Developed by Paul Newham, Voice Movement Therapy (VMT) is an Expressive Arts Therapy that uses the voice as a link to personal growth and mind-body healing. Utilizing very specific vocal components VMT accesses the deeper layers of mind and body memory, and can provide relief from emotional pain, depleted energy, and creative blocks. As a result the mind-body-spirit experiences freedom and authenticity.

Along with movement and other creative and expressive arts processes such as writing, drama, songwriting, drumming, drawing, painting, and dancing, VMT uses the voice, and vocal sounds in particular, to take you into a deep state of remembering, and then releasing anything that may be stopping you from being authentic. So if you want to go much deeper on your journey of healing and transformation, VMT can help:

* Increase your confidence and presence
* Release fear, anger, sadness, shame, guilt
* Improve interpersonal communications
* Reduce stress, depressive feelings, anxiety
* Enhance the quality of all your relationships
* Feel more energetic and vital
* Enhance your creativity and performance

VMT is also a lot of fun to do; and it can help you:

* Uncover your 'natural' singing and speaking voice
* Extend your vocal range
* Experiment with different singing styles
* Write authentic 'life songs' and sing your truth


While VMT is a unique approach to enhancing well-being, it is also grounded in ancient methods of communication, and traditional healing practices. As Paul Newham explains:

"In the absence of words, the body and the voice had to
assume a thousand different shapes in the course of
describing a single day's events. The people of pre-verbal
cultures therefore had to be great performers, sculpturing
and orchestrating their bodies and their voices like singing
acrobats…. It is from these essential and primal vocal
utterances that the act of singing originates."

Babies cry when they are born, and they continue expressing their needs and feelings by making all sorts of vocal sounds. These variances in pitch and melodic structure are based on what the infant is trying to communicate. We are all born with this musical phenomenon, which is called prosody.

In cultures around the world Shamans and Medicine Men and Women use vocal toning, chanting, and dancing to heal imbalances in the mind-body-spirit.

The ancient Greeks believed that the right kinds of musical sounds and rhythms could bring order and integration into the soul. In their masked performances they used the voice and bodily movement to communicate passions and arouse cathartic emotions.


We communicate our ideas, thoughts, and feelings primarily through our voice. When we express ourselves via singing and making non-verbal sounds, the effects can be very therapeutic, as these true pioneers of Therapeutic Voicework discovered.

Alfred Wolfsohn returned from having served as a medic in World War I, in a state of 'shell shock,' (now known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD). His emotional symptoms were compounded by guilt because he had failed to rescue a fellow soldier. He also suffered with auditory hallucinations of the screams and groans from dying and wounded soldiers he'd encountered in the trenches. No amount of psychiatric treatment erased those sounds from his mind; and Wolfsohn finally realized that he had to search for a cure within himself. He began by extending the range of his own voice while singing the sounds of those soldiers; and discovered that his voice was able to span several octaves. He was also able to sing in a wide variety of moods and emotions, from suffering and pain, to joy and pleasure. He soon began teaching his method to others. His approach was very different, because he explored the shadow side of the psyche. Paul Newham explains:

"Wolfsohn's intention was not to nurture the diligence and
technical proficiency of the 'voice beautiful,' but to utilise
the potential range of the human voice as a probe and a
mirror, investigating and reflecting the many aspects of
the human psyche."

Otolaryngologist Paul Moses was a supporter of Wolfsohn's work. He believed that oral communication is composed of speech, which is what we say, and the voice, which is the way we say it. Influenced by the work of both Freud and Jung, Moses searched for underlying psychological causes that could be a factor in the vocal characteristics of his patients. He also acknowledged that individual vocal expression is linked to the sounds in the collective unconscious of mankind.

Paul Newham came to Therapeutic Voicework from a background that includes theater, dance, psychiatric nursing, and drama and movement with the mentally and physically challenged. Once he discovered Wolfsohn's work (as well as that of Roy Hart, a long time student of Wolfsohn's) Newham started developing Voice Movement Therapy.

While VMT is a synthesis of several disciplines, it is the only Expressive Arts Therapy that is grounded in the voice, and in the songs of one's life.


I encourage you to start MAKING SOUNDS AND SINGING about anything that comes into your mind. And try moving as you vocalize. It will make a huge difference in how you feel. The songs of your life become the focus of your personal voicework, and expressing them can be profoundly healing. Learn more at http://www.consciousconnections.com/vmt.html

Author's Bio: 

Christine-Anne Platel is a Life and Relationship Coach, and a Voice Movement Therapist. She is also trained in a number of Alternative/Complementary Wellness modalities. Chris works with clients worldwide in person, via phone, and on SKYPE. She does Voice Movement Therapy in private practice, in workshops worldwide, and at a Psychiatric and Substance Abuse Rehabilitation Hospital. There she works with all patient populations: Pre-Teens, Teens, Adults, and Mature Adults. Chris empowers her clients and patients to take very good care of themselves personally, professionally, and spiritually; focusing above all on living in integrity, so that their spirits shine! Learn more at http://www.consciousconnections.com/vmt.html