What exactly is ‘The Clay Field’? It is a form of therapy developed by Heinz Deuser that has been in use in Germany and Europe for 40 years. It is a recognized therapy in its own right and involves a simple wooden box filled with clay. The movements and gestures of one’s hands at work or at rest can tell a story and by following the impulses of the hands one can unlock histories, traumas, and deeply held beliefs through a sensory-motor impulse experience.
I had the amazing experience of training in this work earlier this year in Malta. It was the first international training and therapists and healers traveled from Lebanon, France, Italy, Holland, the United States and England to study with Cornelia Elbrecht and Liz Antcliffe both psychotherapists living and working in Australia. Cornelia had studied intensely with Heinz Deuser in Germany and worked with survivors from the Holocaust. This method is in use in Europe at schools, medical centers, and hospitals. Research has shown that there is a direct connection between the hands and the brain and information passed through the hands is called Haptic perception. Our hands have minds of their own and can guide the body towards healing. In other words, our hands know what we need.
‘Touch is the most fundamental of human experiences. The first year of our life is dominated by the sense of touch. Tactile contact is the first mode of communication that we learn. … Work at the Clay Field involves an intense tactile experience-it can link us to a primordial mode of communication, to a preverbal stage in our life. This is the truly beneficial quality of clay in a therapeutic context. It’s regressive qualities will allow a therapist to address early attachment issues, developmental setbacks and traumatic events in a primarily non-verbal way, contained in the safety of the setting.’ Cornelia Elbrecht Trauma Healing at the Clay Field.
Our training also included several sessions of Clay Field for ourselves. What I had experienced was beyond my expectations. I have lived with trauma in my personal life and the changes that have occurred since those sessions have been profound. At one point I felt as if the right side of my brain had suddenly come alive, I could feel blood flowing and my internal weight had shifted. I could feel that I was much more in my body. My center of gravity was much lower than it had ever been and for days I walked around stomping my feet getting used to feeling ‘in’ them so profoundly. These sensations have been incorporated into my daily life and I can say that I am much more at ease in the world now. I do attribute this to the intense clay field work that I did in Malta. All of us can benefit greatly from time in the Clay Field. This can reach you at levels that traditional talk therapy can’t always match.
I am offering sessions. I’ve been educating a long time and I have always known that there was something special about clay, now I understand it more fully and can be of service. Having a therapist is recommended as this is not a substitute and I am not a therapist at this time. Clay Field sessions are different from classes. There is no product to be saved, no firing and glazing. It’s just you and the clay field following your hands with me guiding and holding the line for you. If this is something that interests you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about Work at the Clay Field