General Information


This glossary aims to identify the key words of Psychomotricity in order to present a framework of the main psychomotor concepts and resulted from an analysis of the more significant words in the different European countries belonging to the EFP. It also permitted to improve conceptual dialogue and mutual recognition of similarities and differences between Psychomotricity concepts in the various countries.

You can click on the words below to see the explanation of the part, or click here to see the full document in PDF.


  • Company

    A psychomotrician wants to accompany a persons development. This means the psychomotrician supports the person for a period of time in his motor, cognitive and social development by making offers to play or doing something. The Psychomotrician has to act with empathy, structure time and space and reflect these activities.

  • Self-Activity

    The psychomotrician tries to encourage people to be self-active. Not that the psychomotrician knows the solution for a (motional or motor) problem, but the person himself should discover how to deal with the situation. Self-activity is very important for independence and ego. "I do - I can - I am" - whatever a person does and can do makes that person self aware and improves self esteem.

  • Developmental Tasks

    German Psychomotricity and Motology are mostly directed towards developmental support, which makes the concept of developmental tasks a central one. It harks back to the US-American psychologist Havighurst and implied tasks, which are delegated by society and accepted by the individual, such as the transition from kindergarten to elementary school. In that way it is a construct that links society and individual development. There exists a distinction between normative (meaning: predictable) and not-normative developmental tasks. Tasks can be descriptive (“Starting your own family”) or can be of a structural nature like “Capacity for intimacy, bonding and responsibility”. Solving developmental tasks raises the individual’s content and encourages solving the next developmental task. The de-standardization of human biographies makes it more and more difficult though to experience developmental tasks as binding. Psychomotoric support aims at helping people to solve developmental tasks, to “take the next step”.

  • Therapeutic Look (Expression in one’s Eye)

    Visual contact is emphasized in the therapeutic relation, which is often an intense moment of exchange and assures a certain receptiveness of the patient in the therapeutic undertaking and of his participation in the relationship.
    The ‘look’ gives a good idea of the mood and the psychic state of the latter, and this favours empathy by transmitting emotions. Consequently, it allows one to feel the other when verbal communication on its own, the ‘look’ can mean approval or disapproval, desire, pleasure or suffering.

  • Partner Symbolic

    By his positioning in here and now during a Play with his patient, the psychomotrician owings to his empathic listening and of the tonico-emotional dialog, and through an intersubjective relation, help him to give sense to his Play and introduce it in the body language and the symbolic system.

  • Inclusion

    Activities are based on an individual’s capability, resources and strengths. Everyone has the possibility to participate, learn and succeed, without any pressure of performance. In general activities the individual’s goals and needs are taken into account and activities are adapted according to the individual’s requirements. Inclusion takes place mainly in the daily activities of the day care and school groups.

  • Movement Impulse or Impulse

    Movement impulse is to be understood as the body’s intricate impulse to move when change is needed. In order to sense this impulse, being sensory aware (body awareness) is basic.

  • Competence to Act

    The aim of psychomotricity is to increase a person’s competence to act. Competence to act means body competence, competence in dealing and using different objects and materials and competence in social activities. To be able to deal with and to be competent, people (of all ages) have to make many different experiments in all these fields.

  • Dependence

    Dependence is closely related to effective immaturity, on one hand it is considered as a biological phenomenon because it represents a state of the individual’s development, and on the other hand seen as a social phenomenon because a child´s development depends on environmental influences. Dependence appears when there is a disagreement between achieved intellectual development and unachieved emotional development. This awakens some emotional weakness, insecurity and over-dependence, which represents a significant emotional attachment to the mother, father or other people in authority.
    From the understanding in psychomotor, it is possible to observe the impossible autonomy during movement activities.

  • Mediator

    The mediator is the intermediary between one or several patients and the therapist. It aims at facilitating the relationship and is of use as base for therapeutic work. The mediator can be a sport, a game, an animal, an art, and objects. Consequently we thus differentiated two types of mediators:
    The mediator object and the mediator activity: horse, water, sports, arts … It is invested in the relation, we attribute it a great place in the therapy. In psychomotricity, we should not forget that the body of the psychomotor therapist is the main mediator.

