Reconnect to your embodied truth and tap into your creative power

Do you experience a deep feeling of something "missing" in your life, of being cut off from your source of vitality and creativity? Are you struggling with finding the inner clarity and guidance to help you make important life decisions? Do you feel tired, overwhelmed, and directionless? Are you craving depth and authenticity in your relationships with others?
Perhaps you are a helping professional seeking new and effective tools for reducing burnout and connecting with your clients on a deeper level. Or you may be a student wishing to gain a professional edge, or an artist struggling through a period of creative stagnation. Deep down you know there is more awaiting for you in your life, but right now you are feeling "stuck".
Are you looking for new ways to nourish yourself, strengthen your intuition, and maximize your ability to connect with others?

Prioritizing embodiment and a creative life is often seen as a luxury

In a fast-paced society that values hard-work and martyrdom, it can be hard to integrate creative embodiment into your professional persona. Connecting to your internal compass and taking time to listen to your instincts can seem daunting or even impossible in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Distancing yourself from the body and its intelligence can result in decreased creative well-being, lowered job performance, feelings of stagnation, and less than optimum levels of interconnectedness and interpersonal skills. When disconnected from the Self, it can be hard to tap into the present moment, making it challenging to meet others where they're at and provide them with supportive and creative care.

However, just because you haven't listened to your own inner wisdom in a while, it doesn't mean that it has gone away. Innovative solutions arise when the mind is tuned in to our natural impulses and we aren't forced into ineffectual habitual patterns. Authentic Movement provides a safe, non-judgmental container in which you can reconnect to your true self, unlock creative potential, and offer a deep and healing presence to others, to your work, and to your life.

What is Authentic Movement and how does it work?

Authentic Movement (AM) is a body-centered practice rooted in Jungian Depth Psychology and dance movement therapy.

Photo by moodboard/moodboard / Getty Images

Authentic Movement was founded by dance therapist Mary Starks Whitehouse, based on her dance training with Martha Graham, Mary Wigman, and depth psychology training at the CG Jung Institute. Authentic Movement draws on principles of active imagination, a free-association of gestural expression. The practice itself is a self-guided, eyes closed movement practice in which the Mover follows their internal impulses and works towards cultivating a quality of self-observation and presence with whatever spontaneous gestures or experiences may occur for them. During the movement, at least one person is the Witness. The Witness is an active observer. The Witness holds a safe container for the experience and remains present with the Mover, observing their own internal reactions with a quality of non-judgment and compassion.

Although a primarily body-centered practice, Authentic Movement also involves transition times for writing and/or art-making, the opportunity to share your experience and be seen clearly by a Witness, and eventually, the ability to practice being fully present and offering Witnessing to others.

By exploring both of the roles, Witness and Mover, an individual can develop a deeper relationship with their unconscious material, while simultaneously practicing awareness of the present moment and mindful discerning between personal experience and the experience of others. For a therapist, this could be a valuable tool to maintain when working with clients. For doctors and nurses, it could be a powerful new method of communication that allows for honoring the other's experience and deeply observing current situations. For an artist, this may be a way to tap into unutilized resources of creative inspiration that were waiting for the space and attention required to plumb to depths of the unconscious.

At Iris Bridge, we both are experienced movers and witnesses. We believe that the experience of having both roles (Mover and Witness) is important in reaping the full benefits of Authentic Movement in order to implement it into your practice, profession, and creative life. Having said that, sometimes being a Mover for a while can be the right speed for someone to learn the form from the inside out. Every body is different. Deeply listening and witnessing our own internal needs is another skill that this form strengthens and supports, and so we always encourage everyone to take things at their own pace and remain aware of their impulses.

Common questions and concerns:

"It's too esoteric...people won't take me seriously"

AM is based on solid neuroscientific principles and the skills that you learn, such as mindfulness, communication, and relationship with unconscious creative material, carry over into your life.
Authentic Movement is based in principles of Jungian Depth Psychology that work on drawing the unconscious into awareness. While the form itself can seem simplistic or a little "out there", there's significant evidence supporting its efficacy. The communication style between Witness and Mover teaches powerful abilities to discern between personal experiences and shared experiences, offering a way to honor someone else's experience and track your own.

