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Patty Cake: Nonverbal communication for couples

In this short video (2' 30"), Dee Wagner and John Cargile demonstrate an easy way that couples can explore their communication patterns.

Why do we need a dance/movement therapy partner practice? So much of our communication is nonverbal. The words we struggle to find may fail us—may complicate things rather than leading to useful negotiation with our partners.

The problem may lay below the words.

Chi for Two® exercises—like this one called Patty Cake—help us manage the times when our partners' energy—the punching of words, the quality of gestures—gets intense.

Like many of the Chi for Two® exercises, Patty Cake helps us have a felt sense of our partner being "at arms length." When we feel "armed" to "handle" the energy our partner is sending our way, we feel space for perspective. We can have empathy for our partners and that empathy can allow us to explore options, which can lead to negotiation. Invite your partner to try Patty Cake with you, and let us know how it goes?

See separate page for therapists.

wagner-cargileDee Wagner, LPC, BC-DMT has worked as a counselor and dance/movement therapist at the Link Counseling Center for 25 years. She has presented workshops on nervous system science for The American Dance Therapy Association, Expressive Therapies Summit, and The International Coach Federation. Her articles appear in American Journal of Dance Therapy; Body, Movement and Dance in Psychotherapy; Voices: The Art and Science of Psychotherapy (American Academy of Psychotherapists); Elephant Journal; Asana International Yoga Journal and Coaching World.

John Cargile is a visual artist, with degrees in art and industrial design. Together with Kathy Jernigan, Dee and John created the workbook Naked Online: A DoZen Ways to Grow from Internet Dating. John is a long-time yoga practitioner. In his Atlanta area art studio Harbor of Dreams Art, he and Dee offer classes and training in various expressive arts including their partner practice Chi for Two®.

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Mindfulness exercises

mindfulness exercises

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