  • Sense of Touch in Psychomotricity

    In psychomotricity, the therapeutic touch is, with regard to its aims, a different technique from the massages of the physiotherapist.
    The aims:
    The (re) establishing of a containing envelope: the psychomotricist helps the patient in the (re) building of his ego-skin. While he is becoming aware of his tonic state and his body limits, thanks to the tonic dialogue and the verbalizations, the patient is regaining his psycho-body unity.
    A body re-investissement and a narcissistic reassertion: touch can favour a rediscovery of his body schema and also an investment of his body as an object of desire. It is a matter of creating, pleasure and relaxation where there was only displeasure.

  • Flexibility

    The easiest way to define flexibility is to describe the opposite. That means flexibility is not a rigorous way of leadership to train students to achieve better, jump higher or be stronger. Psychomotor leadership is determined by flexibility with the goal of opening up of the students’ own ideas. The leader’s flexibility allows changes in the lessons and intermissions to discuss different opinions if necessary. The aim is to develop interpersonal relationship skills and values such as solidarity, tolerance, dialogue competence, cooperation and sharing.

  • Movement Behaviour

    The noticeable psychomotoric behaviour that someone displays within the context of psychomotor therapy, which shows his interactional involvement with his direct surroundings.

  • Psychomotor Expressivity

    The psychomotor expressivity shows the capacity of a Subject to express with the Other his feelings, his emotions, his passions, his thoughts through the body in movement in space, time, with objects and in relation to the Other, the Others.

    Movement is the way the unconscious body manifests itself.. More broadly, we can say that it is a way of being a child, original and exclusive in the world that updates distant experiences (living history) whose meaning can be understood by all variations of tone and emotional relationships.

  • Participation

    Participation gives a feeling and experience of belonging to a group and supports collaboration, social skills, own initiative, discretion, self-determination and interaction skills. The joy of movement and the opportunity to succeed motivates and encourages also people with special needs to participate.

  • Psychomotor Observation

    This is an important professional tool of the psychomotrician, it is fundamental for psychomotor examinations and then for project interventions. At first the person is observed in free action in space, following his own rhythms and desires. The subject is observed in its globality, considering objective body aspects (skills, competences), but also subjective potential aspects (evident in action and interaction). The always present psychomotrician, who is also careful, participating and nonjudgmental and who is immediately involved in the relationship and whose observations can catch aspects otherwise difficult to perceive.

  • Reflected Practice

    Reflected practice is the teaching of practice. It is generated and shaped by the various approaches. The actual practice is different from the reflected practice in that many moment-to-moment aspects come to play, like the time of day at which a session takes place, the interior design of the session room, the momentary well-being of the individual participants etc. In actual practice, decisions have to be made in real time, while reflected practice is a theoretical concept and therefore is not ruled by time. The purpose of a reflected practice is to deal with issues and subject-matters like goals of and reasons for various kinds of practical interventions, types of situations, modes of conducting a session etc.

  • Material

    Each material has described characteristics, in addition to the state shape, mass, energy, electric charge, colour, etc. In the psychomotor are trying to get to know different types of materials through our senses, and through a variety of physical activities.
    The inclusion of various materials to lessons, hours of psychomotor activities enrich their experience of materials, material environment and also thanks to enrich the experience of his body.

  • Self-Image

    The activity supports the individual's positive self-image and self-esteem, and gives an opportunity to influence independently and actively in their own actions. The individual learns by movement to observe and know her/his own body and emotions. The body has, through life, an important role in the expressing of emotions, needs and experiences.

  • Balancing the Function and State of the Tissue:
    muscle tone, elasticity, and thixotrophy of the tissue

    Muscle tone is bonding of actin and myosin in the muscle cell, directed by the nervous system orchestrating posture and movement in the physical active body. A person can have various patterns of hyper- and hypotonic responses. Elasticity is the property of the connective tissues collagen and elastic bands. Well-functioning connective tissue is elastic when palpating a body in rest and there is no muscle tone (understood as no activity in EMG-measurement). Imbalanced connective tissue responds with either hardness or looseness. Thixotrophy is the property of the extracellular matrix which can turn from a gel like structure to a fluid structure (gel-sol).