"I'm not a dancer, I'd be too embarassed to move"

Authentic Movement is not performative: your movement will not be entertainment for the Witness, rather the Witness is a tether, providing a reflective and compassionate container for whatever you may experience.
The word "movement" in this context takes on an expanded meaning which covers the whole spectrum of somatic expression, from dynamic bursts of energy to micro-movements and complete stillness. We believe that your inner wisdom will guide you into determining what is needed for your own healing at any given moment. There is no right or wrong in Authentic movement: in this practice, the expression, sequencing, and release of our healing processes is the result of deep listening to one's true Self. Your creative expression is unique to you, nobody else can move that way. The Witness' role is to be the space-holder. The Witness holds the experience of the Movers with non-judgemental awareness ensuring psycho-physical safety and providing the opportunity for the soul-nourishing experience of being truly seen as we are. Showing up as a creative body is a powerful and vulnerable practice. This is why at IrisBridge we make sure to keep your safety and privacy as the top priority.

"I'm not a therapist or an artist... I don't see how Authentic Movement could help to improve my efficacy"

The practice of Authentic Movement can be beneficial to anyone: it supports you in getting out of your way so that you can feel inspired, passionate, and live the life you've always wanted.
While it is true that Authentic Movement is an excellent tool for therapists looking to expand their offerings to their client, or for artists interested in reconnecting to their creative source, the practice of AM can be powerful and transformative for any individual. Strengthening one's ability to tap into their true Self and its inner clarity allows one to be present with life's challenges and to address them through creative solutions. Similarly, being able to truly be with another, honoring their presence and sacredness and wisdom unburdened by the weight of our projections and judgements, is one of the most powerful gifts we can offer to another person. As such, AM provides the opportunity to meet some of the most fundamental issues we face today, including the healing of our mind-body split, learning how to meaningfully connect with others in an intimate way, and how to tap into the vast inner resources we already possess.


About IrisBridge Authentic Movement Training

Open to: Helping professionals (including health care practitioners, therapists, parole officers, coaches, teachers), artists, and students.

Format: We provide weekend intensives, 8-weeks certification courses, private AM sessions, and on-going practice communities.

Dates: See our Calendar for upcoming workshops, or Contact us to schedule a training or private session.

Boulder Healing Hub
2945 Center Green Ct.
Boulder, CO 80301.
Photo by Victor_Tongdee/iStock / Getty Images

Why choose the IrisBridge Authentic Movement training?

1. It is designed to provide you with the highest standards of education and practice
At Iris Bridge, we firmly believe in the power of bridging scientific efficacy with creative and soul-nourishing aspects of ritual, creativity, and mindfulness practices. Our Authentic Movement offerings are designed to bring to you the gifts of our training and experience as part of the lineage of Mary Start Whitehouse - Zoe Avstreih - and Rachael Bonaiuto. Our goal is to provide a safe and integrative container that nourishes brain, heart, and spirit in equal measure.

2. It's format can be adapted to your unique needs through individualized options
We do not believe that one-size-fits-all applies to education, creativity, or therapeutic services. That's why we offer an 8-week courses, 2 day intensives (on various topics), and 1-on-1 sessions, to make sure that you can pick the time frame and dynamic that suits your lifestyle and interests.

3. It provides you with tools and resources for real-life applications
You can expect to leave your AM session and trainings with practical ways to integrate this work into your personal and professional life. Whether through strategies for the implementation of AM with your clients, exercises to engage with healing movement on an every-day basis, or opportunities for connecting to a practice community, we will make sure that you can enter your life armed with resources to make your personal, creative, and professional endeavors more successful and rewarding.

4. It provides you with a Certificate of Completion in Authentic Movement Training
A certification can be a professional edge or a personal accomplishment, but in either case it shows that you put in the effort to continue your educational growth and came out successful. To receive our certificate, individuals have two options to complete their 30 hours of required training. They will either complete the 8-week course, supervision hours, and the one-on-one evaluation, or complete the Intro to Authentic Movement Intensive and do the rest of the hours (including the evaluation) privately. Either way, we are committed to providing you with the skills necessary to make Authentic Movement an effective and useful aspect of your life.

