As you probably know, I train people to teach embodiment. These are the most common verbal mistakes I see my students make:

  • Starting instructions with ‘Just …’ This is a common verbal tic, which actually minimises the task (when it may not be easy or trivial to your participants).
  • Forgetting to ask permission when touching. Or alternatively, asking, but not really being OK with a ‘no’ answer.  This creates compliance. The ethical way is to gain consent.
  • ‘We will…’ This is an example of forced teaming, as opposed to gaining consent.
  • “Next you’ll …’ This is an example of a fait accompli. Again, this removes the chance for participants to give consent. Instead, you could offer alternatives, support people who choose to not follow your lead, and actively teach students to say, ‘no’.
  • Asking questions such as, ‘what happened in your body?’ This passive framing means you’re treating your participants as victims. A better question would be, ‘What did you do in your body?’
  • Telling participants what they are seeing/experiencing and not letting them spot it for themselves. Letting people spot it for themselves teaches them self-observation and responsibility for their own bodies.
  • Not giving a reason for an exercise. This encourages blind faith, as opposed to healthy questioning.

I’m pretty fussy about this stuff, to be fair, but these are all important. They can also relate to lots of other areas too, not just embodied facilitation.

 

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