Like the creative arts, the muse beckons in its own time and method. Or at least that’s what it seems…! (It’s actually not).
I’ve been studying the biographies of a range of different healing modality creators and some common themes emerge. Apart from the overall process of the creation and crystallisation of the modality, there were some commonalities in the spark (or inception) of the idea.
I want to share the ways that 3 renowned healing modality creators first started their journey:
- Tom Bowen, creator of Bowen Therapy
- Drs Hal & Sidra Stone, creators of Voice Dialogue (originators of Parts Work)
- Marian Chace, creator of Dance/Movement Therapy
All beautiful modalities, and each of them created in a different way.
Bowen Therapy is a bodywork modality that uses cross-fibre technique to release the fascia (soft connective tissue) of the body. It was created by Tom Bowen, who was a carpenter back in the 1950s.
Ernie Saunders had a strong local reputation as a physical manipulator. He was a bodyworker who had travelled the world collecting various bodywork techniques. Ernie & Tom would spend hours talking and in this interaction, Tom began to learn & conceptualise what was to become the Bowen Technique.
This was the start of the journey. And even though the 2 men parted ways not long after this period, Tom continued on with developing this technique.
He valued a little idea/technique that had potential and proceeded to test out that potential.
Voice Dialogue (also known as the Psychology of Selves, Psychology of the Aware Ego) was created by Drs Hal & Sidra Stone in the 1970s.
Voice Dialogue is a practitioner method to talk to the parts of yourself that you’re not usually aware of, but are influencing behaviours that you don’t want in your life.
From what I understand, it was the ORIGINAL parts work which has influenced many other newer modalities that incorporate parts work into their blends. Including the Body Dialogue created by Hal’s daughter, Judith Tamar Stone.
However, at the beginning both Hal and Sidra were separately studying their practices of psychology and psychotherapy. Sidra was advised to meet Hal and she requested a few training session so she could be more effective in facilitating Jungian Psychology.
Over the session, Sidra went into the realm of the creative imagination and it started to become clear between them that this was more a joint exploration (rather than mentor/student).
After a few of those visualisations and dream processes, and with that experiences of initiation in them, they started sharing about how vulnerable and unfamiliar they were feeling in an open conversation.
Hal suddenly suggested that Sidra move over and become the ‘vulnerability’.
Sidra did that and almost immediately became like a very small child. From Hal’s point of view, she appeared to physically behave like a pre-verbal child. From Sidra’s point of view, she experienced perception changes of different sounds and colours.
As she returned back to her original seat, they sat in silence and realised something had happened. They coined it the ‘inner child part’. The first discovery of the Parts (sub-personalities).
The following week, they continued to play. This time with meeting Hal’s Inner Child and from there things started to emerge.
This modality came about through play, just being in the flow of the work.
Dance/Movement Therapy is an experiential form of psychotherapy, created by Marion Chace in the 1940s. It uses movement to help with integration in emotional, physical and social aspects.
Marion Chace was a dance teacher and choreographer, who noticed in her dance classes that many students were more interested in personal dancing than becoming performers. There was a noted improvement in mood and she started to shift her class to meet those needs.
Her reputation started to spread that soon local psychiatrists were sending their patients for classes. And then she was even invited to work at a federal psychiatric hospital.
The story goes from here, as she continue to develop her therapy as she continued to create and tailor to those needs that were presented to her.
And to summarise, the 3 common ways that I’ve observed healing modalities become created are:
- 1 - Through observation in the real world of a need, AND observing something that meets that need
- 2 - Just playing… being in the flow of your work – and something emerges
- 3 - A little idea/technique learnt that you know has potential & testing out that potential.
In fact, I’d say that my own form of medical intuition was formed through all 3 of these ways. Likely, all modalities had some of these 3 aspects – it’s just that biographies were recounted to highlight one of the 3.
And, can you tell that there’s something deeper that is common across all 3?
This is actually the driving force that facilitates its creation. And it was most definitely present just before my own form of medical intuition as well as other healing processes I’ve developed.
And that is… creative tension.
Most stories won’t mention this, but I guarantee it was there just before the initiation of new healing modalities, either consciously or unconsciously. It is the creative tension held in consciousness that forms a void for the new idea to drop in.
But that’s a blog for another time.