  • Clarification

    Clarification means the diagnostical process to decide the need of psychomotorical intervention in general and to encircle the specific intervention targets. In general it takes place before or after an assessment meeting with teachers and parents. Content are standardisized tests (like e.g. MABC2, MOT4-6, FEW) and "classical" psychomotor games and actions. The aim is to combine quantitative data with qualitative observation to plan the intervention.

  • Bonding

    The first mother-child relation, especially the need of the baby to have a privileged relationship, ensures survival and subsequently becomes enriched by the exchange of mutual affection. Based on these first links later relationships will be established and the child will realize its fragility, in psychomotor games with its peers and by its ability to (or not) establish healthy relationships with the environment

  • Therapeutic Project

    The therapeutic project is what the psychomotricist intends to do with the patient. It is built on the conclusions of the psychomotor assessment and lays down the objectives to reach. It allows the patient to start a personal process with a structured and realist method. His demand is taken into account, concerning his desires, phantasms personal capabilities as well as his difficulties, handicap, and limits (which are not denied). The objectives of therapeutic undertakings are defined according to a purely quantitative evolution of efficiency.
    The therapeutic project is also useful for the therapist because it is used as a base frame for estimating the progress and the difficulties of the patient. It also specifies the main directions of the process, the key steps and the limits of the intervention. The therapeutic project is evolutive and adaptable. It must be re-adjusted permanently according to the possibilities of the patient, the progress, the control assessments and the conclusions of the synthesis meetings.

  • Habitus

    The concept of habitus has gained meaning in German Psychomotricity in recent times. It was essentially developed by the French sociologist Bourdieu. A person’s habitus is being shaped impalpably by society. It is society’s most effective tool in imprinting onto people’s soma. Habitus is not only a way of imprinting society onto individuals, it also works vice versa: people shape society with their habitus. One’s own habitus can best be recognized in contrast and comparison to other people, cultures or sub-cultures. Habitus shapes bodily signals (e.g. mannerisms of gaze), conduct in space / expansiveness, characteristics and speed of movement etc. Psychomotricity has started working with the habitus, aiming at increasing awareness about it and subsequently altering it. This is especially important when working with disadvantaged groups in a social setting, where it can help people to let go of suppressive patterns.

  • Observation

    One of the professional skills of a psychomotrician is the skill to observe the development of the pupils. The qualification includes the competence to describe the motor, perceptual, psychosocial and communicational difficulties and resources of the pupils. The observation is not deficit-orientated or just aimed to describe the quantitative or qualitative variables of movement. Observation is resource-orientated to support the acquisition of competences. A good and differentiated observation under a longer time is the condition for all further development diagnostics and intervention planning.

  • Developmental Support

    DS represents the central paradigm of Psychomotricity in Germany. The DS aims to assist and accompany people in their personal development by offering movement- and body-oriented situations for exploration. In order to discover a person’s developmental stage, development theories of the entire life span are being translated into diagnostics. Guiding questions are: What is this person’s issue, what does he need for his development, what could the next developmental step be? Appearing issues can stem from the past, the present or the future. DS always implies help to develop yourself, meaning that everybody is the key player in his own development. DS chooses an approach through movement and body while regarding the whole person and his identity. DS is one of four major paradigms of body- and movement work in Germany. The other three are: Education, Therapy and Health Support.

  • Rehabilitation

    Rehabilitation or rehab comes from the Latin re - meaning again, and habitalas - meaning aptitude. Rehabilitation is a process to restore the patient back to his/her normal self prior to the illness from the perspectives of health or social and legal status. In Czech Republic rehabilitation is considered to be a stand-alone medical domain addressing the remedies to remove the physical pain, to reduce the muscular tension/tedium and to improve the musculoskeletal system as a whole.
    The psychomotoricity understands this concept similarly focusing on restoring the mental balance and adjusting bio - psycho - social - spiritual wellbeing. Also the concept of the psychomotor therapy is closely related to this term, meaning the psychomotor used as a means of rehabilitation of people of different ages, interests, age.

