by Simon Birch


bio

maria-munain-moral

personal story

CURIOUS, TURQUOISE, SAND, GOAT, DESERT,  BLUE SKY, SEARCHER.

Dance, movement and being in contact with my body helped me in difficult moments of my life. Therefore, around the age of 20 I decided to dedicate my life to share its benefits with people around me. On the way, I discovered many more disciplines that interested me: from yoga to neuroscience, flamenco, improvisation, mindfulness, art therapy, bioenergetics, schema therapy…

I also volunteered with very diverse and vulnerable populations, orphan children, migrants and refugees, sexually abused girsl and sufferers of domestic violence, teenagers from difficult backgrounds.

Now I continue searching and developing. Planning to study Schema Therapy and the Master in Affective Neuroscience to understand further how body and mind are one, or at least much more interrelated than it was believed.

And I continue dancing, and jumping like a goat, and enjoying the blue sky and the sand on my feet.

currently

I work as a dance movement therapist in i-psy Intercultural Psychiatry, an ambulant psychiatric center in Amsterdam. You can read more about my work here

As a freelancer in my private practice I aim to support and train individuals to improve their interoceptive, communicative and expressive skills; self esteem and assertivity; emotion regulation; sexual or sleeping difficulties.

Moreover,  I am creating L I B R A Z, a non profit organization to provide movement and creativity-oriented trainings to women and children who endured traumatic experiences in their lives. Read more about my social projects here.

professional background

2017

  • 20hours Trauma Sensitive Yoga from the Trauma Center in Boston. Kopenhaguen, Denmark – Three days.
  • Symposium Co-creating body of knowledge – Improvisation and composition in Dance Therapy – One day.

2016

  • Medical Neuroscience Introductory course – Duke University – 13 weeks
  • Training and Learning Programs for Volunteer Community Health Workers – John Hopkins University – 6 weeks

2015

  • Master in Dance Movement Therapy – Codarts Rotterdam – 2012/2015

2013

  • Reichian Mind/Body Therapy and Dance Therapy by Johanna Climenko -Amsterdam – Two days
  • III National Congress of Creative Therapies – Vitoria, Spain – Three days

2011

  • Bachelor in Communication – University of Barcelona and University of the Basque Country – 2006/2011

“The realities of nature surpass our most ambitious dreams.” Auguste Rodin


body movement therapy

Working as  a dance movement therapist in the Arts Therapies department in an outpatient mental heath center, i-psy Intercultural Psychiatry in Amsterdam.

We accompany clients suffering from depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress disorder, personality disorders, chronic pain, conversion, acculturation and migration related problems.

Our clients come from various countries and cultures: Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Canada, Portugal, Brazil, Peru, Turkey, Marocco, Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, among others. The intercultural aspect is essential in the adaptation of the treatments.

I support the work of psychologists, psychotherapists, system therapists, schematherapists, psychiatrists and art therapists, from a non verbal and body oriented perspective. The treatments are broad and various and my main focus is:

  • Trauma treatment
  • Pain treatment
  • Assertivity training
  • Stress release and relaxation
  • Agression and Emotion Regulation
  • Activation in depression

Techniques used in the sessions

  • Dance movement therapy methods
  • Breathing techniques
  • Visualization and imagery
  • Body awareness and body-scan
  • Grounding and stabilization techniques
  • Progressive relaxation and stress-reduction
  • Cross modal techniques (combining arts/video and movement)
  • Laban Movement Analysis
  • Mindfullness

social projects

collage geheimen
2016- GEHEIMEN DES LEVENS
Arts Therapies Exhibition with artists from Ipsy – Intercultural Psychiatry, Amsterdam, NL

Together with the arts therapy department in ipsy I was part of the development and organization of the 8th Exhibition of Ipsy, in the Oranjekerk, Amsterdam.  This years theme was Geheimen des levens, Secrets of live.

collage syriame
2015– SYRIAME
Women and children from the Syrian Civil War living in a refugee neighbourhood in Istanbul, Turkey.

According to UNHCR, the number of refugees and asylum-seekers in Turkey in 2015 is expected to rise to nearly 1.9 million, including 1.7 million Syrian refugees. These individuals have all survived traumatic experiences, and some suffer from PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder).

