About Voice Movement Therapy

VMT Training

About Christine Isherwood

What happens in an individual session?


Alfred Wolfsohn


Martha's Vineyard



The Norma G. Canner Foundation for Voice Movement Therapy Announces

“Singing the Psyche: the Voice Unchained”

Training in Voice Movement Therapy 2018

With Christine Isherwood & Anne Brownell

Assisted by Mali Sastri & Sophie Martin
Beginning January 2018
Martha's Vineyard, MA, USA


For all those who seek personal or professional empowerment through the embodied voice.

This training enables individuals to expand the parameters of their voices, encounter the stories of their bodies and psyches and find a greater freedom, in turn allowing singing to become more embodied and to facilitate others, whatever their level of verbal skill or accomplishment, to increase their expressive and communicative ability. The training is both content and competence based, firstly beginning with the experience and investigation of the self in VMT through breath, voice, movement, creativity and process. It requires both practical and intellectual understanding and demonstration of the core principles and theoretical underpinnings of VMT, and the presentation and performance of creative work. Those who complete both the experiential and the qualifying portions of the training are eligible to apply to the International Association for Voice Movement Therapy for acceptance as Registered VMT Practitioners (VMTR).

We welcome applications from any individual, inclusive of race, religion , sexual or gender orientation, who has a strong commitment to train in this work and who is physically and emotionally ready to undergo an intense and demanding program. We do not discriminate in educational, programmatic, or scholarship policies and all scholarships are need-based.

For further information about the Training: info@vmtuk.com


The Training consists of two parts:
Part One: The Experiential Program

Three 3-week on-site units Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm, and one performance/presentation week, followed by a fourth 3-week unit introducing the work of the Qualifying Period. These units take place in a residential setting, separated by 3 non-residential interim practice and research periods. They are interdependent and must be taken in sequence.

Module 1: (01/08/18-01/26/18): Beginning the Song and Dance: The Core Principles of VMT:

    1. The ten vocal components identified in VMT;
    2. The non-vocal principles particular to VMT;
    3. The creative application of the vocal and non-vocal components to the investigation of the self though voice;
    4. The choreography of developmental movement within the context of VMT.

Module 2 (03/12/18-03/30/18): Singing the Self: VMT Creative Process Work and Song-Making The voyage into the shadow world through voice, movement and enactment;

    1.  Introduction to the practice of active imagination through the recognition and creation of acoustic archetypes and sub-personalities in sound and movement;
    2. The voyage into the shadow world through voice, movement and enactment;
    3. The role of vocalization and simple song-making in the development of affective language, meaningful speech and a sense of self;
    4. Introduction to VMT massage, manipulation and compression work.

Module 3 (05/07/18-05/24/18): The Voice Unchained: VMT Creative and Therapeutic Process:

    1. The therapeutic principles of VMT and how they are used;
    2. Somatic transference and counter-transference within a creative group framework.
    3. Overview of developmental voice and movement work in relation to the self.
    4. Review of core principles.

Module 4 (09/17/18-10/12/18): The Language of the Soul in Song and Movement; Taking the Work with You

    1. Student Performance Week: Creative presentation in song, movement and enactment of themes which have arisen in the course of this Training.
    2. What Comes Next: Experiential, practical and informational work concerning future use of VMT
    3. A. Student presentation of plans for their work in VMT;

      B. Review and overview:

        a. Consideration of VMT in relation to the Expressive Therapies and other kinds of therapeutic work;

        b. Dealing with diversity and anti-bias from a VMT point of view;

        c. Ethical considerations and guidelines, including an introduction to the International Association for Voice Movement Therapy (IAVMT) and its standards of ethics and practice;

    C. Sessions dealing with issues regarding;

    a. Taking on practice clients individually & in groups;

    b. Finding supervision on-site and otherwise;

    c. Continuing to pursue one's own experience of creative/therapeutic process.

Part Two: The Qualifying Period:

Non-residential qualifying period of 12 to 18 months commencing after the completion of the experiential program. During this time the trainee, under supervision, will:

    1. Work with 3 practice clients for 20 sessions, keeping case notes and writing a case study for each;

    2. Facilitate 1 group of 3 or more people for 8 sessions, also keeping notes and writing a group case study;

    3. Write a short thesis on a topic of interest directly pertaining to VMT and growing out of the case work or a strong interest in a topic related to VMT.

