Dramatherapy ISSN: 0263-0672 (Print) 2157-1430 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/rdrt20 Billy’s Drum: feet and rhythm in Sesame therapeutic practice Catherine Butler To cite this article: Catherine Butler (2018) Billy’s Drum: feet and rhythm in Sesame therapeutic practice, Dramatherapy, 39:2, 63-75, DOI: 10.1080/02630672.2018.1482363 To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/02630672.2018.1482363 Published online: 16 Jul 2018. Submit your article to this journal Article views: 92 View Crossmark data Full Terms & Conditions of access and use can be found at https://www.tandfonline.com/action/journalInformation?journalCode=rdrt20 Dramatherapy, 2018 Vol. 39, No. 2, 63–75, https://doi.org/10.1080/02630672.2018.1482363 Billy’s Drum: feet and rhythm in Sesame therapeutic practice Catherine Butler* Unaffiliated scholar Billy Lindkvist’s demonstration at a Sesame Seasonal School of foot and rhythm work for connection, sense of self, and grounding, was an inspiration for me to train as a Sesame practitioner. In this paper, I will explore the origins of this work in Billy’s experience and how she developed it, how it has continued in Sesame training, and lastly show how I have used this associated aspect of a basic strand of the Sesame Approach, Movement with Touch and Sound, from RCSSD placements through to current client work, describing its application and adaptation for different client groups including people with dementia, ASD, Parkinson’s, and physical and learning difficulties. Keywords: Lindkvist; feet; rhythm; Sesame; movement; therapy Introduction The substance of this paper will, of necessity, be largely experiential: my experience of observing Billy’s work based on feet and rhythm, and my practice of it then, which was soon built upon in training placements; and my employment of it ever since with many kinds of client work. Billy’s own life experience provided both the origin of her work and the motivation for its continued development. The need for the experiential, in learning as well as description of this aspect of Billy’s ‘method’ (a contributing source and an enduring part of her unique therapy of ‘Movement with Touch and Sound’), is strongly expressed both in her own book describing her journey as a drama and movement therapist, and in the conversation she had with Jenny Pearson that is reported in the Sesame Approach book (to both of which I refer a number of times below [Lindkvist 1998; Pearson 1996]) We have to feel it in our own bodies before we can bring it to others and feel with them. Again, from continuing experience, we can develop ways of our own to take forward this therapeutic method – and Billy was a great believer in moving on to new development in our practice as our learning and understanding increased, underpinned by our own instinct, and knowledge in the body. I will describe some of the developments that have come to me in this way, and how I have used them, later in the paper. But first, I relate my introduction to Billy and her work, and go on to tell the story of how she came to this and developed it for herself – from her own words. © 2018 The British Association of Dramatherapists 64 C. Butler Billy, feet, and rhythm At one of the 5-day Sesame Seasonal Schools that were run for many years by the Sesame Institute, and that were often an introduction and inspiration to apply for the full-time Sesame course, I had the privilege of being taught on one of the days by Marian R. Lindkvist – ‘Billy’– herself. She had not been a tutor in Movement with Touch and Sound on the RCSSD Drama and Movement Therapy (Sesame) course for some years, so this was an exceptional treat. This was the Spring School in April, 2000, and for me it certainly fitted the season, life opening up. We were introduced to all the strands of the Sesame Approach, including the theoretical and practical bases of Jung, Laban, and Peter Slade’s Play, and Myth and Drama, as well as Billy’s speciality. I have found a letter from the leaders of that week in response to my written feedback from the School, saying ‘so glad that the week brought you freedom and a new way of experimenting with ways “to be” … Finding the next step is always a dance with the unknown – may the way open for you!’ After what I had experienced, including importantly that halfday with Billy, I knew I wanted to do the full-time Sesame training at Central, which seemed impossible at that time … but astonishingly soon, the way did open. Three images, from not just visual but whole body memory, stand out for me from that day: First, the introduction of stamping while standing and then moving in our accustomed circle at the start and end of the session, and the physical together with psychological effects of that on us participants. Second, observing and then experiencing Billy’s work with pressure on the feet, participants working in pairs, partly to reproduce the foot-to-ground effects for those unable to stand. She spoke about and showed the relation of this to ‘Movement with Touch and Sound’, a type of therapy she discovered and developed herself, and that became an important strand of the Sesame Approach in teaching and practice. Third, the use of drums and rhythm, related to the stamping mentioned