In March 2015, I travelled to Istanbul to research possibilities for developing a project with the Syrian communities. In the end, two pilots, both with women and children were executed. We are currently researching the possibility to collaborate with schools on the Syrian border for 2016.

collage fier

2015 – FIER GIRLS
Dance Therapy for young teens involved in the “loverboys” problematic in Leeuwaarden and Rotterdam, NL

I participated in the summerschool of Fier foundation, providing different workshops of dance therapy. Fier provides assistance to children and young people who have been confronted by violence in the context of relationship. During the Summerschool 2015 I gave two dance workshops to teenagers from 12 to 17.

flamencame collage

2014 – FLAMENCAME
Women and children who experienced domestic violence in Amsterdam, NL

Developed the first pilot project in the Netherlands in March and May of 2014, at a women’s shelter for victims of domestic violence, run by a recognized foundation in Amsterdam, Blijf Groep. A total of five sessions for women, and two sessions for mothers and children were organised, leading to the participation of 12 women and 6 children.

Flamenco dance techniques were used as a framework and combined with dance movement therapy methods to help participants: release disturbing feelings and foster emotional-regulation,  improve their self-image and self-esteem,  strengthen beliefs and feelings of capability, and promote self-efficacy and motivation.

collage dance&help

 2013/2014 – DANCE & HELP formula
 Dance lessons where half of the money supported social projects, Amsterdam, NL

collage palmera

2012 – PALMERA LADIES
Choreographic creation with women +65 from Casal La Palmera, Barcelona, Spain.

Using the own imput and movements of the women, we created a dance performance. One part included a Marian Chace circle where each of the women improvised and expressed something unique and the rest would follow.

romani_gipsy mothers

2010 – ROMANI MOTHERS IS MOVEMENT
Movement workshop to foster the connection between mother and infant, Badalona, Spain.

collage armenia

2008 – ARMENIAN KIDS
Aesthetic education of  children that had lost one or both parents in Erevan, Armenia

At the Zatik Orphanage, we organized a group creation, divided by countries. In the Spanish group we created a performance mixing elements from armenian and flamenco dances, popular songs and expressive gymnastics.

The objectives of the project were the aesthetic education of 50-60 children; promote creativity through work groups where they could improve their English skills, draw, dance or sing; and organize sports and games according to the capabilities and age of the orphans.


testimonials

SOME WORDS FROM PARTICIPANTS AND CLIENTS…

“It makes me feel proud of myself again.”

Amina, 30, Morocco, participant of “Flamencame” project, Blijf Groep, Amsterdam NL

“We are all women here in the shelter, with a lot of stress, without being able to express our emotions(…) and during these sessions  we were able to get  rid of our aggression feelings through the dance, we learnt to say yes and no,  to feel stronger, and more self confident.”

Fariha, 23, Pakistan, participant of “Flamencame” project, Blijf Groep, Amsterdam NL 

 

“María has a warm and enthusiastic character. She shows to be a woman that stands behind her idea and the reason of her projects, by word and attitude. Clients reacted positive and were interested in the expression. They made even a video and kept asking for María. For us it was also a positive experience.”

Floor Dudink, working in Blijf Groep, Amsterdam NL

“I learned to just do what comes to my mind and not be ashamed of it. And how much moving can give to me – change my mood. I liked the way you handled us a lot. Everbody could bring his/her own thoughts. In general it was  avery nice group where there was not that ‘special kind of teacher’, but a group of people that worked together. “

“I learned to feel free by dancing and use my feelings to move my body, to move my emotions by moving the body. I loved your energy by dancing and ‘teaching’ you didn’t say how we have to do steps or motions. It was great that we were allowed to do so much with our own ideas. “

Anonymus participants, Interdisciplinary workshop on well-being and creativity, University of Kassel, DE

“I am doing now things that I had actually never done before. Before it was only breaking, crashing. So I find it very beautiful that I can also be creative (…) and not only with your hands or whatever but just with your whole body, with your mind. (…) You open up. Your thoughts become more open, you don’t stay in the same negativity. You see that there is something different. Something beautiful.”

Man diagnosed with depression due to traumatic experiences in the past, Mentrum Psychiatric Centre, Amsterdam NL


 

are you interested?

Are you searching individual therapy or group sessions?

Do you have a project or a company and are interested in adding a movement component?

You can fill in the contact form or write an email to info@mariamunainmoral.com

 

 

 

 

You can also have a look at the blog:

Click here to visit the latest posts

 

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