  • Contact

    Contact is a keyword that covers most of the work in Danish psychomotricity. It covers inner contact (sensory presence, body awareness, grounding, centering etc) and outer contact (touch, social relation and sensing the world)

  • Psychomotor Supervision

    This is a tool with which Psychomotricians can review and question particularly important or difficult to interpret passages of their work. Supervision is done during training and during the exercise of his practice. His work is proposed for comparison with an expert supervisor, from a technical point of view and also from the point of view of personal experience. This comparison can be done in individual or group meetings facilitated by an expert. Explanation and comparison helps to clarify relationship dynamics in action, with the possibility to acquire new keys of interpretations and maybe new operational ideas.

  • Self Concept

    The self-concept is understood in the sense of Renate Zimmer (1999) as a part of the "self". Self and Identity are used synonymously. The Self-concept of a human being is in that sense a subjective, theoretical construction with highly personal relevance. It is build of cognitive, descriptive representations (self-image) an evaluated feelings of the own self (self-esteem). The self-concept is grounded on conscious and unconscious experiences in individual life history and includes also the personal expectations orientated to the future

  • Developmental Theme/Task

    During a lifetime, everybody has to deal with individual and general themes of development. For example a 1-year old child has to learn how to walk, or we all have to learn how to deal with frustration. A personal/individual theme would be to learn to move again after an accident. The psychomotrician tries to work on these themes of development and his/her offer has to fit to these themes of development.

  • Attitude

    The physical and psychological 'bearing' that someone takes on in a certain situation. This is about the internal orientation of a person in his world, which explains his behaviour. A therapeutic attitude is consciously chosen, assumed bearing that serves the client's process.

  • Rationale

    The client-focused motives of the therapist that explain his choice of intervention / arrangement and the client's complaint.

  • Stress

    Exercise belongs always to the harmonious development of man. However, as the pace of life quickens and quality of diet declines quickly some people overlook regular physical activities which are often with negative results. This situation can be a stimulus for the onset of stress.
    Stress, socially pathological reactions, can manifest itself as not only appearing in adolescents, but can be found also in the behaviour of adults. Adults often acquire this kind of behaviour during their childhood or it is caused by various external reasons, which may be connected with a current life of the individual (eg.loss of home, employment, loss of someone very close, some serious illness etc.). Children’s exposures registered in groups linked with socially pathological behaviour tend – in relation to normal social standards - to appear as striking. In contact with other people and when solving problems and difficulties these children choose different strategies than common. They express themselves spontaneously and are not governed by casual norms of behaviour, as they often had neither chance nor the opportunity to acquire them. (Vágnerová, 1999). Stress represent health risks, which appear not only in the sphere of physical health, but very often also in a very negative way affecting psychic and social development – especially of children and young people.
    Effective prevention of stress consists of several parts. First of all, it is a well-balanced lifestyle and healthy hobbies, proper family environment, first-rate values and examples, keeping oneself in a good company and bad company defence, self-confidence. One of the most important factors is a suitable family environment and an ideal manner of education (sufficiency of love and attention).

  • Grafomotor  Intervention

    Grafomotor Intervention is a specialty of the Swiss psychomotor approach. It was initiated by Suzanne Naville and it helped to establish the psychomotor work in Swiss schools from the 1960s. Grafomotor intervention in the psychomotorical, holistic sense is definded as a with individual expression provided, psychologically and socially regulated action to develop the competence to write, based on gross-, fine motor and sensorical skills.

  • Body

    Instrument of action, communication and knowledge. Considered the first object used by children to develop his knowledge about himself, others and external world. It is from the body that emerges consciousness and language.

  • Equipment

    Each material means an appeal to the playing child and thus opens the opportunity to be effective in all facets of development. Psychomotoric equipment such as different kinds of balls, material to stimulate balance, ropes, swings and material to build movement parcours, are all very important contents in a psychomotor lesson. The purpose of material is amongst others is to encourage the child and to support creativity.

