The Dynamics of Touch

I’ve been working on my form, Eros + The Body, for quite some time now. As I play with this work and structure, I’ve come across many incredible tools. One of them has been The Wheel of Consent, a model by Betty Martin. I’ve loved this particular model so much it’s become a foundation to how I’m teaching, which is why I wanted to outline it here. Here is a window into the style of work I’m engaging with groups around this content. Click here to watch the video for the full explanation of this model (this blog is a shortened summary).

Click here to read more about the Eros + The Body workshops
Click here to read more about the Eros + The Body closed group (the next group is starting this September 15th for 6 weeks on Thursday evenings, email me for more information and to register!)

Both the workshop and the closed group format utilize The Wheel of Consent, which involves working with the different dynamics present when we exchange touch. This model feels thorough, digestible, clear, and powerful to me, which is a rare combination to find. I hope you get some fruit from it!

The dynamics are:
– give
– receive
– take
– allow

The themes that are worked with are :
– What does giving and receiving mean to you? Do you know what both feel like? Do you want to? Do you know what feeds and nourishes you and where your challenges are?
– When someone touches you, is it for you or for them? What do both feel like? How does that matter?
– When you touch someone, are you giving to them or are you benefitting? Do they feel different? How do you know? What happens when both are going on?
– Clothed, experiential, agreement related explorations of embodiment practice and touch
– Starting where you are whether you’re brand new or experienced in these realms
– Learning about your and respecting others’ boundaries

I love that each dynamic has a gift and a challenge or “shadow” to it. The gifts and shadows of each are listed below. When we operate within the wheel of consent, all of these gifts can lead us to be in profound / altered states:

– give: service & generosity
– receive: gratitude
– take: integrity
– allow: surrender

– give: martyr / giving when not wanted or warranted
– receive: lazy / entitled, benefiting without wanting to return the same effort
– take: trespassing boundaries, invasive, even violence / rape / war
– allow: enduring, “putting up with”, tolerating

Again, click here for The Wheel of Consent video with Betty Martin. Enjoy!  Thank you for your reading and feel free to write to me with questions / feedback / inquiries. Til next time, with love, Alicia

About Alicia Patterson

Alicia Patterson is a Psychotherapist / Dance Movement Therapist, Birth Doula, Bodyworker / Energy Medicine Practitioner, Dance and Yoga Facilitator in the Boulder / Denver area.
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