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Authentic Movement & Body Tales: Similarities & Differences

Body Tales and Authentic Movement are both complete on their own, and they are deeply complimentary when practiced together. Here are some of the similarities and differences between the two forms.

Both Authentic Movement and Body Tales® are inner-directed practices where exploratory and expressive movement emerges through body awareness and self-listening. Both practices involve a respectful and supportive relationship between movers and their witnesses.

Authentic Movement is primarily an inner-focused, eyes-closed practice. In Body Tales, movers may have their eyes open or closed and are exploring movement and speaking within many varied exercises.

"Having my stories well witnessed is so healing. Body Tales truly supports me in my personal and professional life."
— Kim McCourt, MFT

"Authentic Movement has given me the space to explore my experience in a very intimate way. It has supported me in feeling more at ease in my own body and connected me on a deep level with my essence and creativity."
— Nicki Koethner, Expressive Art Therapist

In Authentic Movement, participants move for significantly longer time frames than they do in Body Tales. Authentic Movement's primary modalities are movement and sound; it does not include the speaking-while-moving component of Body Tales.

While it is often used as a "sourcing" process by dancers, writers, and visual artists, Authentic Movement is primarily a therapeutic and meditative practice, free from any drive to create for an external audience.

While supporting individuals in maintaining a self-directed focus, Body Tales emphasizes communication and provides ways to articulate and share embodied stories. Body Tales is a creative and healing practice — and may also be taken into performance.

"I feel more present to myself, freer with my voice, my face, my movements, more in my body. The integration of sound, word and movement with idea, memory, image and feeling in a context of caring, attentive, responsive and healing witnessing make this work truly unique."
— Cynthia Hagen, Body Tales participant

"Being witnessed gave me a strong feeling of connection which let me claim my own experiences more fully. Lysa, with an amazingly elastic awareness and deep feeling, follows everyone wherever they go with tact, deep understanding, compassion and humor. She's real."
— Suzanne, Authentic Movement participant