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Id 2527
Author Wagner D.; Waisman O.S.
Title Stirring up health: polyvagal theory and the dance of mismatch in multi-generational trauma healing

Wagner D.; Waisman O.S. Stirring up health: polyvagal theory and the dance of mismatch in multi-generational trauma healing,Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy 18 2

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Abstract In this article, author Waisman’s work with mismatch combines with author Wagner’s work with polyvagal theory to illuminate the dance of mismatch in healing multi-generational trauma. Author Waisman first became familiar with the concept of mismatch as it relates to gestures and words. During situations of conflict between Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Jewish students, Waisman noticed participants displaying gestures expressing meaning that differed from the accompanying words. Looking at mismatch through a polyvagal-informed lens, therapists can understand how mismatch relates to trauma. Polyvagal theory illuminates the anatomy that inhibits movement expressions as well as the intensity of the awakening of inhibited movement expressions. In this article, the authors suggest that mismatch of gestures and words relates to the inhibition of particular movement expressions—those which dance/movement therapists recognise as the ‘fighting’ rhythms identified by Kestenberg et al. Shahar-Levy, a dance/movement therapist, speaks of coming out of ‘emotive motor memory clusters’. Resmaa Menakem, author of My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialised Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies, speaks of the need to move through the pain to grow out of traumatic retentions. Therapists benefit from a deeper awareness of the mismatch moment when the ‘fighting’ rhythms awaken. © 2022 Dee Wagner and Orit Sônia Waisman. All Rights Reserved.


DOI 10.1080/17432979.2022.2148123
Search Database Scopus
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