above, and involved in the ritual of the session, its opening and closing. So what were the effects of these ‘new ways’ that were opened up during the session, in my personal experience of them, as I remember it? Of course my memories in the body were reinforced by more learning and practice of these ways over the full-time course and following years, but I can see Billy on that day, in my mind’s eye, in relation to them all. Stamping gave me a feeling of connection to the ground, and from the ground through my feet to my whole body; connection to my ‘self’, and to those stamping with me in the circle. The use of rhythm in movement gave me a further feeling of connection with others when we moved together, as well as self-expression, and the drumming felt strong in both bringing the group together and in ‘conversation’ between us. Dramatherapy 65 Both stamping and rhythm I found to be grounding as well as freeing. (But this was only a seeming paradox, as I understood through more training in Laban Movement Principles: these were things that helped me to be centred, to move and express from the core – which Billy also understood from her own experience, see below.) Billy’s demonstration of pressing on feet for those unable to put their feet to the ground, to enable them to feel the connection, the grounding and promoting the sense of self – this looked like something entirely new, opening up therapeutic possibilities. But also in observation, in practising and then reflection on this at the time, I realised I had felt a strong body memory, a personal connection especially when she first did it. I remembered something from my early childhood, my father saying a little rhyme as he patted and pressed my bare feet – ‘Shoe an old horse, Shoe an old mare, But let the little colt go bare, bare, bare’. I see now this is in a 2/4 (walking) rhythm, two beats with pats of foot followed by two beats of held pressure on it, repeated four times, for each foot. I remembered the feeling of connection between us, the affirmation (sense of self), the feeling that I was safe, ‘held’– that I would now relate to both relationship and grounding. These feelings, which allow one to be oneself, were brought back to consciousness by what Billy showed us. So these new therapeutic ways, for myself as well as work with others, affected me strongly at the time; their effects were, naturally, much strengthened during the experiential Sesame training at RCSSD. I have used them in Sesame sessions starting with placements during the course and throughout my subsequent therapy practice. I have adopted and adapted the tools more or less, depending on the client group and the individual, and I will say more on the adaptation in each of the case examples below. I will now relate what we know of the origins and development of this important way in therapy in Billy’s own experience. How Billy found and developed these aspects of her work We have the story of this in Billy’s own words, in her book ‘Bring White Beads When You Call on the Healer’, hereinafter referred to as ‘Bring White Beads’ (Lindkvist 1998). Billy’s development of her method is also reported, especially how this became and continues as the ‘Movement with Touch and Sound’ strand in the Sesame course at RCSSD, in a chapter on ‘Marian Lindkvist and Movement with Touch’ by Jenny Pearson in the sourcebook ‘Discovering the Self through Drama and Movement: The Sesame Approach’ (Pearson ed. 1996). The chapter also contains an interview with Billy, as well as Jenny Pearson’s own valued and well-described experiential learning and client work in Billy’s method. I shall refer to both of these below. Billy makes it clear that three things in her experience were seminal for the development of her own, unique way of therapy. I give them in the same order that she does, in the opening chapter of her book: 66 C. Butler First, what she observed, felt, learned and practiced with peoples of South Africa. Second, the effects she experienced in movement work in her personal therapy. Third, the relationship with a person she herself called the ‘catalyst’ of the book, her daughter (who was given different diagnoses from early years, but whom she eventually recognised to be on the Autistic spectrum). Billy says ‘without [her] it could not have been written, because nothing in it would have happened’. This experience in her own family motivated much of what she did throughout her life: Billy was the original model of the Sesame ‘wounded healer’, whose vulnerability facilitates her own embodied learning, which then facilitates attunement with clients. Billy’s South African experience It is a dramatic opening to ‘Bring White Beads’, but then Billy was well practised in drama, before she had the dream which opened the way to her using it in therapy. We are taken straight to South Africa, to a Diviner’s hut – the Diviner to whom she had to take a present of White Beads – and then to a ritual, a ‘healing dance’ performed by the Diviner’s ‘novices’. She had seen this dance before, during her periods of working with client groups in South Africa, and in the darkness of the healer’s hut where the Shades are honoured. But now she asked the Diviner if she could film the dance saying she hoped