top of page

More About My Work


Sherborne Developmental Movement

My work is based upon my long practice and training in Laban Human Movement and Sherborne Developmental Movement (SDM). A dance movement practiced I have developed over the years to become a therapeutic modality in family therapy, dance movement therapy and my counselling practice. It enables clients to express through non-verbal communication and to gain release and comfort in a safe, supported environment with a sensitive therapist who can be trusted to hold the space. It is also used to address the needs of two generations - in the main that of parent and child. My developmental movement courses are accredited by the Sherborne Association, of which I am an APPROVED INTERNATIONAL COURSE LEADER. 


Sherborne Association UK


The Sherborne Association UK is a non-profit-making registered charity and part of an international organization that is dedicated to maximizing the abilities of all people with and without disabilities through the medium of movement. It was formed to continue and promote the work of Veronica Sherborne. The Association runs courses for people interested in the use of Sherborne Developmental Movement in appropriate settings, often working with people with learning difficulties. These courses are suitable for Teachers, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists, Care workers, etc.



Two basic objectives within Sherborne Developmental Movement


Awareness of Self 

This is gained through movement experiences that help the person concentrate so that they become aware of what is happening to their body, listening via touch and by a feeling of inner physical sensations rather than by our usual way of looking and thinking. This helps lessen self-criticism and allows people to grow in terms of self-esteem and confidence both a physical and emotional level.

Awareness of others

The next step is to begin to learn to move around and interact with others in ways that encourage the further development of trust and the building of positive relationships. These movement experiences enable the person to be appropriately supported while being encouraged to explore their unique creativity through shared movement activities.



Benefits of using Sherborne Developmental Movement


  • develop good self-esteem, form positive relationships 

  • improve emotional and physical literacy

  • extend and improve communication and creative expression

  • build learning power, challenge thinking and increase problem-solving

  • create pathways for inclusion; enable differentiated, productive engagement leading to positive achievements

  • address provision of Every Child Matters: 5 outcomes and the National and Foundation Stage curriculum

  • support professional development, team building, extend leadership and management expertise



The Sherborne Association course structure


Basic level 1 course

minimum 6-hour introductory course on Sherborne Developmental Movement (SDM)

Aim: to provide an overview of SDM

Prerequisites: none


Basic Level 2 course

A minimum 6-hour follow-up course

Aim: to share and reflect on practice; to develop observation and analysis skills; to develop planning and management skills; to extend personal movement vocabulary

Prerequisites: 1 - attendance at a Basic Level 1 course2 - minimum 6 months experience using SDM3 - submit to tutor at least 10 days prior to course a registration form giving details of prior SDM experience, client group, any queries, etc.

Levels 3 and 4 lead to International Course Leader status (ICL)

For information about ICL level contact or look on the member's page

Does difference matter?

I work in both a pure Sherborne way and use it to underpin all the different aspects of my work. However, It is important to clarify the difference between Sherborne Developmental Movement (SDM) and ‘using Sherborne’s ideas in varying contexts’.

SDM is the way of working which Veronica Sherborne describes in her book  ‘Developmental Movement for Children’. It focuses on the body-in-space and sharing that space with others; developing each of those aspects through shared movement experiences, within the underpinning theory and philosophy of Rudolf Laban and her own way of using it. As an ICL I am only responsible for taking that theory on into the next generation of practitioners so that it's essence will not be lost in translation or development. SDM as such, is not accompanied by music, does not happen water, neither is it drama or dance or any other similar activity. However, towards the end of her book she does say ‘Each teacher or caregiver can make use of the material described in this book in his or her own way’, (p111) and Sherborne’s ideas are used very successfully within all the above contexts, and many more. I have been responsible for developing SDM in the practices of Family Therapy, Family Support and Counselling with my own modality called Developmental Movement Play, a term I coined in the 1980s. However, what is of utmost importance is that we have to be very clear in our minds, and need to make it very clear to course participants the difference between ’SDM’ and ‘using Sherborne’s ideas’ if the work is not to become fragmented and misunderstood, in the future. 



‘Does DIFFERENCE’ matter? – in the case of Sherborne Developmental Movement, I would say emphatically that DIFFERENCE DOES MATTER! in whatever language we are working.


Sherborne Associations


There are three formally organized Sherborne Associations:

  • the Belgian Association

  • the Swedish Association

  • the UK Association


These national associations have been enthusiastic for many years about co-operation. In 1993, members of each Association met for three days in a castle in Belgium to work out the basic framework for each of the Courses: Level 1,2,3 and 4. (now Levels 1 & 2, the Advanced Practitioners Course (APC) and the International Course Leaders (ICL). It was agreed at that time that Levels 1 and 2 should be organized and run nationally and that Levels 3 and 4 were International Courses and should include members from other nations as tutors and monitors. There is a very real attempt to keep the standards and content of the international courses that same wherever they are organized. This arrangement has worked moderately well for the last 10 years. However, as time passes, there is a tendency to do “one’s own thing” so, in order to retain co-operation, monitoring and sharing ideas and research, it was decided to opt for a more organized cooperative body. In February 2001 ISCO was born when Ilse Bontink (Belgium) Cia Klinta (Sweden) and Elizabeth Marsden (UK) met in England.  SCO at presentAny international resolution is very slow at being made as issues are debated at ISCO meeting and then all decisions are taken back to each national committee for ratification. The following points have been agreed to date


 A) ISCO is necessary to protect the quality of Sherborne Developmental movement internationally:


  •  To share information, ideas, publications and goodwill internationally

  •  To promote and encourage the development of Sherborne Developmental Movement international


B) ISCO will maintain the standards of the international training courses by:


  • Monitor International Courses and issue International Certificates

  • Set up and maintain an International Sherborne Website


bottom of page