  • Psycho-Body Receptiveness

    The psycho-body receptiveness is the fact of being free, in both psychic and body levels, of welcoming the others. Here are the elements on which the psycho-body receptiveness depends:
    At the body level:
    The therapist‘s attitude, his posture, his tonic relaxation, the expression of his face, his breathing, his way of moving the non verbal elements of his speech and his way of being, listening (voice, tone, rhythm),expression of his eye, his body presence, the way he manages the physical distance between him and his patient, the quality of the contact.
    For example: in relaxation, whatever the position of the therapist, it has to inspire stability and relaxation. The therapist has himself to be relaxed. It is possible to speak of a tonic-emotional dialogue. If the therapist is not receptive, that can have repercussions on the patient.
    At the psychic level:
    With regard to his feelings, emotions and actual experience (what he has lived), the therapist must endeavor to be the most neutral possible, not to judge-that requires a certain distance from his patient. All this emotion and actual experiences influences his tonic state, which the therapist must learn to master. For the psychomotricist, not to dissociate body and mind is important: he must consider the patient as a whole. The psych-body receptiveness of the psychomotricist, is one of the conditions of the establishing of the therapeutic frame and relation. That allows him to understand the patient. Moreover, the relationship between the therapist and the patient depends on the psycho-body receptiveness of the therapist, but also on that of the patient. Indeed, the latter may either hamper or favour the therapeutic relationship.

  • Multiprofessional Collaboration

    In Finland the psychomotoric approach is used for individual and group activities by professionals in education, therapy and rehabilitation. The multi-professional collaboration is common. The specialized studies of Psychomotricity (30 credits) are intended for professionals of education, therapy and rehabilitation. The multi-professional studies are organized for example in Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences.
    The Finnish Association of Psychomotricity arranges courses and seminars independently and in cooperation with other organizations. The Association is for example cooperating with The Finnish Association of Persons with Disabilities, The Finnish Association of Mental Health and Ruskis, Centre for Learning and Training. One of the aims of the courses and seminars is to encourage the multi-professional collaboration.

  • Play / Game

    Game is a structured activity usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool. Play is distinct from work which is usually done for remuneration and distinct from art, which is more concerned with the expression of ideas. Key components of play (games) are goals, rules, challenge and interaction and often they have no obvious aim. Play (Games) generally involve mental or physical stimulation, and often both. Play (many games) help develop practical skills, serve as a form of exercise, or otherwise perform an educational simulational or psychological role.

  • Play

    The primary objective is to support the whole personality in the interaction of movement, perception, experiences, thoughts and emotions. Positive and diverse experiences of play and movement promote and support the individual's comprehensive development, human functioning, learning and health. Sensomotoric exercises and using different kinds of materials support creativity, imagination, self-direction, and give the opportunities to co-operate. The activities can be implemented in different kinds of environments, for example in the water and in the nature.

  • Self-Esteem

    The development of self-esteem seems connected to the perceptual ability and confidence of a person. It is the basis for the development of the person’s ability to perceive oneself and one’s environment, the trust in one’s own competence to deal with problems and to handle different kind of situations. The support provided by teachers and/or therapists strengthen the children’s self-esteem and motivate them for new challenges.

  • Psychomotor Assessment

    In psychomotricity, diagnosis is made by means of a psychomotor assessment. A reading of the body in static or dynamic situation is carried out. That assessment synthesizes the life of a person, of her psychomotor capabilities and difficulties at a given moment: according to the result of the synthesis, a psychomotor undertaking is envisaged or nor and, if that is so, it will be based on a therapeutic project.

  • Corporality

    The corporality means the existential character of the body constitution of Man; the concept of corporality, unlike that of body, puts in relation the body and the heart of Man, to emphasize the character of the body like the whole of Man and to recognize human subjectivity. To Live its body more than to have a body. The body image rather than the body diagram.

  • Tonic-Emotional Dialogue

    1: It is the communicative competence that is established between the mother and the child from the first day of life, and which is manifested by slight tonic modulations. These small modulations bring meanings and mental contents related to emotional needs, expressed through the tension (hypertonia) and their response expressed in the relaxation (hypotonia). Its correct structure forms the basis for the subsequent mode of verbal and nonverbal communication and is the basis of identity construction.
    2: It is an intersubjective dialogue taking place between two subjects in interaction, in connection with the corporal, motor and emotional signs born through their relation. Tonicity is directly related to the affect via the feeling and of sensori-motricity. During the period of the psychomotor development, the tonico-emotional dialogue appears through the relation tonic “mother-child”.

  • Psyche

    It is a set of psychological features from an individual, or set of mental processes, conscious or unconscious.

