The mover closes his or her eyes and lets the witness's issue run through her mind. The mover waits for some kind of an impulse in his or her body, and then uses this impulse as a place to begin exploring the issue in movement. The mover works for a length of time determined by the therapist, who acts as timekeeper. The witness sits or stands out of the way of the mover and watches.

Bridging in Group Therapy Using Movement Improvisation 85

Step 5

When the mover is finished, mover and witness talk together. The mover speaks about thoughts, feelings, images, sensations, and ideas that occurred to him or her as he or she explored the identified issue in movement. The witness then speaks about thoughts, feelings, images, sensations, and ideas that occurred to him or her.

Step 6

The mover and the witness switch roles. The witness becomes the mover and the mover becomes the witness. The process is repeated from Step 3, beginning with the new witness telling the new mover what his or her issue is and ending with the mover and witness talking together about their experiences.

Step 7

The group comes back together and uses the experiences in the pairs to further their work in the group for the remainder of the session. Group members will share as much or as little of what happened in the pairs as they feel will be useful to themselves and to the group.


Typically, clients are interested in and receptive to information they gather through working this way. Witnesses are often relieved that someone else is doing the work of exploring their difficult or painful or confusing issues. They tend to feel seen and understood by the other person. Movers are often relieved to be working with someone else's issues, rather than their own. They are usually relieved not to be in a role in which they are assumed to know something or to be an expert. They tend to be happy at the limited responsibility to share what comes to them in the movement improvisation. Clients are often able to engage in deep explorations during the exercise precisely because they do not feel attached to the issue; although, of course, their explorations are actually about their own relationship to the material.

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