Conscious Connections


Voice Movement Therapy (VMT)

"The human voice is the primary medium of communication in human beings. It is an expression of who we are and how we feel. In the timbre of a person's voice you can hear the subtle music of feeling and thought. The ever-shifting collage of emotions, to which we are all prey, colours the voice with tones of happiness, excitement, depression or grief."

Paul Newham, Developer of VMT

What is Voice Movement Therapy?

FIRST A PERSONAL NOTE: When I started Songwriting a few years ago, I knew that I also NEEDED TO SING! So I was thrilled to discover and train as a Voice Movement Therapist. If I tell you that I have experienced and witnessed miracles of deep healing in this work, I am not exaggerating. I can't wait to share it with you!

VMT is an Expressive Arts Therapy that uses the voice as a link to personal growth and mind-body healing. Utilizing very specific vocal components VMT accesses the deeper layers of mind and body memory, and can provide relief from emotional pain, depleted energy, and creative blocks. As a result the mind-body-spirit experiences the FREEDOM to SING, SPEAK, WRITE, and MOVE AUTHENTICALLY.

Along with movement and other creative and expressive arts processes such as writing, drama, songwriting, drawing, painting, and dancing, VMT uses the voice, and vocal sounds in particular, to quickly take you into a deep state of remembering, and then releasing anything that may be stopping you from being authentic.

Singing Your HeART Out!

VMT and the Singing Your HeART Out! Program grounds the voice in the body, and channels the emotions into creative process. The songs of your life become the focus of the voicework, and expressing them can be profoundly healing. The Singing Your HeART Out! Program and VMT can help you:

  • Uncover your 'natural' singing and speaking voice
  • Extend your vocal range
  • Experiment with different singing styles
  • Increase your confidence and presence
  • Release fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt
  • Improve interpersonal communications
  • Reduce stress, depressive feelings, anxiety
  • Enhance the quality of all your relationships
  • Write authentic songs, and sing your truth
  • Feel more energetic and vital
  • Enhance your creativity and performance

What People have Experienced:

"Chris, thank you so much for a wonderfully healing workshop."

- Shauna M.

"I hope you continue spreading joy!"

- Barbara S.

"My grief was unbearable, but when I started singing with you my energy changed completely. I can't believe how different I feel now."

- Sally R.

"Thank you again for giving such an enjoyable workshop. Everyone in the group seemed to enjoy it, and it brought the Library to life."

- Elin Jones, Librarian
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham

"I was so angry, but as soon as we created a little song about it and I sang it, my anger lifted. It was pretty amazing!"

- John G.

"Dear Chris Thank you for the time you gave us. You were an excellent guide. The energy came from you. From me, at first bewilderment, shyness, and then a 'Hey, I'm a boy again!' feeling."

- Raficq A.

"Chris I just wanted to tell you I heard such wonderful feedback about your event from people who attended. They seemed to get a tremendous amount out of it."

- Colette Hiller, Actress
Founder/Executive Director
Sing London/Sing the Nation

Who Can Benefit from VMT and
The Singing Your HeART Out! Program?

  • Anyone who would like to feel more confident, and become a better communicator in personal and professional relationships.
  • Those who would like to develop and express their creativity and have found it difficult to do so due to emotional and/or physical challenges.
  • Singers and Songwriters of all genres and levels of expertise, from beginners to the more experienced professional.
  • Actors who want to expand their range of vocal characteristics and their relationship to their own body.
  • Teachers and Public Speakers who want to sound more dynamic and hold the attention of their audiences.

The Origins of VMT

While VMT is a unique approach to enhancing wellbeing, it is also grounded in ancient methods of communication, and traditional healing practices. As Paul Newham explains:

"In the absence of words, the body and the voice had to assume a thousand different shapes in the course of describing a single day's events. The people of pre-verbal cultures therefore had to be great performers, sculpturing and orchestrating their bodies and their voices like singing acrobats…. It is from these essential and primal vocal utterances that the act of singing originates."

Babies cry when they are born, and they continue expressing their needs and feelings by making all sorts of vocal sounds. These variances in pitch and melodic structure are based on what the infant is trying to communicate. We are all born with this musical phenomenon, which is called prosody.

In cultures around the world Shamans and Medicine Men and Women use vocal toning, chanting, and dancing to heal imbalances in the mind-body-spirit.

The ancient Greeks believed that the right kinds of musical sounds and rhythms could bring order and integration into the soul. In their masked performances they used the voice and bodily movement to communicate passions and arouse cathartic emotions.

Pioneers of Therapeutic Voicework

We communicate our ideas, thoughts, and feelings primarily through our voice. When we express ourselves via singing and making non-verbal sounds the effects can be very therapeutic.

Alfred Wolfsohn returned from having served as a medic in World War I, in a state of 'shell shock,' (now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD). His emotional symptoms were compounded by guilt because he had failed to rescue a fellow soldier. He also suffered with auditory hallucinations of the screams and groans from dying and wounded soldiers he'd encountered in the trenches. No amount of psychiatric treatment erased those sounds from his mind; and Wolfsohn finally realized that he had to search for a cure within himself. He began by extending the range of his own voice while singing the sounds of those soldiers; and discovered that his voice was able to span several octaves. He was also able to sing in a wide variety of moods and emotions, from that of suffering and pain, to joy and pleasure. He soon began teaching his method to others, and his approach was very different because he explored the shadow side of the psyche. Paul Newham explains:

"Wolfsohn's intention was not to nurture the diligence and technical proficiency of the 'voice beautiful,' but to utilise the potential range of the human voice as a probe and a mirror, investigating and reflecting the many aspects of the human psyche."

Otolaryngologist Paul Moses was a supporter of Wolfsohn's work, and believed that oral communication is composed of speech, which is what we say, and the voice, which is the way we say it. Influenced by the work of both Freud and Jung, Moses searched for underlying psychological causes that could be a factor in the vocal characteristics of his patients. He also acknowledged that individual vocal expression is linked to the sounds in the collective unconscious of mankind.

Paul Newham came to Therapeutic Voicework from a background that includes theater, dance, psychiatric nursing, and drama and movement with the mentally and physically challenged. Once he discovered Wolfsohn's work (as well as that of Roy Hart, a long time student of Wolfsohn's,) Newham started developing Voice Movement Therapy.

While VMT is a synthesis of several disciplines, it is the only Expressive Arts Therapy that is grounded in the voice, and the songs of one's life.

I encourage you to start MAKING SOUNDS AND SINGING about anything that comes into your mind. And try moving as you vocalize. It will make a huge difference to how you feel.

Contact me to learn more about how VMT can help you nurture your Authentic Self.

CoachU Graduate     IAVMT

Certified Healthexcel Metabolic Advisor     Voice Movement Therapy USA

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