  • Attunement

    Initiating contact with the other, where the person who is actively attuning to the other takes on verbal, paraverbal as well as non-verbal (physical signs, bearing and gestures/movements) cues of the other in order to get his message across. This makes the other (more) responsive, and enables adequate communication between the two.

  • Resource Based Approach

    A psychomotor therapist supports the client or groups in getting acquainted with and being supported by what is already function well or where the experience of the body is positive. This prevents the person from being overly attentive to problems or concerns, promoting mastery and self-esteem.

  • Body – Soma

    At the core of German Psychomotricity / Motology is the movement. The body was integrated into is concepts only in the 1990s. In contrast to other languages, German allows a traditionally embedded distinction between the terms Körper – Leib (Body – Soma). Body describes the outer, visible and tangible body, which is the subject of nature sciences and medicine. Soma on the other hand is the inhabited body and stands for a state-of-being in and around the body, meaning that the physical borders of the soma are not identical with those of the body. Man has a body and is his soma at the same time, meaning that “having a body” and “being the soma” always coexist and that one always need to find his place between those poles. Too much of “having a body” estranges man from his soma. Too much of “being the soma” makes man vulnerable and unfit for many areas of work and life. Applied Psychomotricity aims to support states of “being the soma”. The client is encouraged to enter into an inner dialogue and discover his “soma as a partner”. What does my soma need, how much relaxation or movement? How does my soma perceive the stress of work life? These questions intend to invite soma to enter into a subtle inner dialogue and “speak”.

  • Concentration in Rest

    Concentration in rest is a tool for relaxation, body awareness and visualization. The client or group is placed in a resting position (sitting or lying down) and is guided to awareness of the body for example noticing the foot, the lower leg, the thigh etc. The focus can be directed to just being aware and in contact with the body part; the sense of weight; the tension/relaxation or the skin surrounding the body part etc. Visualization is using the imagination of the person to induce certain experiences in the body and mind. It can be the visualization of the warmth of an inner sun, spreading from the stomach out to all parts of the body or letting the person find rest in an imagined spot where no disturbances can reach and so on.

  • Tonic-Emotional Resonances

    Tonic-Emotional Resonances refer to the minimal transformations that occur in an adult on the niveau of both body (tone) and emotional (affect) and to the interaction with the child and the adults ability to empathize with it or not. The resonances are usually reciprocal and participate in the transference relationship that develops between them. The formation of psychomotricians is primarily interested in listening and self-awareness to prevent as much as possible projections of the psychomotrician on the child.

  • Sensoriomotricity

    Sensoriomotricity refers to the capacity of utilization of the senses to apprehend the environment in an active form. Related to Piaget's sensorimotor stage, as well as from the first moment the child uses the exercise of reflexes where the child's reactions are intimately linked to instinctive survival activities such as nutrition. In this stage the sensations, perceptions and movements of the child are organized in schemes of action giving place to the appearance of the first habits.

  • Giving Meaning

    Finding a connection between matters of consciousness, psychological processes and behaviour of the client(s) in a certain context. This gives hidden and/or new insights into one's own functioning, relationships with others as well as past and present events which are then at the conscious disposal of the client and can make change happen.

  • Movement Score (or Movement Arrangement)

    An action situation that is supplied and directed by the therapist which is aimed towards the treatment goal, in order to provide the client with insight in a hands-on way, to give an opportunity to practice and promote a new integration.

  • Approaches

    Within German Psychomotricity several approaches exist, clearly distinguishable from one another through their image of man, model of movement, treatment goal and reflected practice. Several authors have offered different ways of categorization. A differentiation into the following four main streams seems reasonable: An action- and competence-oriented, a psychodynamic-insight-oriented, a functional-neurological-oriented and a system-ecological stream. The approaches serve four purposes: They build links to established scientific theories, solve the problem of a client specific treatment (which intervention suits which client), develop a reflected practice and offer a base for evaluation.

  • Attachment

    Is an emotional bond to another person. Attachment is not just a connection between two people but also a bond that involves a desire for regular contact with that person and the experience of distress during separation from that person.

