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“I can’t get any space. Everyone is always around.” (Age 16)

Bonnie was always surrounded by care providers, siblings and family. She acknowledged that while she felt loved, she had a hard time asking for her own space. I suggested that we played a movement activity with her brother and dad. She stood with her arms on her hips and her feet together. I asked her dad to fill in the “negative space,” or any of the surrounding space that was empty in this statue pose she had created. Dad walked over and stood close to Bonnie with his hand through the side of her arm. He was asked to freeze and wait as Bonnie moved aside, watching her dad standing in the middle. Her brother then entered the space and stood an arm’s distance away with his hands in the air.

They each took turns filling in the space surrounding the various poses they created. Bonnie soon realized that the smaller she made her posture, the closer her family came. The bigger she created her space and the more clear she was in her posture, the more distance she received.

This movement exploration allowed the family to share and communicate their needs for connection and space. They were able to practice reading each other’s body cues, facial expressions, and ultimately, words to get their most desired needs met. We sat down and discussed the patterns we witnessed and shared best practices for communicating our love while still respecting each others’ space. By taking an embodied approach and bringing knowledge to the body not only did the family members hear each others needs but they could feel them, experience them, and work to incorporate the outcome on a daily basis.

Do you know a teen struggling to communicate a transformation they need? Everyday I work with children of all ages and their families in my inviting, tranquil setting to help them improve their lives. Email me at therapy@drloribaudino.com or call me at (310) 966-0700 to schedule your time.

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