that in ‘her country’ (UK), ‘The practice of the dance may help some of the sick to feel better’. Even though this would have to be out of doors in the light, and therefore not strictly follow the ‘genuine ceremonies’ she had seen, she thought that just as the novices have to learn and practise regularly, always have ‘clappers’ available, they would be ‘in the mood’ and it would show something of the nature of the dance. This consisted of three main steps, and all were varieties of stamping. It is this filmed occasion of which we then read (Lindkvist 1998, 4–7). Once the Diviner appeared, the novices moved into place, with the Diviner in the centre and the drummer on her right. Billy then describes the movement of the ritual: I expected a period of warming up and I was not disappointed. First the clappers started and then a number of songs were sung. Various people stood up and stamped or executed one or other of the healing dance steps in a rather casual fashion. Suddenly the mood changed. The Diviner took the drum sticks and introduced a different drum beat, soon handing over the sticks to the drummer. At first the novices moved in a circle anti-clockwise ‘to introvert the libido’ as we might say or, as the Zulus put it, ‘to bring the energy into the centre’ (Lindkvist 1998, 6). The dancers then went on to alternate ‘ordinary’ stamping with ‘double stamp’, ball of foot to heel; a kind of high kick followed by a stamp; and a rising on the toes followed by a hard stamp. Led by the Diviner, with the Dramatherapy κι αν ερχομαστε σε επαφή με τους νεκρούς όταν πατάμε με γυμνά τα πόδια στη γη; 67 drummer, signalling to them including by various contacts with the ground, they continued this (with the occasional rest) for three hours. It may be asked what, for the Diviner and the novices in the ritual, is the source of healing involved in this stamping on the ground. Billy’s ‘informant’ (not named) told her that the Shades are under the ground, and the power to heal must be drawn from them, so this kind of ‘grounding’ has a whole extra dimension for people with this belief. For them, the Shades ‘are in the lives of all people’, and a healer will use her contact with them to diagnose illness, as well as in the healing ritual (Lindkvist 1998, 7–8). (For trained Sesame practitioners there will be resonances with all this, not just the ‘warm-up’, grounding etc., but also with Jung, Myth, Ritual. But here I am focusing on movement, work with feet and rhythm, and their effects – others may take forward the aforementioned connections). Billy tells us that she became very close to the Diviner, who promised to prepare her so that she could work her way. Billy felt that ‘being so close to her unconscious the Diviner had sensed in me a woman whose troubled life had led her to use her experiences as … a channel through which healing might take place’ ‘; and ‘This meeting … affected me so deeply that, in retrospect, I believe it guided me to write something of my work as a movement and drama therapist’. From this, we have ‘Bring White Beads’ (Lindkvist 1998, 9). Billy’s experience in personal therapy with movement In her book, after recounting this very important episode in Africa, and before telling us how it affected her subsequent client work, Billy says she must ‘relive’ another experience that was vital in what she became, and did: her ‘own personal experience on the receiving side of Arts therapy’, which first happened in 1965. She was working with a colleague who was a movement therapist, and who asked her to ‘explore a cave’. Billy being a performer so far, she thought out and represented the scene, quite well as she thought – but then the therapist said ‘And now stop thinking. Do it from inside’. When Billy found she could do this, and ‘articulate through [her] body’, ‘inner movement’ expressed through it, the experience ‘coloured [her] way of working through drama and movement over three decades’; and also the basis of the way the teaching and learning in this therapy had to be – experiential: ‘It is only when we experience therapy through an art form for ourselves that we understand what it is, how it works … ’ (Lindkvist 1998, 10). Billy’s development of her unique mode of therapy, and the inclusion of stamping Billy sums up some main factors in this later in her book. She explains why she thinks her emphasis on sound and movement originated in her experience with her own children and their energy and freedom in ‘natural movement’ (including when she pushed on their kicking feet during nappy change. It ‘struck [her] forcibly how much the non-ambulant and electively passive person was missing’, 68 C. Butler and she sought to make up for that loss. Having one ‘normal’ and one autistic daughter helped to give her ‘confidence in many different [clinical] settings’. She says ‘Much of my work is based on what has been called by Audrey [Wethered] ‘informed instinct’ … My growing awareness over the last twenty-seven 27 years of Laban principles and what I have learned of the philosophy of C.G. Jung, have stood me in good stead (Lindkvist 1998, 98). She says elsewhere that she met Peter Slade (Play), and also Audrey Wethered and Chloe Gardner (Laban), in 1966. Audrey had studied Jung for years, and Chloe