To Marjorie Malone, no one need suffer from psychological trauma because one's own body movements can help reestablish a sense of safety. Malone, clinical director of The Centre in Taos, blends her experience in dance movement with her training and expertise in psychology.
"Taos is a beautiful place to live. My family and I moved here and have never regretted the decision. Because I love the community and people so much, I want to help all I can," said Malone during a recent interview in El Prado.
The mission statement of The Centre sums up the blend of Malone's two interests: mental health and performance. The Centre for Performance Art and Culture medicine is a nonprofit organization "helping those impacted by trauma and adversity to reestablish a sense of safety and predictability as they reclaim, rebuild and renew their lives through body-centered, traditional healing practices and community mentorship," according to the statement.
The nonprofit organization provides low-to-no-cost clinical support to those in need in individual and group settings. Those unable to pay still receive treatment as Malone does not turn away those in need of help if The Centre has not reached capacity attendance.
"I notice that agencies kept closing. I was concerned about the continuity of care and a focus on trauma treatment," Malone explained. "When one integrates the arts of the body into gymnastics and dance, this provides somatic psychotherapy, or work from a body-centered approach."
The clinical therapist grew up in New York. Interest in creative pursuits eventually led Malone to explore the Southwest, particularly the creative community of Taos.
She studied at the Art Student League, affiliated with Georgia O'Keefe's work. Her desire to learn more about alternative architecture led to work with Arco Santi, located between Phoenix and Flagstaff in Arizona and the visionary Paolo Solari.
Malone's interest in a sustainable experimental city with passive solar design and made from recycled materials in the middle of the desert led to a visit with Mike Reynolds, founder of Taos' Earthship homes. "During that visit, I was hooked. After a year or two, I brought my family 'home' to live. We moved in 1975, finding Taos richly integrated," she said.
After a stint as concierge at Hotel Edelweiss at Taos Ski Valley, the family moved into Taos to remain more involved with the arts, music and dance. The close proximity to town led to teaching a regular roster of dance classes at the Old Taos County Courthouse on the Plaza with Elliott Haas and the late Bette Winslow. In addition, Malone headed gymnastics classes at the old gym at the Enos Garcia Campus. Malone also taught dance at the University of New Mexico-Taos.
She learned as well. "I attended UCLA on a fellowship to study healing through dance," she said. In 1993, Malone earned a Master of Arts degree in dance. She also received a post-graduate fellowship in dance and music therapy. In 2002, she received a master's in counseling and psychology, and another master's in depth psychology in 2005. At Pacifica Graduate Institution in Santa Barbara, California, Malone completed her doctorate in depth psychology. After finishing her studies, Dr. Marjorie Malone made a conscious decision to return to her Taos community.
Besides degree studies, Malone engaged in specialized training. She studied dance and movement therapy at UCLA's department of dance as a post-graduate student. She received EMDR (eye treatment through movement) certification in Pacific Grove, California in 2003. She studied trauma treatment in Big Sur, California. Malone participated in continuing education under the auspices of Harvard Medical School, taking courses in neuroplasticity, exercise and the brain and psychopharmacology. Over the years, she's also studied creativity and madness, the zen brain, post-traumatic stress disorder and addiction treatment.
From 1986 to 2005, Malone taught movement arts at the Esalen Institute in California. In Santa Barbara, California, she also served as mental health director for American Indian Health and Services. Malone served as a therapist for the Indian Health Council in Pauma Valley, California and mental health director for American Indian Health Services in Santa Barbara. Many Taos organizations benefited from Malone's work as a therapist. Among them: Tri-County ACT ( a severe mental illness program in the clients' homes), Dream Tree Project, where she served as clinical director, Team Builders, Agave Health, Valle Del Sol, and The Centre for Performance Art and Cultural Medicine from 1989 to present.
Malone remains focused on helping others. She stresses the importance of the family's role in helping her clients. Malone averages 30 patient office visits per week, with hope to expand in the future. She accepts Medicaid, insurance, private pay, and on occasion, payment on a sliding scale. If the patient load is at capacity, she makes referrals.
"I want everyone in the community to obtain maximum mental health, I believe that body movement and the family are keys to help make that occur," said Malone.
Interested persons may contact Malone at The Centre at P.O. Box 2070; Taos, New Mexico 87571 or (575) 779-6936.