  • Diagnostics

    The diagnostic focus of German Psychomotricity is foremost on perception and movement of a child or adult in relation to his or her development and way of acting. There are two main approaches: motoscopic and motometric. Historically diagnostics from the 1960s to the 1980s was deficit oriented, later mostly strength- or resource-oriented. Lately a system oriented perspective, that takes the context into account, has been added. The central purpose of diagnostics is to provide starting points for supportive and therapeutic interventions. Diagnostic aspects have been integrated into the various approaches, with each approach having its own diagnostic view. Within the Motology Master diagnostic skills peak in the ability to write a case report.

  • Intentionality

    With regard to human development, intentionality refers to the ability to act with purpose. In other words, intentionality means developing a behaviour with a goal in mind and taking deliberate actions to reach that goal. An intentional individual wants to make a difference in their environment in some way, shape or form, and has the self-control to take persistent action toward that desire.

  • Consciousness

    Consciousness refers to our individual awareness of our unique thoughts, memories, feelings, sensations and environment. Our conscious experiences are constantly shifting and changing according connections we make. This constant shifting stream of thoughts can change dramatically from one moment to the next, but our experience of it seems smooth and effortless.

  • Senso-Motor Pleasure

    Positive emotion felt in contact of oneself with the own body and with outside world, based on integration of senses and movement is a key concept in psychomotricity. This is an experience that re-discovers the pleasure of moving, acting, perceiving and experiencing, moving own body in space-time. In its dynamic, the pleasure passes from the sensory level to its internalization and mental representation. The memory of experiences of pleasure enrolled in memory traces, implying an evolutionary thrust, aimed to find a new opportunity to relive it. Living the personal experiences of satisfaction, pleasure and sense of possibility, it makes a narcissistic investment of its own (self love), which will contribute to the construction of a restored, positive, self-image.

  • Behaviour

    In regular language use, behaviour means the outward, perceivable, observable actions. In psychology, we understand behaviour to be: A significant reaction to a meaningful situation. Behaviour can be seen as consisting of the triad external actions, the internal process connected to these actions and the internal state. External actions are understood to mean the externally perceptible actual behaviour someone displays. Internal process is the series of connected experiences or thoughts (giving meaning to something) of the individual. The internal state includes the disposition of the person, his fundamental state of mind. These three basic components are in constant interaction and have a direct connection to the context in which the behaviour takes place.

  • Movement Oriented Therapeutic Approach

    Treatment strategy that emphasises the movement of the client in its interventions, this causes the focus to be on the physical (bodily) interaction with the world and bringing out emotions and thoughts through these interactions.

  • Tonic-Emotional Disorders

    These are the expressions of a poor (lacking) and/or uncontrollable emotional flow, unconscious reaction to a situation that generates anxiety in the subject. Between this disorders we have:
    containment reaction (related to a performance): are the postural, mimicry or gestures expression of discomfort lived in the relation and look of another person, perceived as a stranger and judgmental someone. Normal up to three years, these are expressions of an experience difficult to manage and that undermines the identity and the relational competence. They can appear or disappear in the interview and during the psychomotor examination. Signs: stiffening of body axis, blocking of breath, continuous gesticulation, restrained gestures, tensional mimicry...
    State of tension: the subject is in an alert, hyper vigilance, and a state of “Who goes there”. Signs: postural stiffening, clenched fists, breathing rhythm blocked or altered, high paratonia in spontaneous and in action level, hyperreflexia, clumsy movements, massive sincinesie, dysgraphia, neurovegetative aspects...
    Emotional reactions: are observable when the person feels uncomfortable and can be added to more persistent anxiety state. The reactions can be manifested by mannerisms, incessant movements of the feet, disorganized gestures, shifty eyes and neurovegetative manifestations, till real crisis.
    Within tonico-emotional disorders we can also include: states of dehiscence, tics, stutter, vasomotor disorders.

  • Contextmanipulation

    An intervention where the psychomotor therapist changes the situation where movement and physicality of the client are brought up, in order to elicit the desired movement/perception behaviour.


Key Concepts of Psychomotricity in Europe

Visions about Psychomotricity in the different European countries present fundamental similarities in every nation. The analysis of current perspectives about this common views, is presented in a graphic model, which summarizes and highlights the key concepts of Psychomotricity in an European view, focused on an integrated perspective of Human Being and the importance of movement in a relation.

Common Aspects Of Psychomotricity


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