Presence in Action is an approach to group and individual work that focuses on creating safe spaces where participants are invited to connect deeply with themselves and others, release what is no longer serving them, and in this, experience a deepening capacity to be Present and connected to their essential selves. The work explores ‘Presence in Action’, teaching one to be authentically alive and awake to oneself in every moment. Working with the body is central to the work, and participants learn tools to apply the work into every-day life. The approach integrates therapy, meditation, movement, creativity, the practice of inquiry and Constellations.
LESLEY PALMER is a Drama and Movement Therapist (MA, UK), Family Constellations Therapist (SA) and Play Therapist (PGDip, UK). She is registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Lesley's therapeutic work is with children, adolescents and adults, with a focus on childhood bereavement, children facing challenging transitions, and with adults in the development of capacity for Presence, Resilience and Transformation, where her work integrates Creative Arts Therapy techniques, Constellations, active meditation and Inquiry methods. Her private practice is based both in Kenilworth and Cape Town city bowl, where she works with individuals and focus groups.
Beyond her private work, Lesley’s commitment is to social and individual healing for South Africans affected by trauma, loss and violence who have limited access to therapy, and to this end has been a therapist, performer, facilitator, supervisor, trainer and project developer in a range of contexts in the NPO field. She has trained adults in the caring professions in the arena of Child Development, Play and Self Care in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Lebanon and Brazil. She is currently the Director of GroundSpring Playback Theatre Company in Cape Town and Clinical Supervisor for Intern Drama Therapists at Drama for Life, University of the Witwatersrand (SA).
A variety of short term focus groups and weekend workshops are offered from time to time:
Exploration of Essence Workshops are designed to bring you into closer contact with your Essential Nature, your Creativity and the Wisdom of your Body. Deeply inspired by the work of A.H. Almaas and Faisal Muqaddam, as taught by Turiya Hanover, these workshops assist in reconnecting you to your innate nature and bring awareness to the defense layers built up over time in order to survive. As humans, we have a strong instinct for fulfillment, often a deep sense of something that is lost or lacking, and a longing to return ‘home’. Essence Work gives us a map and tools to gently, step by step, reconnect with our true Self, through awareness, compassion, and inquiry. Essence Work was developed by two pioneers in psycho-spiritual work, who discovered an ancient Sufi map of consciousness which they married with modern psychology approaches. The work describes a pathway to assist the retrieval of our connection to various Essential states, including our true capacity for Will, Strength, Love, Value, Compassion, Peace and Joy. Exploration of Essence Workshops focus on an experiential introduction to aspects of the Work, and connecting deeply to the experience of Essence through movement, art and meditation. Gently unfolding, you will awaken your inherent Essential nature, and so take a step further in your journey to waking up to your full potential and expansion.
The Space to Play is a practice in Presence, where you will learn tools for everyday life. The sessions take the form of improvisation classes, usually over a period of 8 weeks, where participants practice spontaneity, being in the moment and being awake. The sessions support your capacity to say YES to life and to let go of personal blocks. They give you an opportunity to see your defences and strategies for coping when anxiety and stress hit, magnified. Working through personal blocks in a playful and non-judgmental space invigorates our innate creative potential and enables healing. The work is an active meditation, with real-time, embodied learning, which enables a better integration of the tools into life. No previous experience of drama or improvisation is necessary!
Drama Therapy Groups for children, adolescents and adults, along a focused theme:
- Grief groups offer a shared encounter with others also facing the loss of a loved one. An 8 week guided creative process is gently held in which we work with memory, honouring the life that has passed, connecting to feelings, and support the transition into new ways of being.
- Groups for tweens and adolescents to explore healthy peer relating
- Antenatal classes for expectant Moms, to prepare psychologically for the journey ahead, connect to their changing bodies
MamaBaba Movement Meditation for moms and their 8 week - 18 month old babies to have some quality, intimate time together in a playful and nurturing environment, to connect with other MamaBaba couples, to have fun and bring vitality to the body in the rediscovery of oneself as a mother. No dance experience needed
Please email your interest in any of these workshops or groups.
"A beautiful blend of psychological work and movement therapy bringing us closer to what Almaas calls true nature or being. The workshop with Lesley was a profound experience of digging up the dysfunctional patterns of personality and contacting the realm of spirituality."
Antoni Hoft, Personal Trainer
“A large part of who I am was recovered; things I'd forgotten I had at my disposal were dusted off and made beautiful and accessible for me to use. Coming out of this workshop held by Lesley Palmer, I feel grounded and have quiet confidence as to who Shaun Gabriel Smith really is.”
Shaun Gabriel Smith, Performer
Family Constellations Therapy offers a profound space for personal transformation, by honouring and working with the Family System. The process works towards enabling a clearing of the system and a restoration of the natural order of love.
The work allows us to receive gifts from our ancestors, while leaving behind what is not ours to carry. The methodology is informed by the systemic understanding that we are all part of a greater system, and therein have the power to affect change that will resonate throughout the whole system. Disentangling ourselves from inherited complexes will support a greater freedom and being able to truly live one’s own destiny.
In a workshop we will have the chance for a couple of people to constellate around an issue they are currently facing. They will present their issue to the facilitator who will guide the process and make suggestions of what part of the client’s system to explore. Other group members are chosen to stand as representatives of the client’s family system and follow their impulses in support of bringing to light unknown material from the field. Representatives may gain tremendously from the experience themselves, enriching their insight into their own families.
The Creative Arts Therapies are fast growing professions in South Africa. Therapists are trained at Masters level and register with the Health Professions Council of South Africa. Art, Drama, Music and Movement Therapists are clinically informed to use their specific creative medium to support the psychological and social wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities. The Arts Therapies have consistently proven to be effective in addressing individual difficulties as well as group dynamics.
The creative arts therapies are founded on the premise that words are sometimes not enough to fully express the complexity of the human experience. The main focus of these modalities is the non-verbal mode of communication and the assumption that the creative process has potential healing properties. The focus is on every human being’s innate capacity for aliveness, health and well-being through movement, song, music, story and the symbolic representation of the self through drama.
In a Creative Arts Therapy session, internal challenges are expressed creatively, and in this way can be safely processed and managed. The arts provide a safe, non-verbal means for expression where the client need not feel overwhelmed, and where a mind- body connection can be facilitated. Furthermore, the approach focuses on strengthening the healthy, creative aspect of the client. People of all abilities and ages can benefit from Creative Arts Therapy.
Drama Therapy is an embodied, active form of therapy that utilizes a range of techniques to achieve therapeutic aims. Storytelling, role play, improvisation, movement, body sculpting, play involving objects, art work, sound making and ritual may all be utilized by the drama therapist in their individual or group work.
Drama Therapy can be a useful intervention:
* when words are not enough (or not available)
* when trauma has been experienced (as body based approaches are an important aspect of recovery to facilitate reconnection to the body and ‘unfreezing’)
* when there is an impasse in verbal therapy
* to develop self-esteem
* to discover play, spontaneity and Presence in the moment
* as support in transitions – using ritual and embodied processes to navigate change
* to increase role repertoire and rehearse a new way of being or relating
Drama Therapy works with the creative healthy aspect of the individual, building their strength, resourcefulness
To inquire about workshops or to book a session, please complete the form below or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org