19th Herbstakademie

Embodied Aesthetics: Resonance in Perception, Expression and Therapy

Heidelberg, Germany | October 5-7, 2017


Pre-conference workshops

Wednesday, October 4th, 14-18h / 2pm - 6pm


Prof. Dr. Johannes Michalak
(Witten/Herdecke University)
Embodiment in mindfulness-based interventions
Description: During the past decade, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) aiming at relapse prevention in depression has been developed and empirically tested. Mindfulness means paying attention to the present moment in a non-judgmental and compassionated way. Most exercises taught during MBCT are based on the development of a heightened awareness of one’s body. The important role of the body is also stressed in the rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field of research termed ‘embodiment’. In the workshop I will introduce central mindfulness exercises of MBCT. Moreover, the theoretical foundation and empirical evidence on the role of the body in mindfulness practice will be presented.


Dr. Miriam Kyselo
(Berlin Center for Knowledge Research, Techical University of Berlin)
Enacting the Self - A Bodily Exploration of Self with Others
Description: This workshop offers an opportunity to explore the dynamics of self-construction in interaction with others at the embodied level of self-experience. Through movement, stillness and touch we will discover in individual and group exercises how feelings of distinction and separation and of openness and connectivity that form part of our everyday social existence find expression in our bodies. In a playful manner we will raise awareness of our role and position as an individual in a social context that at times aims to engage with but at others also to disengage from others. The exercises will be based on a mix of guided and improvised activities derived from Yoga, Vipassana meditation practice, and contact improvisation dance.
During the practical session participants are invited to bracket scientific or reflexive judgment allowing them for a short period of time to simply be (bodily). After the practical session we will have a feedback-discussion round in which the workshop participants are then invited to share and reflect on their previous experiences.


Lily Martin & Birgitt Bodingbauer
(Alanus University, Alfter & Berlin)
Embodied Aesthetics of Flow
Creating „optimal experiences“ through movement

Description: Within the Creative Arts Therapies Flow is considered to be a part of the aesthetic experience, one of the central therapeutic factors of the field. The “aesthetic experience” in this context refers to to any kind of integrated sensory or sensory-emotional experience. Flow – a state of absolute concentration or absorption in an activity – is a well-known psychological concept. Created by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi in the 1990s, it describes an active state, in which people become so involved in what they do, that the activity becomes spontaneous, almost automatic. People stop being aware of or judging themselves, forget about emotional problems while feeling at the peak of their abilities and in control. According to Csikszentmihalyi flow can be trained and regular flow experiences foster happiness and well-being. Through movement and play we want to explore different ways of entering flow with ourselves, with others and in the group. There will be intense physical activity. Therefore sportswear is recommended. Ample time for reflection will be provided.