Original Nature



A Post Graduate Programme Scheduled for 2018 – 2021

This programme is made up of 12, 5 day Modules over a 3 year period commencing in April/May 2018 and ending in May 2021 with a 13th Module of a 6 day outdoor retreat in the Wicklow Hills.

The programme covers the foundations of the ground form of Authentic Movement, moves it into Embodied Spiritual Practice and further deeply cultivates the practice of entering into Direct Embodied Experience of the here and now with oneself and others. This is practiced both indoors and out in nature.


ORIGINAL NATURE follows on from ORIGINS and holds the intention to deepen and refine the quality of our direct embodied presence with ourselves, our clients and groups, and indeed everyday life.


The Modules take place in May, August, November and February of each year, thus allowing us to experience the work during the light and the dark times of the year.


Each Module has the quality of a retreat during which time we will develop the capacity to hold silence in the breaks and on arrival each day.  The group, of not more than 16 people, will be closed once the programme has commenced. Joan Davis will be the main facilitator with guest facilitator Julia Gombos being present for at least one Module per year.


Who is eligible for this programme?


This programme can be counted as Continued Professional Development (CPD) hours and is suitable for anybody who has already completed an in-depth training (proof of this will be required) in the following areas:


  • Psychotherapy with a body/movement component

  • Drama Therapy

  • Bodywork

  • Yoga

  • Somatic studies

  • Any other depth body/mind disciplines

It is also a requirement that each person has undergone a minimum of 5 consecutive years of personal therapy and continues to work with a therapist.

Find out more about Original Nature Structures and Costs.



There is no qualification at the end of this programme. Each person will receive a Certificate of Completion provided they have fully attended all Modules.


It is not possible to take stand-alone Modules as each one is a progression from the one before. A commitment to attend all Modules within all reasonable possibility is required before beginning this programme.

Programme Content:


Authentic Movement


This is the practice of moving from the most authentic place within ourselves. We follow our own movement impulses and truth in the moment as they are arising. The mover usually moves with their eyes closed and learns to follow their own experience from within.  This aspect will be offered in Modules 1 and 2.


Authentic Movement is always practiced in the presence of a witness, who sits with their eyes open and follows their own experience from within whilst in the presence of the mover. 


The ground form is composed of learning to be a mover and track your own experience whilst in movement thus developing an internal witness.


This will be offered in Modules 1 and 2.


We then learn about being a moving witness in Modules 2 and 3.

We learn what it is to be a silent witness in Modules 3, 4 and 5.

Finally we learn to be a speaking witness in the presence of a mover from Modules 5 onwards.


As the form evolves in the second and third year we move into an Embodied Spiritual Practice and further deeply cultivate the practice of entering into Direct Experience of the here and now with oneself and others.



Witnessing is the ability to follow and welcome your own inner experience whilst engaged in any activity or at rest. We cultivate the attitude of loving presence, welcoming, curiosity, connectivity, encouragement and playfulness in the witnessing of ourselves and others.


      Object Relations

In addition to our loves, friendships, and rivalries, we have intricate relationships within us.  These are powerful influences on how we feel about ourselves and relate to others.  The people around us also affect us within ourselves. The exploration of these internal and external relationships has led to a body of knowledge called Object Relations. Attachment research studies have shown that how we have experienced our earliest connections to our primary caretakers influences us in all our relationships throughout our lives. In the context of the programme of  ORIGINAL NATURE, object relations is used to more deeply explore the relational field in a safe enough way. This can allow us enter more fully our relationship to our perceptions, judgments, interpretations and projections which have been shaped by our earliest attachment histories and experiences.


      Working in and with Nature

This is where the work is brought outdoors into direct relationship with the Elements and the wilds of Nature. This is gradually built up over our time together and culminates in a six-day retreat in the Wicklow Hills in May 2021.



Joan Davis


Julia Gombos


Julia Gombos has been engaged in the Discipline of Authentic Movement for 25 years, contributing to and witnessing the practice as it has evolved. She has worked with Janet Adler in one-on-one and group practice in experiential studies in the discipline as it relates to Jewish Mysticism (2003 – 2013), psychodynamic theory (1999 – 2003), and advanced study of theory and practice (1989 – 1995). She was Janet’s assistant in Northern California and Massachusetts (1995 -2002) in retreats focused on Mystical Text and Mystical Dance.

Julia has been teaching the discipline in individual and group formats in Northern California for 20 years and is now a faculty member of Circles of Four as a Primary, Retreat, and Supervision teacher.


She includes the Discipline of Authentic Movement and embodied inquiry in her psychotherapy practice as well as in her personal studies in the Diamond Heart Approach (2010-present).

Julia has always considered the Discipline of Authentic Movement as her primary spiritual practice.



Shared accommodation for up to twelve people is offered to those people travelling from afar and is on a first come, first served basis. Except for the final outdoors retreat, it is not a requirement of the course to be residential

Car-pooling for parking may be necessary.


Basics for the fully equipped kitchen are provided and you will be required to bring a packed lunch and food to share if you are residential for your evening meal.


The cost of the programme covers your required participation in one three day solo or duet (with a peer partner) retreat once in 2019 and once 2020. The dates for these solo/duet retreats are arranged according to schedules and allow for you to come and stay at Gorse Hill, with accommodation and foods provided, and work in a solo or duet context with Joan Davis.


Practice, Practice, Practice!

You will also be required to meet with a peer group and or partner to practice in between group meetings.


To find out more about some of the underlying inspirations for Original Nature, please read  Getting to the Root of it All.