chapter  12
Resourcing the Body: Moving within Strengths to Actualize Potential
ByJessica Young
Pages 13

The remarkable resiliency of individuals who have experienced chronic homelessness, severe mental illness, extensive trauma, and substance use led me to working within a strengths-based model. In many ways, it felt very natural for me as my dance and movement therapy (DMT) training was influenced by a humanistic, person-centered approach. Coupled with working in an agency that embraced a harm reduction, trauma informed philosophy of care, I was immersed in strengths-based work. Rather than focusing on perceived deficits, diagnosis, symptoms, and what was unchangeable, I found myself reflecting on how and what led people to tolerate, move with, and push through to the other side of their difficulties. My curiosity led to rich discoveries of playful humor, seeds of hope, a desire for human connection, a powerful spirit, and extraordinary resourcefulness and ingenuity. My job was to simply dust off, re-vitalize, and help harness these strengths towards enhanced well-being. I considered the whole person-body, mind, and spirit-and the dance between us, as together my clients and I identified even the smallest of accomplishments and created new pathways and expanded potentials from the rich resources present within their bodies and our creative collaboration.