had used movement with patients in psychiatric hospitals. As well as strengthening the emphasis on the therapeutic effects of movement, understanding of Laban principles gave Billy a terminology that she could use to describe and explain her own therapy in words (Pearson 1996, 70–71). We see here origins of the elements of what became the Sesame day-release (1972) course, the first in the UK for training dramatherapists, and then the full-time course, first at Kingsway from 1974, and then at RCSSD from 1985. But she had started working on her special therapy that became ‘Movement with Touch and Sound’ in 1963, and she founded the Sesame Institute in 1964 to promote this work. It was not until the late 1970’s that she went to South Africa and saw the stamping ritual there, which was henceforward included in her therapy, first with clients in South Africa, and then with teaching Sesame trainees from 1978. Stamping was a powerful therapeutic tool, its effects and what it shows: ‘It is what is inside [the person who stamps, or] what he feels that causes him to be unable to stamp. It is how the action of stamping with his body also reflects upon his feelings that is important. A man can begin to be someone when he stamps’ (Lindkvist 1998, 152). She was interested in the current scientific research into the psychological effects of ritual dance and drumming, which was mainly concerned with endorphin production (Lindkvist 1998, 251). Billy gives many examples in her book of how she incorporated stamping in her work, how it became an important opening and closing ritual in sessions, how it related to the work she was already doing with foot pressure, massage, etc. with her early clients; and also her increasing use of the drum (Billy’s drum, made for her and given to her in Africa, became an important symbol for many a trainee), and rhythm generally: tapping and clapping, rhythmic song, sound and movement. (Lindkvist 1998, 49, 79, 91, 99) My own experience as Sesame practitioner on RCSSD placements and in subsequent clinical practice I am giving these examples of learning and development through client work together. Although I was on a steeper learning curve during the Sesame training, as all practitioners know, we continue to learn from our clients and develop new ways throughout our careers. Billy was an exemplar and advocate of this, always. The Sesame Approach remains firmly founded on its range of established bases. Even those that can be more narrowly defined as ‘theoretical’, such as Jungian Dramatherapy 69 Analytical Psychology, Laban Movement Principles, Human Development, and Peter Slade on Play, are in that foundation because Billy learned about them in the course of her own experience and development of her ways in therapy. Drama was already part of her life and practice before she employed it therapeutically with KATS; myth, and story generally, have a clear lineage through this and then Jung. The source of Movement with Touch and Sound is, as we know, uniquely Billy, whatever the influences that helped it on the way. Rhythm and music, though not included as part of the ‘canon’ of Sesame when the Approach is described, are part of the experience of all who have undertaken the training. (I have been told that music was in fact on the course at one time, long ago.) Rhythm is implicated in so much that is done in sound and movement on the course that we take it for granted in what we do as qualified practitioners. It’s in our bones and we use it constantly. My own life experience has meant that I was particularly drawn to this in Sesame practice, from the first introduction to the Approach I had at that Seasonal School. In brief, coming from a musical family, and playing several instruments and singing, this aspect would naturally appeal – but also, specifically, I had always wanted to play percussion as a child, and used whatever was to hand to beat a rhythm. So rhythm has always spoken to me and for me. I knew in myself the grounding, the sense of self (yes, ‘Our body is our self.’ [Cooper 1996, 25]) and the connection with others that it could give; and so in whatever way was possible for particular clients, I have used it in my practice and noted the effects. This includes rhythms in music apart from percussion, and the stamping and tapping I learned through Billy; and I have been stimulated by noting these effects, and learning from them, to do research on the effects of different rhythms and tempi in client work. I see the beginnings of this in my first client notes, on RCSSD placements during the Sesame course. Examples from client work in placements 1. Individual client in a group with profound physical disabilities, at RCSSD placement. Movement with Touch and Sound was, as we have seen, initially developed by Billy with client groups of this kind, and it remains central to Sesame work in these contexts. Though we had learned about what it is through demonstrations and practice in our student sessions, my experience in context was the ultimate teacher. Billy said in interview: Students find this … work very difficult, initially. I don’t really like teaching it on the course because very often people can’t see the point of it in the studio. I prefer to teach it in the field … I notice this with students every year: when they come to write about their fieldwork, they will describe how they have used Movement with Touch because that’s the only thing they can use in certain settings. 