I've had the privilege of knowing Marcia since 1978, when a colleague referred me to her for movement therapy. During the next 5 years as her client, I learned invaluable lessons about posture and movement. Concomitantly, I discovered an unwelcome emotional resistance to helping myself, despite my conscious intention to change. Marcia's patience was so remarkable, and transformative, that I wrote about our treatment relationship in my edited book, Bodies in Treatment, referring to her as Samantha. After I completed my work with Marcia, we became colleagues, and we continue to share a passion for understanding the complexity of the mindbody relationship. Over 34 years, I have referred friends, colleagues, and patients to her for treatment around their somatic symptoms and concerns. Marcia brings clinical knowledge and skills to helping people who have the most challenging physical symptoms, recognizing how emotional processes are intertwined with somatic functioning. Working adjunctively with the individual's psychotherapist, she facilitates recovery from a range of body limitations. Marcia, certified as a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner(SEP) in October 2012, continues to expand her vast repertoire of skills in facilitating the individual's integration of somatic and processing.
Frances Sommer Anderson, PH.D, SEP
My ever-deepening appreciation of Marcia Lesser began when we met as students in the Beginning 1 weekend of our three-year training program in Somatic Experiencing. This training attracts a rich mix of psychodynamically oriented psychotherapists, as well as body workers representing a myriad of approaches, valuing both traditions and nurturing creative contributions from each side. And so, as I found myself struggling to integrate some of this new landscape I was exploring, in treating a client with whom I had been working in a more traditional psychotherapeutic framework for several years, it occurred to me that he and I might both benefit enormously from inviting Marcia to provide her form of movement therapy, as an adjunct to our work. And so it came about that he has been seeing both of us for the past few months, and that she and I have been sharing our observations and the questions emerging from this work with each other, and he with us. We are each finding it a heady and powerful mix. Our shared client is a person whose felt sense of his body has been severely constricted from childhood on. He struggles to manage his volatile emotions, which frequently overwhelm him, and is ashamed of his sensitivity and vulnerability, Helping him read and hear what his body is telling him, Marcia has opened a pathway to receive himself without judgment, For example, to be aware of his felt sensation in his legs becomes a means through which he can realize the difference between a cramped bracing to stand upright, and beginning to notice how his legs support him as he stands on a supporting ground. The opportunity for such collaborative work is extremely enriching, all around.
Zeborah Schachtel, Ph.D.
Evaluations from NYU Steinhardt Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions: Marcia allowed learning through exploration, movement, mental awareness and breathing. She is an incredible coach and she really helped me to explore my fears, examine them and then approach them from a grounded standpoint. This is possibly the best course I have taken while at NYU because for me personally, Marcia helped me to face my performance anxiety and taught me how to approach these situations and feelings not only in performance but in life as well.
She created an incredibly creative and safe environment. I’m leaving with a deeper understanding of myself, a more developed sense of my surroundings and my presence in those surroundings, and a more substantial level of confidence in my work and how I move through life. Undergraduates I cannot begin to describe the wonderful discoveries I made this semester under the guidance of Marcia Lesser. After our seven weeks together, I find myself much more aware of my body and the space I have in the world. I feel taller and much more open to communication in my work. The work from these coachings seems to have continued to grow, even after the seven weeks. I have had many comments in the last semester regarding the way I perform and work to be incredibly different than it was before; I owe a lot to Marcia!
I feel that this instructor really took the care to get to know me personally. She is kind and welcoming and will take extra time to contact me with thoughts about our work. I feel very comfortable with her and greatly look forward to meeting with her. She has helped to embrace my unique individuality and talents. I owe a lot to who I am right now to our work together this semester.