The trainee will be supported by a supervisor during the Qualifying Period, upon satisfactory completion of which s/he can apply for registration as a Professional Practitioner with the International Association for Voice Movement Therapy (IAVMT).


Director of Training
Christine Isherwood, BA (Hons) UK, Singer-Songwriter, Dip. Assertiveness Trainer, VMTR, will lead the next VMT Training in 2016. For the past 20 years she has been engaged in teaching and living Voice Movement Therapy, working with individual clients, teaching workshops internationally, and supervising VMT students and practitioners. Engaged in a quest for voice and psychological well-being, she studied with founder Paul Newham in London, before apprenticing and subsequently teaching with him on the VMT training in London. In partnership with Anne Brownell, she established, co-directed and co-taught the Foundation Training in Voice Movement Therapy in the USA. Previous experience includes work with street homeless people in Central London as mental health counsellor, group facilitator and trainer. She has written and performed in political musicals, toured the UK and Europe with theatre groups and bands, and recorded as a pop singer. She has lectured and taught at Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts, (LIPA, co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney), the Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts (WAAPA), and  the International School of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Integrated Arts Therapy Training Program, Toronto, Canada. She is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Psychology and Counselling at Goddard College, in Vermont and working on a new album.  She lives on Martha's Vineyard.

Anne Brownell, MA, VMTR, is Director of the Norma G. Canner Foundation and teaches and supervises on The Foundation Training in Voice Movement Therapy on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, USA; South Africa; and elsewhere. After training in the Expressive Therapies with pioneer dance therapist Norma Canner and noted author and clinician Penny Lewis, Anne’s search for the vocal component for a movement-oriented therapy led her to be the first American to study and qualify in VMT in London with founder Paul Newham and then to teach and supervise on the English and American trainings. Since then, she has acted as a consultant in schools for children experiencing developmental and language delays, conducted a private practice. and established the Foundation Training.  She continues to explore and perform many different kinds of songs. Prior experience includes working in Early Intervention programs, supervising graduate students of Dance Therapy on the therapeutic use of the voice, and conducting music and movement groups with Ms. Canner for people who have experienced homelessness, substance abuse and the process of living with HIV and AIDS. Anne has served as a scriptwriter and executive producer for several films on the Expressive Therapies, including “A Time to Dance: The Life and Work of Norma Canner” and “Going to the Source: A Study of Group Process in the Natural World.”  She is currently collaborating on a CD with an old singing friend.

Mali Sastri, VMTR, is a Boston-based registered Voice Movement Therapy practitioner, singer, songwriter, and performer. She trained with Paul Newham, Anne Brownell, and Christine Isherwood in London, UK from 1999 - 2001, and qualified as a professional member of the IAVMT in 2011. Mali maintains a private VMT practice in Somerville, MA, working with individuals and groups in which she emphasizes the voice, breath, and the song-as-container. As a voice teacher, Mali is part of the music education program at Tunefoolery, a Boston non-profit musical community for those in mental health recovery. Mali writes, sings, and performs with her chamber rock band Jaggery and curates a performance event series called Org in the Boston area, bringing together musicians, dancers, filmmakers, visual artists, and storytellers.  She resides at the South End artist co-op, Cloud Club.

Sophie Martin.
Currently based in Sydney, Sophie runs a private practice with individuals and groups in Australia, but also travels regularly to work with Refugees and Asylum Seekers on Nauru. She is currently completing her Masters at the University of Southern Queensland completing a project using Voice Movement Therapy with young women aged 18-24. She also teaches voice to university students both in Australia and overseas and most recently travelled to South Korea to work with students in the theatre department of Yongin University. She has worked extensively with Indigenous children in the remote communities of the Northern Territory running music programs and has worked around Australia and overseas as an Actor and Singer. In 2013 Sophie completed a pilot Voice Movement Therapy (VMT) project with the University of Queensland working with young women who self harm which was published with SAGE publishing. She believes strongly in the process of voice movement therapy to develop creativity and self expression. Her voice work centres on finding emotional connections and resonance as well as creating flexibility and colour within the voice.

For full information on the training, see www.vmtusa.com/trainingdetails.shtml


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