70 C. Butler Jenny Pearson then comments that this need for experiential learning ‘means that we have to have fieldwork placements with supervision on the spot from people who actually do the work … To me that is the most important single feature of the training’, and Billy responds ‘ … it can’t really be learnt unless you see the person who has the need. It’s only when that need calls up the theory you have learnt that the whole thing comes together and you begin to understand’ (Pearson 1996, 67). My client in the group was blind from birth, and had recently had two strokes. He was able to weight bear if supported on both sides, but our sessions were mostly on mats, just as in Billy’s original work, and we followed how she organised such a session and much of what she did in it. That included foot massage, foot pressure, tapping, and a lot of rhythm, even if stamping was not possible. With the foot work, I recalled in my body the experience of Billy doing itrecalled It was a revelation, and a moving one, to feel the response of a client whose needs were being met in this way. I also realised another body memory I had when Billy did it – but this time, with myself as agent for bringing the feeling when of connection work, support of the sense of self, and the grounding when doing this work with my own son as a small child. In rhythm work, we used percussion instruments and one’s own body to make a rhythm. I learned so much from the kind of work we did in this placement that I was later to use and take forward with other client groups. But one thing stands out especially for me, and that was a way I was able to connect with my client through the tapping of rhythms. After we had done rhythm work in the group, my client turned over on his front and I lay down by him. He reached out to touch my hand with his finger and then tapped a rhythm on the floor. I responded with that rhythm. He smiled a big smile, and tapped a different rhythm, which I followed and then varied. Smiles again. We went on to have a conversation in rhythms, varying them and also the leading and following. He would sometimes make sounds with his tapping as well. The opening of communication, of connection, of relationship (which is also supportive and strengthening of self) in this way I can now see as the start of what I have continued to develop in client work using rhythm, in many contexts. 2. Group work with children on the autistic spectrum, RCSSD placement at a special school. In this placement, we were able to use stamping and clapping, which we did at the beginning of every session of the series – our opening ritual. We also made much use of percussion and rhythm through the session, in many ways. Song was also included, as it was in the placement previously described. But here the children were able to join in with the songs more vocally. Looking at my old notes on our session plans as students, and comparing them with Billy’s sessions in South Africa in ‘Bring White Beads’ (which I had not then read), there is what would appear to be an uncanny resemblance between Dramatherapy 71 the two. But of course it is not uncanny. Our Sesame tutors and our supervisors were steeped in the knowledge and practice of what Billy created. It had been working in practice for them over years, and we too were now gaining our experiential learning – first on the course, and then, in placements: meeting, getting to know our clients and responding with what we had come to know as therapeutic in ourselves. I see in the session notes for this placement that I am exploring the value of the ‘rhythm aspect’ for this client group, and how it could ‘focus and channel the energy’ for those on the autistic spectrum who are given to doing repetitive things. That is also a rhythm; also the ‘centering’ capacity of rhythm. Both of these, I saw later, reflect things Billy wrote about in ‘Bring White Beads’, and I would note them and they would be reflected in what I brought to my session planning through the following years with a variety of client groups. Examples from client work in my subsequent therapy practice I began work as a therapist immediately upon graduating from the course, and from my first job (with a group in a Dementia Assessment Day Centre) I have used rhythm and music. 3. Adult Client in a group with various learning difficulties. In a session early in the series, we did the story of ‘The Musicians of Bremen’. We had begun the session with stamping in a circle and then saying our names within the rhythm. When later we came to the triumphal procession at the end of the story, the participants started walking around more or less in a circle anti-clockwise, and again stamping on their way. They wanted to keep this up for quite a long time! I had a strong sense of their raised energy, much joy, many smiles, and self-confidence. Then I had photographic images of different animals from which they could choose … a young woman with Downs Syndrome, who had ended up leading the procession, showed us with shining eyes an image of a lion. Looking straight into my eyes, she said firmly ‘That’s me – inside.’ I will never forget that moment. 4. One-to-one client with Parkinson’s disease, in a care home. My client had had Parkinson’s for many years, his feet and legs were a big problem – he could only walk when supported, and then usually with shuffling short steps, intermittently coming to a stop on his toes. His speech was equally halting. Sometimes it took him minutes before he could begin to speak. His tremor was not always there, but could be severe. Everything about him could be jerky, including his mood. He had psychological as well as physical problems, in part related to time he spent in an orphanage as a child, when his mother could not afford to keep both her children. 72 C. Butler I took over therapy in this care home from another Sesame practitioner, and my client was especially responsive to story and Sesame work generally in a group she had led for several years. But when it became too difficult in the group, I took him one-to-one. It was in these sessions that my special interest in the use of music in Sesame work, and the effects of different tempi and other musical factors, began. It started with seeing the effect of two particular rhythms with this client: 3/4 and 4/4. The former is often used in lullabies and waltzes (both with a ‘holding’ character – see more on this in my article mentioned above). Once a carer and I had got him into a chair in a separate room, I began with the music just for him. The session ‘focus’ started with something in 4/4, march rhythm, grounding and energising and centering. In a short time, he would begin stamping his feet (while sitting). You could see the energy raised, and his being entrained by the rhythm. The tremor ceased, his face becoming mobile rather than frozen, his eyes flew open, and then when the beat stopped, he could usually begin straight away to speak fluently. I used 3/4 rhythm later in the session, when he would fold his arms as if holding a baby, and rock them smoothly. Sometimes, he could stand on his feet and move in the rhythm with me holding him and the carer standing by. The final part of the session was actually moving out of the room to 4/4 again, as he had ‘found his feet’ and could walk/march without stopping, both firmly and (as with the speech) fluently. I have since learned, especially from talking with neuroscience researchers, that this beneficial use of rhythm for those with Parkinson’s is becoming more widely recognised. They can find their feet, and their rhythm. 5. Pupil at school in NE London, behavioural difficulties – drum work. This client was a boy of 9, who was said to have ADHD and certainly was ‘getting into trouble’ at school. He had great difficulty focusing on anything we attempted, jumped from one thing to another, and gave little eye contact, until I secured the use of the music room for his session and we worked with percussion. Once we began sessions with drum work, he changed, and had that combination we have so often seen with stamping a rhythm. He was brought into himself, he was becoming centered and grounded, able to focus, and connected with me, making eye contact and in being able to express himself both through his rhythms and in words – sometimes one alternating with the other. The effect persisted through the session. 6. Young adults on the autistic spectrum. Following this experience, I have also used a drum in the way described above with other one-to-one clients, including young adults on the autistic spectrum. The effect of this rhythm work in enabling communication and relationship is striking with such clients, especially in regard to eye-contact, and ‘conversation’ in rhythm – with the varying of rhythms and who initiates Dramatherapy 73 the change and who follows. Sometimes it would be hard to tell in this relating and communicating beyond words. It has also had the effect on autistic spectrum clients of gathering, centering, and focusing their rhythm (as I learned in my RCSSD placement with children, above), which allows for further therapeutic work in the session, for instance by opening the way in expression and relationship to include verbal expression and exchange where that too is needed. 7. Clients with dementia, group and individual therapy. I have written in some detail elsewhere, in the Journal of Applied Arts and Health, of the work with music, movement and rhythm that I have done in Sesame sessions with elderly clients in the Mental Health Unit of a care home Butler 2012). I will just say here that this was done over a number of years, so that I got to know them well and was able to shape the sessions according to individual as well as group needs. It was here that I experienced most fully the effects of different rhythms on the clients, such as 2/4 for initiating movement, march rhythm (4/4/) for grounding, waltz rhythm for holding and connection, and was stimulated to further observation and reflection and research. This included reading and discussion with music psychologists and scientists of the great advances in neuroscientific study of the whole mind and body’s reaction to music, of which rhythm is of course an integral part. Note on recent research related to rhythm in therapy There is