychic process in analytical work is both, a privilege and a difficult task. As analysts, we need as many resources as possible in order to sit, listen, hold and interpret the various ways the psyche uses to express itself in order to find meaning in life.

This paper is about the body’s participation in the every day analytical work. It demonstrates how no special setting or training is needed, only the awareness of an invaluable tool that is present in both, patient and analyst: Our body-compass.

Jacqueline Gerson is a Jungian analyst with a private practice in Mexico City, where she works as an analyst, teacher and supervisor. With a life long passion for dance and movement, she first approached dreams as spontaneous choreographies created by the psyche. That discovery led to her to the study of analytical psychology eventually to become an individual member of the IAAP. She has now been published in The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Journal, with Daimon Verlag, Brunner-Routledge, and Spring Journal, as well as the Mexican Magazine “Epoca”.

Anita Greene
Embodied Soul (experiential)
Anita Greene


Linda Hogan, a Native American says “The body, made of earth’s mud and breathed into, is the temple, and we need to learn to worship it as such, to move slowly within it, respecting it, loving it ... love for the body and the earth is the same love.” Women, even more than men, I believe, are in danger if they attempt to separate body and spirit, earth and heaven. Without body we can have no felt experience of ourselves, nor the spiritual dimension of life nor the possibility of embodying soul. I plan to provide an experiential opportunity to explore the sacredness of body and to share short vignettes of my own journey.

Anita Greene is a Jungian analyst in private practice in Amherst Massachusetts, and a teacher at the C.G. Jung Institute in Boston. She is also a Rubenfeld Synergist who combines gentle body techniques within her analytic work. She lectures widely on the integration of body and psyche.

Tina Stromsted
Living House/Living Body
(short paper and movement experience)

Margarita Méndez


We explore the relationship between the archetypal symbol of the house and the living, psychic body. From ancestral memory the anthropological evolution of the house shows how it became an early cultural symbol of the psyche and of the human condition. In the psychomythology of the house and the garden we see they represent the person’s body in many ways. As a result, we will approach the living house and the living body, both, as Nature’s archetypal scenery for the vicissitudes of the soul. Participants are invited to remember, imagine and explore their inner house – that inhabits the body – through movement, in an attempt to discover their multiple yet unique meaning.

Margarita Méndez is a Jungian analyst in Caracas, a Psychologist from the Universidad Central de Venezuela and a member of the Sociedad Venezolana de Analistas Junguianos (SVAJ) and the IAAP since 1998. She is an assistant to the editorial committee of the Revista Venezolana de Psicología de los Arquetipos and currently serves as director of studies of SVAJ.

Her private practice includes movement in analysis as an integrative approach that draws from her background and experience in contemporary dance. Most of her articles include the psychic body in psychotherapy and her work with populations at risk, from a Jungian perspective.

Tina Stromsted
The Meaning of the Body in Authentic Movement (paper)
Renate Oppikofer


I am going to talk about Authentic Movement, an experience I am sharing at present with a group of some twelve women. Their individual body movement and emotions will be the bases for my reflections. Another aspect will be the relationship between the “mover“ and the “witness.“

I shall conclude, by focusing on the impression of “opening up“ that is felt throughout the whole body. Some people describe this as moving and expanding beyond one’s self – here we approach the numinous.

Renate Oppikofer The enigma of the human being has always intrigued and fascinated me. I have practised several professions through which I tried to deepen my understanding of others and also of myself. I was first a country-school teacher. After my husband’s untimely death, I became a nurse and then a therapist for patients with psycho-motor problems. This brought me to California, where body techniques were flourishing ; it was there that I met Joan Chodorow and I was introduced to Authentic Movement. Following that, I trained at the Jung Institute in Zürich and obtained my diploma as analyst. In my analytical practice I have been integrating body work.

Tina Stromsted
Dreamdancing (experiential)
Tina Stromsted


Our bodies and dreams may be our closest links to the unconscious, expressing the soul’s longing through image, breath, gesture, the rhythm of our step, and the music of our speech. Unresolved physical and emotional wounding is often held in the body, in stasis, until it can be brought to consciousness. Once contact is made, the flow of unconscious material can find expression through the body, so we can come to terms with it. Movement that emerges from a genuine source within us, when made conscious and integrated into lived experience, is by its very nature transformative. My childhood dream journals were soul friends; a temenos for my evolving inner truth. Dance tapped body wisdom, and provided a pathway to the divine. Embodying our dreams opens us to the mysteries, and offers guidance in living a richer, soulful life.

Tina Stromsted is an analyst and faculty member of the C. G. Jung Institute of San Francisco, in private practice.  With more than thirty years of clinical experience as a Jungian oriented psychotherapist and dance therapist, Dr. Stromsted leads workshops in the U.S. and internationally, integrating body-oriented, Jungian and creative arts therapy approaches to healing and transformation.

She was a co-founder and faculty member of the Authentic Movement Institute (1993-2004).  Current faculty affiliations include the Somatic Psychology Doctoral Program at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute and the Leadership Training program in the Marion Woodman Foundation.  Her numerous articles and book chapters explore the integration of body, psyche and soul in clinical work. 