5. It focuses on making your privacy and safety the top priority
As Registered Somatic Psychotherapists we are prepared to address any personal issues that may arise during this practice, including the processing of trauma and intense activation. Authentic Movement is an inherently vulnerable practice and we have in place several methods of keeping your experience your own. All participants are required to sign confidentiality agreements committing not share the experience of their fellow Movers and Witnesses. At IrisBridge, your privacy and safety are a top priority for us and we understand that people have varying amount of comfort with the material. Your involvement with this form is free to be as private or as public as you wish.



Choosing the option that it's right for you:

We provide one-on-one private Authentic Movement sessions, 8-week training programs, weekend intensives, and drop-in practice groups.

As Somatic Psychotherapy practitioners and Life Coaches, we provide a safe and healing space for our clients to explore their embodied wellbeing during one-on-one private sessions. This is a place where you can fully be yourself, engage with creative expression using different mediums, uncover the important messages of your unconscious and of your dreamworld, and release the psycho-somatic tension that has been holding you back. Our experience with a vast array of therapeutic modalities allows us to integrate AM within an organic healing process and to adapt the container to meet your needs, whether they are therapeutic, creatively generative, or educational.

Contact us for more information about our private Authentic Movement sessions.


Our training includes:

24hrs of classes (3hrs x week in our Boulder location). Our 8 weeks AM training progresses through a curriculum that covers the history of the form, Moving and Witnessing relationship, conscious communication, creative benefits, neurological evidence, and practical/professional implementations of Authentic Movement.

2hrs of individual practice with one of our coaches. This one-on-one sessions can be used as supplemental learning, emotional support, or creative exploration. It is your time to integrate the great amount of information this course will cover as well as a space for you to practice AM as a client.

2hrs of AM supervision. As a participant of our certification program you are expected to develop a regular practice of Authentic Movement as well as confidence in guiding others through the form. During these meetings you will have the opportunity to discuss the challenges and learning edges you are encountering in your practice as you transition in your role as a facilitator.

2hrs of evaluated practice with feedback in guiding the practice and holding the role of the primary Witness during our drop-in practice groups. Dates and fees: Our 8-week training is held twice a year. The fee for our certification path $1250. Pro-rated payments are available and scholarships and discounts are awarded to students, veterans, NGO, & those who can provide proof of severe financial need.

Dates and fees: Our 8-week training is held twice a year. The fee for our certification path $1250. Pro-rated payments are available and scholarships and discounts are awarded to students, veterans, NGO, & those who can provide proof of severe financial need.

Contact us for more information about our 8-week Authentic Movement Training.



Our 2-day (10hrs) intensives are held the first weekend of every month, Saturday 10am-4pm and Sunday 10am-2pm.
The topics of our intensives rotate between:

Authentic Movement 101: Introduction to the history, form, and practice of AM
(no previous experience required)

Becoming the Witness: How to hold healing space for the Mover
(pre-requisite: Authentic Movement 101. Completion of this course allows you to practice as a Witness during our drop-in groups)

Authentic Movement for Creativity: Somatic dreamwork, art-making, and healing poetics
(pre-requisite: Authentic Movement 101)

Authentic Movement for Professionals: The neuroscience of mindful movement and practical therapeutic applications of AM (pre-requisite: Authentic Movement 101)


After completing Authentic Movement 101 or having participated in our 8-weeks training program, you are eligible to join our AM practice community (as a Mover) which meets every other week in Boulder. To insure a professional and safe practice environment for every participant, we require a screening interview to determine if this group may be right for you.

After completing the optional Becoming the Witness intensive, you may also participate in our groups as a Witness to the experience of others.

Contact us for more information about our Intensives and Authentic Movement Practice Groups.

About us:

At IrisBridge, we are both professional life-coaches, Registered Somatic Psychotherapists in the state of Colorado, and workshop facilitators with significant training and experience in supporting our clients’ personal and professional growth.

We are experienced Movers and Witnesses in the practice of Authentic Movement and are part of the lineage of Mary Stark Whitehouse - Zoe Avstreih - Rachael Bonaiuto.

Francesca Bini

Francesca Bini

sara schultz

sara schultz

Learn more about us >>

We believe that by committing to living your life in connection with your embodied intuition you can experience the freedom of being who you truly are and reconnect with your creative source.

Testimonials and Partnerships:

Start your Authentic Movement journey
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If you are interested joining our Authentic Movement community or if you have any questions about our training, contact us to schedule a free, no commitment necessary, 30-minute consultations.