now, especially in the last decade, ‘an explosion of interest in the rhythmic brain’ (Overy and Turner 2009), and the effects of rhythm of all kinds, helped by the great advances in neuroscience (see also e.g. MolnarSzakacs and Overy 2009, on the mirror neuron system and its role in communication, empathy, and relevance to therapy). Nigel Osborne details the powerful responses to rhythm in mind and body, and their causes, that ‘make rhythm-based … therapeutic processes particularly life-enhancing’ (Osborne 2017, 20–21). Further exploration of the relation of this to the rhythm work of Sesame practitioners is well worth doing, and would support what Billy intuitively understood and introduced to therapy. Current tutors on the RCSSD course are already incorporating the results of recent neuroscientific and developmental research into their writing in relation to practice (Loutsis 2017, 145–168 [re: feet and grounding]; Porter 2017, 169–188, [on attunement, re: Movement with Touch and Sound, with full discussion of this therapeutic way]. Please refer to their articles in Dramatherapy: Reflection and Praxis (2017) for their research sources and application to Sesame work. 74 C. Butler Conclusion Billy’s legacy Movement with Touch and Sound continues as one of the essential strands in the teaching of the Sesame Approach in the MA in Drama and Movement Therapy at RCSSD, and what Billy developed as the Sesame training is pervasive in the other elements, and throughout all client work (Pearson 1996, 55). It is ‘at the heart of a Sesame practitioner’s therapeutic relationship’, whatever the clinical context (Emanuel 2007, 33). It becomes so because of what we experience on the course and in placements supervised by therapists trained and practised in the Sesame way. The Laban Movement on the course, which Billy realised as an essential element through her experience of its power in therapy as well as its gift of terminology (e.g. centering, grounding, flow) and that can be used in Sesame work, enables us to discover our ‘movement vocabulary’ and to realise and respond to others’, widening our own movement potential in expression and communication, as well as understanding (Thornton 1996, 84–93). For me, Billy’s original introduction, followed by my learning and experience on the Sesame course and then through my clients (as described above), has given me that increased sense of connection both with self and others, the grounding, and the enabling of self-expression, that are particular benefits of therapeutic work with feet and rhythm. It has also stimulated me to bring this to others and to look more deeply at how it works. But I am just one of many who have been inspired and motivated by Billy’s work, as evidenced by comments at the ‘Billy Bash’, a day in November 2017 commemorating and celebrating the founder of Sesame. Repeatedly, people there who had taken Sesame training mentioned how deeply influential the stamping, the drum and the rhythm had been in whatever introduction they had to the Sesame Approach, whether by Billy herself, or practitioners who had followed her. It has provided an opening in the lives of so many. I hope I have done something in this special edition of the journal to honour Billy’s work. I encourage Sesame practitioners and other arts therapists to read ‘Bring White Beads When You Call on the Healer’ if they have not done so, to understand more of the life experience and resultant therapeutic developments of this pioneer of drama and movement in therapy, and the unique contribution she has made. Notes on contributor Catherine Butler is currently Chair of the Sesame Institute (UK and International) and has a private therapy practice using the Sesame Approach. Dramatherapy 75 References Butler, C. 2012. ““The Song Is You”: How Music Works in Sesame Therapy for Clients with Dementia’.” Journal of Applied Arts & Health 3 (3): 321–336. doi:10.1386/ jaah.3.3.321_1. Cooper, D. 1996. “Beginning with the Body.” In Discovering the Self through Drama and Movement: The Sesame Approach, edited by J. Pearson, 17–26. London: Jessica Kingsley. Emanuel, R. 2007. “Speaking of Movement with Touch.” Sesame Journal Spring 5: 33– 36. Lindkvist, M. 1998. Bring White Beads When You Call on the Healer. New Orleans, LA: Rivendell House. Loutsis, A. 2017. “Body, Movement and Trauma.” In Dramatherapy: Reflections and Praxis, edited by R. Hougham and B. Jones, 145–168. London: Palgrave. Molnar-Szakacs, I., and K. Overy. 2009. “Being Together in Time: Musical Experience and the Mirror Neuron System.” Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal 26 (5): 489–504. doi:10.1525/MP.2009.26.5.489 Osborne, N. 2017. “Love, Rhythm, and Chronobiology.” In Rhythms of Relating in Children’s Therapies: Connecting Creatively with Vulnerable Children, edited by S. Daniel and C. Trevarthen, 14–27. London: Jessica Kingsley. Overy, K., and R.Turner. 2009. “The Rhythmic Brain.” Cortex 45 (Editorial 1): 1–3. doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2008.11.002 Pearson, J. 1996. “Marian Lindkvist and Movement with Touch.” In Discovering the Self through Drama and Movement: The Sesame Approach, edited by J. Pearson, 52–71. London: Jessica Kingsley. 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