A personal recollection written by Janet Adler about Mary Starks Whitehouse. Janet Adler describes their relationship since their first meeting and phone conversations that proceeded it. Fragments of memories, notes from Adler’s journal, audiotaptes, quotations constitute moving and deep story about evolving relationship that become the ground for the development of authentic movement therapy experience and training worldwide. A beautiful story about the work that becomes a deep experience of life.
From the article:
As is evident in her writing, Mary was a woman of her time, working from her own unique history as a dancer and dance teacher. From what I experienced to be a place of love, her risks were evident, her honesty in not knowing was necessary, and her courage to work as she felt compelled to do seemed available to her. In choosing to invite a conscious relationship with me as I moved in her presence, my life deepened, as did the lives of her other students, our students, their students, and so on. Her actions were radical. She truly “broke ground” in both the ﬁeld of dance, guiding souls returning to dancers, and in the ﬁeld of depth psychology, guiding bodies returning to those seeking consciousness. (…)
As distinguished from other pioneers in the ﬁeld of dance movement therapy, Mary was the ﬁrst person of whom I know, who worked with adults who were not suffering mental illness. I experienced her primarily as an artist, maybe because of her expressed comfort with the unknown. To me she was a strong woman, a strength that I trusted because I experienced her vulnerability. And she knew how to safely enough invite those of us who came to work with her, toward opening to our own vulnerability—the source of our own developing strength. She appeared to me to be a handsome woman, with big bones, who sometimes spoke with the vocal tones of a child