C. G. Jung, Tina Keller, and Mary Whitehouse on dance, movement and the living body:


"Inasmuch as the living body contains the secret of life, it is an intelligence. It is also a plurality which is gathered up in one mind, for the body is extended in space, and the here and the there are two things; what is in your toes is not in your fingers, and what is in your fingers is not in your ears, or stomach or your knees or anywhere else in your body.  Each part is always something in itself.  The different forms and localizations are all represented in your mind as more or less different facts, so there is a plurality.  What you think with your head doesn't necessarily coincide with what you feel in your heart, and what your belly thinks is not what your mind thinks. The extension in space, therefore, creates a pluralistic quality in the mind. That is probably the reason consciousness is possible" (Jung 1934-1939, p. 360).

“The symbols of the self arise in the depths of the body” (Jung 1940, p. 173, par. 291).

“The difficulty that movements cannot be easily remembered must be met by concentrating on the movements afterwards and practicing them so that they shall not escape the memory” (Jung 1916/1957, p. 18).

“You can draw a mandala, you can build a mandala, or you can dance a mandala” (Jung 1928-1930, p. 120).

“Anyone with a motor imagination could make a very beautiful dance out of that motif” (Jung 1928-1930, p. 474).

“When I was in analysis with Miss Toni Wolff, I often had the feeling that something in me deep inside wanted to express itself, but I also knew that this 'something' had no words.  As we were looking for another means of expression, I suddenly had the idea:  'I could dance it.'  Miss Wolff encouraged me to try.  The body sensation I felt was oppression, the image came that I was inside a stone and had to release myself from it to emerge as a separate, self-standing individual.  The movements that grew out of the body sensations had the goal of my liberation from the stone just as the image had.  It took a good deal of the hour.  After a painful effort I stood there, liberated.  This very freeing event was much more potent than the hours in which we only talked.  This was a 'psychodrama' of an inner happening or that which Jung had named 'active imagination.'  Only here it was the body that took the active part” (Tina Keller, on analytic hour in Zurich, circa 1924/1972).

“Movement is the great law of life” (” (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 [1958], p. 41).

“The core of the movement experience is the sensation of moving and being moved. There are many implications in putting it like this. Ideally, both are present in the same instant, and it may literally be an instant. It is a moment of total awareness, the coming together of what I am doing and what is happening to me. It cannot be anticipated, explained, specifically worked for, nor repeated exactly” (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 [1958], p. 43).

“We are not accustomed to the idea that the conscious experience of physical movement produces changes in the psyche” (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 [1963], p. 52.

“Where does movement come from? It originates in … a specific inner impulse having the quality of sensation. This impulse leads outward into space so that movement becomes visible as physical action. Following the inner sensation, allowing the impulse to take the form of physical action is active imagination in movement, just as following the visual image is active imagination in phantasy. It is here the most dramatic psycho-physical connections are made available to consciousness” (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 [1963], p. 52).

“The experience always carries an element of surprise – it is unexpected and seems to happen quite of itself. …. Once the channel is open, experiences present themselves in the manner of dreams – vivid, ephemeral, full of affect” (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 [1963], p. 54.

“When the movement was simple and inevitable, not to be changed no matter how limited or partial, it became what I called ‘authentic’ – it could be recognized as genuine, belonging to that person. Authentic was the only word I could think of that meant truth – truth of a kind unlearned but there to be seen at moments” (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 [1979], p. 81).

“'I move,' is the clear knowledge that I, personally, am moving. … The opposite of this is the sudden and astonishing moment when 'I am moved.' … It is a moment when the ego gives up control, stops choosing, stops exerting demands, allowing the self to take over moving the physical body as it will. It is a moment of unpremeditated surrender that cannot be explained, repeated exactly, sought for or tried out”  (Mary Whitehouse 1954-1979 (1979), p. 82).


Jung. 1934-1939. Nietzsche’s Zarathustra, Notes of the seminar given in 1934-1939, edited by James Jarrett, Volume I. Princeton: Princeton University Press,1999.

Jung. 1940. “The Psychology of the Child Archetype.” Collected Works 9.I, 2nd ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1969.

Jung. 1916. The Transcendent Function, translated by A. R. Pope. Zurich: Privately printed for the Student’s Association, C. G. Jung Institute, 1957.

Jung. 1928-1930. Dream Analysis: Notes of the Seminar, edited by W. McGuire. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984.

Keller, Tina. circa 1924/1972. Wege inneren Wachstums: Aus Meinen Erinnerungen an C. G. Jung. Erlenbach and Bad Homburg, Germany: Bircher-Benner Verlag, 1972. Narrative [above] translated by Renate Oppikofer, quoted in Introduction to Jung on Active Imagination by Joan Chodorow. London: Routledge, 1999, p. 16.

Whitehouse, Mary. 1954-1979. “Mary Whitehouse Papers.” In Authentic Movement: Essays by Mary Starks Whitehouse, Janet Adler and Joan Chodorow, edited by Patrizia Pallaro. London: Jessica Kingsley, 1999/2000, 2nd impression [with corrections] 2000, pp. 13-101.